Why Alan Ritchson lost the role of Marvel's Thor to Chris Hemsworth: 'I didn’t take it seriously'

The "Reacher" star also reveals he wasn't cast as Finnick Odair in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" because he was told he was too old at 30.

Alan Ritchson is no stranger to playing iconic superheroes after his short-but-memorable stint as Aquaman on Smallville. But it turns out that he was also destined to play a literal comic book god ... until he bombed the audition.

In a new Men's Health cover story, the Reacher star reveals that he could have played Marvel's Thor in the titular 2011 movie, and that the casting team told him that the role had been his to lose until he messed it all up. "I didn’t take it seriously," Ritchson said. "I was like, 'They’ll throw me the part if I look like the guy; nobody really cares about acting.'"

<p>John Nacion/Getty Images; Everett Collection</p> Alan Ritchson, Chris Hemsworth

John Nacion/Getty Images; Everett Collection

Alan Ritchson, Chris Hemsworth

After his audition, the feedback his team got was that he didn't show that he had "the craft," and the role ultimately went to Chris Hemsworth — for a career-defining run in what would become the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That lost opportunity haunted Ritchson for over a decade, so he went back to the drawing board to figure out how to better hone his skills.

He thought he was on the right path when he auditioned to play tortured heartthrob Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but he lost that role as well to Sam Claflin.

This time, however, was for a much more frustrating reason, totally outside his control: he was told that, at age 30, he was too old to play the character and was unlikely to break out in Hollywood.

How old was Claflin, you might be wondering? He was 27-years-old when the film came out. Ritchson was ultimately cast in that movie in a much smaller role, as District 1's victor Gloss who competed as a Career Tribute in the quarter quell games.

A full decade later, Ritchson is finally getting the last laugh as the star of Prime Video's chart-topping Reacher, the TV adaptation of Lee Child's novels. Fans have applauded his casting and performance as being much more accurate to the source material than Tom Cruise's big screen movies. Reacher was renewed for season 3 in December and is currently filming in Toronto. "I had about 50 offers the weekend after season 1 of Reacher," Ritchson says. "I knew my life had changed."

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