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Serinda Swan: Reacher

You’re a newbie to the Reacher-verse. Did you watch season one at all?

Definitely watched the first season. I watched it because one of my dear friends was in the first season: Willa [Fitzgerald, who played police officer Roscoe Conklin]. She actually took me as her guest for the premiere, randomly enough. So I’m there in the pictures cheering her on. And who knew that it would be the opposite this season! I went to the premiere as a supporting friend, and then I went home and watched the entire series as a fan.

Reacher on Prime Video. Pictured: Serinda Swan as Karla Dixon.
Prime Video

This is a pretty wild show, on a lot of fronts. Did you reach out to any of the other season-one cast members to get a sense of what you were in for?

“Reach” out? I like that! No, I didn’t . . . I talked to Nick Santora, our showrunner — he and I worked together on another project, so it was nice to have that camaraderie and be able to call him and be like, “So, what are we thinking? What is Lee [Child, author of the novels] saying, and how do I support the world that you guys are building, while still being an individual? And what are you looking at getting out of Reacher this season?” That was part of my drive: What do we want to see out of Reacher that I can support with Karla’s presence? When you come in as a supporting cast, it really is that support. How do I support, and also keep the individuality? So, Nick was my main source, and then obviously reading the book [2007’s Bad Luck and Trouble, on which season two is based].

Jack Reacher is such an inscrutable nomad. But this season, with its flashback storyline, delves into a time when he had a “found family,” in the form of the special investigators military unit that Reacher himself assembled very carefully. Why did he choose Karla?

I think it’s her intelligence. I think it’s her emotional intelligence, and then it’s also her mental intelligence. She is an accountant, but she also knows how to work a room and a situation to keep herself safe — and her friends and family safe. I think that’s something that he sees in her. And I think that’s why she is intrigued by him as well, because he sees her for who she is — and there is a bit of that reciprocated between the two of them. And then you kind of see the lines that [are] crossed that were not crossed in the past.

On that note, in terms of peeling back the layers on Jack Reacher, one of this year’s main plotlines is that Jack and Karla rekindle an old, unrequited flame. What was it like for you developing that dynamic with Alan?

It’s a professional situation, so you sit there and you go, “OK, how do our
two characters feel about each other, and how do we make this come together?” I think, as a testament to the entire cast, we get along really well. And we joke really well. Sometimes . . . it was funny, we’d have the director be like, “OK but, Reacher, you can’t be funny” or “You can’t have that much emotion.” And that was actually my goal as Karla — to kind of crack Reacher a little bit. Her ability to be present with him and not want to change him, and not want to make him become anything different. Just be really present with who he is: this little vagabond — not that little — but this dude that just wanders. And I think she doesn’t want anything from him other than to potentially connect at this one point in their life.

Reacher streams on Prime Video


Born in West Vancouver, Serinda Swan is a familiar face to TV fans on both sides of the border. Her biggest claims to fame are as the superheroic Medusa in Marvel series Inhumans and, most recently, as the titular crime-solving doctor Jenny Cooper in CBC’s Coroner.


After leaving the morgue behind, Swan glided straight into Prime Video’s Reacher, based on Lee Child’s bestselling novels about a gargantuan military policeman turned drifter (Alan Ritchson). In season two, Jack Reacher learns that a member of his former “special investigators” unit has been murdered, and reunites the surviving team — including butt-kicking accountant Karla Dixon (Swan) — to seek justice.

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