By Dan Casey
In case you haven’t seen a commercial or a billboard on your morning commute recently, you should know that this Friday marks the return Tom Clancy’s analyst-turned-reluctant action hero Jack Ryan to theaters across the nation in Paramount’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. The film serves as an origin story for Ryan (Chris Pine), following the young analyst down the CIA rabbit hole at the behest of his handler (Kevin Costner), and takes him all the way to Russia, where he must outsmart the ruthless Victor Cherevin (Kenneth Brangh) in order to prevent a global financial meltdown. Throw his physical therapist-turned-girlfriend (Keira Knightley) and a healthy dose of international skullduggery into the mix, and you get a bit of modern day-meets-Cold War espionage action.
Taking on the dual role of the film’s icy Russian villain Victor Cherevin and the film’s director is none other than Sir Kenneth Branagh, who has more than proven his ability both in front of and behind the camera. Recently, I spoke with Branagh over the phone to talk about the challenge of rebooting an iconic character, dealing with pressure from fans, how he balances his acting and directorial duties, and much more.
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