''Office'' star John Krasinski on his new movie roles
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, I hear you’ve been cast in a comedy called License to Wed, opposite Mandy Moore.
JOHN KRASINSKI What?! Oh my God, thank you so much for letting me know! [Laughs] No, just kidding. I’m really excited about it.
Tell us a little about the movie.
I play Ben, who is about to get married to [Mandy’s character], and before we get married — because her parents are sort of more the traditional Christian parents — they want us to meet the priest and basically take wedding classes. And we just go thinking it’s no big deal and we meet with the priest — who is Robin Williams — and, wedding school? Not as easy as we thought.
What exactly does one learn in wedding school, anyway?
I actually grew up Catholic, so I know all about it — they try to get you to understand that marriage isn’t just this little thing you can offer someone as a gift. It’s a really important thing to learn how sometimes it’s not that easy to spend all that time with someone. They basically just make you aware of all the sacrifices you have to make before you do it.
Excited to work with Robin Williams?
I’m extremely excited. I’ve been a fan of his forever. In fact, I will say that I am guilty of writing him a fan letter — and he responded. I think I was a freshman in high school. I just wrote him a letter out of the blue and totally got a Good Morning, Vietnam! headshot, signed. So that problem is taken care of and we can go right into being professionals. Because normally that autograph thing is really awkward, but it has to be done! You have to ask for his autograph.
You have a couple other projects coming up as well…
The Office this year was just fantastic, and then I went right in to working on Smiley Face [a comedy directed by Gregg Araki]. — a sort of odyssey movie that Anna Faris stars in… And then I worked on Dreamgirls with Bill Condon, and I’m gonna be finishing up a small part in Holiday, which is Nancy Meyers’ new movie.
Any details you can spill about those movies?
In Dreamgirls I’m playing a director — Beyoncé’s character has basically become such a big star in the music world that she’s now branching out into acting, and I’m the young writer/director who’s considering her for a part in my movie. In Holiday I’m playing Cameron Diaz’s assistant — no, editor! The editing assistant. She’s a producer and I basically edit together her projects.
What was it like working with Cameron Diaz?
Um, intimidating at first, because I just think she’s fantastic. It’s just been such a blast working on all these projects because of the expectation that you’re joining a family that’s already been formed. And on Holiday, they couldn’t have been nicer and more warm.
And you’re in the new Christopher Guest mockumentary, For Your Consideration…
I’m such a small part in it, it’s not even funny — but I said in my audition with him that I would literally walk across the screen and sneeze in his movie. Anything he wanted, I’d do. Because I’m just such a fan of all his movies. There’s no favorite, but I think the most influential for sure is Waiting for Guffman… It’s so spot-on, the perfect satire of the theater world and the acting community. I just love it. And actually, on Smiley Face, I got to work with Michael Hitchcock [the actor who played Councilman Steve Stark in Guffman], and we talked about his Barbra Streisand speech. I’m still not sure how he came up with that. I mean, there’s genius, and then there’s that.
What’s Guest’s new movie about?
A small, independent movie that starts getting Oscar buzz and then finds itself in the running against huge pictures. There’s a Siskel and Ebert team who review all the major films of the year, and they review this little indie movie… I’m in the big studio movie, playing a cop. It’s called — actually, I probably shouldn’t give any more away, I’m just so excited about it!
Sounds like you’ve found your niche in comedy.
No, not at all, really. I mean, Smiley Face is funny, but it’s on the line — it’s a comedy for sure — but there’s a lot of really interesting film aspects to it. I’m really not feeling one way or the other with comedy or drama, I’m just sort of doing projects that I’ve been finding really fun to be a part of. And I’ll actually be directing this movie that I wrote in October. It’s called Brief Interviews With Hideous Men. And there are definitely funny parts to it, but it’s very intense and dark.
Have you cast anyone in Brief Interviews?
We’re going to be starting that process really soon. It’s a really interesting project, and [laughs] I hope the best for it. I promise you guys a first look and an invite to the premiere. I’ll keep my word, for sure.