John Krasinski On Directing ‘The Hollars’ And Cooking For Emily Blunt

John Krasinski stars and directs in The Hollars, a film about a man returning to his hometown after learning that his mother suffers from terminal brain cancer. While The Hollars may sound like a cheerless drama, it’s Krasinski as John Hollar and his interactions with the rest of the Hollars that makes for an exploration of family that is at times humorous and exhilarating, while also chaotic and tense in other moments. John opens up about what it was like to direct himself in The Hollars and how he successfully presented a story that might take place in any city and in anyone’s family.

John Krasinski Presents The Hollars

In discussing his motivation for making The Hollars, John Krasinski reveals to Salon that he was introduced to the story while working on The Office and that he had every intention of passing on the project. In fact, John says he has never been too keen on family dramas at all, but after giving the script a read, he adds that he felt drawn into the story.

“This was so incredibly specific and real and honest and I just thought, wow — any genre, if it’s this well-written, you’ve just got to dive into it,” said Krasinski.

In creating The Hollars, John says he was inspired and guided by similar films, listing Ordinary People and Terms of Endearment as his favorites within the genre. Mr. Krasinski says those films are special and memorable for moviegoers because they’re about coping and understanding one another as much as they are about the family dynamic.

To get that feeling to translate well on the big screen, Krasinski says he felt it was important to make the setting generic in a way that would let each member of the audience feel it could be taking place in their own hometown. The Hollars director says he wants audiences to connect with the family, and that’s best done by letting them feel accepting of the locale as well as the characters.

“For me, the most powerful thing about the script is that I can see so much of my family in there even though my family is nothing like this family. There’s something everybody can relate to,” said the Hollars director. “It’s something I wanted for the location as well — I wanted it to feel like Anywhere U.S.A. so you would feel like that was your family, that was your hospital… So you would connect more.”

Emily Blunt Gets A Homemade Meal Every Sunday

Getting more personal in an interview with People, John Krasinski revealed that he has been helping out more with the household duties, and that includes giving his actress wife, Emily Blunt, a break from making the meals. The Hollars director admits that, until recently, he hasn’t been a very good cook, but he’s been practicing and getting better at it.

“It started with a Mother’s Day gift to Emily,” Krasinski said. “It’s pretty sad that that’s what impresses her — that just goes to show you how unimpressive I am at home. That I was like, ‘I’m going to cook you a meal’ and she was like, “Oh my god!’”

For that first meal, Krasinski says he was inspired to make a roast, knowing that Emily is from England, where roasts are a big dish. Blunt begged him not to try something so complicated his first time in the kitchen, but John insisted, and as it turned out, the roast was a big hit. Emily loved the roasted chicken and vegetables so much that she conned Krasinski into cooking for her every Sunday.

John says he has to cook every Sunday because he lost a bet over Leonardo DiCaprio’s real age.

“I cook every week because I lost a bet,” Krasinski confessed.

The Hollars hits theaters on August 26.

[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]