Reacher,” an Amazon series based on the beloved Lee Child books, premiered at a drive-in screening Wednesday night at The Grove in Los Angeles.

“I love this character,” Alan Ritchson, who stars as Jack Reacher in the series, told Variety on the arrivals carpet. “And especially for novels… there’s no better medium than eight to 10 episodes. It’s the right amount of time to tell these stories.”

The Jack Reacher saga, which has sold over 100 million book copies and was previously adapted into a pair of features starring Tom Cruise, continues to hold “such a wide reach. It has clearly spoken to so many different types of people from different walks of life,” said Willa Fitzgerald, who portrays Officer Roscoe Conklin in the series.

Lazy loaded image
Alan Ritchson, Willa Fitzgerald, Malcolm Goodwin and Harvey Guillén. Getty Images for Amazon Studios

But stepping into the shoes of Reacher is no easy feat. In addition to reading all of Child’s books to prep for the role, Ritchson had to put on 30 pounds and do extensive fight training.

“I had to eat a lot of pizza to bulk up for this role… I started working out a little more and stepping into that famous Reacher silhouette. And then the fight training was another level,” said Ritchson. “Reacher’s a heavy yoke to wear, he left me a little wounded. I broke a joint, my AC joint in the shoulder. I had surgery when we wrapped… [And] I tore an oblique in a fight on set. It was rough, but I got through it and I feel better than ever now. Hopefully, we can do many more. I’ll put those scars behind me.”

“Listen, I got tired watching Alan,” joked Malcolm Goodwin, who plays Detective Oscar Finlay, and noted that there are some “really cool” stunts to watch out for throughout the action-packed series.

“It’s going to be a great ride, so hold on,” said Harvey Guillén, who portrays Jasper in the series. He jokingly added, “I think it’s going to be like, ‘Tom, who?’… No, Tom’s great, but it’s just a different take on [the story] when it comes to the actual build of the character and the different layers to him.”

“It’s very surreal to even be talked about with Mr. Cruise, I can’t compare myself to what he’s done,” Ritchson said. “I just tried my best to faithfully adapt what I read on the page and what Nick Santora did for us as showrunner/writer adapting it. I think he did a fabulous job.”

Lazy loaded image
Alan Ritchson speaks during Prime Video’s “Reacher” Los Angeles premiere. Getty Images for Amazon Studios

Both Child and Santora serve as executive producers for the series alongside Don Granger, Scott Sullivan, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross. The series also stars Maxwell Jenkins as a young Reacher, Maria Sten as Neagley, Marc Bendavid as Hubble, Bruce McGill as Teale and Chris Webster as KJ.

Ritchson noted that it was exciting to have Child on set. “It was the first time I was ever starstruck, meeting him,” he said. “I was such a fan.”

The first season of “Reacher” is based on Child’s first Jack Reacher novel, “The Killing Floor.” All eight episodes will be released worldwide on Amazon Prime Video Feb. 4.

Lazy loaded image
President of Paramount Television Studios Nicole Clemens, Don Granger, David Ellison, Marc Resteghini, CMO of Prime Video & Amazon Studios Ukonwa Ojo, Global Head of Action/Thriller, MKTG and PV at Amazon Studios Jared Goldsmith, Willa Fitzgerald, Alan Ritchson, Maria Sten, Harvey Guillén, Malcolm Goodwin and Maxwell Jenkins. Getty Images for Amazon Studios