A QUIET PLACE

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John Krasin­ski is still pinch­ing him­self over the crit­i­cal and Fi­nan­cial suc­cess of his ex­per­i­men­tal thriller “A Quiet Place,” but the Cin­derella year is not over yet. With awards sea­son heat­ing up, “A Quiet Place,” has found its own spot in the con­ver­sa­tion. Krasin­ski who cowrote, di­rected and starred in the ilm op­po­site his wife, Emily Blunt, is only hum­bled.

“It’s noth­ing short of over­whelm­ing,” Krasin­ski said by phone re­cently. “Emily and I re­ally are still di­gest­ing the fact that we made this small lit­tle spe­cial movie that some peo­ple re­ally con­nected to. This was lit­er­ally a med­i­ta­tion on par­ent­ing!”

“A Quiet Place” is a mostly silent hor­ror ilm about a fam­ily (Krasin­ski, Blunt, Noah Jupe and Mil­li­cent Sim­monds) try­ing to live among crea­tures that at­tack and kill at the small­est sound. It be­came a sur­prise box-ofice phe­nom­e­non when it was re­leased in April, gross­ing $338.6 mil­lion in world­wide ticket sales off a pro­duc­tion bud­get of only $17 mil­lion. It is now avail­able on home video and stream­ing, and a se­quel is al­ready in the works.

Crit­ics loved its high con­cept thrills, too, and while many have of­fered their praise, a cer­tain phone call stands out for Krasin­ski — the one he got from his fa­vorite di­rec­tor, and friend, Paul Thomas An­der­son.

“It was prob­a­bly 30 min­utes long about how much he loved the movie and how much it meant to him and how much he wished movies like this hap­pened ev­ery Fri­day. I gen­uinely blacked out on that phone call,” Krasin­ski said. “He said, ‘I’ll tell you the best com­pli­ment I can give you: As I was walk­ing back to my car I thought, OK, I need to get back to work.’”

An­der­son ac­tu­ally pro­vided some in­spi­ra­tion for “A Quiet Place.” Krasin­ski said he stud­ied the open­ing of “There Will Be Blood” and other modern ilms that em­ploy si­lence to ig­ure out how he would ap­proach it in his ilm. He also looked at “Jaws,” ‘’Rose­mary’s Baby” the ilms of Al­fred Hitch­cock for ideas in ten­sion-build­ing.

“Jaws” was one of Krasin­ski’s big­gest touch­stones, and, oddly enough, the irst movie he and Blunt watched to­gether when they had just started dat­ing.

“It’s a per­fect ilm,” he said. “It’s not about a shark, it’s about these char­ac­ters try­ing to over­come fears that they’re run­ning away from and at some point those fears are go­ing to man­i­fest them­selves in the most bizarre ways.”

In that same way, “A Quiet Place,” to him, is about par­ent­ing. He had been sent a script to look at and had an idea to re-write and re­fo­cus around those anx­i­eties.

“I was ac­tu­ally hold­ing my three-week-old daugh­ter. We had just had our sec­ond daugh­ter,” he said. “Read­ing a story about par­ents do­ing what­ever it took to pro­tect their kids was ex­actly what I was liv­ing through.”

Krasin­ski wasn’t even sup­posed to di­rect the film at the out­set. The ac­tor and writer, prob­a­bly best known as Jim on the Amer­i­can ver­sion of “The Of­fice,” had pre­vi­ously di­rected two films — a David Foster Wal­lace adap­ta­tion (“Brief In­ter­views with Hideous Men”) and an in­die fam­ily drama (“The Hol­lars”). Not ex­actly the kind of call­ing cards that would prove he could han­dle a VFX-heavy, big stu­dio genre film. It was Blunt who en­cour­aged him to put his name in for it.

“She said, ‘I’ve never seen you so lit up like this, I’ve never seen you so pas­sion­ate about some­thing,’” Krasin­ski re­called. “And it’s true, she knew that it was a very per­sonal story. I was ba­si­cally writ­ing a love let­ter to my kids.”

And to his shock, ex­ec­u­tives at Para­mount and Plat­inum Dunes were be­hind him.

Blunt also was the driv­ing force be­hind her own in­volve­ment. Krasin­ski was too scared to even let her read the script while he was work­ing on it, let alone ask her to be in it. She went so far as to sug­gest a friend for the role of Eve­lyn. But then on one cross coun­try flight, she fi­nally read it, and de­cided to speak up.

“She le­git­i­mately looked sick at the end of it. I thought she was plane sick, so I reached for a barf bag at the same time she said, ‘You can’t let any­one do this movie.’ And I said, ‘What?’ And it was like a ro­man­tic com­edy where she was propos­ing to me,” Krasin­ski re­called. “She said, ‘You have to let me do this part, you HAVE to let me do it.’ I think I screamed ‘YES’ on a flight from New York to LA.”

The film has been in the Os­car con­ver­sa­tion since it came out and has con­tin­ued to pop up on prog­nos­ti­ca­tor lists in Hol­ly­wood trades like Va­ri­ety and awards col­umns in Vul­ture and Gold Derby, with spe­cial men­tions of Blunt’s per­for­mance, the ef­fects and the screen­play.

Krasin­ski is cur­rently writ­ing the se­quel, which he teased only with his wife’s re­sponse to his pitch.

“She said, ‘Oh that’s re­ally cool, but it’s not a se­quel, it’s like an­other book in the same world, it feels like an­other part in the same story,’” he said.

As for whether Krasin­ski is ready for the marathon that is awards sea­son?

“Ev­ery­thing is bet­ter when Emily is there and the fact that she’s in the con­ver­sa­tion for this and for ‘Mary Pop­pins Re­turns’? There’s no bet­ter per­son to have by my side for this,” he said. “I’ll be just ine.”

Emily Blunt

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