By Danielle DeSimone
Actors John Krasinski and Wendell Pierce joined the USO in Los Angeles on August 31 for a special premiere event of Amazon Prime’s new series “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.” The event, which took place aboard the USS Iowa, was in collaboration with LA Fleet Week – a celebration of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Amazon’s new show – released August 31 – brings the iconic spy character back to the screen with the latest iteration of the world-famous book series. John Krasinski plays the titular character – a CIA analyst pulled from his desk job and placed in the field amid an international terrorism plot – in the streaming TV series.
But before the Jack Ryan character was a CIA spy, he was a U.S. Marine. Krasinski met real-life sailors and Marines aboard the USS Iowa with the USO to talk about the new show and his experiences stepping into the shoes of our service members on set.
“It’s the most important thing for me,” Krasinski said, describing how he received training from military and intelligence personnel to prepare for the role. “You have to interface with as many people as you can because it’s not only the stories, but the personal tidbits of how they live their life, how they live their lives with their families. That was the most important thing to me – not only what they’re doing in the field, but how it affects them in their personal lives.”
“Jack Ryan” star John Krasinski snaps a photo with a sailor during a USO tour during Los Angeles Fleet Week August 31.
Actor Wendell Pierce, who stars in the new Amazon Prime series, “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” poses with sailors during a USO tour during Los Angeles Fleet Week on August 31.
Actors Wendell Pierce, left, and John Krasinski, co-stars of the new Amazon Prime series, “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” connect with service members during a USO tour during Los Angeles Fleet Week on August 31.
Actor John Krasinski, who stars in the new Amazon Prime series, “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” poses with sailors during a USO tour during Los Angeles Fleet Week on August 31.
Krasinski also explained that participating in this USO event and giving back to service members was very important to him.
“For me, the thank-yous and the gratitude that we should show to every single man and woman who has put their lives on the line for us is a daily routine for me and is something that should be universal,” he said. “So to be able to do it on such a big scale like this is honestly more an honor for me than for anybody else.”
“My father fought in World War II and the USO was very important to him,” said Pierce, who portrays CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence James Greer. “He always talks about going to the USO. It broadened his hope, his world.”
Pierce, originally from New Orleans, also emphasized the importance of the Coast Guard during Hurricane Katrina. “They really saved us. They saved thousands and thousands, tens of thousands of people,” he said. “So now to meet a service member who was there, I get to say to him ‘thank you,’ and hopefully he enjoys our show.”
Krasinski, Pierce, and screenwriter-producer Carlton Cuse, best known for “Lost,” had a chance to tour the USS Iowa and get a behind-the-scenes look at the daily lives of service members. Amazon also provided sailors and Marines with an exclusive screening of the show aboard the ship.
“The weird thing is that every time you meet one of the service members, they say ‘Thank you so much for coming,’” said Krasinski. “And I say, ‘This is like the best day, we’ve been looking forward to it for months.’”