DEADLINE – Though they started dating a decade ago, John Krasinski & Emily Blunt had never worked together before this year, when the Krasinski-directed A Quiet Place cast them as husband and wife and tapped into the unspoken language they’ve come to share. Krasinski was nervous to approach Blunt to star, but on screen, as they navigate a world in which the slightest sound could mean instant death, it’s that real-life connection that telegraphs everything another movie might wrap up in dialogue. The film has been the runaway horror hit of the year, and Kransinki is already at work writing a sequel.
A Quiet Place has had an extraordinary life in the nine months since its release. Could you have predicted this?
Emily Blunt: Has it been nine months? My god!
John Krasinski: We’re ancient. I’ll speak for myself when I say it’s completely and totally surreal. I genuinely don’t know if I’ve processed it yet. We treated it like a neat little indie movie; it felt like an indie movie. We thought it was really special, really unique, and really different, but we were pretty sure we wouldn’t get much more than four or five high-fives from friends. And turns out we have a lot more friends that we didn’t even know about.
Blunt: It has been overwhelmingly exciting for me to see people watch this film and have their hair blown backwards by it. I always thought we would get here. I remember John showed me one little bit of one scene in the early stages of the edit, while he was trying to find the first cut. It was when the basement is flooded with water. I flipped out. I remember saying, “John, this is so cool!” And as he knows, we Brits don’t enthuse too readily, unless we really mean it, so I think he knew I meant it.
People who hate genre movies loved this movie. People who had never seen a horror movie before loved this movie. It has been universal. The afterlife that it has had, it’s not something either of us really know how to contend with, but it’s wonderful.
The movie gives away very little of the backstory on the world, but you had all that information in your head, John. Were you surprised by the questions that came?
Krasinski: I love the idea that people are putting the puzzle pieces together and coming up with theories. I love getting challenged about it. Like, why don’t they just live by the waterfall? I get that question on Twitter all the time. How would they build a house? How would they break ground? People are like, “Oh. Yeah, I guess.”
Blunt: Just live in the waterfall!
Krasinski: Exactly. [laughs] But it was always one of the things Emily and I loved from the very beginning, this idea that if you know more than the family does, the tension goes out of the room. It was a way to bond you to the family quicker. If you feel there’s an answer to all this, you don’t care.
Many congratulations to Emily, who has been nominated for her roles in A Quiet Place and Mary Poppins Returns. I hope this will be a big awards season for her–and it would be much deserved if so. You can view the full list of SAG nominations by clicking here.
DEADLINE – Usually the SAG Awards are good for one or two out-of-left-field nominees in its movie competition, and you could say Emily Blunt’s double score for Lead Actress in Mary Poppins Returns and Supporting Actress in A Quiet Place might qualify.
Both are well-deserved, but few were predicting the latter, especially in a category that omitted more obvious choices such as Nicole Kidman; Claire Foy; and especially If Beale Street Could Talk’s Regina King, who has been cleaning up on the critics circuit. She was shut out along with her movie today, perhaps in favor of another, less-speculated contender, Margot Robbie in Mary Queen of Scots, along with Blunt’s brilliant near-silent turn in A Quiet Place. Two years ago, Blunt also scored a stunner with SAG by gaining a Best Actress nomination for The Girl on the Train, which was the only major recognition she got for that role awards-wise.
Beyond the shakeup in the uber-competitive Supporting Actress race, the big news from SAG was the continuing strong move toward diversity in the Outstanding Cast category, which in the past few years has honored movies including The Help and Hidden Figures with big wins (last year it went to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). This time around SAG not only welcomed the largely all-black cast of Black Panther but also Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman and the first all Asian-American cast from a studio film in 25 years, Crazy Rich Asians. Add in the unexpected entrant here, Bohemian Rhapsody — which, in addition to its expected Best Actor nom for Rami Malek as Queen singer Freddie Mercury, also brought along its whole cast in a significant move that could portend a bigger showing at the Oscars than some might have thought. After all, actors are the biggest voting bloc in the Academy by far, and they have certainly embraced the musical biopic here, and movies with a heavy musical component in general, if you throw in A Star Is Born and Mary Poppins Returns.
