John Krasinski Finally Landed a Role With His Dream Filmmaker (2024)

The Big Picture

  • John Krasinski juggles multiple projects, including Oppenheimer and A Quiet Place: Day One, but his passion project IF takes center stage.
  • IF: Imaginary Friends features an all-star cast of voices and a heartfelt storyline for both kids and adults, co-starring Ryan Reynolds.
  • Despite his success, Krasinski remains humble and grateful for his directing journey from indie films to Hollywood blockbusters.

Talk about a busy guy. Actor, writer, producer, and director John Krasinski is having a banner year between sharing the success of Oppenheimer with his Oscar-nominated wife Emily Blunt, his horror saga continuing with A Quiet Place: Day One, and his family-friendly passion project, IF hitting theaters. Still, even with all of this in the works, as well as a dream-come-true role with filmmaker Guy Ritchie underway, it's IF that has Krasinski on edge.

IF: Imaginary Friends is both written and directed by Krasinski and toes the line between made-for-kids and made-for-adults in terms of story. Sure, there are colorful animated imaginary friends voiced by an all-star lineup like Krasinski's former The Office co-star Steve Carell, Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), Matt Damon (The Martian), and Bradley Cooper (Maestro), but it packs a gut-punch with its earnest narrative. At the top of the call sheet are Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool & Wolverine) and Cailey Fleming (The Walking Dead) who co-star as the heroes the IFs need to reunite them with their previous kids.

During this conversation with Collider's Steve Weintraub, Krasinski recalls his directorial debut at Sundance with The Hollars, comparing his view of indie projects to big studio blockbusters like IF and whether his outlook has changed since. He discusses how much of an influence his children had since IF's conception and which critics he was most terrified of. They also talk about future projects like Ritchie's Fountain of Youth and if Krasinski will ever get back into television.

You can watch the full interview in the video above or read the transcript below.

John Krasinski Finally Landed a Role With His Dream Filmmaker (1)
IF (2024)

A young girl who goes through a difficult experience begins to see everyone's imaginary friends who have been left behind as their real-life friends have grown up.

Release Date
May 17, 2024
Director
John Krasinski
Cast
Ryan Reynolds , John Krasinski , Cailey Fleming , Steve Carell , Phoebe Waller-Bridge , Louis Gossett Jr.

Main Genre
Comedy
Writers
John Krasinski

John Krasinski Was the First DunKing

John Krasinski Finally Landed a Role With His Dream Filmmaker (2)

COLLIDER: I’m gonna start with the most important question upfront.

JOHN KRASINSKI: Which is, "Why I did Ben Affleck steal our Dunkin’ Donuts campaign?"

[Laughs] It’s really funny that I’m going with Dunkin’ Donuts for my first question! I love that you did that. So as a fellow New Englander and someone who tried to get Dunkin’ Donuts in LA before they came back, how mad were you to not be in DunKings? Especially after casting Matt Damon?

KRASINSKI: Look, I don’t know what I have to do to get into the DunKings, but I feel like I’ve done just about everything I can, and it’s not working. So, why don’t you call them for me? I think you have more juice than I do. [Laughs]

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I don’t think that’s true. It’s funny, this is so random, but I did an interview with Affleck, and I talked to him about Dunkin’ Donuts, and it got picked up for years. I really believe, because it kept on getting picked up, that that led to him getting that commercial. No joke.

KRASINSKI: Of course it did.

We messed it up because we were talking about Dunkin’ Donuts, too.

John Krasinski's Daughter Had a Hand in 'IF's Marketing

Anyway, so you came up with this movie as a result of your kids. You were inspired by them. So were you more nervous to show the film for the first time to the studio or your children?

KRASINSKI: The studio I’ve already shown. My kids haven’t seen it yet. They’re seeing it either tonight or tomorrow, and it’s going to be, without a doubt, the most scared I’ve ever been to show anyone in my life anything ever. So, studio or otherwise, the kids are the ones I’m most looking forward to their review.

