Steve Carell Made John Krasinski Cry When The Office Stars Reunited For IF

It's been almost two decades since John Krasinski was introduced to the world as the floppy-haired, baby-faced Jim Halpert in NBC's "The Office." Since then he's grown up, grown a beard, and grown into a successful career as a director, which truly took off after his horror film "A Quiet Place" grossed more than $340 million worldwide.

"It's very hard to step outside of your comfort zone — all the way from 'The Office,' to deciding to do a genre movie," Krasinski told Total Film magazine. His upcoming movie "IF" (an acronym for imaginary friends) was another "huge departure, and a big swing." Fortunately, he had an old friend from his comfort zone along for the ride: his "Office" co-star Steve Carell is in the movie as the voice of Blue, a big huggable purple creature that only Bea (Cailey Fleming) and her upstairs neighbor (Ryan Reynolds) can see. 

Krasinski already had Carell's voice in mind when he was writing the script. "He is a person that you just want to run up to and hug, and that's exactly what Blue is," the filmmaker (who also stars in the movie, as Bea's dad) explained. But Krasinski underestimated just how much PDE (Proud Dad Energy) Carell would bring to the table:

"As much fun as it was to work with him, the most powerful part about it was he came in with the most heartfelt speech about how proud he is of me to be making movies. He said in reading the script, 'I'm just so honored to be a part of it. I'll do whatever it takes.' So when I thought that I would be laughing all day, I was crying all day."

A history of Krasinski crying

This isn't the first time Carell has tickled Krasinski's tear ducts. When the two actors were filming Michael and Jim's goodbye scene for "The Office" season 7, things got pretty damp all round. The scene in question is probably familiar even to people who have never seen an episode of "The Office," since a shot of Carell smiling with tears in his eyes has since become a popular reaction gif, handy for expressing an overwhelming swell of emotion. 

Krasinski felt some overwhelming emotions of his own while shooting the scene. "I think I actually remember, the actual number was 17 takes of not even speaking, just dribbling crying," he confessed on Spotify's An Oral History of The Office podcast. He recalled that...

"It felt like the end of something more than even losing Steve or losing Michael. It felt like the end of our show in a way, or that evolution of our show. It's like when you graduate college, your life isn't over. But that version of your life will never come back."

The feeling proved accurate; "The Office" lost momentum without Carell and ended a couple of seasons later. Fortunately, Carell himself did come back — as a big, purple, huggable imaginary friend.

"IF" releases in theaters on May 17, 2024.