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September 2016

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INDIE FILM 12 POST SEPTEMBER 2016 or many, John Krasinski is best recognized for his nine-season role as the level-headed and lovable Jim from NBC's Emmy-winning hit come- dy, The Office. And most recently, he was seen on-screen as a Navy SEAL in Michael Bay's 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. However, Krasinski began experimenting in directing with several episodes of The Office, later adapted and directed the David Foster Wallace book Brief Interviews with Hideous Men into an independent- ly-financed film that was screened at Sundance in 2009 and formed his own production company Sunday Night — all of which has established him in the industry not only as an actor, but also a writer and director. His most recent project — The Hollars — is a true labor of love. Shot on-lo- cation (by DP Eric Alan Edwards) in Mississippi on Arri Alexa cameras, it's a story about the bonds of family and friendship, from scriptwriter Jim Strouse, that is both hilarious and heartbreaking. As co-producer and star, Krasinski also takes the helm as director, leading an all-star cast that includes Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect, Into The Woods), Richard Jenkins (The Visitor, Cabin in the Woods), Charlie Day (Horrible Bosses and TV's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Margo Martindale (Million Dollar Baby, August: Osage County, Beautiful Creatures and TV's The American where she won an Emmy) in what should earn her an Oscar nod. Already a hit at Sundance, Los Angeles, Nantucket and Boston Independent Film Festivals, The Hollars opened in New York and LA on August 26th. Here, in an exclusive interview with Post, Krasinski opens up about his strong connection to this story and how this actor-turned-director feels about the production and post processes. This is your second feature film as director — why did you want to direct this movie? "I was only attached as an actor for about six years. The reason why I connected with the script as an actor is because, to me, this is one of those movies that, I'm sure you've heard of similar plot lines and family movies, there was some- thing so unique with the way Jim Strouse wrote this script. He has the ability to do hairpin turns between comedy and drama in a way that I think very few people do and I really con- nected with that because that made it feel real to me. It didn't feel like try- ing to manipulate an audience to feel something — this was just what a family was going through and it made a huge impact on me and I found myself so emotionally connected at the end. There's some- thing so powerful about this movie. I want people to feel the need for family — the idea that family is vital in one way, shape or form. "So, how I ended up directing was, the financier at the time called me and said, 'I can't get the movie made, would you ever want to buy the script out- right?' I'd never thought about doing something like that — and we worked out a deal where I was able to do it, and the only reason I said I would do it is, I did connect to the material so much and in starting this production company [Sunday Night], I wanted to make stuff that I thought people needed to see. It's a good story. I couldn't live with the idea that people wouldn't get a chance to hear this story and see these characters, and so I decided to jump on as a direc- tor — and thank God I did because I had such a great time. "I think we were all trying to make a movie that was reminiscent of movies of a bygone era — there's a lot of Terms of Endearment in there, there's Ordinary People. Yes, there's comedy in there, but it's all about the real connection of family." Do you want to move more towards directing? "I want to pursue it for sure, but I'm not the type of guy who wants to move into one direction — I want to keep doing things that excite me. I've been given the most unbelievably unique opportunity in the success I've had, certainly from The Office, and moving forward to be able to do things and have the opportunities to work with the people I've been able to work with and be able to play in these sandboxes has been the greatest honor of my life, so I just want to keep doing great stuff." How involved in the post process are you? Do you like the post process? "I always try to get as involved as people will let me…I'm an over-excitable person and I know that, but hopefully my energy always comes off as just excited to get the best product and in this one, I had nearly full control of the whole edit and even the marketing. Sony Classics has been unbelievably collaborative and what a wonderful home for this movie because tonally, it's a movie that needs to be really taken care of and they've been amazing at letting me have input on the poster and the trailer. So this has been kind of soup- to-nuts amazing experience for me." JOHN KRASINSKI: THE HOLLARS THE ACTOR DISCUSSES HIS TURN AS DIRECTOR F BY LINDA ROMANELLO The Hollars was shot on-location in Mississippi on Arri Alexa cameras.

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