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While attending a special screening of “The Hollars” at the Linwood Dunn Theater with costars Margo MartindaleCharlie Day, Ashley Dyke, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Krasinski, who pulls double duty as actor and director, said the key to bringing the project together was “believing that his costars were his real family.”

Fortunately for him, the birth of his daughter — four months old at the time of shooting — gave him the leverage he needed.

“To say my interpretation of the script when I read it seven years ago to the time I was shooting with a daughter is different would be the understatement of the century,” Krasinski said. “Everything changes when you have a baby. My understanding of my parents, my understanding of my brothers, my understanding of being a part of a family name — it becomes so much more real and they all came out during the movie.”

Krasinski plays a struggling New York City artist who’s left with no choice but to rejoin his dysfunctional family in a small middle-America town when his mother (Martindale) falls ill.

In order to create the “organic family” structure he wanted, he didn’t yell cut often to avoid interrupting the on-camera moments. “If I yelled cut right now and walked away and came back 10 minutes later, this interview would be a little weird, and it was the same for the acting performance,” Krasinski added.

“I think that we became this family and it didn’t feel like acting,” said Martindale. “It is a wonderful experience working with a director who is also an actor because you know the whole world. He knew what it took and where to go.”

The Hollars” bows in theaters on Friday after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January.