While he recently went on the record saying he’d “love” to play Batman, hulking Reacher star Alan Ritchson says a blown audition for a different superhero inspired him to work out his acting muscles, too.

To Men’s Health, Ritchson explains that once upon a time, he was up for the role of Marvel’s Thor that went instead to Chris Hemsworth.

“I didn’t take it seriously,” Alan admits to the magazine. “I was like, ‘They’ll throw me the part if I look like the guy; nobody really cares about acting."”

In fact, they did: The casting folks apparently told Ritchson the role was his to lose, but he was lacking “the craft.”

Stung by the loss, Ritchson spent three weeks reviewing his audition scenes with an acting coach before he requested to join an exclusive acting class with a casting luminary named Deborah Aquila.

After weathering other career setbacks, Ritchson eventually hit the mark with Reacher, currently shooting its third season.

“I had about 50 offers the weekend after season 1 of Reacher opened,” the Fast X star says. “I knew my life had changed.”

As for the Caped Crusader, Ritchson is still holding out hope. He recently told the Fortress of Solitude website, “I would love to play Batman. … Dude is loaded and has caves, penthouses, and spotlights that call him.”

The actor called the Dark Knight “cooler” than the more Spartan “Batman without a cape,” Jack Reacher.

That said, he said it would be fun to imagine the military investigator going up against the World’s Greatest Detective: “[Batman] be like, ‘Damn, he’s holding on. It’s been 30 minutes,"” Ritchson joked to the site.

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