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Playboy Interview: Lee Child
  • September 24, 2012 : 00:09
  • comments

When game six of the 2011 World Series was rained out, Tony La Russa, the then manager of the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals, texted Lee Child to say he was thrilled to get the night off. He had just bought the author’s latest Jack Reacher novel, and now he could start reading. Like former president Bill Clinton, who sends Child a handwritten mash note after finishing every book, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has reviewed several favorably for Amazon.com, La Russa can’t get enough of Reacher, the six-foot-five ex-military police major who over the course of 17 novels has outthought and outfought an array of cold-blooded villains. Known as Reacher Creatures, Child’s fans are legion. His books, which have been translated into 40 languages, have sold more than 60 million copies and consistently garner splendid notices. Janet Maslin of The New York Times calls Child “the best thriller writer of the moment.”

The stakes are about to get higher. Not only has a new Reacher novel, A Wanted Man, just been published, but in December Paramount Pictures will release Jack Reacher, starring Tom Cruise. The casting of the five-foot-seven actor as the larger-than-life Reacher has, not surprisingly, generated controversy. On a Facebook page dedicated to the topic, one reader grouses, “I guess it could have been worse: Justin Bieber, Andy Dick.” Declares another, “Child sold out.” Directed by Oscar winner Christopher McQuarrie (who wrote The Usual Suspects) and co-starring Rosamund Pike and Robert Duvall, the movie is based on One Shot, Child’s ninth novel. It pits Reacher against a group of thugs who are menacing a Midwestern town. The studio hopes it will be the first in a film franchise that will transform Jack Reacher into another Jason Bourne or Dirty Harry.

It is remarkable that the 57-year-old Child finds himself both atop best-seller lists and poised for a Hollywood ending, considering that he didn’t start writing until the age of 40 after being dismissed from a high-profile job in English television. (Born James Grant, he changed his name when he launched his new career.) More remarkable still is that the native Briton has created an indelibly American hero, one part Shane, one part Philip Marlowe and one part Rambo—if Rambo were a liberal. His military days behind him, Reacher roams the country, lingering in places just long enough to uncover wrongdoing and dispense rough justice before drifting on, typically by bus. His life is so stripped down he doesn’t own a change of clothes. (When his shirts and pants get dirty, he throws them away and buys new ones.) Nor does he have relatives or friends. He seems to live in the perpetual present, his past a mystery revealed in flashes.

We sent writer Steve Oney, who recently profiled former NFL star Herschel Walker for Playboy, to New York to visit with Child at his Manhattan home. Oney reports: “My first afternoon in the city I accompanied Child to BookExpo, publishing’s annual convention, at the Javits Center. Unlike most book signings, which attract a mere handful of devotees, Child’s drew a mob. His publicists had to turn people away. Over the next few days we talked in Child’s midtown office and in an apartment higher up in the same building, where, when he’s not at his vacation place in Provence or at a new spread in the English countryside, he lives with his wife, Jane. Both the office and the apartment are white and no-nonsense. Child’s work space contains little more than two iMacs (one for writing, the other for web browsing); the couple’s apartment has a bed, a pair of Knoll chairs and not much else. The lone distraction is a collection of vintage bass guitars, which testify to Child’s adolescent ambition to be a rocker. Child is a splendid raconteur, affable and wonderfully opinionated, but he comes across as a solitary soul. Like Reacher, he seems more comfortable by himself than in the company of others.”


PLAYBOY: Paramount cast the diminutive Tom Cruise to play Jack Reacher. You’ve been quoted as saying you don’t object. Come on—Reacher’s size and ruggedness are an essential part of his appeal. You have to be disappointed.

CHILD: Disappointed is the wrong word. When you transfer a book to the screen, something’s going to give. It seems to me there are three essential things about Reacher. First, he’s smart. Second, he’s still and quiet yet menacing. Third, he’s huge. It was always likely we were going to lose one of those characteristics. The question was which. For a long time we were fixated on his physique. We had to have a big guy. But we got nowhere. There were no actors big enough who could do even one of the other things. Then it came as an epiphany. Give up the physique and concentrate on Reacher’s smartness and quietness.

PLAYBOY: Rabid fans of your novels have started a Facebook page called “Tom Cruise is not Jack Reacher.” What do you say to them?

