A Quiet Place Stuck With Cillian Murphy In A Way He Couldn't Ignore

John Krasinski's "A Quiet Place" is a rare specimen. A mostly dialogue-free monster movie that keeps its actual monsters off-screen for much of the runtime, the 2018 post-apocalyptic thriller relies on purely visual storytelling to generate tension and suspense — all the while ruminating on the difficulties of being a parent and the value of teaching one's offspring to do more than survive, no matter how hopeless the future may seem. On top of all that, it offers some much-needed representation for the deaf community in a way that feels authentic and meaningful.

Perhaps it's no surprise the sequel, "A Quiet Place Part II," didn't have quite what it takes to clear the same high bar, even with Krasinski back at the helm. At the same time, the second "Quiet Place" film is not without merits, including a strong Cillian Murphy performance that shows just how expressive Christopher Nolan's secret weapon can be, even while barely speaking a word. Murphy's character also ties-in directly to the themes from the first movie, more so than many of the other new elements introduced in the sequel.

For Murphy, his involvement with the sequel might have been reward enough, given how taken he was with the first "Quiet Place" film. Speaking to WENN in 2019 (via Independent), Murphy said he was "knocked out" by the movie and very nearly contacted Krasinski and his "Quiet Place" co-star Emily Blunt (who's also married to Krasinski). Murphy recalled:

"I was just big fans of both of them. I wrote this email to John saying how much I enjoyed the film and congratulating him on it. Then I chickened out and I never sent it! I was like, 'You don't need to be doing that. He's a busy man. He doesn't need to hear from some actor!'"

The value of paying compliments

As fate would have it, Cillian Murphy's never-sent-email wasn't the beginning and end of his association with the "A Quiet Place" movies. John Krasinski and Emily Blunt had actually been making their way through the Murphy-led period crime series "Peaky Blinders," after Krasinski finished writing "A Quiet Place Part II." Hence, when it came time to casting the film's "morally ambiguous" new addition, Emmett, the pair were quick to think of Murphy for the role.

Later, when discussing his role in the "Quiet Place" sequel with The Hollywood Reporter, Murphy talked about both the trickiness and the value of complimenting others in his line of work (even when it's coming from a place of sincerity):

"I think it's a healthy thing amongst artists to reach out and to compliment your colleagues on their work, whether you know them or not. I don't tend to do it so much with actors and screenwriters because it can look like you're just petitioning for a job, and that's probably the reason I didn't send it to John. (Laughs.) But I have done it many times with musicians, writers and novelists, just to say, 'Look, you don't know me, but I wanted to say your creation had a big impact on me. It was a serious piece of work and thank you for that.' It's important for us to do that because a lot of this industry is set up around representatives, and I think, sometimes, the sort of artist-to-artist interaction can be lost."

It's a valid point and one worth taking to heart in so many lines of work beyond Hollywood. As for "A Quiet Place," the franchise will continue with the spinoff "A Quiet Place: Day One," arriving March 8, 2024.