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.
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.
[John Krasinski explains how he went about writing “A Quiet Place.”]
You’re writing a sequel to “A Quiet Place.” Does it worry you that the first film was such a big hit that Paramount may treat this like the “Purge” franchise, cranking out new installments on a yearly basis?
Totally. I can’t stop them from doing that. I’m a realist, I know how the studio operates. At first, I wanted nothing to do with a sequel — I told my wife, “It can never be this good again.” And she said, “Of course it won’t. Take this movie, put it on a mantel so you can look at it anytime you want, and then go out and do something else.”