David Lee/Focus Features
A Star Is Born’s inclusion for Cast was a no-brainer, and with four nominations overallm it predictably led all films this year and might be a nominal front-runner in what is still continuing to be a wide-open race this awards season. Panther’s nom, its only mention other than for Stunt Ensemble, reps a breakthrough for superhero movies and wouldn’t be a shocker to see its landmark cast onstage January 27th at the Shrine, when the winners are announced. Here’s an interesting point to make – and you can bet pundits will because we always do: Only two movies have gone on to win the Best Picture Oscar without at least being nominated for SAG Outstanding Cast: Braveheart in 1995 and last year’s The Shape of Water, which many thought at the time spelled doom for Guillermo del Toro’s unique love story but obviously didn’t. For a few minutes the year before, we also thought La La Land had broken the SAG un-nominated Cast curse, but you know what happened there. Consider the fact that such presumed Oscar favorites as Green Book, The Favourite, Vice, Mary Poppins Returns, Roma and If Beale Street Could Talk are among those missing in action in the Cast category, and it certainly adds intrigue to the race.
At long last, our gallery has been updated with Blu-ray quality screen captures of Emily’s role in A Quiet Place–the brilliant horror film that went on to become her 2nd most successful film at the worldwide box office (just behind Edge of Tomorrow). For anyone that has seen it, you’ll no doubt agree that she did a wonderful job-as did the whole cast, which included her husband John Krasinski (who also wrote and directed the project). Enjoy the captures!
VULTURE – Since April, media coverage of the Paramount Pictures horror hit A Quiet Place has generally coalesced into two distinct groupings. There are the “Can you believe Jim from The Office made such a good movie?”–type of profiles that came out right around the $17 million film’s release in early April — detailing how John Krasinski surpassed all expectations to co-write, direct, and star in the ecstatically reviewed family drama/monster movie, his first foray into genre fare as either a filmmaker or an actor. Then there are the financial over-performance analyses announcing how A Quiet Place made “noise at the box office,” capturing the top spot in its first and third weekends in theaters, becoming Paramount’s most profitable film since 2015’s Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation, and racking up more than $300 million worldwide in less than two months to rank as the year’s third-highest-grossing film and most surprising breakout success.
But to hear it from the filmmakers and production executives who worked behind the scenes to develop the material and guide it through the studio system — namely, Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, who co-wrote and executive produced A Quiet Place, and Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, co-founders of the production company Platinum Dunes, who produced it — there’s a competing narrative that has received far less media scrutiny. They point out the creative leaps of faith required to make an original film like AQP in modern Hollywood’s risk-phobic, cinematic-universe-obsessed, IP-chasing marketplace, while also laying out all the ways the project could have failed to achieve liftoff.
Containing almost no dialogue, and based on an oddball 67-page screenplay full of maps and diagrams and Photoshopped images, the project was willfully dissimilar to anything coming out of the studios’ major moviemaking pipeline. The writers were actively discouraged from even putting together what some people close to them dismissed as their “silent movie.” Nothing in Krasinski’s filmic oeuvre suggested the affable Everyman actor — whose two previous directorial efforts, Brief Interviews With Hideous Men and The Hollars combined to gross just over $1 million — was even remotely capable of handling the material. Many of the executives who originally gave A Quiet Place the green light were either fired or quit Paramount during a recent regime change — an outcome that has orphaned or derailed many films in the past. Then when the earliest cuts of AQP were first screened at the studio, missing visual-effects shots and incomplete sound design made the movie seem almost incomprehensible, leading some to doubt its commerciality. And it wasn’t until the film premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March that anyone had any inkling it could connect with audiences.
“The movie was risky on every level,” says Form. “You start reading [the script] and go, ‘Oh, there’s no dialogue.’ The idea was so original. And here we are coming to the studio with John: ‘This is the guy we’re betting on to star, write and direct this movie for us. And we’re all in on him! You have to trust us. We’re not going to let you down.’”
Rounding off her busy press commitments for A Quiet Place, Emily stopped by Live with Kelly and Ryan to discuss the film, taking on the role of Mary Poppins, and her thoughts of the rumors of her becoming the next 007 in the James Bond franchise. You can skip straight to her interview at the 16:00 mark in the video below.