John Krasinski has one of those faces. You just want to talk to him. Blame his character Jim’s romance with Pam on “The Office.” Krasinski not only played a happily married guy on TV, but plays a similar role in real life: He’s married to actress Emily Blunt.
In “A Quiet Place” (which has a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes), he stars in and directed a film about a family that can’t say a word or deadly aliens will swoop in for the kill. Does he like scare fare? “I’m a total scaredy cat,” admits the Massachusetts native. At the same time, I’m also a fan of scary movies. I was obsessed with ‘Jaws’ and ‘Aliens.’ I love Hitchcock.”
Though Krasinski has directed several films, he’s not leaving his acting career behind. This summer he stars as the new Jack Ryan in the Amazon series of the same name, which debuts Aug. 31.
RJ: What is the perfect Sunday for you and Emily?
JK: A great Sunday is just hanging out with the kids (Hazel, 4, and Violet, who turns 2 in June.) All the clichés are true. Everything changes when you have children. Having two changes everything again. With one, you pass the baby. With two, you pass one off and get another one right back. It’s just the greatest. Sunday is spent just hanging out as a family, making pancakes or going to a park.
Do you do diapers?
I do diapers. I do it all. I’m basically Emily’s assistant.
So you’re a scaredy cat?
I was never a horror guy. Now I am. I’ve seen everything you could possibly see. People who would see my iTunes account would say I have a problem. “Jaws” was one of the best scary movies I’ve ever seen because it was about three guys trying to overcome their biggest fear.
In “A Quiet Place,” aliens have arrived but they’re blind and depend upon hearing to find and devour prey. You and Emily play parents of three children on a farm who are desperate to stay quiet.
I loved it, but the thing is I wanted it to feel big. I wanted it to feel epic, almost like a Western. There’s something about the family on this farm that felt like a Western. You know there is going to be a showdown. The DP (cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen) was incredible. She and I sat down and watched all sorts of recent classic movies like “There Will Be Blood” and “No Country for Old Men.” Those were movies that could really handle silence.
You’ve said this film is about a parent’s worst fear.
For me, it wasn’t just about the shocks, but about the idea represented that you never want to let your kids go out into the world because it can be scary. Then again, you have to let them go out there. That’s life.
You have two beautiful daughters. Did you put your own fears into the film?
Emily and I had just had our second daughter when we shot the film, so I was in that world of (being) terrified and nervous. I thought, “Why not put those emotions into a movie?”
What’s our best shot of surviving an alien invasion?
Friends and family. Especially nowadays with what’s going on all around us, there is nothing more important than family. Maybe it’s not even your direct family, but a group of friends. The message of this movie is that we need to have people to rely on no matter what happens.
What was it like for you to go to Industrial Light &Magic (ILM) and work with pros there to create the alien?
One of the best pieces of advice my Dad ever gave me to say to a person is, “I don’t know.” Day One I said, “I’ve never done this before, but I have ideas.” Then I said, “Please help me out.” It became this incredibly collaborative process where every idea I had would be built upon and then we would change it again and again.
Your wife is awesome.
The week before we started shooting, I went to find an editing bay. Rob Marshall happened to be editing a little indie movie at the next bay called “Mary Poppins” starring Emily Blunt. Rob asked me what I was shooting and I told him. He said, “Oooo, you’re going to see.” I said, “I know. She’s amazing.” He repeated, “Oh, you’re going to see.” I said, “I know. I’m her biggest fan.” He said, “No, not until you’re in the room with her acting will you know what she does.” On the set, I saw very clearly what an incredible talent Emily is. She moved me every single day.
Was there pressure on “Jack Ryan,” since you are following in the footsteps of Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford, who played him in films?
I’ve always been a big fan of this character, but I’m ready to do it a little bit differently.