Though John Krasinski is known for his debut acting role on the popular NBC sitcom The Office, the show is also where he earned his directing chops. Krasinski recently sat down with the Office Ladies podcast, hosted by former co-stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, to chat about his experience directing his first episode of The Office.
“This show was my film school. I mean, I was a waiter before I got the show. I had zero experience in this business in anything—acting, writing, directing, producing, any of that stuff,” Krasinski says on the podcast, per Mashable. “And there it was, right in front of me. I was somehow lucky enough to drop right into the most immense pool of talent that I could ever ask for.”
Krasinski had previously directed the film Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, an adaption of a short story written by David Foster Wallace. For The Office, he first directed an episode in the sixth season titled “Sabre.”
“What was it like directing ‘Sabre’? It was a dream. It was absolutely everything you would wish directing a show like this would be.” Krasinski explains. “I personally was terrified, because I had to direct all of you. I remember being really, really nervous about that—that you were my coworkers, but you were my closest friends. You were my family. And here I was thinking I had the audacity to tell you what to do. Which incidentally, I don’t think I did once.”
“Sabre” in particular marked a major shift in the series as the eponymous printing company took over Dunder Mifflin, introducing a whole new set of characters.
“We need to point out what a very big deal it was for John to direct this particular episode, because he had to establish two new major characters in the show: Kathy Bates as Jo Bennett and Zach Woods as Gabe Lewis. And he directed Christian Slater. So this was not just a regular episode of The Office,” Fischer says.
“So I guess what I’m trying to say is, I owe absolutely everything to this show,” Krasinski says. “Directing this episode was so very special, and I will truly never forget it.”
His next directing project is the feature Imaginary Friends, starring himself, Ryan Reynolds, Fiona Shaw, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and previous co-worker Steve Carrell.