It’s easy to tell when a Krasinski walks into a room. They are quite tall, and they have nice hair. When one of actor John Krasinski’s brothers arrived at the Revere Hotel’s Theatre 1 on Wednesday for a private screening of John’s new movie “Promised Land,” spectators buzzed about the strong resemblance. The brothers looked rather identical, in similar winter coats.
Newton native John (right), who returned home this weekend for the screening (and Thanksgiving), says his brothers are actually taller than him, but that doesn’t stop him from slumping in his chair during movies. After introducing “Promised Land” — a drama he wrote with Cambridge’s own Matt Damon — Krasinski slid down in his seat next to his parents so that he didn’t block anyone’s view. “I learned it from my brothers,” he admitted.
Krasinski told us after the screening that he wrote “Promised Land” with Damon at Damon’s house, with Damon’s kids playing not-so-quietly around them. He said that although the environment wasn’t always conducive to writing a screenplay, he and his buddy managed to work quickly, probably because they were so passionate about telling the story about people in a small town who must decide whether to let a natural gas company frack — or drill and extract deposits — on their land. Krasinski told us that while “Promised Land” will be probably be labeled an anti-fracking film, it really isn’t. He and Damon just wanted to tell an American story about big decisions that affect the individual.
Krasinski told his audience that he and Damon made a conscious decision to refrain from disclosing where the movie is supposed to take place. It was filmed outside of Pittsburgh — near Krasinski’s dad’s hometown — but the characters never quite say where they are. “We sort of wanted it to be Everywhere, USA,” Krasinski said.
Krasinski admits that he’s been nervous to show this film around because professionally, the stakes are high. This is his first original screenplay, and because of the film’s director (“Good Will Hunting”’s Gus Van Sant) and cast (which includes Damon, Frances McDormand, and Hal Holbrook) the movie is already getting Oscar buzz. The film is also coming out just as Krasinski’s long-running show “The Office” is ending its run on NBC.
Of course, Krasinski is excited about his next big step, and says it’s been nice to watch his “Office” pals like Mindy Kaling (who’s also from Massachusetts) move on to new projects. He’s a fan of her new sitcom, Fox’s “The Mindy Project.” “She’s such a singular voice,” he said. “I’m so proud of her.”
“Promised Land’ is set to be released on Dec. 28. Aaron Sorkin hosted a Hollywood screening of the film for celebs such as Jennifer Aniston and Demi Moore earlier this month.