John Krasinski is synonymous with his infamous character Jim Halpert from The Office. Though he’ll always be known as the amiable paper salesman, Krasinski has also established himself as a top-notch director. As director, writer, and star with wife Emily Blunt in the box office hit A Quiet Place, the former sitcom star has shown true talent behind the camera.
While A Quiet Place may be Krasinski‘s most high-profile film, he has served in the director’s chair before the 2018 movie. In a previous production, Krasinski had to call upon his street cred as the lovable Dunder Mifflin employee in order to complete filming.
John Krasinski takes on director’s role
Though he was hired to star in the 2016 film The Hollars, Krasinski ended up taking over the helm as director as well. Portraying John Hollar, Krasinski plays an aspiring artist about to be a father with girlfriend Rebecca, played by Anna Kendrick. He returns to his hometown when he finds out his mother has a brain tumor. The theme of family is what drew Krasinski to the project.
“We’ve seen a lot of these family movies out there. But it’s a genre that needs to be told, certainly today, a lot more often,” he told the Hollywood Reporter in 2016. “People need uplifting movies about family, and stuff that’s simple and strong, because there’s a lot of drama out there. And there was something about this one that was so specific.”
The film took six years to complete, where Krasinski’s personal changes in his own life were reflected on screen.
“To say that my understanding of the movie when I signed on as an actor and when I shot the movie were different would be the understatement of the year,” The Office alum revealed. “Had I shot this five months before, it would have been a completely different movie. My daughter was 4 and a half months old when we shot it, and everything changed… In this movie, [I played] a guy who’s about to have a baby, which I understood a lot better because I just had a baby… Going into directing it, I was way more emotional about the movie, and was probably working a lot of stuff out onscreen.”
John Krasinski aimed to convey same authenticity as ‘The Office’
In directing the film, Krasinsi’s priority was to make the story on screen appear authentic.
“My job was trying to make this family feel organic, because one of the hardest things about doing a family movie is if they don’t seem like a real family, you check out early,” he explained. “These other family movies I’m talking about, I sometimes feel manipulated by them, like, ‘This is why you should cry, and this is why you should laugh.'”
The script resonated with Krasinski, comparing it to his own upbringing. “This just felt like my family,” the director shared. “And I’m from a loving, sweet family; we see each other all the time. And yet, this dysfunctional family, I was like, ‘Oh my God, I can relate.’”
The former sitcom star credited his previous show’s success to the same idea of keeping it real. “It’s kind of like The Office,” Krasinski said. “I think the reason why The Office was successful was not because it was a funny show that was on every week, but because you were like, ‘Oh my God, I work next to a Dwight’ or ‘My boss is insane [too].’”
The power of Jim Halpert
The Office star ran into some problems when it came to shooting certain parts of the film. “The hospital scenes are a good portion of the movie,” Krasinski recalled. “Twenty-four hours or 48 hours before we shot in that hospital, they decided they wouldn’t let us shoot there.”
Krasinski had to fall back on his Dunder Mifflin days for help. “I just got in a car, drove to eight different hospitals in the area, and was like, ‘Can I shoot here?’ and used any Jim-from-The Office power I had,” he said.
Jim-from-The Office power is apparently a thing, where Krasinski was granted shooting permission in a perfect location.
“It ended up being a blessing because we shot in to this amazing hospital in Brookhaven, Mississippi, where the people could not have been nicer,” the actor shared. “I swear that energy ended up onscreen.”