Yeah, I can’t imagine. They obviously have not seen A Quiet Place or some of the other things you’ve done.

KRASINSKI: Imagine if I said they had. I’m like, “No, no, they do. They know that, and they have lots of notes on that.” No, exactly. I’ve been joking about it, but I don’t know what they thought I did because Emily’s certainly got a headstart in our house with Mary Poppins [Returns] and Jungle Cruise, so they definitely knew what she did. I think they thought I was an accountant or something. This was really exciting to bring them in from the very beginning. I pitched them the idea and the terrible drawings. I’m a terrible artist, but the terrible drawings I was doing I would show them, and they would get involved.

So, they were involved all the way up through the trailer, actually. My oldest daughter, when the second trailer came out, I showed it to her before it came out, and she said, “It’s really good.” I said, “Is there something you want to add?” And she said, “Yeah, I just really miss that line, ‘We have to help them,’ and Ryan says, ‘Yes, we do.’” And I went, “What?” And she was like, “I don’t know, it was just so emotional. You should put that back in.” And I did.

First of all, that’s amazing. When you finish the movie you obviously show it to friends and family, or somebody. Who gave you the best notes that you incorporated into the movie from an early screening?

KRASINSKI: Certainly there’s a close group of people that I trust deeply, but no one as much as — obviously my family, but outside of my family — my producing partner, Allyson [Seeger], is who I trust most. I think that advice that she gave me, or I should say the take she had in the beginning, was to let the movie be what it wants to be, which is this emotional movie. It’s not just for kids, it’s not for adults. It’s sort of in the middle, which is a scary place to be because you could miss twice. And I think that the confidence to move forward is always nice when you have someone who has your back, which is kind of what the whole movie’s about.

John Krasinski Never Forgets Where His Directing Started

John Krasinski Finally Landed a Role With His Dream Filmmaker (4)

We spoke many years ago at Sundance for your first film, and at that time you were just trying to make a movie. Your career was still in its early days. What is it like now for you to know you are able to make a big Hollywood movie, and if you want to make another one people are gonna wanna work with you?

KRASINSKI: You know, it’s so funny you say that. There’s something about Sundance that has always been so special to me, and there are a few points in my career that I always look back on and feel like it represents the entirety of my career, Sundance being one of them. There’s something about coming out of the gates with something that is so close to your heart and true to yourself that you hope that you can maintain that. So now that I’m doing bigger movies, I gotta say, I try never to look at them as that. I mean, this is a huge movie now, but when I came up with the idea it was just a crazy, ambitious idea that if I didn’t execute it well in the script, I wouldn’t have been able to get a good enough actress like Cailey Fleming. There’s so many of these parts that you just have to go into it almost like every movie’s a Sundance movie.

Obviously, I’m a fan of your work. I’m a fan of both you as an actor and as a director.

KRASINSKI: Thank you.

Is John Krasinski Done With TV?

Do you have an interest in taking on another TV role that could take you for years? Are you writing more scripts with the plan of directing? What are you thinking about?

KRASINSKI: That’s a great question. I mean, the truth is, I try not to premeditate too much because there’s something so organic about what inspires you and what comes next. Right now, I’m shooting a Guy Ritchie movie as just an actor, and that is, like, a dream come true. I’ve been the biggest Guy Ritchie fan forever, so if you had asked me back at Sundance if I would ever work with Guy Ritchie, I would have told you, “No way.” So, I just leave the door open, and hopefully, a little magic has room to come in and give me an idea.

Are you writing something now?

KRASINSKI: I’m not right now. I’m talking to you, but, I mean… [Laughs] No, I’m not writing anything right now. We only just finished this movie so recently that it’s crazy that it’s even coming out. It’s still sort of surreal.

IF is now playing exclusively in theaters. Click the link below for showtimes.

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John Krasinski Finally Landed a Role With His Dream Filmmaker (2024)
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