A Quiet Place John Krasinski

What was your initial gut reaction when you heard John Krasinski was going to be involved?

Scott: (laughs) It’s certainly a strange pivot, right? Coming off of directing Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and The Hollars, those are straight character dramas. So not having him having worked in the genre was certainly kind of a 180. But I think what was really interesting was that he brought to it his own perspective of being a parent. During the writing process, for instance, I was not a dad yet. But I was certainly thinking about having kids, and that very much inspired the process. But once you have a child – which, I just had a child three months ago – I can see that it changes your worldview entirely. John I know had just had his second child, and when he wanted to come on board as a director, he was coming on board as a father as well. That was a really important slant injected into the film.

Bryan: And as a performer, there was nobody better for this role. We’ve been a fan of John’s work for a long time. He’s been cast in a lot of our favorites, like Away We Go from Sam Mendes. Even his small role in Cameron Crowe’s Aloha, we loved him in that.

Scott: Which has no dialogue! (laughs)

Oh yeah, that’s right!

Bryan: So as far as playing the lead character in the story, we were like, ’That is perfect. That is so on point.’ Same with Emily. We couldn’t ask for a better actress for the role of Evelyn. I remember when we first brought this project in to our producers, they were like, ‘Who were you guys thinking for these roles? Who would you cast?’ I’m sure we said both John and Emily. I know we were like, ‘Emily would be a great archetype for this role. She’s unreachable, [unattainable], but somebody like her would be so great for this role,’ and it’s an honor that she’s in it.

They’re both so good in this movie. When Krasinski came on board, did he work with you guys on the script, or was it more of a ‘passing the baton’ situation?

Bryan: He did a little bit of a pass on his own. We actually had to go off and direct another movie that we wrote called Haunt that happened at the exact same time as A Quiet Place. So it pulled us out of commission a little bit.

Scott: Yeah, so it was handing off the reins to John to breathe life into the film and put it into production.

This is the first script you’ve written that you haven’t directed. What was that experience like – ceding control to another person?

Bryan: (laughs) Terrifying. It’s like handing over your baby. We knew John was super passionate and had a lot of great ideas. Really protected our vision of the script.

Scott: Even before John came on board to direct it, we had done an additional rewrite with Paramount. Going into the studio and hearing where their heads were in terms of handling this film, we felt really comforted. Sometimes you go into that first studio meeting, and on a movie like this, you expect them to be like, ‘Oh, we need to add all this dialogue, all this exposition about what happened to the world. We need to see other families and not just focus on this one.’ But what was really incredible about their partnership is they saw the movie for what it was when we first sent the script into them. It was not about changing the shape or form of that. When the reins got handed over to John as a director, it wasn’t about reshaping it in any massive way. We understand that it’s a really rare circumstance when you have a film go from the initial idea ten years ago to the script form several years ago to the final film and be unscathed, but somehow we’re there. And the film is premiering [in New York] tonight, and I could not ask for a better situation to see this film play out in.

Because you had to shoot your other film, did you have a chance to be on the set for this one?

Bryan: Unfortunately no, because they were literally shooting simultaneously. We tried to force it. We were like, ‘We can just peel away…’

Scott: But our crew members were going to mutiny if we left. It was like five days before our start date when we were going to start shooting, and I know our DP was like, ‘Are you guys really going to go visit the set of A Quiet Place? We’ve got storyboards to do down here!’ So we felt a little too guilty. Unfortunately we had to watch from afar, but we knew it was going to be in great hands.

In addition to being a scary horror film and an emotional family drama, this movie is also about parents trying to protect their children from the dangers of the outside world. What sorts of conversations did you guys have about seeding themes into this script underneath the harrowing horror elements?

Scott: Again, at the time, I wasn’t a dad. Bryan doesn’t have kids. It was very much theoretically talking about what that fear would be. I think as Bryan and I have gotten a little older, you see the world from a different perspective and you realize you’re not just selfishly living for yourself. You’re living for your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your spouse, your friends. You’re trying to be a little more selfless. So at the core of these characters, we always knew that had to be the driving force. These parents had to feel that vulnerability that now that they have children, they have to somehow keep them safe. But now obviously the concept of the film is you’re in a world where that’s nearly impossible. It just felt like the right marriage of concept and theme to inject there to be the worst situation possible.

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