How John Carroll Lynch Changed John Krasinksi’s Life

Fans know John Krasinski best for his work in comedies like The Office and dramas like A Quiet Place. But before he landed the role of Jim Halpert and broke into the world of acting, Krasinski needed some help from an unlikely connection — actor and film director John Carroll Lynch. 

John Krasinski
John Krasinski | Mike Coppola/Getty Images

John Krasinski never thought becoming an actor was a possibility 

During an interview on the Off Camera with Sam Jones podcast, Krasinski talked about getting involved with improv acting in college. Ironically, Krasinski thought he was going to play basketball when he went to Brown University. But when he saw their basketball team at practice, Krasinski immediately felt he couldn’t play amongst their already talented team.

Instead, Krasinski enlisted in the sketch comedy troupe Out of Bounds. Knowing they were a big deal on campus, Krasinski auditioned and got in. 

“I was just looking for a group of people and [Out of Bounds] changed everything,” Krasinski admitted. “All through college, I never wanted to be an actor. I never thought I could be an actor.”

Eventually, Krasinski realized he had a passion for acting. But before he caught his big break, he needed some help from a family friend.

John Carroll Lynch is John Krasinski’s ‘pseudo uncle’ 

After college, Krasinski decided to put his all into acting. He made an agreement with his mom, who told him to follow his dreams for a specific period of time. If acting didn’t work out for him after three years, Krasinski would have to pursue another career.

Eventually, Krasinski decided it was time to find an agent. Unfortunately, he struggled to find representation. Just when he was about to give up, in came Krasinski’s “pseudo uncle” to the rescue.

“I say pseudo because [he’s] my dad’s wife’s sister’s husband,” Krasinski explained. “So it’s like my aunt’s sister married this guy who is John Carroll Lynch,” he clarified. “[He] is one of my favorite actors of all time. He’s done everything from Zodiac to Gran Torino, played Drew Carey’s brother on The Drew Carey Show.” 

Just as Krasinski was about to throw in the towel, his mother urged him to go to Carroll’s Christmas party. “That’s family — you don’t say ‘no’ to a family party,” Krasinski recalls his mom saying. “Don’t be rude.” 

Attending that party would change Krasinski’s career forever. 

John Carroll Lynch helped John Krasinski get a talent manager 

Krasinski ended up attending Carroll’s holiday event, his reel of commercials in tow. When Carroll saw Krasinski’s work, he urged him to call his manager when he got back to New York City. 

Unfortunately, Carroll’s manager was less than willing to represent Krasinski, but they did offer him five meetings with potential managers. During his fifth meeting, Krasinski booked his very first pilot. 

John Carroll Lynch
John Carroll Lynch | Rob Kim/Getty Images

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“It was not The Office — it was this pilot just before The Office,” Krasinski said. “When [the pilot] failed, I remember being like, ‘Well that’s it. You only get one shot. I’m dead. It’s over.'” 

Ready to give in, Krasinski called his mom and told her it was time he give up acting. Krasinski said it was November when he called her, and fortunately, she advised him to “ride out the year.” 

Three weeks later, Krasinski got the call about auditioning for The Office. To this day, he has Carroll — and his mom — to thank.