CHILD: Readers feel they have some incredibly intimate possession. Reacher is theirs alone. Now suddenly this will be blown open. They get defensive. They think, I don’t want this taken away from me. This is my private thing, and the whole world is going to see it. The nature of the relationship has changed. People feel hostile toward someone else’s interpretation of a book. Their default position is opposition. I say to them, “See the movie, and then we’ll talk about it.” My guess is that out of every 100 book lovers, 75 will say, “That was really good.” And 25 will hate it. There’s just nothing you can do about that.

PLAYBOY: What other actors were considered for the part?

CHILD: All kinds of people have been interested at one time or another: Brad Pitt, Hugh Jackman and Vince Vaughn. A black Reacher was mentioned: Will Smith or Jamie Foxx. Would that have produced the same outrage? Reacher is not black.

PLAYBOY: Does Cruise pull it off?

CHILD: Cruise is this monster celebrity—global superstar and tabloid fodder. That’s all in your face. But you have to look past that. You’ve got to look underneath at what’s there. And what’s there with Cruise? This is in no way damning with faint praise, but he shows up and does the work, and he does it properly and on time. And that’s a rare thing. He is utterly reliable, and to me there’s nothing more important. He will do the job, and he will do it the way it should be done. That’s 85 percent of the battle. The next sort of 10 percent is talent, and Cruise has that too. He is a talented professional. Reacher is in good hands.

PLAYBOY: You must see why some readers think you’ve made a pact with the devil. The movie is based on your novel One Shot, but Paramount has retitled it Jack Reacher. Does that rile you?

CHILD: Absolutely the reverse. When I heard it, I was like, “Yes!” I pumped my fist. If they’d given me a free hand and asked what I wanted the movie to be called, that’s what I would have done.

PLAYBOY: But this is your baby. One Shot was your first novel to receive widespread critical acclaim.

CHILD: Hollywood is different from publishing. Everybody wants to make a profit in the book business, but if a book fails, it doesn’t sink the ship. One of the most expensive books ever was Bill Clinton’s autobiography. He received a big advance, and it was a big book. They probably had $15 million riding on that book. And if it had failed utterly, that would have been a drag, but it wouldn’t sink the ship. Paramount has $150 million riding on this. If it fails utterly, it does sink the ship. So they tested it, and they found that for young women who didn’t know the book, One Shot was too masculine, too “snipery.” Young women drive movie attendance. They’re the ones who tell their boyfriends which movie they’re going to see on Friday. The studio changed the title to Jack Reacher. It lets you know the movie is about a man, not a gun.

PLAYBOY: You are pleased.

CHILD: It’s a gift. From my point of view, we’ve now got a $150 million advertising campaign for my brand.

PLAYBOY: Starting with the first Reacher novel, Killing Floor, in 1997, you’ve been successful. Yet only over the past few years have your books consistently topped best-seller lists. Is there something in the zeitgeist?

CHILD: One of the things that fascinate people about Reacher is that he has no possessions. Apart from a passport and an ATM card, the only thing he owns is a folding toothbrush, and that has become a legendary talking point among readers. But I think there’s more to it. Since the financial crisis hit, people are realizing you don’t own things; things own you. You might enjoy the stuff you’ve accumulated, but you don’t enjoy the debt. People are beginning to have an uneasy relationship with possessions. They would like to walk away from the things weighing them down. That is how Reacher lives. The financial crisis hit in 2008, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that was the first year of Reacher’s megapopularity. For the first time I had four number one best-sellers—both hardcover and paperback—in the U.S. and the U.K.

PLAYBOY: How did you create Jack Reacher?

CHILD: I didn’t overthink it. If you give a character an imagined laundry list of virtues, he’ll be overdesigned. I relied on instinct. I just wrote an honest version of a character I’d like to be. He does things I’d like to get away with. When you meet Reacher in the first novel, his hygiene is questionable. He cheats. He shoots people in the back. He doesn’t do the noble, face-to-face fighting you expect in the genre. He does whatever it takes to win—but he has honesty and integrity on his side. Of course, I’m being slightly disingenuous, for what do I mean when I say I relied on instinct? By the point I came up with Reacher I was 40 years old, so he’s an amalgam of everything I’d been exposed to that I liked. Reacher is an archetype, the mysterious stranger who arrives in the nick of time and then rides off into the sunset. It’s a specifically defined character present in every culture for more than a thousand years: the knight errant.

