‘Reacher’ star Alan Ritchson lived ‘behind a grocery store in truck’ well before finding success

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 19: Alan Ritchson attends the Lionsgate's "Ordinary Angels" New York Premiere at SVA Theater on February 19, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage,)

Alan Ritchson is one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood, but his journey to the A-List has been anything but easy.

In a profile published in the Hollywood Reporter last week, the 41-year-old reflected on the path that led him to “Reacher,” Guy Ritchie and beyond.

The actor said he grew up in a strict home, with parents who kept a close eye on him and sent him to daily mass. As a high school student, Ritchson said his sense of independence led him to run away.

“I was fiercely independent and didn’t want my parents paying for anything for me because I felt like it gave them power over me,” he said. “I wanted to make my own decisions.”

He took the money he earned working odd jobs and bought himself a “crappy” used Toyota truck. He also bought an air mattress so he could sleep in the truck bed.

“I felt like I deserved it because I paid for my phone, insurance and I put gas in my car,” he said. “I went and lived behind a grocery store in my truck. I slept out there for a long time.”

Eventually Ritchson moved back home. He earned a full ride to Northwest Florida State College but dropped out after just two years.

He struggled to get steady work as an actor for years. He’d supplement his income with side hustles including a “nightmare” gig managing an apartment building.

Reacher' Star Alan Ritchson on Faith, Stardom and Mental Health

“I’d be running out of cash and then some episode I’d filmed nine months earlier would air,” he said. But “Every time I thought I should get a different career, something would come.”

These days Ritchson is busier than ever, with “Reacher” and a slew of film roles keeping him booked “for at least the next couple of years with, at most, six days off in between projects including travel.”

And while Ritchson says that financially he’s “very well taken care of,” making money is no longer one of this top priorities.

“I’ve come to learn that it’s not what matters most,” he said. “I try to keep my eyes fixed on opportunities to serve others.”

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