Paul Thomas Anderson advised John Krasinski to never say ‘I hated that movie’

Hamilton Behind The Camera Awards

John Krasinski is still getting a lot of attention for A Quiet Place, which will definitely get nominated for a lot of technical Oscars, especially for sound, sound mixing, sound editing, etc. He’s like a proud papa – he just can’t believe that his little film was so successful, and that he’s gotten so much heat from it. Krasinski sat down with the New York times to chat about the film, what’s next for him – he’s writing the sequel – and his whole process as a multi-hyphenate celebrity. The interview is interesting generally – you can read it here – but I found this one section about Paul Thomas Anderson so fascinating. PTA is the brilliant director of films like Magnolia, There Will Be Blood, Phantom Thread, The Master and Boogie Nights. PTA exists as a sort of lodestar for up-and-coming filmmakers, indie filmmakers and the like. And apparently, PTA reached out to Krasinski long before A Quiet Place to give him some life lessons.

NYT: When you had that silent cut [of ‘A Quiet Place’, in the editing room], did you ever think, “This could practically be a complete film on its own?”
One hundred percent, and that sounds super pretentious, but it’s true. Even on silent, there was so much communication happening. I didn’t think our movie would be so commercially accepted because the only other time I’ve seen someone do a movie with no spoken dialogue is Paul Thomas Anderson at the beginning of “There Will Be Blood.” That first 12 to 14 minutes where Daniel Day-Lewis doesn’t speak was a huge touchstone for me.

NYT: Paul Thomas Anderson hosted an award-season screening for your film. That’s got to be gratifying.
I think I’ve only told my wife this, so why not say it in an interview: That was the moment that was the most surreal of all this. He emailed me and said, “You need to call me,” and we talked on the phone and he was so specific and so honest about the movie. He’s been so kind to me through my career, but we were talking like we were on an even playing field and that tripped my wires. What I love most about Paul is that he loves movies.

I’ll tell you a big life lesson. Paul was over at my house, I think it was my 30th birthday party, and I had just seen a movie I didn’t love. I said to him over a drink, “It’s not a good movie,” and he so sweetly took me aside and said very quietly, “Don’t say that. Don’t say that it’s not a good movie. If it wasn’t for you, that’s fine, but in our business, we’ve all got to support each other.” The movie was very artsy, and he said, “You’ve got to support the big swing. If you put it out there that the movie’s not good, they won’t let us make more movies like that.”

Dude, Paul Thomas Anderson is out there on the wall for us! He’s defending the value of the artistic experience. He’s so good that maybe you project onto him that he’s allowed to be snarky, but he’s the exact opposite: He wants to love everything because that’s why he got into moviemaking. And ever since then, I’ve never said that I hate a movie.

[From The NY Times]

This story appeals to me because I dislike it so much when actual actors and directors disrespect or denigrate their own films or anyone else’s films. I think it’s bad form all around – you can easily say “there were parts of the film that didn’t work” or “I didn’t have the best experience working on that film,” but I think it’s tacky for an actor or director to say that they hated one of their own films, or to call it a bad movie. Same with someone saying they didn’t like someone’s else movie. Again, this is just regarding people within the industry – of course, everyone else is free to talk sh-t about movies and actors. I just think it’s so disrespectful to do that within the industry. And what PTA told Krasinski is right – for every A Quiet Place, there are a hundred little films that went nowhere, didn’t make any money, and still needed to be made. Those films and the people who work on them should be supported, because they’re being pushed out by Hollywood’s business model of throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at directors to make superhero movies.

'Inherent Vice' - Photocall

Photos courtesy of WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

16 Responses to “Paul Thomas Anderson advised John Krasinski to never say ‘I hated that movie’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Lolly says:

    John has really started to annoy me, as well as his wife. They’re so fake humble/genuine to me. Which is a shame because I really did love them years ago. But they just seem too much of social climbers.

    • Nan says:

      When one gets a new job, one makes industry friends. I wasn’t a social climber because I became friends with the dean of student affairs at my college when I worked there. I am no a social climber for knowing Charles Bolden because my family is military. John and Emily are successful actors, but their entire social network is not just famous people, and they are not social climbers just because a famous director once emailed John.

  2. Ali says:

    I love that story.

  3. Mariko says:

    I have been a huge PTA fan forever and I love this article. It’s really funny because Mark Whalberg never misses an opportunity to put down Boogie Nights. In a movie that arguably made Marky Mark a bonafide actor and not just a underwear model/rapper, he can’t ever miss a chance to share his disdain for the movie. When interviewers ask him if there’s any movies he regrets doing he goes off about Boogie Nights being base or immoral and somehow ties it to him being a good religious man (who also happened to almost kill a kid because of his race.) Maybe this was also a bit of low key shade PTA was throwing thinking about Marky Mark’s rejection of Boogie Nights.

    • Anon33 says:

      Marky mark is a total POS. He would literally have no career at all (maybe touring as the opening act for his big brother?) if not for PTA. Eff that guy.

    • I love that he talks about it being “immoral” and how he has had to “ask god to forgive him” for making it. Has he asked god to forgive him for for his racist past? Has he asked to be forgiven for throwing rocks at 4th grade black girls? For attacking a Vietnamese man and blinding him in one eye? This MF tried to get pardons for his crimes whilst never apologizing to the victims or making amends in ANY WAY whatsoever.Can’t write anymore my blood pressure is going up. Watch boogie nights. Great movie. Don’t support this racist ass with money in any way, please.

  4. Nan says:

    “I was not their intended audience/target/demographic.”

  5. Caseymams says:

    I’m now a fan of PTA as a person!

  6. Tiffany says:

    So, John is bragging about knowing PTA, who in tell told him not to be a douchebag. John, I would not brag about this if I were you.

    • Nikki says:

      Ouch! I don’t think he was bragging at all; he says it blew his mind that PTA talked to him as if they were colleagues, and revealing that story was pointing out what a great guy PTA is, and how he’d taught John an important lesson. I think that shows humilty and gratitude, not bragging.

  7. SamC says:

    PTA and Maya Rudolph are my favorite couple you rarely hear about, or even know are a couple, after Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sorry but no. I’m an actor and there are totally shit movies that degrade women, queer folks, are racist etc. and I sure as shit am tired of being told I’m tacky or disrespectful for calling those poor choices into question. It’s another thing if it’s not to your taste, but as someone working in the industry I will say the majority of the people in it will disregard problematic and bad movies as “not my cup of tea” instead of saying the truth. It’s also important for us to keep our art accountable not just within a social justice context, but because our art becomes grossly mediocre if we don’t.

    • Franklymydear... says:

      Hear, hear! I can’t support never saying a movie is bad. How ridiculous. That’s how things devolve into complete crap. I’m a teacher and I am quite hard on other teachers because their bad behavior/policies/teaching reflects back on the entire profession. Bad movies and the people who make them need to be called out for their choices. Guess in our “everyone gets a trophy for participating” age, we’re just supposed to smile, nod and say at least they tried. Ick.