PLAYBOY: The quirkiest thing about Reacher may be that he’s an ex–military police officer. Why didn’t you make him a retired Special Forces officer instead?

CHILD: Partly because that’s boring, and partly because it’s stupid. Why go head-to-head with what somebody else is doing well? There are hundreds of books with ex-Rangers or ex–Delta Force members. I also felt that military police have familiarity with crimes and investigation, so I thought an MP was the way to go. It also emphasizes Reacher’s alienation. He’s worked all his life in a branch of the service that is despised. That makes him a little more isolated. By the same token, I made Reacher a West Point graduate who achieved the rank of major. That makes him the equivalent of Sir Lancelot.

PLAYBOY: Reacher has a habit of stumbling across injustices and settling scores. In doing so, he typically racks up massive body counts. How do you justify the violence?

CHILD: Justify is a big word, because my novels are not textbooks on how to live. I’m not saying this is what we ought to do. The function of a crime novel is to give us what we don’t get in real life. And what we don’t get in real life is satisfaction. At the end of a Reacher book, there are summary executions. They bring closure to the story. This isn’t recommending that we summarily execute people. It’s standing in for legal procedure in a way readers like. When you put a criminal in the legal system, in the opinion of a lot of people he gets too many rights. We understand that in real life we need constraints, but we don’t need them in fiction. If Reacher apprehends a proven child molester, he shoots him. Reacher is the alpha male of the genre. He doesn’t suffer misgivings. He’s a constant force, which I think of as a metaphor for our desire for order and fair play.

PLAYBOY: In several of your novels, Reacher overwhelms enemies with a signature move, the head butt. Is this a skill worth acquiring?

CHILD: A head butt is a wonderful thing because it’s unexpected. Nobody expects to be head butted. Way back, I guess deep in our brains from evolution, we learned not to hit things with our heads. It’s generally not a good idea. It can be instantaneous and conclusive. It seems unhinged. It is unhinged. It raises the ante. People talk about bringing a gun to a knife fight. If you’re in a brawl and you use a head butt, it’s like bringing a sawed-off shotgun to a knife fight.

PLAYBOY: Is there an art to the head butt?

CHILD: To do it correctly you use the arch of your forehead, which is thick bone. And an arch is an incredibly strong structure. If you head butt a concrete post, you might do yourself damage, but if you head butt another human, you’re not going to do yourself any harm. It’s best delivered with a downward motion. If you do it in an upward direction you can drive bone fragments into your opponent’s brain, which can be lethal. A head butt that arcs downward breaks the nose and cheeks, driving bone fragments toward the jaw. It doesn’t go any further than you intended it to, but it can be devastating.

PLAYBOY: For all of Reacher’s macho, he’s a smart guy, really more brains than brawn.

CHILD: Yes. He would much rather solve a crime by figuring it out than beating it out of somebody. You know the Sherlock Holmes line that when you’ve eliminated all the possibilities, what remains, however improbable, must be the truth? That’s how Reacher operates. In Killing Floor, the key clue is the difference between the plural possessive apostrophe and the singular possessive apostrophe. In other words, does the apostrophe go after the s or before? The books are cerebral. A recurring line, of course, is “Reacher said nothing.” He’s thinking. Given that the books emphasize the physical, there’s a quietness that is reassuring. It’s comforting that this giant is capable of rational thought. He’s like a dancing bear.

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read more: entertainment, interview, playboy interview, issue october 2012

