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Emily Blunt, John Krasinski Scare SXSW With ‘A Quiet Place’

On Friday night, John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place” premiered at South By Southwest to enough shrieks inside the theater to please its director.

Judging by a healthy smattering of applause, the supernatural thriller passed the Austin litmus test for an opening-night film. That could be a good sign for Paramount Pictures’ scheduled April release, as SXSW has proven a launching pad for studio films ranging from “21 Jump Street” to “Baby Driver.”

“I’ve never been a genre guy,” said Krasinski at a Q&A after the screening, standing beside his cast. So why did he direct and star in it?

“Emily”— he said, referring to his wife, Emily Blunt, who also plays his wife in the movie — “and I had just had our second daughter. I was already in the world of pure terrified. I thought, ‘Why not put it in a movie?’”

A Quiet Place” follows a family (the kids are played by Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds) that isn’t allowed to make any noise…or else, something bad happens to them. Krasinski said that although he’s too scared to watch horror movies, he was inspired by classics like “Alien” and “Jaws,” which is more about the people in the boat than the shark.

“I tried to do something like that in this,” Krasinski said. “You care about the family. The creature out there in the dark is representative of the idea you never [want] to let your kid go out in the world.”

As for his own family, he wasn’t shy about putting up his wife on a pedestal: “It was the best compliment of my career when she said she’d do it,” said Krasinski, who previously directed the 2016 Sundance indie “The Hollars.”

Blunt admitted that she didn’t know what to expect at first. “We’d heard about each other’s experience second-hand,” she said. “You don’t know how the processes are going to align themselves. We were both sort of terrified the night before my first scene, hoping we would afford each other the same diplomacy you would any other director or actor.”

How did it go? “It was awesome,” Blunt said.

At the end of the Q&A, one enthusiastic fan asked Krasinski if he wakes up every morning and pinches himself — asking, “Wow! That’s Emily Blunt. I’m married to her!”

“Yes,” Krasinski said. “Let’s talk about this. That’s every day.” He told a story about how he ran into Rob Marshall, who just directed his wife in “Mary Poppins,” shortly before they started making “A Quiet Place.”

Marshall told Krasinski that he wouldn’t truly witness the magic of her acting until he was in the same room as her. “Anyway,” said Krasinski, sweetly, “I saw very clearly what an incredible talent she was and she moved me every day.”

“A Quiet Place” opens on April 6.

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