■ The actor, 38, on directing wife Emily Blunt in horror film A Quiet Place and how to best watch it at home
A Quiet Place is a horror film set in a post-apocalyptic world where making any noise can get you killed. Are you any good at being quiet?
Not for long. I have a big mouth. I’d probably ask where the bathroom was and be killed immediately.
It’s now available to download. What’s the best way to watch it at home?
This movie is so much about sound, I would say wherever you are, find a quiet place to watch A Quiet Place. At the end of the day you won’t enjoy this that much if your kids are in the next room, if the football game’s on in the room next door. This is a film that you can really experience on your own. I’m one of those guys who has a headset connected to my TV so that would be really fun if you wanted to use the Bluetooth headset.
Were you always a fan of horror films?
Growing up, I didn’t watch a lot of horror movies but I certainly am now, I love them. The reason I jumped in wholeheartedly is the deeper meaning of the film and the emotional core of the film is family and the extremes you would go to in order to protect your kids. When I read the script, Emily [Blunt] had given birth to our second daughter and I was holding this tiny person while reading a script about a father doing anything he can to protect his family. That’s the reason I asked to write and direct this movie.
How was it working with Emily?
Amazing, absolutely. We treated the movie like we treat our marriage — we were just honest from day one. Most of the directing I did with Emily was sitting down with her and preparing the movie from the very beginning. Her charge to me was, ‘You can’t move on from a scene just because I’m your wife and you don’t want me to do it again. Or because you think I’m a good actress or you’re too scared to ask me to do it again. You have to treat me like you’re the director.’ We worked so well together, it came down to trust.
We treated the movie like we treat our marriage — we were just honest from day one
What about directing your own wife acting giving birth?
I brought her to the set weeks in advance, I showed her the room and it was really about talking through the scene, because there’s not much dialogue. She’s got a leg up, she’s the only one of us that’s been through it. We only did one take because it’s that good. But I’ll never forget, when I called ‘cut!’ she asked what was for lunch. She was able to immediately step out of tears and pain and anxiety and go, ‘Does anybody know what they have for lunch today?’
Would you work with her again?
Oh my God, if she’d have me I would. There’s no one I trust more.
What else are you up to?
We’re shooting Jack Ryan season 2 until the end of the year. I was already a huge Jack Ryan fan, the books and the movies.
What do people stop you for in the street?
I’m probably not as recognised over here. Maybe they don’t want to recognise me because they love the British version of The Office, which I totally understand [Krasinski played the Martin Freeman character in the US version]. You’re too cool. One of the best compliments we had on The American Office is that we became popular over here in the UK. If you’re popular where it started, you’re doing something right.
If you had to live life as one of your characters, which would you choose?
When I was little kid I always wanted to be a Navy seal and in 13 Hours I got to play a Navy seal — that would be the one that I’d do.
What else were you into as a kid?
Oh man, I was obsessed with playing the guitar and yet I never learned. I was always obsessed with people who could play guitar and all my friends who were singer-songwriters growing up.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
When I got The Office I was nervous about what would happen. Someone told me to anticipate nothing because it’s always worse in your head. And I’ve lived by that my whole life. It helps me not get fearful about things.
Any pet hates?
Immediately, I think of my wife’s pet peeves that I do sometimes… I leave my clothes on the floor, she doesn’t like that very much. One of my pet peeves is when people interrupt. When I get into a story and someone tells the punchline, that frustrates me.
Do you have any recurring dreams?
I have really weird dreams, kind of scary. I always find myself in different cities. I always find myself walking through the streets, and they’re always European cities — go figure.
A Quiet Place is on digital download now and Blu-ray and DVD on Aug 13