‘THERE’S NOTH­ING BET­TER THAN MAK­ING PAN­CAKES FOR EMILY’

Our new ac­tion hero pin-up John Krasin­ski on fam­ily life and why Jack Ryan is much bet­ter than Bond

Heat (UK) - - Heat Interview - Jack Ryan is avail­able to stream now on Ama­zon Prime Video

John Krasin­ski mod­estly un­der­plays the skills that have earned him his cur­rent sta­tus as half of Hol­ly­wood’s hottest power cou­ple, along­side wife Emily Blunt. “I’ve had it very lucky,” he says. Ver­sa­tile skills, too, given that John not only acts up a storm on screen, but writes, di­rects and pro­duces. No one could ac­cuse him of be­ing an overnight suc­cess, ei­ther, given that he’s tire­lessly worked his way up the show­biz lad­der since the early Noughties. Af­ter a few one-off roles in cop shows here and there, John landed a part in the US ver­sion of The Of­fice as the sar­don­icbut-charis­matic Jim Halpert, and his star be­gan to rise. But we weren’t the only ones to fall for his charms – off­screen, Bri­tish A-lis­ter Emily Blunt was equally en­am­oured with him. The cou­ple mar­ried in 2010, and have two daugh­ters, Hazel, four, and Vi­o­let, two.

Fast-for­ward al­most ten years, and the 38 year old has mul­ti­ple di­rect­ing, writ­ing and pro­duc­ing cred­its to his name, in­clud­ing this year’s horror hit A Quiet Place, in which John and Emily both star. He’s talk­ing to us to­day about fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Alec Bald­win, Har­ri­son Ford, Ben Affleck and Chris Pine, in the pres­ti­gious role of Jack Ryan, the en­dur­ing CIA op­er­a­tive from the pages of Tom Clancy’s nov­els.

Whereas those previous ac­tors por­trayed Ryan on the big screen, John has brought him to TV for the first time, in Ama­zon’s eight-hour se­ries en­ti­tled, sim­ply, Jack Ryan. We have ques­tions aplenty, so it’s for­tu­nate that John makes for such a re­laxed, like­able and funny in­ter­vie­wee. Can we keep him?

How does it feel to be a bona-fide Hol­ly­wood A-lis­ter?

I never imag­ined that I would ac­tu­ally get to achieve as much as I have in this busi­ness. So, it’s been like liv­ing in a fan­tasy camp, where so many dreams are com­ing true.

You’re about to em­bark on a role that’s been taken on by so many huge ac­tors be­fore – why do you think Jack Ryan is such a pop­u­lar char­ac­ter?

I think it’s be­cause peo­ple find it ex­cit­ing to see guys who aren’t nor­mally trained for go­ing on mis­sions, to see how they re­act un­der that stress when they’re called upon to act hero­ically.

Does it dis­tin­guish him from other spy dudes like Ja­son Bourne or James Bond?

Yes. Even though he is very skilled as an in­tel­li­gent an­a­lyst, he’s more of the or­di­nary man who sud­denly has to do the kind of things you would ex­pect from a Bourne or Bond, who are trained for those kinds of field op­er­a­tions. Peo­ple know that Ryan has to use his wits and com­mon sense to han­dle him­self, which makes him much more re­lat­able than Bond.

This is the first time Jack Ryan will be played in a TV se­ries in­stead of a film – do you think there’s less of a dif­fer­ence be­tween TV and film now than there was even five years ago?

I’m in a for­tu­nate po­si­tion to be do­ing Jack Ryan on Ama­zon, and it’s a very cool po­si­tion at that. But by the time my girls are old enough to choose what they watch, I won­der if they’ll even know the dif­fer­ence be­tween movies and tele­vi­sion? It’s just about how they’re get­ting their con­tent.

Is that a good thing?

I feel like it’s the Wild West for cre­atives in the best way, mean­ing there shouldn’t be a lo­ca­tion or place or any­thing that’s the only place to go for qual­ity. I ac­tu­ally wel­come the chal­lenge, be­cause it really will be sur­vival of the fittest. If you have an idea that wins, hope­fully it has a bet­ter chance, be­cause now peo­ple can choose any­thing they want from var­i­ous con­tent plat­forms. It sort of forces every­one to el­e­vate their game.

How much of an im­pact do you think the US Of­fice had on TV?

I think The Of­fice came on the air ‘Jack Ryan is more re­lat­able to peo­ple than James Bond’ right around the time that TV was start­ing to turn into some­thing big­ger than peo­ple thought it was.

The Of­fice was seen as a rule breaker in com­edy, cer­tainly more than its TV net­work NBC would ac­knowl­edge in the be­gin­ning, or knew to ac­knowl­edge. Now it’s taken on a life of its own.

