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regular-article-logo Sunday, 03 March 2024

John Krasinski in awe of different remakes of The Office, including an Indian version

UK-based show The Office was one of the greatest sitcoms in American TV history

PTI Sydney Published 24.12.22, 06:26 PM
A Still from The Office

A Still from The Office IMDb

A beloved series or a movie always inspire international remakes, but to find out that there are over two dozen versions of The Office, including an Indian take, is simply “mind-bending” for Hollywood star John Krasinski.

The Office, which itself was a remake of Ricky Gervais-led UK show, is considered to be one of the greatest sitcoms, running on NBC from 2005 to 2013.

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Krasinski, who played the charming Jim Halpert across the eight seasons, said he was “blown away” when he heard about the show's Indian version, which came out on streamer Disney+Hotstar in 2019. “I am aware (of the Indian version). I was so blown away by that. That is so mind-bending and so exciting. I think there are like 26 different versions of The Office now or something, which is insane.”

“I've heard that the Indian version is extremely popular and a big deal, which is awesome. I can't wait to see it,” said the actor.

The Office centred around the lives of employees of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, led by their effervescent manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell). The show’s success is often attributed to the bouquet of characters it offered to the viewers — from Rainn Wilson's uptight and scheming Dwight Schrute, the lovable Pam (Jenna Fisher) to BJ Novak’s forever intern Ryan Howard and Mindy Kaling’s Kelly Kapoor.

Over the years, its offshoots popped up in various countries, including Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

For Krasinski, The Office was nothing short of “an amusement park of creativity” that ultimately paved the way for his debut as a writer-director with the critically acclaimed horror film A Quiet Place. “I never knew that directing would be anything that I would do in the future. I have to give so much credit to The Office. It was my film school. It looked like I got the best gig in the world as an actor, but really I got the best gig in the world as a creative person,” the 43-year-old actor said.

During the show’s run, the actor went behind the camera for three episodes and learned the filmmaking process's technicalities. “I got to see what it was like to have geniuses in the writing room. I was lucky enough to have the camera guys show me all the ‘ins and outs’ of each shot, and then go into the edit with these editors and see what a first cut, a second cut, or a third cut looks like. So I was just in heaven. It was like an amusement park of creativity. Without that show, I wouldn’t have had the courage to try to direct myself,” he said.

Krasinski’s maiden directorial A Quiet Place was a critical and commercial success when it came out in 2019. The movie, set in a post-apocalyptic world, followed a family of four trying to save themselves from blind monsters with an acute sense of hearing. It also featured Krasinski’s actor-wife Emily Blunt.

The actor later wrote and directed a follow-up — A Quiet Place Part II — and there are already reports of a third instalment. A spin-off titled A Quiet Place: Day One is currently in pre-production.

As an artiste who wears many hats -— that of an actor, writer and director — Krasinski said he has an “ignorant” approach towards his status as a multi-hyphenate star. “I don't see myself as that. Maybe it's an ignorant way of looking at things, but when I show up, I always just look at whatever is in front of me. When I’m acting, I have such a blast and when I'm directing, I have such a blast.”

“I certainly have learned a lot as a director from being an actor and vice versa," said Krasinski, whose acting credits also include movies such as License to Wed, Leatherheads, It's Complicated, Big Miracle and 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.

He currently stars in the third season of his smash hit Prime Video series Jack Ryan, based on author Tom Clancy's popular spy novel series.

What Krasinski has learned from being “an actor who gets to direct” is that every project is a team effort. “Every single person, the hundreds and hundreds of people, who are involved in making a show like this, you owe to every single one of them. It's such an incredible team effort and especially through the pandemic,” he explained.

“For our crew and us, it was a huge and brave thing to do. To come back to work and shoot the show. It was huge,” he said.

Krasinski's involvement in the show’s production was visible to his co-star Michael Kelly and has left the actor in awe. “It's interesting because while we were doing Jack Ryan, he's the actor, but he’s also the executive producer, and at times, he’s a director or a writer. He’s all those things. As a co-star who works with a multi-hyphenate person, he wears all those different hats while we're working. It's also a great learning experience for me and the other actors,” Kelly said.

Jack Ryan Season 3, comprising eight episodes, also features Wendell Pierce, Nina Hoss, James Cosmo and Betty Gabriel. Co-produced by Amazon Studios, Paramount Television Studios, and Skydance Television, the third season is currently streaming on Prime Video.

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