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Paul Thomas Anderson taught John Krasinski not to shit on bad movies

Paramount Pictures Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos, Paul Thomas Anderson, Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group President Wyck Godfrey, and John Krasinski
Photo: Rachel Murray (Getty Images)

We’ve been known to bag on a bad movie or two here at The A.V. Club—how can you not in a world that contains both Gotti and Life Itself?—but that’s only because acclaimed filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson has never pulled us aside at a party. John Krasinski, on the other hand, knows exactly what it’s like to have the Boogie Nights and Phantom Thread director inform you as to why calling movies bad can be, well, bad.

In a new interview with The New York Times, one in which the A Quiet Place director again waffles on whether or not he’ll direct the sequel to his 2018 horror hit, Krasinski recounted a meaningful chat he had with Anderson nearly a decade ago.

“I’ll tell you a big life lesson. Paul was over at my house, I think it was my 30th birthday party, and I had just seen a movie I didn’t love. I said to him over a drink, ‘It’s not a good movie,’ and he so sweetly took me aside and said very quietly, ‘Don’t say that. Don’t say that it’s not a good movie. If it wasn’t for you, that’s fine, but in our business, we’ve all got to support each other.’ The movie was very artsy, and he said, ‘You’ve got to support the big swing. If you put it out there that the movie’s not good, they won’t let us make more movies like that.’

Dude, Paul Thomas Anderson is out there on the wall for us! He’s defending the value of the artistic experience. He’s so good that maybe you project onto him that he’s allowed to be snarky, but he’s the exact opposite: He wants to love everything because that’s why he got into moviemaking. And ever since then, I’ve never said that I hate a movie.


Elsewhere in the interview, Krasinski cites the near-silent prologue of Anderson’s There Will Be Blood as an influence on A Quiet Place, and touches on just how supportive the legendary director has been of his directorial pursuits. Read it all here.

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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.