John Krasinski on Adding Writing, Directing & Producing to His Resume: “All these other avenues have been fascinating roads to go down but, for sure, acting is the most fun”
It’s incredibly hard for actors on a long-running television series to find success in other roles — mainly because audiences want to keep seeing them as the character that the actor became famous for in the first place. As a result, it’s likely John Krasinski will have a difficult time being seen as anyone else as the affable Jim from The Office for the next few years… at least! Yahoo! News spoke with Krasinski about his upcoming work and whether his decision to move into behind-the-scenes roles means we’ve seen the last of him on camera.
Krasinski’s first post-Office releases were a small role in the revival of Arrested Development and voiceover work for the Disney/Pixar movie Monsters University. Krasinski points out that he enjoyed both, saying, “It was fun to do both those roles but they were small, fun roles … For me it was just supporting two things I love so much. I think Arrested Development is one of the best shows ever on television, so I was just honored to be a part of that in any way. And it is exactly the same with Monsters University. Not only am I a fan, but my nieces and nephews are bigger fans than I am, so it is the first time in my career that I reached hero status in their eyes.” Read more
After weeks of negotiating during a time when commercial actors have seen themselves working harder for less pay, members of SAG-AFTRA have strongly approved a new deals for acting for television and radio commercials. This is the first national union contract that the combined SAG-AFTRA union voted on and was done primarily via electronic voting.
The contract overwhelmingly passed 96 percent to 4 percent in the voting. It will result in $238 million in wage increases, particularly for compensating actors for commercials that also appear on the Internet (overall wages will have a one-time six percent increase). It also contains stronger guidelines for so-called “reality commercials” that utilize non-actors and “crowd sourced” commercials, two trends that have been increasingly popular among advertisers. The Hollywood Reporter details many of the dozens of provisions in the new contract. Read more
On May 16th, The Office will be closing its doors. After an eight-year run, Jim Pam, Dwight and the rest of the gang will be moving on to bigger and better things (hopefully). I’ve watched every episode of the long running series and I’ll definitely be sad to see the show go.
Before getting the role of Jim, John Krasinski was like almost every other actor in New York. He’d work his job as a waiter during the week then run off to an audition when he could. He had booked a few things but “not anything that would allow me to claim that I was a working actor and didn’t need another job,” he said during a conference call. Booking The Office was like winning the lottery, “except with a winning lottery ticket you just get money, and with this you get a whole change of your life.”
If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll love this interview. And honestly, even if you’re not, there’s some great stuff in here about what it’s like to go from hustling for auditions to becoming a star on a major network show. In this interview, John and Executive Producer/Writer Greg Daniels talk about the end of The Office, John’s audition, his past commercials and more. It’s a long one but it’s really great.
The Office airs on Thursdays at 9 on NBC – for only 2 more weeks! Read more
Finally some (mostly) good news for commercial actors.
Earlier this year I reported that commercial actors were not only on average working more for less pay because of big-name stars being cast in commercials and changing television viewing habits cutting into commercial actors’ residuals. On top of that, companies have been increasingly relying on so-called “reality” commercials that utilize non-actors to serve as “genuine” spokespeople for their products. In other words, many commercial actors had their fingers crossed for new hope as SAG-AFTRA negotiated a new contract for commercial actors with top advertisers over the last several weeks. Read more
SXSW Interview: Brian Geraghty on ‘Kilimanjaro’, Acting Survival Jobs and Working with Denzel Washington
Brian Geraghty is so good in smaller roles in films like Flight (opposite Denzel Washington) and The Hurt Locker, just to name a few. He’s always got something going on in his eyes and most anything he does I’ve always enjoyed watching.
In Kilimanjaro, which premiered at SXSW this year, Brian is out front and center as the star of the film. He plays Doug, a guy who’s life isn’t what he imagined. He’s got a bad job, boring relationship and he’s just wading through life. When his girlfriend packs up and leaves, he decides to embark on a more meaningful life and starts planning to climb the famous Mount Kilimanjaro. But, as sometimes happens, life gets in the way and he finds himself trying to get to that elusive mountaintop… both literally and figuratively.
Brian is an interesting guy and I got a kick out of talking to him at SXSW. We talked about how he prepared for his role in Kilimanjaro, how he got his start, what it was like showing up on the set of Flight and working with Denzel Washington and what was his acting survival job(s) were.
As a native New Yorker, I’m happy that so many films and television shows have been shot here over the last dozen years or so. When I was growing up, it was far less common for movies and television shows to actually be shot in New York — even if the stories were set in New York!
