How John Krasinski brought horror to the family with A Quiet Place

How John Krasinski brought horror to the family with A Quiet Place


Text: Rachel Chan

Image: UIP Singapore

Diving into the horror genre for the first time, we take a look at how John Krasinski wrote, directed and acted his a** off in A Quiet Place

1. Yes, he knows you questioned his legitimacy in the horror genre
For a director and actor known for his comedy projects, it is no wonder that the 38-year-old is met with surprise when he was linked to A Quiet Place. "I am among the large group of people who would look at my name and by like, 'What? That guy is going to do a horror movie?'" he shared in an interview. "What I realised was that I could direct a great scary movie if I had another way in." Before Krasinski embarked on filming A Quiet Place, he made sure to watch all the horror films he was scared of, such as The Witch, Get Out and Let the Right One In, which turned out to be one of his favourites.

John Krasinski A Quiet Place

2. The birth of his second daughter prompted him to read the script
His wife, British actress Emily Blunt (who stars alongside Krasinski), gave birth to their second daughter, Violet, three weeks before he read the movie's screenplay. It couldn't have come at a better timing, as Krasinski was plagued with thoughts about protecting his newborn child. "I was already dealing with all the fears of being a new father — fears of how to keep my daughters safe and how to be a good dad — when this came to me and so I related to it on a deeply personal level," he said. "I felt that within the basic story was such an interesting, and terrifying metaphor for what it takes to be a parent."

3. His time in The Office helped, tremendously
In A Quiet Place, Krasinski plays Lee Abbott, a father to three children who has to keep his family safe from monsters that are drawn to noise. "I connected more personally to the plight of the family than to the fact that it was a scary movie." Krasinski's last iconic role as a father? Jim Halpert in the hilarious sitcom, The Office. "Because what I learned on The Office was that comedy and drama come from the same place," he recalled. "So I feel the same when it comes to making people laugh, cry, or be scared. It all comes from the same place and you just place the truth of the situation and I don't think there's anything more harrowing than the situation they're going through."

4. Casting the kids came with a deeper purpose
"John is a communicator. He can emotionally engage and connect," said Blunt in an interview. Krasinski also made sure that the child actors they hired were able to deliver the emotions well without saying a word. Noah Jupe — who worked with George Clooney on Surburbicon — was recruited while Millicent Simmonds is a deaf actress who taught the cast American Sign Language. "I didn't want a non-deaf actress pretending to be deaf. A deaf actress would help my knowledge and my understanding of the situations tenfold. I wanted someone who lives it and who could teach me about it on set," Krasinski said.  "I've never seen someone watch my whole being and take me all in. She's looking at my hands, my eyebrows, sensing my emotions. I damn near cried every single day because she just watches your entirety, and there's something so poetic and moving about it."

5. Emily Blunt: Co-parent, co-creator, co-actor
Before they went head-first into the movie, the couple wasn't sure if they should be working on a film together. Once Blunt read the script, she related to being a mother and the fear of being unable to protect her children. "We're in a kind of fragile world right now, and I think people are identifying with that metaphor of parenthood," said Blunt. "It is becoming quite a conversation-starter, which we didn't expect for a horror film."

"I think there's always a fear when it comes to collaborating with a loved one — that it could either be the best experience or the worst experience," said Krasinski when asked about working together with his wife. "I was lucky enough to have it be one of the best experiences, truly, of my career."

A Quiet Place is now showing in cinemas.
For last week's #ManCrushMonday, click here.

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