You’ve seen Alan Ritchson in the CW’s Smallville as Aquaman king of the seven seas, Spike TV’s Blue Mountain State as quarterback Thad Castle and in last year’s megahit The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as the tribute Gloss but this summer you’ll be seeing him as Raphael in one of the most talked about movies of the year Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! We’re honored to speak with Mr. Ritchson today about his career including his block buster roles and upcoming projects.
BLANKMANinc: How did you first get into show business?
Alan Ritchson: That’s a good question. I started in this business nine years ago. I was in the music business producing and songwriting, sort of learning the craft and I had auditioned for American Idol season three. I made it to the semifinals in L.A. and I just really liked the energy of the town and the people out here and I decided that this would be a good place for me and I moved out. I had a print agent at the time and I found out he was sending male models out for auditions on the side and I approached him about it… like the first three things I went out on I booked. One was the body image of Beowulf and doing the motion capture of Beowulf in Zemeckis’ film, another was a horror film (that was terrible) called The Butcher and a recurring role on Smallville as Aquaman. Once that had kind of been set in motion, within just a few weeks of moving out to L.A., I just kind of decided to roll with it.
BMi: You mentioned that you had a memorable appearance on the third season of American Idol where you sort of carried Paula Abdul away. You obviously didn’t win, but your appearance was just beaming with personality. What sort of impact did that appearance have on your career?
AR: It was a lot of fun on the show and Paula was definitely a fan, which definitely helped, but I would say it just opened up a lot of doors. At that point in time it was the biggest show on television so for me to have spent a few weeks making an appearance on that show opened a lot of doors. I just tried to capitalize on that exposure and turn it into something else.
BMi: You also mentioned that in 2005 you went on to the hit show Smallville as Aquaman and I am admittedly a huge Aquaman fan but not too many people are. What did you think when the role came your way?
AR: I think I underestimated the audience and how important that role was to people. For me, I was looking at it as the best opportunity I’d had yet to work in TV. I thought it was a really cool role and I felt very right for it but I didn’t grow up with comics and I didn’t grow up watching a lot of super heroes and stuff so I had to educate myself about the world so I read as many comic books as I could to get an understanding of the character and his world. I think since then I look back and realize how important portraying that character was to people, because it just hasn’t been done a lot in TV or film, and that it would create a really fun lasting legacy for me because people still to this day mention that role.
BMi: For some reason Aquaman has become sort of a punchline in the comic community did you ever get any flak from people the role?
AR: Oh yeah, yeah.Not so much anymore. I’ve fortunately distracted people with some other roles but for a long time there I was sort of the butt of a lot of jokes. I think the first trashy magazine article that came out about me had to do with Aquaman and I think it was comparing me to Vincent Chase’s character on Entourage like he was a better Aquaman. I realized pretty quickly that it was the best opportunity that I had to be a part of something like that and also the fodder for many jokes.