However, the rise in productions filming in New York certainly had to come at the expense of other areas, including Los Angeles. After several years of declines or stagnation — mostly because of the economy and productions filming elsewhere because of tax credits — it appears that production in Los Angeles is bouncing back in a big way. Read more
Guest column by Mark Bradley
Mistake #5: Bogus Tax Deductions
Actors are great talkers, and we love to spread rumors. Unfortunately, sometimes the rumors that get spread around about tax deductions are just plain wrong. Three immediately spring to mind.
First, I’ve heard some actors say, “Oh yeah, I deduct all my clothes.” No can do. The rule is that clothing is deductible only if it isn’t suitable for street wear. If you bought a business suit and never wore it for anything but auditions and commercial shoots, it’s still not deductible, because you could wear it on the street. The only exception to this rule is dance wear. You can wear it on the street, but it’s considered specialized work wear, like a nurse’s scrubs. (Cleaning and maintenance of your clothes used on the job are always deductible.)
Second, unlike classes, health club dues aren’t deductible professional expenses. If an agent or director told you to get in better shape, even for a specific role, a gym membership is still considered a personal expense.
Third, I was horrified to learn that a lot of actors were telling each other that they could deduct ALL their restaurant meals, as long as they talked about the business over dinner! This is total, utter, absolute nonsense. To be deductible, you must have a clear, current business relationship with the person you’re hosting and you must discuss a specific business opportunity, not just the business in general. Even if at some time in the future, your dining partner may hire you for a job, going out for dinner with your friends is essentially social in nature and should not be deducted as business entertainment. Read more
Unless it is during a festival, many indie theatre companies tend to stay away from original work, at least for their first few productions. Unfortunately the reality is that often it’s hard enough to draw audiences with work they are familiar with, so trying to get them to try something new can sometimes be an impossible task. So the fact that taxdeductible theatre is staging an original play, #hero, as its first full-length play is a major accomplishment in itself. The fact that it’s so intelligently reflective of our media-driven society is another.
It seems counterproductive, but our cynical, social-media driven world likes tearing heroes down even more than celebrating them, so seconds after someone does something considered heroic that person is immediately under a microscope in order to find something negative. That is the idea behind #hero, in which New York City police officer Norman Burrows (Robert Larkin) becomes a social media sensation after saving the life of a woman who faints on the subway tracks. He is initially hesitant to be recognized for his good deed, so his wife Grace (Wendy Bagger) arranges an appearance on a national morning talk show with a publicist, Cory (Bryn Boice). Norman is soon absorbed into pop culture as a celebrity, and the nature of that status changes not only his relationship with Grace but also everything that made him such a hero in the first place causing the gap between his public “Officer Burrows” persona and troubled private self to grow. Read more
Amy Adams talks the Ups and Downs of Acting and the On-Screen Chemistry She Has with Philip Seymour Hoffman
“It feels good. I always say it beats the alternative: you know, not working, no one caring what you’re doing,” she said in an interview with Vanity Fair. “I went through plenty of that period as well and I’m sure there will be another period of that in my future, as it happens to most actors at some point.”
But for now, Adams seems to be on a successful streak. With her last part in The Master, Adams worked with Philip Seymour Hoffman for the third time (after Charlie Wilson’s War and Doubt.) “There are certain actors you work with and something happens when you’re working them. I’ve worked with great actors where this hasn’t happened, and I’ve worked with great actors where this has,” she admitted. “I think it’s just the chemistry between two people where the work becomes very intimate. I can’t speak for Phil’s experience with me, but this is how I felt with him. And I felt it first on Doubt when we were doing a scene and it just felt real; it felt like it was actually happening. You almost stop acting, and it’s like you’re living this moment with another actor. It’s a very strange thing. And it doesn’t happen all the time, so to have that experience with an actor and then get to work with them again—it was so easy to create an intimacy or a history with Philip, having worked with him before. It’s a beautiful thing when you’re able to surrender in that way with another actor.” Read more
We’ve all seen or heard “Not a Paid Spokesperson” during commercials, which indicates that the person in the commercial truly loves the product he or she is pitching — and is not just being paid to say that (of course, they are usually being compensated anyway). It’s often an effective way to sell products, but the rise of so-called “reality commercials” — that is, commercials that cast non-professionals as spokespeople for the product — is bad news for commercial actors (who are already seeing declining pay).
Though it’s certainly not a new practice, recent commercials for H&R Block, Bayer, Best Buy, and Ford have gone for this “reality” route. As Carol Lynn Sher, an employee of the CESD Talent Agency in Los Angeles, points out, “People want the real cancer survivor, the real doctor, real fire eater. Fewer actors being used for those roles and its taking away jobs.” Read more