Made on a budget of approximately just $20 million, A Quiet Place became one of the surprise hits of 2018. After watching the largely silent horror, however, some viewers were left puzzled about one particular aspect of the film. But luckily for them, A Quiet Place’s star and director John Krasinski has been more than happy to clear the matter up.
And Krasinski caught the acting bug at an early age, having appeared in a production of Annie in sixth grade. In high school, moreover, he branched out into writing by penning a play alongside B.J. Novak, his eventual co-star in The Office. Krasinski went on to hone his craft by majoring in theatre arts at Brown University and taking classes at Waterford, Connecticut’s National Theater Institute.
Then, after relocating to New York, Krasinski landed a position as a scriptwriting intern on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. It wasn’t until 2004 that the actor landed his big break, however, after he won the role of genial sales rep Jim Halpert in NBC’s remake of The Office. Krasinski was an ever-present in the hit show and earned roughly $100,000 every episode of the third season.
But The Office’s filming schedule didn’t stop Krasinski from also pursuing a movie career. He showed up in box office hits Dreamgirls and It’s Complicated, for example, as well as playing the leads in License to Wed and Away We Go. Then, once The Office had ended, Krasinski appeared in Aloha and took a main role in war biopic 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
And Krasinski proved to be talented behind the scenes too. In 2009 he received critical acclaim for his first film as a director – a dramedy, entitled Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, that was adapted from several David Foster Wallace short stories. Alongside Matt Damon, he also served as co-writer and co-producer on the environmental drama Promised Land and came up with the basis of the story for the Oscar-nominated Manchester by the Sea.
Then in 2013 Krasinski branched out even further by co-forming production company Sunday Night Productions, which helped bring Dream Corp, LLC and Lip Sync Battle to the small screen. Three years later, he received yet more glowing praise for his second directorial effort The Hollars. But it was after his third time in the director’s chair that Krasinski truly established himself as one to watch.
Released in 2018, A Quiet Place became a notable hit with moviegoers and earned in excess of $330 million worldwide. Krasinski also co-wrote the story, which concerns a young family who, in order to protect themselves from monsters that hunt their prey by sound, must live entirely silent lives. And the actor additionally shared top billing alongside wife Emily Blunt.
Krasinski and British actress Blunt had first started seeing each other in late 2008. And things seemingly went well between the pair, as by the summer of the following year they got engaged. In 2010 Blunt and Krasinski then wed at an Italian ceremony closed off to the press and public. They welcomed their first daughter, Hazel, into the world in 2014, with their second, Violet, following two years later.
And Krasinski and Blunt also played husband and wife Lee and Evelyn Abbott in A Quiet Place. Lee is an engineer who does his best to keep his family alive; meanwhile, Evelyn is a doctor who goes into labor during the film and must endure the agony of childbirth as quietly as possible.
Plus, A Quiet Place didn’t just win big at the box office; it also earned rave reviews from the press. Rolling Stone, for instance, dubbed the film a “new horror classic,” while Time hailed it as “one of the most poetic horror movies of recent years.” Even horror maestro Stephen King took to Twitter to sing its praises.
But while some viewers enjoyed the fact that A Quiet Place’s lack of exposition led them to have to fill in the gaps themselves, others wanted more definitive answers. And there’s one thing in particular that wasn’t addressed within the film’s 90-minute running time: who exactly are the monsters that have essentially destroyed mankind?
Luckily, Krasinski was more than happy to reveal all. In an April 2018 podcast interview with Empire magazine, the director stated, “[The monsters] are absolutely aliens. They’re from another planet… For me, this idea of a predator, this idea of a parasite, this idea of something that is introduced into an ecosystem [was interesting].”
Krasinski then explained the reasoning behind the dearth of exposition in the film. He said, “I wanted to break all the rules or the conventions that I had seen in alien movies – which is, like, a speech from the president and people deciding how to survive. There was no deciding; it just happened so fast that you either survived or you didn’t.”
And Krasinski opened up on the aliens’ origins, too, by saying, “They also develop a way to protect themselves from everything else, so that’s why they’re bulletproof and all these things. I had to make it make sense. The family… we had set up all these incredible rules, and I needed the monster to not just be convenient.”
The star added, “Until [the aliens] open themselves up to be vulnerable, they’re completely invulnerable.” And he wasn’t the only member of A Quiet Place’s crew to reveal more about the film’s terrifying monsters. Speaking to Vanity Fair in April 2018, visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar discussed how he worked alongside Krasinski to bring the creatures to life.
“I kept saying to John, ‘We gotta make this gross,’” Farrar revealed to the publication. “‘I want it to look really medical and raw, like you open up and it’s almost guts or brains. You don’t know what you’re looking at.’” And judging by the response to the monsters from A Quiet Place audiences, it’s fair to say that Farrar achieved his goal.
Farrar then explained that everything from black snakes to bog people inspired the look of the aliens. According to the crew member, Krasinski insisted that the creatures should be “somewhat humanoid” without having to resort to dressing actors in costumes. The director also believed that the monsters had evolved so much that they no longer had any need for eyes.
And if you’ve seen A Quiet Place, you may recall that the monsters aren’t shown properly until relatively late on. There’s a reason for that, however. You see, Farrar and his team were working on the finished design of the creatures right up until the movie received its premiere at the SXSW Film Festival.
But Farrar, who has collaborated with directors including Ava DuVerney and Steven Spielberg, was happy with the finished product. He told Vanity Fair, “It’s a total experiment to try to put some of these things together. I’m thoroughly shocked and delighted at how it all came out. It started with a really great script, [but] it’s just a matter of if you can pull it off.”
And Krasinski hasn’t wasted any time in returning to our screens. Mere months after A Quiet Place hit theaters, the actor has appeared as the titular hero in Amazon Video’s Jack Ryan. As for Blunt? Well, she’s also playing an iconic character, Mary Poppins, in the big-screen sequel to the Julie Andrews-starring original.