69 comments

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Oh, BTW, Lee sold the rights and thus gave up any control in how the film would be cast, made or promoted. That's the way it works. I'm not happy with the casting either, but when you own it, you can do what you will. I just hope TC doesn't destroy the franchise with this first film. This was explained in detail in the forums that used to appear on this site - it is noted that those comments are now gone - in fact, I can't find the forum anywhere anymore - which is possibly one of the other demands TC made. Who knows, we're just muggles.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    just managed to see an advanced screening in the UK, had serious reservations about TC after forming my own mental picture of Reacher! Have to say TC pulls it off because he is a GREAT actor and even manages to pull some Reacher type facial expressions (that I imagined!) if that's possible! DO NOT BE BLINKERED - A GREAT FILM!!!!!!!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Tom Selleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Vince Vaughn: all journeymen actors who fit the bill. BUT they're not the ones who bought the rights. That would be Cruise who then cast his 5'5" frame into the 6' 4" Reacher.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I am a Jack Reacher fan and have read all the books, I will NOT see the travesty of short, dark Tom Cruise destroy a great character. I am sure I am not alone in taking a pass on this film.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Read the first book in the series. It was ok and I thought I would continue if I had nothing else to read... Now seeing the veil lifted and the man behind it - I think I will forgo that possible pleasure. Thanks for getting this out there Playboy.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Liam Neesom was "the" jack reacher ! I can't understand that casting . What is sure is that i' m not going to watch that movie , i cannot bear that Cruise and though i ve already read all Lee Child books, sure that " one shot" has been the last shot for me- please excuse m'y English i am french-
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I saw the trailer. It gave me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I felt bad for Cruise. It is such a horrible casting I felt embarrassed for him. I came across this article seeking some sort of explanation from Child. He seems to have completely abandoned his base. I am saddened by his lack of loyalty to his fans. He uses a dismissive tone to us. I am sure the movie will do well, but I will be sticking to the books....unless they go downhill too.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I started reading Lee Child's novels with "Killing Floor" and have read every Reacher novel since then. I admire the character and love Lee Child's books. When we read a good novel, we often imagine what the main character will look like. Tom Cruise is a "name" and can command huge sums of money to appear in a film but he's no great shakes as an actor and much too short to play Reacher. Hugh Jackman or Gerard Butler could have played Reacher with credibility. If height was not important the studio could have cast Ronnie Corbett and saved a bundle.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Reacher is the latest in a long line if fictionaal heroes who live a simple life simply. What elevates the character is the writing. Superbly crafted and undeniably intelligent. I've read all of the books and they are all a bloody good read. I'm not a cinema goer, but I will go to see the film and I do not rate Cruise but I will give it the benefit of the doubt. Then I confirm that casting Cruise was a mistake...
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Ps... Hugh Jackman also does a very good job at smart and quiet in Van Helsing. And he I being replaced there by Cruise too. There is something wrong when an actor can just start buying roles.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I absolutely LOVE Lee Child and of course love the Jack Reacher novels and I am HUGELY disappointed in the casting of Tom Cruise as Jack. I am honestly so tired of Hollywood trying to portray Tom Cruise as some kind of action bad-ass when clearly he's not. By choosing Tom Cruise, you not only lost the physique aspect, but you also lost menacing, intelligent, somber etc... In fact Cruise is honestly the complete OPPOSITE of Jack Reacher's character and I think it'sa crying shame that after years of wishing this franchise would come to life on the big screen, they completely stumble right from the get go. I think I speak on behalf of Reacher fans everywhere that this is probably one of the biggest casting errors in the history of movie-making.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    It would be a shame to deliberately end the series of books. I can see what Lee is saying about respecting other authors' works and how they ended, but if no-one ever did anything more than anyone else, nothing would get done. As for the film, I'd have cast Chris Hemsworth as Reacher, he looks the part and has the personality for it to judge from Thor and the Avengers. Tom Cruise is a terrible actor, massively over-rated and a complete whack-job into the bargain. A very poor choice.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I also feel that Tom Cruise should NOT be cast as Jack Reacher. He doesn't fit.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Tom Cruise is NOT and NEVER will be Jack Reacher it has to be a joke. lLove the books, won't be watching the film
