John Krasinski on Getting Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Ryan Reynolds to Join ‘IF’: “Most Yeses of My Career”

Perhaps one of the most impressive aspects of John Krasinski’s upcoming film, IF, is the all-star voice cast he lined up for it.

The multihyphenate stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Friday to discuss the project, and the late night host couldn’t help but ask about how the writer-director managed to get major stars to sign onto the project.

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“I gotta say, the most yeses of my career was on this movie and the fastest yeses because they all love the idea of imagination, going back to your childhood,” Krasinski shared.

When discussing the ice cube, voiced by Bradley Cooper, the Quiet Place star explained, “I don’t know why when I created this guy, in my head, I was like, ‘He’s from Philly, and he’s a little bummed to be living in Arizona.'”

Jimmy Fallon then pulled up a photo of Blake Lively’s character, which Krasinski explained is “a cat who’s getting over her fear of water, so she dresses like an octopus.” He joked he used “emotional blackmail” to get the Gossip Girl star to join the film, which also stars her husband, Ryan Reynolds.

“I was like, ‘Everybody’s doing it,'” The Office actor said. “She was so nice to jump on board.”

As for perhaps one of the most impressive guest stars on IF, the Tonight Show host was surprised to see George Clooney sign on as the voice of the Spaceman.

“This is a sort of deep, deep-cut Easter egg,” Krasinski joked. “That’s his character from Gravity in my head, that he’s still just floating around.”

Emily Blunt, Steve Carrell, Matt Damon, Jon Stewart, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Maya Rudolph, Sam Rockwell, Louis Gossett Jr., Sebastian Maniscalco, Chris Meloni, Richard Jenkins and Awkwafina round out the fantasy pic’s voice cast.

The Jack Ryan star’s working relationship with The Ides of March star goes back over a decade when he starred in Clooney’s 2008 film Leatherheads. In fact, the Ticket to Paradise actor was the first person who thought the Something Borrowed star would direct one day.

“He would take me to dinner while we were shooting Leatherheads, and he would show me on a drawing, ‘This is what I’m going to shoot tomorrow. I’m going to put the cameras here,'” he recalled. “And I said, ‘That’s amazing. Why are you telling me this?’ And he’s like, ‘Well, you’re not just going to be an actor, right? You’re going to go on to direct.’ And I went, ‘Pfft, yeah.’ I had no idea. He did before I did.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, Krasinski explained that he got the idea for the film about 10 years ago but didn’t start writing it until the COVID-19 pandemic when he felt he and Emily Blunt’s children needed it. He shared that he used to watch their daughters disappear into this magical world where parents weren’t allowed and, over time, they did it less.

“It wasn’t just like the joy that was on their face, it was how authentic they were. They could be anything they wanted in this world, and I said, ‘Em, that would make a great movie,'” he recounted. “It actually wasn’t until the pandemic when, genuinely, I saw their light starting to go out, and they started playing fewer and fewer imaginary games. The world started to come in, and I went, ‘Oh, my God, this is the definition of growing up.’ And so they said, ‘Are we going to be OK?’ And I went, ‘That’s it. I’m writing this movie right now to prove to you that magical world is always there, and you can always go back.'”

IF hits theaters on May 17.

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