Greg Daniels: I was watching this morning, there’s going to be this NBC news special on the night of our finale, and they requested footage from the cast auditions. And I was watching John’s audition this morning and in New York.
John Krasinski: Oh my God.
Greg Daniels: Yeah, it’s really interesting. It’s fun. And I asked you to do some improv about your favorite fruit…
John Krasinski: Oh my goodness.
Greg Daniels: …so we kind of went off the script and you were talking about pomegranates being your favorite fruit, because you only get them once a year or something. And I kept saying, “Be more sarcastic about it.” And then, you tagged it with this amazing look right into the audition camera, and it was so funny. It just made people laugh. And so John was just the absolute best Bugs Bunny at getting those looks across.
John Krasinski: I’ve never been compared to Bugs Bunny, and that’s amazing. Thank you. By the way, it should be noted that that audition tape you were watching today was right after I told, what I thought was a nameless person, who asked me if I was nervous to be auditioning. I said, “I’m not nervous for the audition, because you either get these things or you don’t. But I am nervous for the people making it, because we have a tendency in America to screw up all the good shows that come over from England, and I don’t see how you’re going to make this work.” And he said, “Hi, I’m Greg Daniels,” and I threw up in my mouth.
Greg Daniels: Yes, exactly. That was only ten minutes after that you brushed your teeth.
Question: You said you were still a waiter at the time you got the show. So you weren’t completely out of the business, but tell us kind of how your career was going at that time? Were you waiting because you were good at it, or were you waiting because you still didn’t have enough work to get by at that point, or what?
John Krasinski: I definitely had fun being a waiter. I can’t say for sure that I was a good waiter. I think that I made people have a good time. I probably couldn’t tell you what was in any of the plates I was serving, so probably not great for the house. By being a waiter 100%, I think I was a lot like any other actor in New York, I had credits because I’d work lunches during the week, and then on a Wednesday would go be lucky enough to be in a movie like, Kinsey.
…go shoot for a day and come back. So it was one of those things where I definitely was lucky enough to have a few jobs and few commercials. But no, not anything that would allow me to claim that I was a working actor and didn’t need another job.
Question: I wanted to ask Greg to also reflect on this a little bit, because it’s a hugely important role. As you said, it’s the window for the audience, and you gave it to a guy with very, very few credits, but turned out to be perfect casting. What was it at the time that made you realize this was the guy? And also, what was your reaction when he told you, “I didn’t know how it was going to work,” before he knew who you were?
John Krasinski: What he’s asking, Greg, is what the hell were you thinking?