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Reacher deserves to live a long life. Please don't kill him off.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    c'mon Lee, are you saying that there's no actor out there who can play Reacher (covering the 3 points mentioned)?!?! Integrity for the character should mean something, I don't get how you could divert so drastically. Shoulda ended with 61 hours, passed the bloodsoaked baton to hollywood, and faded into exiled obscurity, Reacher has been felled by a double-cross, who knew it would be Lee.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    being black would not effect his core identity. lee child explained quite clearly in his various books that reacher is the way he is because he has been huge all his life. i have seen the trailer for the movie now and tom cruise in a fight with reachers style looks ridiculous. aside from his stature, i know many people who will not watch tom cruise movies simply because of how he is in real life. he is a very average actor and certainly doesnt fit your criteria of "quiet". he is actually one of the loudest actors out there in terms of style.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I've become an avid reader since I read One Shot. I jumped around and read probably seven of your books, although, out of order. I've enjoyed each one. Thank you. I didn't know you we're a pot smokin liberal. You say that you love America but, you don't seem to get it. You just kicked around a couple of my favorite people in this interview. You must see some redeemable value in O'reilly. Or maybe you decided not to trash too many of the good guys in one interview. Do me a favor, stay away from politics and just keep writing entertaining books.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Young girls may be in charge of "choosing the movie" and they may choose a Tom Cruise flick, but let's face it: young girls are NOT Jack Reacher's target audience. I'm a middle aged woman and first in line to buy a new Reacher tale - most of my contemporaries, male and female, are Reacher Creatures...but frankly I can't imagine *most* teenage girls/barely legals seeing a Jack Reacher book and thinking "Hmm, this looks good". So Hollywood and action film-goers will be happy with Cruise...but at the end of the day, Lee needs to remember his READERS made the movies possible.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Most of you sound like whingeing a55holes - the decision is Lee's and his alone. You don't own the character and you did not make the books popular, the author did all that. If he wants to make a pile of money and introduce Reacher to a whole new audience, I think that is a brilliant strategy. And BTW, I'm an original Reacher Creature and have read the books from the first publication. you sound like spoiled children who can't get their favorite ice cream flavor and don't want any of the other 32 flavors. Grow Up.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Tom Hardy could do it.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I liked Brad Thor's earlier books...and most of Vince Flynn's. As for the Jack Reacher series, only one or two books were a bit off. Tom Crusie as Jack Reacher? It is certainly not my pick, but I will wait for the movie and as a book fan, give it a chance knowing its a film portrayal. David Balducci? I think Child was a bit harsh, however, in one of Balducci's recents books, David "borrowed" the Reacher character and so much more even .calling his character Puller. Reacher to Puller...same character and plot. I can see his views may be more personal. For the record, Balducci's story was a "JUST OK" Jack Reacher story and some fans may like it and some won't and by resentment.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    "Americans are much more vital than the inbred, pasty-faced people of Britain". Inbred? Pasty-faced? Maybe in East Sussex mate!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Jim Cavisiel, the 'Person of Interest' TV show has alot of 'Reacher like' qualities.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    There are much better actors than TC. just read all Lee Child novels and then you know why TC is not the one we want. just take a look in the hollywood actorslist. there are much better actors then TC for this role.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Child's given us this amazing series, cut the man some slack and trust he knows what he's doing with the movie. Jack Reacher may be personal to the the avid readers but at least the slower part of society can enjoy him now.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I have just read this interview. You said you looked ad could not find an actor that had all three essential's. did you think to look at your homeland.There you would have found Clive Owen. He has all that you would have wanted. Kieth Price from England ( not hiding behind Anonymous.)
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Has Lee Child read a Vince Flynn novel? I mean, it's ok if he isn't a fan or even dislikes him, but to the comments he made are a little ridiculous! I am a Vince Flynn fan. I haven't read any of Brad Thor's novels, so I can't comment on them (but many VF fans like Brad Thor as well). I'm all for torture in certain circumstances but I wouldn't call myself a pro-torture enthusiast. And there is a lot more to Flynn's books than torture. Torture is a very small part I feel. I'm not a right-wing person and I don't feel that his novels are one sided.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    After seeing the second 'Jack Reacher' trailer I'm convinced the movie will great. As Child says, it will be it's own thing. The trailer clearly shows Tom Cruise is up for the part.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher....LOL
