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While audiences will forever recognize him from his time playing Jim Halpert, John Krasinski has done a great job furthering his career after The Office – and a big part of that equation has been his work as a director. The actor is now two years removed from making one of the most talked about horror hits in recent memory (A Quiet Place), and while the sequel's release date has been delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's one of the most anticipated sequels of 2020.
It's a very exciting time for him as a filmmaker – which makes it even cooler to know that part of his inspiration for getting into directing came from one of his Office co-stars.
Prior to the postponement of A Quiet Place: Part II, Esquire sat down with John Krasinski for a feature, and in discussion about his foray into the world of directing the actor-cum-filmmaker revealed that Rainn Wilson was an important voice motivating him to try and move behind the camera. Speaking about his directorial debut, an adaptation of David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews With Horrible Men, Krasinski noted that he bought the rights to the book with the first paycheck he got for The Office, but struggled to get the movie made because he couldn't find someone to helm. Then his co-star offered a suggestion that he just do it himself:
I thought, ‘Wow, I don't know. I can't direct.' And he was like, ‘Why not? Just do it.’ So I did.
While the film wasn't released until 2009, John Krasinski was in production on Brief Interviews With Horrible Men when The Office was airing the first episodes of its third season. And though the movie wasn't exactly a massive success, never getting much of a theatrical release, it gave Krasinski the confidence he needed to continue experimenting behind the camera.
Before the end of The Office's nine-season run, John Krasinski ended up directing three episodes of the show. Once the series ended he then made his second feature film, The Hollars, which came out in 2016, and while that movie didn't turn out to be a blockbuster either, he eventually struck gold with A Quiet Place. The horror movie had a very tight schedule, filming in September 2017 before being released in March 2018, but it successfully changed Krasinski's entire profile in Hollywood.
What John Krasinski will make as his next feature film after A Quiet Place: Part II isn't entirely clear just yet, but he certainly has our attention. Given the success that he's had in horror, it will be interesting if he sticks with the genre, or if he decides to branch out and try something different. It's also worth noting that he has not yet taken the helm for an episode of his Jack Ryan series on Amazon Prime Video, so perhaps that will be in his future as well.