“Life was imitating art in this instance,” Wendell Pierce says about how “Jack Ryan” previewed the current Venezuelan crisis relating to the legitimacy of the results of the last presidential election. “It was just an espionage show that predated all the events that were happening, but was pretty authentic to what possibly could happen in Venezuela — and it did,” the actor continues in his exclusive interview with Gold Derby (watch the video above) about the second season, which was produced before the real-life crisis, but released after it got underway. He says about the response to the show’s geopolitical savvy, “There were some people that were very upset, thinking that we were trying to use our platform to get involved in the politics of Venezuela and were being used by our government as a tool to persuade certain things to happen in Venezuela politically and so, it was amazing how the more realistic we were — the more specific we were, the more impactful it was.”
“From the beginning of the show, I was always very appreciative of the fact that I was doing action material, which I had never had a chance to do,” Pierce says about his role as James Greer. He continues, “I was always cerebral cops and doctors and lawyers and now here, I’m for the first time being a CIA officer in the field.” The season opens with Greer undercover in Moscow before shifting the action to Venezuela, where Greer is kidnapped and tortured, altogether giving Pierce several new challenges as an actor, no small feat after over 100 credits and over three decades in the industry. He explains about learning some Russian and Spanish for the season, “James Greer is a linguist. He’s someone who can go into any country. A lot of countries, he knows multiple, multiple languages and so I pride myself on that. That’s some of my best acting because it’s so difficult for me. I’m the 180 opposite of James Greer. I am not a linguist and it’s some of the most difficult work for me.”
The third season is yet to begin filming, so Pierce has little in the ways of plot teases, but Greer’s heart condition that is present throughout the second season is sure to have ramifications. Pierce reveals, “That gave me a great personal conflict to play throughout the season and that is something that all actors always look for in the scripts and it’s multilayered.”
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