'The Hollars' Special Presentation: John Krasinski Reveals Directing Tip From George Clooney
Margo Martindale, Charlie Day and other castmembers praised the actor's second directorial effort at a screening of the film in Hollywood on Monday night.
The Hollars are every family.
The stars of John Krasinki’s latest directorial effort testified to that statement Monday night at a special presentation of The Hollars at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.
The film, written by Jim Strouse, focuses on John Hollar, played by Krasinski, and his return to his small-town roots after discovering his mother has a brain tumor. The plot follows John’s evolving relationships with his family, friends and loved ones, as well as the connections between surrounding characters. Anna Kendrick, Sharlto Copley, Josh Groban and Richard Jenkins co-star.
Although he admitted that his own family was worlds away from the one at the center of his film, Krasinski conceded that they do share some similarities.
"My family is completely the opposite of the Hollars, and yet I think the magic trick of what Jim Strouse wrote in his script is, I can see my family in this movie," Krasinski told The Hollywood Reporter. "I have no idea why, but I think it’s the open channels of communication and love that are always there with your family. There’s an existential pull that your family has on you, more than anybody else that you’ll ever meet in your life."
The Hollars is Krasinki’s second feature as director, his first being a film adaptation of David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews with Hideous Men in 2009.
While Krasinski worked on the screenplay for Brief Interviews, he didn't serve as a writer for The Hollars and said he enjoyed directing a film that was already written.
"Finding good material is the most important thing," he said. "I remember George Clooney told me: You can make a bad movie out of a good script, but you can’t make a good movie out of a bad script. I think that’s so true."
Several of the stars at the event praised Krasinki’s directing. Margo Martindale, who plays his mother in the film, called him "inspired" and Ashley Dyke, who plays the ex-wife of Krasinki’s brother, said he was "flawless."
Charlie Day, who plays the husband of Krasinki’s ex-girlfriend, couldn’t agree more with Martindale and Dyke, telling THR that although he turned down the chance to join the cast at first, Krasinski made the experience worthwhile.
"John just called me and he said, 'I want you to be in movie.' And I said, 'Oh, that's so sweet of you. I can't do it. I’m too busy,'" Day said. "He continued to call me and so I eventually said, 'Fine, I’ll do your damn movie' and I was glad that I did because it was a lot of fun. He was a great director and incredibly confident on set."
Day noted that the movie's ability to have both heartwarming and heartbreaking themes, just like the relationships that exist within a family, is what makes it most relatable.
"The movie succeeds on the little miscommunications that are in our human nature and how we relate to one another," he said. "My family, as in any family, suffers from those, and the inability to just stop and communicate is at the detriment of any relationship so insofar that the Hollars are very human for having those difficulties communicating."
Also in attendance at the event were Mary Elizabeth Winstead (who stars in the film), Gene Farber, singer-actress Maria Conchita and Sony Pictures Classics co-president Tom Bernard, who emphasized that the film is "really going to connect to the heartland."
The Hollars hits theaters Aug. 26. Watch the trailer below.