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.”

Popular on Variety

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.

More Film

  • Martin McDonaghThree Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    'Three Billboards' Director Martin McDonagh Sets Up Next Film at Searchlight (EXCLUSIVE)

    Three years after the release of his Oscar best picture nominee “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” director Martin McDonagh has lined up his next project, an untitled feature film about a friendship gone sour in Ireland. McDonagh is reuniting with Disney’s Searchlight and the UK-based Film4, the companies behind “Three Billboards” and Academy Award winner [...]

  • Ennio The Maestro

    Wong Kar-wai’s Block 2 to Sell Giuseppe Tornatore’s ‘Ennio: The Maestro’

    Block 2 Distribution, the sales arm of Wong Kar-wai’s Jet Tone Films will handle international rights to “Ennio: The Maestro.” The film is an upcoming documentary about legendary film musician Ennio Morricone, written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. Morricone, who is 91, has more than 500 movie credits to this name including scores for Sergio [...]

  • José

    'José': Film Review

    It has been a year and a half since director Li Cheng’s “José” won the Venice Film Festival’s Queer Lion. It would be a shame to let the lag time diminish expectations. After a LGBTQ fest run, the Spanish-language drama — about a young gay man in Guatemala — has opened theatrically and continues to [...]

  • The Cost of Silence

    'The Cost of Silence': Film Review

    A decade has passed since 2010’s Deepwater Horizon tragedy, history’s most catastrophic oil drilling accident that occurred when a BP-operated pipe exploded, leaking millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. There was no successful intervention for months, and time hasn’t healed all wounds. On the contrary, it opened new, irreversible ones as [...]

  • Nardjes A.

    ‘Invisible Life’s’ Karim Ainouz Drops Trailer for 'Nardjes A.’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    On Feb. 14 last year, Karim Aïnouz arrived in Algeria to trace via the story of his parents the Algerian Revolution which happened 60 years ago – its 1954-62 War of Independence from France. The uprising he very quickly started to shoot, however, was one happening right then, the Revolution of Smiles, whose first street [...]

  • Call of the Wild

    Harrison Ford in 'The Call of the Wild': Film Review

    Dogs, in their rambunctious domesticated way, can lead us overly civilized humans a step or two closer to the natural world. So it’s only fitting that the best dog movies have saluted that unruly canine spirit without a lot of artificial flavoring. Hollywood’s classic dog tales, like “Old Yeller” (1957) or “Lassie Come Home” (1943), [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content