The six faces of John Krasinski
Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts are famous for their infectious smiles. John Krasinski, the 6-foot-3 actor who plays corn-fed paper salesman Jim Halpert on NBC's "The Office," is famous for his elastic face, a mug so fluid it launched a thousand clips on YouTube.
In fan montage after montage, see Jim smirk by the water cooler, watch Jim grimace in a company meeting or roll his eyes behind cubicle nerd Dwight Schrute's (Rainn Wilson) back.
But weeks before the show's fourth season begins, one can only wonder just how many classic Jim Halpert expressions Krasinski has in him.
Ken Kwapis, the director who gave Krasinski his break on the television series and made him his leading man in Warner Bros.' critically panned "License to Wed," which opened Tuesday, says Krasinski has an absolute, definitive number of facial moves.
"Six," Kwapis says, eyeing the actor as he pours hot water into a tea cup in a hotel suite in Santa Monica during an interview last month.
"Six?!" says Krasinski, slamming the china onto a coffee table. "You bastard."
Delighting in the chance to ruffle the leading man's self-admiration, the director continues.
"Well, I think, obviously, John has lots of good reactions," Kwapis says. "In fact, I always say this about John: He knows his way around an awkward pause better than anyone."
Krasinski shoots back: "I always say you're a drunk, which is weird.... I'm kidding. Don't print that. It'd be really bad."
The director shrugs it off.
"You don't have to," Kwapis says. "It's already in the 'License to Wed' production notes."
The actor and director stop the needling for an extended moment of mutual admiration, all too gratuitous and smarmy to mention here. But it should be noted that Krasinski was not the studio's first choice for "License."
"There was some fighting involved," Kwapis teases, refusing to name Warner Bros.' first choice.
"Mark Ruffalo," Krasinski quietly murmurs, like swearing at Bible camp.
"Sssssshhhhhh!" hisses Kwapis. "He was not even ..."
"AVAILABLE!" Krasinski bellows.
"Well, he wasn't on the top of the list," Kwapis offers.
"He'd be on the top of my list ... for ... all ... projects," the actor replies.
Krasinski is now working on "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men," his feature film writing and directing debut based on the David Foster Wallace collection of short fiction. And he will next be seen in a tight 1920s football uniform in George Clooney's "Leatherheads."
Kwapis begins shooting his next feature, "He's Just Not That Into You," for New Line this fall. The two plan to shoot the season premiere of "The Office" together later this summer, at which time Krasinski's camera-loving mugging will surely resume.
Here are the "six faces of John Krasinski" photos that go with the article.
First "Leatherheads" Movie Still
Here is the first movie still from screwball comedy Leatherheads, a fictionalized account of the origins of the NFL.
George Clooney plays the coach of a wannabe pro football team in the 1920s.
The Office’s John Krasinski plays the World War I hero/star football player.
“At that time, the NFL was just a bunch of guys smashing heads in cornfields,” Krasinski said. “(He) realizes that if he can get a star college player, more people will come to see these quote-unquote professional teams.”
Renee Zellweger gets caught in a love triangle with Clooney and Krasinski’s characters.
Joked Krasinski: “All the ladies can rest assured, George Clooney will always win. I’m no match for him.”
Leatherheads, directed and co-written by Clooney, is set for a Dec. 7 release.