Why John Krasinski Found Directing The Hollars 'Actually Very Easy'

John Krasinski of The Hollars
John Krasinski of The Hollars

The Hollars are one dysfunctional bunch — and John Krasinski couldn’t love them more.

“There’s a lot of every family in there,” the director-star of the comedy/drama “The Hollars” tells Made in Hollywood reporter Kylie Erica Mar. “Even if you love your family and get along with your family — or don’t love your family and don’t even talk to your family — those channels of communication are always still there. I think there’s something sort of bigger and universal about this.”

“The Hollars” tells the story of a struggling New York graphic artist (Krasinski) forced to return home with his girlfriend (Anna Kendrick ) when his mother (Margo Martindale) is diagnosed with a brain tumor. While the on-screen homecoming plunges Krasinski back into all the problems he thought he’d run away from, behind the screen the cast got along beautifully.

“We just became a family at some point very, very quickly,” he says. “This is something that’s very personal to all of us.”

This made it all the easier for Krasinski to pull double duty as star and director, working with the other actors using techniques from the stage.

“As an actor it was really easy because I didn’t call cut all that much,” he says. “We’d just do a scene, I’d talk to the actors very quietly about what they wanted to do, and try something new, and we’d just go again. So I really tried to set an environment where they felt safe and empowered to do all this work. It was more like a play than anything else.”

Also helping was the quality and experience of his stars. “There wasn’t a whole lot of direction going on as far as acting, especially when you have actors this good,” he says. “I’d probably just be slapped in the face if I gave these actors notes.”