After five seasons as America’s ‘Tim’, The Office star John Krasinski is right at home in this season’s relaxed take on wardrobe staples…
Photography: Derrick Santini
Fashion: Jessica Punter
Words: Damon Wise
John Krasinski has just been told off and it’s all FHM’s fault. To get some ‘bloke looking moody standing in alley’ type pictures, our photographer has persuaded him to climb out of a small window at London’s chic Soho Hotel, thus setting off a complex set of alarms that have brought security puffing to investigate.
As we all look at our shoes mumbling that each other is to blame, the staff fail to recognise that the one dressed in the decent clothes is a big-time Hollywood actor. But then Krasinski, who has played the American version of The Office’s Jim Halpert since 2005, and starred in the likes of Leatherheads (with George Clooney) and License To Wed (alongside Robin Williams) has a habit of being unrecognisable.
He’s the ordinary Joe that you kind of recognise but can’t quite place. In his new movie, a low-key romantic drama, Away We Go, Krasinski plays Burt Farlander, a nerdy guy who goes down on his girlfriend with his glasses on, and sets off on a voyage of discovery when his missus feels the urge to explore America during her pregnancy.
As Burt, he looks different with his art-teacher beard and cut-by-the-council hairstyle, but this isn’t a deliberate attempt to distance himself from the show that made him.
“It was in the script,” he shrugs. “Everybody thinks I did it to get away from The Office, but the show isn’t something you get away from. It has literally given me everything, so why would I want to move away from it? No, the beard was in the script; the glasses, the hair, the whole nine yards.’”
It’s the second time Krasinski’s worked with director Sam Mendes and he describes his appearance in his Gulf War drama Jarhead as “the best seven seconds of my life”, so when the script for Away We Go fell into his lap, the Massachusetts-born actor immediately called his agent.
“I said, ‘When 75 people pass, let me know and I’ll go in and audition. And the next day Sam called, and went, ‘I can’t think about anybody else but you for this role.’ Now, anybody reading FHM will be like, ‘WHAT? The guy from The Office got a call from Sam Mendes?’ Well, I was as shocked as they all are. It just never happens that way, and neither should it, because it’s just too mind-exploding.”
But Krasinski isn’t leaving deadpan Halpert behind anytime soon – there’s been more than 80 episodes of the US version, compared to the 14 UK ones – a part he almost talked himself out of at the first interview.
“I auditioned with six others,” he says. “They all went in, and I was the last one. Then everyone took a lunch break, so they went out and came back with salads and sandwiches while I was still waiting. This guy sat across from me, and he was like, ‘Are you nervous?’ I said, ‘Naaah. You either get these jobs or you don’t. What I’m really nervous about is that they’re gonna ruin a perfect show.’ He was like, ‘What do you mean?’ I said, ‘Americans have a tendency to ruin great shows.’ He said, ‘Hi, I’m Greg Daniels, I’m the executive producer…’ I think I threw up in my hands. He said, ‘Well, honesty is the best policy.’” Krasinski laughs. “So now I go into every project and say, ‘Hey, this script stinks!’”
The 29-year-old admits he’s a little slow in embracing his newfound fame and has yet to start dressing appropriately for the attention of the paparazzi.
“Do I look fashionable?” he asks. “Jesus, I am so ignorant about fashion, as is probably way too obvious. I think I might have been that kid in college who wore sweat pants too much. It was that ‘I’m cool, I’m casual’ kinda deal, and people were like, ‘No, you need to make a fashion decision.’ I also wear one sweatshirt all the time. It’s not even my favourite sweatshirt, it’s just the one that I have by the end of the bed, so when I get up in the morning I put it on to walk the dog. And the few times that I’ve been photographed, I’ve always been in that sweatshirt.” He cringes at the thought. “So I guess that’s my big fashion faux pas right there: not changing.”
Away We Go is out on September 18
Photography Assistant: Pete Everett
Fashion Assistant: Ciara McCullough
Grooming: Kelly Marazzi at The Milton Agency