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Glad I read this. I personally love Vince Flynn but I see what you are saying with Baldacci and Thor. Would love to burn a joint with you too.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I guess the other actors will be working on their knees. Not to mention he's a nut. Cavezeil on "person of Interest " would fit the bill. I won't watch that little Jack-ass. Pathetic.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Very comprehensive interview. Re the movie, I'm willing to see it before I say Cruise is ok or not. Knocking Chaney, supporting unions, are a couple of flags raised to show that he is an elite socialist, surprising to me. But his books are great reads, and I don't not shop at Home Depot because I don't like the CEO's politics..
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Tom Cruise is only the first Reacher as Sean Connery was the first Bond. give Hollywood a chance to get this sorted out. Maybe ten different actors will play Reacher and Mr. Child's readers can argue about the finest portrayal in their dotage. That an entity is willing to spend $150 million dollars on the Reacher brand is VERY cool. Sad to see such rudeness on this stream of comments. This attitude violates the golden rule among other norms of polite behavior. Thanks for all of the superb books LC ! I am currently hooked on "A Wanted Man" another excellent effort. Love the portrayal of the contemporary American Midwest in all of its compelling beauty and bleakness - worth the price of the book.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Great interview! I wonder if Lee wrote it himself. I read allot of interviews before getting married. What's a 5 star interview read like?
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    My thoughts are that Alexander Skarsgard has the size, hair color & age for a real Jack Reacher. He may not have the star quality or acting experience as Tom Cruise, but please everyone consider him for this role. Thanks
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Lee Child sold out. I have been reading the Reacher novels since they first came out so you made a killing from me. I, nor any action loving movie going member of my family, will be seeing TC of all people as Jack Reacher. Jack Reacher in your books is the man all men want to be and all woman want to know (or be with) because of his presence, power, and intelligence. No one wants to be or be with or even know Cruise! You say the height of Jack isn't important...then why mention it in every book?! You insult us by assuming all of the novel readers feel 'possessive' of Jack like he's our creation...no we just like him how you have told us he is: dirty BLONDE hair, fair but not attractive, HUGE, well over 6ft tall, built like a tank, not vain, you can't HELP for see him in a crowd -- not likely with cruise EVER unless he was in a crowd of infants. I have loved your books but your obvious attitude of disrespect to your readers and allowing SUCH a horrible casting decision has me vowing to NEVER buy / read another of your books and have no fear not even free on Netflix will I watch this pathetic sell out movie. How sad. Jack would be ashamed to know you.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    My thanks to Playboy for posting this. :-) A great magazine! Also a great interview of a terrific novelist and remarkable thriller-writer. But the upcoming movie is still grossly and overwhelmingly miscast. Hopefully Tom Cruise will let it make a lot of money, and then a big, hulking, macho guy will play the *next* version of Reacher. Hollywood is almost FILLED with big strong guys who can competently portray tough-guy thinkers who are also morally fierce and silently menacing. -- Ky'Zan'
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    You don't need to be a right-wing nutjob or even an American to enjoy Mitch Rapp
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I too was a fan of John D.MacDonald Travis Mcgee series novels, and while reading them I tried to imagine who would be cast as Travis,if ever a Movie were made. No one fit the Billing. I feel the same way about Jack. There is no one who could portray Jack Reacher.It would take an unknown,uncast,newcomer,thatcould make readers believe him to be Jack. I will see the movie and give Tom a chance, just to see the if the action lives up to what I've envisioned.It's Hollywood folks, just entertainment....get over it!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    A late comer to the novels. Read the first 16 in the last 4 months. Had never heard of him before the Playboy interview.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Great Interview! Even if I did have to put up with the naked butts in the side panel. Love the books, and was disappointed to hear that Tommy got the Jack Reacher part. Oh well, we'll just have to see if he can fight while standing on an apple crate.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    However much you stack the shoes bleach the hair, plastic the face, Tom Cruise will never be Jack Reacher, pity Lee Child doesn't act he would be the perfect Jack .
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I prefer hearing "we had to make hard choices" rather than "Reacher's size was just a metaphor." But still, TC is not Reacher. I think it will be a good movie and those who haven't read the book will be thrilled...but it ain't really Reacher.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    When I first heard it Jack Reacher's adventures were going to the movies, my first thought was Vin Diesel, The Rock, or even Steven Segal. Tom Cruise, REALLY? I have read every one of your books, and Mr. Child, you painted the character very specifically, at least for me. Tom Cruise is not that character. It's really too bad. Just my opinion. Steve L.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Interesting to know about the man behind Reacher (Novels).
