Nothing short of heartbreaking: John Krasinski on parallels between 'Jack Ryan' S3 and Ukraine war

03:45 PM Dec 20, 2022 | PTI |

There was no way to anticipate something as horrific as the situation in Ukraine, says John Krasinski who terms the unintended parallels between the new season of his spy series ”Jack Ryan” and the reality of the war-torn country heartbreaking. Krasinski wanted the story of the third season to be ”unimaginable” and ”larger than life”. As it so happens, the storyline has real life counterpart to events unfolding in Ukraine, engaged in a bloody war with Russia with talk of a nuclear strike causing panic among its citizens every once in a while.


”There’s no way to anticipate something so horrific, including the pandemic. It’s been about three years since we had this idea for season three. We really knew that it would be such a long time between season two and three that we wanted to come up with something that we thought was larger than life and unimaginable to audiences,” Krasinski told PTI in an interview.

”To now realise that it’s actually happening is nothing short of heartbreaking for all of us involved,” the actor added. The third season of the hit series shows fictional spy Ryan go up against a rogue group of Russian activists planning to detonate a nuclear strike and bring about an unprecedented global conflict. There is no way the team could have anticipated the correlation between what’s happening in Ukraine and the story of the third season, Krasinski said. ”If there’s anything that comes from the correlations, which of course we didn’t anticipate and (the production) happened so long ago, it’s to keep the people of the Ukraine in our minds… and make sure that it stays current in our minds and that the story continues to be told,” the 43-year-old said. Co-star Michael Kelly agreed.

It is not a new phenomenon to have a story foreshadow a real life situation, he said, adding that it happened with ”House of Cards”.

”It happened to us on ‘House of Cards’ all the time as well,” said the actor, referring to the show set in the White House. Kelly, who played a pivotal role in the Netflix show, stars as Mike November in ”Jack Ryan”. ”The writers always come up with something. They brainstorm, write the story for nine months, and you shoot it for another six months. So you’re talking about a year and a half later. And in this case it was three years,” Kelly told PTI.


In his view, ”Jack Ryan” season three is not about a good vs bad fight between the US and Russia.

”It’s not that Russia is the bad guy and we’re the good guys. It’s a faction within Russia that we look at this season. So while it’s horrific what’s happening in real life, no way could we have predicted it,” he added.

Krasinski, best known for playing Jim Halpert in the long-running sitcom ”The Office”, also wrote wrote, directed and acted in ”A Quiet Place” franchise. His wife, Hollywood star Emily Blunt, also acted in the series. The actor, whose film credits include the films ”License to Wed”, ”Leatherheads” and ”It’s Complicated”, has been the face of ”Jack Ryan” since its inception in 2018.

The Prime Video original has been adapted from author Tom Clancy’s novels of the same title. Krasinski plays the titular character who goes on from being a CIA analyst to a full-fledged spy.

The first season, which debuted on Prime Video in 2018, tackled the rise of an Islamic extremist while its sophomore chapter, released in 2019, placed Ryan in the middle of political turmoil in Venezuela.

There have been several ”Jack Ryan” films as well. Krasinski is the fifth actor to portray the character, after Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and Chris Pine.

”Jack Ryan” season three, consisting of eight episodes, also features Wendell Pierce, Nina Hoss and Betty Gabriel.

Co-produced by Amazon Studios, Paramount Television Studios and Skydance Television, the third season will drop on Prime Video on Wednesday. (Ravi Bansal was in Sydney at the invitation of Prime Video).


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