We all know John Krasinski from his role as Jim Halpert on the American version of “The Office” as well as in movies like “Away We Go” and “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.” Now he steps behind the camera to direct his first film since “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men,” and it is called “The Hollars.” In addition to directing and producing this film, Krasinski also stars as John Hollar, a struggling New York City graphic novelist who ends up returning home upon learning his mother Sally (Margo Martindale) has a brain tumor. Once he arrives, John is forced to deal with his past which he has yet to put behind him as well as the possibility that his mother may not be around for much longer.
Both Krasinski and Martindale stopped by the London Hotel in West Hollywood, California to talk about their experiences making “The Hollars.” Martindale showed up first and remarked how she had been travelling to a lot of different places recently. Among those places was San Francisco, and she was stunned to see so many people there wearing jeans and jackets during the summer season. I quickly told her of a quote I heard from the movie “48 Hours:”
“The coldest winter I ever spent was the summer I spent in San Francisco.”
Suffice to say, she and everyone else got a big kick out of that quote.
Once Krasinski came and joined Martindale, the press conference was underway and I asked them both about a specific scene where Martindale ends up acting a monologue (you’ll know it when you see it) which she renders in an amazingly vivid fashion. I asked her how she prepared to deliver this monologue, and her answer revealed there was more to what we saw and the movie’s screenplay written by James C. Strouse.
Margo Martindale: I learned it (laughs), and then I let it happen, and John (Krasinski) wrote it.
John Krasinski: Yeah, it was one of the only scenes that I actually wrote into the script because it was based on an experience that my dad had talked about, so it was bringing a personal spin to it. I talked to Margo about it, and it was just a really special thing to put in there. One of the things I hope for this movie is that you connect to this movie because it relates to your own family, and that the people in the movie stop being family in the movie and starts to become a projection of your own family. So I think innately we put a lot of different stuff from our own families into this movie, and so that was a particular thing I put in.
MM: It’s a beautifully written monologue, and I think probably that you gave me more and more direction on that…
MM: Because I needed to know where you wanted it to land and where I was coming from and why was I saying this. So we talked a lot about it, John and I, and I think I probably did that more than any… I don’t know.
JK: I think you did. It was a pretty new addition to the script, so Margo was very good to ask where it was coming from because she knew it was personal.
Please believe me when I say Margo Martindale’s performance is worth the price of admission to see “The Hollars” when it arrives in theaters on August 26.
Copyright Ben Kenber 2016.