John Krasinski on life with Emily Blunt, being the new Jack Ryan | Inquirer Entertainment
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John Krasinski on life with Emily Blunt, being the new Jack Ryan

By: - Columnist
/ 12:16 AM August 26, 2016
JOHN Krasinski Ruben V. Nepales

JOHN Krasinski Ruben V. Nepales

LOS ANGELES—“I love my wife 10 times more than before we had kids,” John Krasinski said about his wife, Emily Blunt, with whom he has two young daughters.

Emily gave birth to Violet in June. Hazel, their first daughter, was born in 2014.


Aside from becoming a dad, John is marking other milestones. He’s the new Jack Ryan, joining a list of actors who played novelist Tom Clancy’s fictional CIA agent: Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck and Chris Pine.

But instead of a movie, Jack Ryan’s latest incarnation will be in a 10-episode series produced by Paramount Television and commissioned by Amazon.


Capping John’s recent breakthroughs is “The Hollars,” a comedy-drama which he directs and stars in as a man who returns to his small hometown where the close-knit Hollar family dynamic unfolds.

Also in the cast are Anna Kendrick, Margo Martindale (who plays the family matriarch), Sharlto Copley and Randall Park.

“The Hollars” is only John’s second feature directing gig; his first was “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.”

He also directed three episodes of “The Office,” the series where he played Jim Halpert.

He starred earlier this year in Michael Bay’s “13 Hours,” which marked his shift from a TV sitcom star to a buff action movie hero.

The tall, 36-year-old lives in New York with Emily, who is also enjoying a busy career (she recently landed the title role in “Mary Poppins Returns”), and their two kids.

Excerpts from our chat:


How has your relationship with Emily changed, now that you’re parents?

It’s changed a lot as far as how we interact with each other and how much time we get to spend with each other.

I love my wife 10 times more than before we had kids. But it’s for all these different reasons.

It’s understanding her and getting to watch her be the greatest mom I have ever seen. Getting to feel like we created this family together is really special.

How do you manage your time at home, taking care of the kids, and filming, because you’re both busy?

The truth is, every second that we are not on set, we are at home. We love being very involved. We just had a newborn, and we like that we get to say that we are tired at night because we don’t get a lot of sleep.

Emily [and I] grew up in loving families. We’re just trying to repeat that.

But one of the things that is difficult … is that when you do go to work, you go to work for five months straight.

So you have to work in time to see your kids. That might involve building a system so that when you shoot a film, they all come with you.

You had a baby before you made “The Hollars.” How has that changed your life and affected your approach to making this family comedy-drama?

It changed absolutely everything. If I had made this movie five months before, it would have been a completely different movie. My (first) daughter was four and a half months old when we started shooting.

It definitely gave me more of an understanding of my character, because he is at the doorstep of being a father. You finally understand more what your parents went through, what it means to have brothers and be in a family.

Then, you also start talking about things like family name and lineage. So there was a very emotional, heightened sense of things I was dealing with in the movie.

Congratulations on being the new Jack Ryan. Do you think being in “13 Hours” helped you land the role?

“13 Hours” was a massive transformation for me, both physically and career-wise.

It is a fantasy camp with a lottery ticket, and I’m so lucky to be there. But it has also afforded me the opportunity to try new things. “13 Hours” was a whole new door opening for me.

I know the specifics of why I got offered Jack Ryan. Amy Powell, who is this amazing executive over at Paramount Television, saw an early screening of “13 Hours.”

She said, “I think that’s my Jack Ryan.” So the movie directly influenced me getting Jack Ryan.

Have you always wanted to play Jack Ryan?

I have heard there are other actors who have done it, which is frustrating. I’m just kidding. I have been such a huge fan of this character, the books and the movies for a very long time.

To be in this long line of actors who have done this is a huge honor for me, and it’s also terrifying. The good news is that we’re doing something different.

It’s not a movie as you have seen it before. They want to do it like a movie in 10 parts. It’s not a season of television. They want to make it long-form storytelling, which is very exciting.

What did you learn about directing from the filmmakers you have worked with?

One of the cool things about being an actor is that you get to watch great directors work all the time. Just steal everything you can from them. I have taken so much from those different directors.

I remember specifically George Clooney, who was one of the first people to say two things that I remember taking from him.

One is, when you direct, you can always make a bad movie out of a good script, but you can never make a good movie out of a bad script. I thought that was really interesting and true.

You have to find good material. Don’t direct just to direct. Find something you can commit to. George also taught me that when you direct, you should also be the only guy for the job. That means, you have to understand it in a way that you think nobody else can, which is smart.

The other thing George taught me that he lives by every day is, the best idea ends up onscreen.

It would be sad to let your ego take over and think that you’re the one who always has the best decisions. Not me. I love communicating and collaborating.

There are some emotional scenes in “The Hollars.” Did the story make you think about the life cycle—birth, life and death?

One of my favorite parts about the movie is at the end. The last line in the movie is [when] Anna Kendrick is called Mrs. Hollar, and Margo Martindale’s character was also called Mrs. Hollar throughout the whole movie. So that was sort of passing a torch, full circle kind of thing.

I firmly believe in the idea of full circle. For instance, when our daughter was born. I felt that she looks a lot like Emily’s grandmother, [who] passed away three weeks before we found out she (his wife) was pregnant.

Not to give anything away, but the most emotional scene is when she (Margo Martindale’s character) breaks down for the first time.

Did you name your daughter after Emily’s grandmother?

No, we didn’t. I just felt that she was a really special woman.

You’ve been acting since you were in grade school. Now that you’re a successful actor, is it everything you thought it would be?

It’s better than I ever could have imagined it. I’m living a fantasy camp life. I may not have deserved to get a big break like this, so my job is to try to deserve staying here.

The only way to do that is to keep trying new and different things and try to make scripts like this that have been around for 10 years come to light.

When are you shooting “Jack Ryan”?

Probably in January.

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