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Lee - you just lost me dude. How arrogant can you be? Why do you have to say you dislike Thor and Flynn and Baldacci is overrated? You are the sell out for having Tom Cruise as Reacher. I guess the money didn't hurt either. Won't see your movie or read any more of your books.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    You don't have to end it with book 21, write to book 30 first and let Reacher die an old man that is noble and just, he's a hero who dies an old man!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I thank playboy for the interview personally I saw a lot of better actors as the man Reacher than Tom. I didn't think the movie would mean the end of the novels. This would devaste a generation like what Harry Potter did for kids these books got me reading again .
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Oh, and one more thing. I recently cleared out my book room, getting rid of hundreds of great books. The only two collections I kept were my Lee Childs and (embarrassed here, but some of them are not mine) the J.D. Robb "In Death" series. It's the Jack Reacher tales that mean the most to me.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Sorry but no way was this an issue to cast... hell right off the top Hugh Jackman in Wolverine shape is spot on to the character minus a couple inches.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I can live without the movie, though it's a damn shame since I like the director and most of the casting choices. But hearing that the series is coming to an end is a crushing blow. What am I supposed to do--write my own?
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I would have taken ANY actor over Tom Cruise. I don't pay attention to celeb gossip or any of that nonsense. I just can't stand the idea of him as Reacher. He said that the actor needed 3 qualities? Physique was by far the most important and the other two are based on acting skills. Cruise strikes out on all three. He always plays the same character, I don't find him versatile at all. Maybe when he started out. But now he just has money on his side. Oddly enough I always thought Hugh Jackmen was a good fit, even while I was reading the books and wondering who would play him. I don't want to see the movie. Ill stick to the books thank you.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    The guy who created Jack Reacher whining that somebody else caters to the "pro-torture audience?" Seriously?? Sorry to know I've read my last Reacher. It was a great run until Mr. Child started critiquing politics instead of writing.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    There's "someone else's interpretation of a book," which I would have no problem with, and then there's a commerce driven bad casting call. With Tom Cruise as the main character, this is not a Jack Reacher movie to me. It's just impossible for me to accept a 5'7" 160lbs person as "an unstoppable force."
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I agree. I will definitely not be seeing the movie. I will, however, be honest and say that I don't know if I would go to see ANY Reacher movie. I can't imagine any actor being good enough to supplant the man I visualize when I read Lee Child's books.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    All who are questioning the selection of Cruise......shut up. He is one of the few guys in Hollywood that could get the Reacher franchise off the ground. The director can deal with the size issues, and if you have doubts about Cruise as silent and menacing, have a look at Collateral. Oh yeah and by the way who among you would turn down the payday that a TC could bring to the table. He had the resources to buy the rights to all of the books...nice retirement account for Mr Child.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Hugh Jackman would be a much better choice.. or RAY STEVENSON. Tom Cruise is a joke.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I saw the clip where Reacher is in a circle of men - out to kill him - "are you sure you want to do this?.." but TC kills it with his high squeaky voice and is about as menacing as Mr Bean (I probably look tougher than him and have a deeper voice and I'm all female!) Its sad that of all the tough big guy battered actors out there you could not find one with a bit more Reacher presence. TC is not in the Reacher class at all.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    No no no no no no i can't absolutly accept Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher... no no no no no no no... I love Jack Reacher... Tom Cruise will be not Jack Reacher, never!!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    so how is cruise going to do a proper head butt? I suppose he will have a little stool to stand on...total sell out Mr. Child. There are many big actors with the requirements to play Reacher....you just bent over for hollywood that's all...
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    If there was ever a miscasting as huge as Tom Cruise playing Reacher I don't know what it is? It's like casting Margaret Rutherford as Scarlett O'Hara. It's like casting Dame Judith Evans as maggie the cat in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof. It's like casting pee wee Herman as Rhett Butler. I am appalled and astonished. I definitely will give that movie a wide berth. I wouldn't watch it if it were the only entertainment available in the world. Make it not happen. PLEASE
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Just FYI, Lee, I will not allow pretty boy Tommy to contaminate the Jack Reacher who lives in my imagination. He should have played the sergeant with the toothbrush. YOU could have been the ideal Reacher! You look, talk and seem to think like Reacher does. This casting is bad work.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Please please please don't kill Reacher off! I would have to go into mourning, possible for the rest of my life!
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