THE OFFICE -- Pictured: John Krasinski as Jim Halpert -- NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth
Updated: January 1, 2013 7:12PM
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — It’s tough to leave “The Office.” No one knows that better than John Krasinski, who admits he will need all the Kleenex on his desk when the NBC series ends in the coming months.
“I’m sure that shooting that last episode will be the most emotional moment in my career,” says Krasinski. “That show has given me everything. I was a waiter before I got that show. Nobody knew my name.”
Is Krasinski a crying man? He tells a story.
“When Steve [Carell] left the show it was like getting blindsided by a bus,” he admits. “I thought I was going to be tough. Everyone was crying and I was like, ‘Guys, it’s just life. He’s moving on.’
“Then the last shot is my character saying goodbye to his character. The director called action and I started wailing from a place I had never been to emotionally. Spontaneously, I walked up and gave him a huge hug.
“It was these two grown men holding each other in an emotional breakdown,” he says, laughing.
Having a critically acclaimed movie helps to ease the pain. Krasinski wrote and stars in “Promised Land” with his buddy Matt Damon. He says the idea for the movie (now in theaters) came to him two years ago.
“This movie is all about the American identity for me,” he says. “My dad grew up in a steel mill town outside Pittsburgh. When I was an ignorant kid and, I said, ‘Wow Dad, your life was awful.’ He said, ‘No, it was great. We had this amazing community. And we knew that tomorrow would be a better day.’
“My dad told me, ‘All the people in my little town were so close, and now it’s different.’ My dad is right. We don’t know where we’re headed as a society. That’s why I really wanted to tell the story of people living day-to-day and trying to survive as a community when this corporation comes in and wants their land.”
The idea of fracking — natural gas drilling — struck him as a perfect movie topic. “It’s high-stakes poker,” he says. “We don’t know what this will do to the land or the water. We just don’t know. So either side can be right. In the middle is the truth.”
On the set, Krasinski couldn’t believe that his little movie was being fronted by the “Good Will Hunting” team of director Gus Van Sant and Damon. “I tried to play it cool,” he says. “Having this team was insane. I think I have a tattoo of the movie poster from ‘Good Will Hunting’ on my back.”
Unknown is whether Carell will return for one last stroll through the cubicles of Dunder-Mifflin. “I hope Steve comes back,” Krasinski says. “There really is a family aspect to the show, and we owe him a ton.
“Come on, Steve,” he says. “Visit your hometown.”
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