You di­rected A Quiet Place. Hav­ing worked with var­i­ous di­rec­tors dur­ing your ca­reer, did you watch them work and make crafty notes?

I’ve been very in­tent on try­ing to learn and steal as much as pos­si­ble from all the great di­rec­tors I’ve had a chance to work with. On ev­ery project, you can dis­cover so many in­sights into the di­rect­ing process, work­ing with ac­tors, and how to move a story for­ward. There are so many as­pects of the job that are go­ing to make the dif­fer­ence be­tween a good and bad film or TV show.

You worked with Ge­orge Clooney back in 2008 on

Leather­heads – did you learn any­thing from him?

Ge­orge taught me the im­por­tance of a good script. He said that, as a di­rec­tor, 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 agree with him and I’ve seen both those things hap­pen many times. You have to be will­ing to de­vote a few years of your life to get­ting the script done. Ge­orge said that you need to be­lieve that you have your own spe­cific take on a project and that you can bring some­thing

to di­rect­ing the film that no one else can.

You’re the youngest of three sons – what does your fam­ily make of your Hol­ly­wood achieve­ments?

What’s weird and funny is that I felt like the black sheep. [Laughs.] My old­est brother went through med school and is an or­thopaedic sur­geon, and the mid­dle one went to col­lege and then Columbia busi­ness school and started his own busi­ness. I re­mem­ber say­ing to my dad, “I’m sorry for choos­ing to be an ac­tor! I don’t know what I’m do­ing next. I don’t have a life­style or a ca­reer.”

And what did he say to that?

He told me, “One of the proud­est mo­ments of be­ing your dad is that the road you chose to go down is a road lit­tered with neg­a­tiv­ity. In your in­dus­try, you’re go­ing to hear ‘no’ all the time. And you still chose to walk down that road. That means your mom and I must have done some­thing right.”

Awww. Your dad sounds bloody marvel­lous…

I thought that was wise and bril­liant, be­cause he also boosted my spir­its on a day when I was low, when I was a waiter in New York. But that’s truly the way my par­ents raised us – if you be­lieve in some­thing, go af­ter it. Don’t do any­thing half way. Go all the way! I had that kind of support from the be­gin­ning.

Nice. How daunt­ing was it for you to di­rect your wife in A Quiet Place?

It was a ter­ri­fy­ing prospect at first. I was very ner­vous about di­rect­ing her, be­cause you want to look con­fi­dent and be able to im­press the per­son you love with your work. You don’t want to let that per­son down or make them feel that maybe you’re not as tal­ented as they might have hoped!

And how was it for you while shoot­ing the film?

I don’t think I knew how in­cred­i­bly tal­ented Emily was un­til I started di­rect­ing and act­ing with her in the movie. I re­mem­ber one day when I was look­ing for edit­ing space and I bumped into [di­rec­tor] Rob Mar­shall, who was in the process of edit­ing

this lit­tle in­die movie – Mary Pop­pins Re­turns…

What, that totes ob­scure Dis­ney movie, star­ring Emily, that’s due out this Christ­mas?

I told Rob that I was go­ing to be di­rect­ing Emily and he told me, “You won’t k now how good she is un­til you’re on the set with her and watch­ing her re­ac­tions and act­ing with her. That’s when you’re go­ing to dis­cover how great she is!” And he was right. Ev­ery day on the set with her was an ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­pe­ri­ence for me. She’s amaz­ing.

You have two young daugh­ters – how has fa­ther­hood changed you?

There’s noth­ing more beau­ti­ful or sat­is­fy­ing than be­ing home with your chil­dren. I love mak­ing breakfast for Emily and the kids. When we’re watch­ing and play­ing with them, it’s the best time ever. All the clichés about how your life changes when you have chil­dren are true. I just feel so lucky and happy to be able to en­joy this part of our life to­gether.

Sounds like it’s pretty amaz­ing to be John Krasin­ski…

My life is such a joy, be­ing a fa­ther and be­ing able to share my suc­cess with Emily and build­ing our fam­ily to­gether. There’s noth­ing bet­ter than mak­ing pan­cakes on Sun­day morn­ing and then go­ing for a walk in the park with Emily and the kids. I’m very grate­ful for the op­por­tu­ni­ties I’ve had, and the real chal­lenge for me is to con­tin­u­ing ex­ceed­ing my own ex­pec­ta­tions. ■

As Jim, the Of­fice boy Wav­ing his weapon about in Jack Ryan

Keep­ing the noise down in A Quiet Place

John and Emily: #pow­er­cou­ple­goals

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