- Paramount Pictures
- John Krasinski explained to Business Insider why he decided to put on a motion-capture suit and play the movie’s creature in the final scene of “A Quiet Place.”
- He also talked about what it was like to show the footage of him in the suit to a test screening audience, as the creature VFX footage wasn’t ready to put in the movie yet.
One of the most emotionally draining parts of being a director is showing your movie to an audience for the first time – especially when it isn’t finished yet.
That’s what John Krasinski had to suffer through when he showed “A Quiet Place” to a test audience. Like most test screenings, the movie was not completely done, including the CGI that would show the scary creature tormenting the family in the movie. That meant in many of the shots featuring the sound-sensitive creature, the test audience had to imagine what the actors on screen were frightened by. They saw a crude animation of the creature, or someone in a tight motion-capture suit.
Looking back, Krasinski said he thought most of the test screening audience was into the movie despite the lack of major computer-generated elements. That is, until Krasinski showed up on the big screen in the motion-capture suit playing the monster in the final scene.
“All of a sudden my giant foot with Vans on shows up, and we slowly pan up my very colorful, very tight, revealing suit, and end on me with a beard pretending to roar,” Krasinski told Business Insider, admitting he thought the movie was doomed. “The entire place exploded into laughter.”
Krasinski said he thought to himself in that moment, “What have I done! I’ve just made the worst greatest comedy.”
Thankfully for Krasinski, the test audience didn’t rush to their phones after the screening and reveal what they had seen. Months later, with finished creature graphics in place, the movie went on to wow the audience at its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. Then it became one of the biggest earners of the year when it opened in theaters in April and went on to gross over $340 million at the worldwide box office.
But how did Krasinski end up in that motion-capture suit playing the creature?
He said it all happened spontaneously on set while he was talking to the movie’s visual effects supervisor, Scott Farrar, about how the creature would move during the movie’s thrilling ending, in which Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and her kids are trapped in the basement of their house with one of the creatures.
“Scott kept saying, ‘John, he’s low to the ground, so we’ve got to make sure the camera knows he’s low to the grown for eye line,'” Krasinski recalled. “And we were talking it through, and I finally said, ‘Yeah, that’s not how I see it – I sort of see it like this.’ And Scott goes, ‘Just put on the suit, man.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ He was like, ‘Just put on the suit and do it.’ And I was like, ‘All right.’ So I went upstairs, put on the suit, still had my Vans on.”
So the footage of Krasinski as the creature that the test screening saw was transformed by the CGI wizards at Industrial Light and Magic into the creepy thing we see in the finished movie.
“I think there is even audio of me being like [high-pitched] ‘Rooooaaaarrr!'” Krasinski said about playing the creature.
Will we ever see this footage of Krasinski as the creature?
“With any luck, no,” Krasinski said without hesitation.