Quick: Who's the greatest author of the last twenty years? It very well be David Foster Wallace, whose "Infinite Jest" was recently named one of the top 100 novels of the 20th Century by "Time Magazine."
For "Office" star John Krasinski, who is adapting Wallace's "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men" for the big-screen, the gift of David's prose is "a blessing," he said. Unfortunately, it's a blessing that he won't be able to return.
"I talked to him on the phone and I said, 'I hope you enjoy the movie,' and he said, 'I probably won't see it.' Which is true," Krasinski laughed, recalling his conversations with the author. "He's a straight shooter, you know what I mean?"
A comic masterpiece, "Brief Interviews" is a collection of twenty-three short stories. But it's that very structure which makes it so hard to adapt, Krasinski said.
"The biggest challenge is taking all the individual interviews and turning that into a movie," the actor insisted. "The way to do it, the way we're choosing to do it, is to not back away from how unique it is, and not to tie it into some big cohesive sort of systematic structure that you're used to, but just to do what it is, and what it always wants to be, which is about some guys talking about some stuff that you haven't heard before."
Aside from the literary pedigree, adapting the book is a thrill for Krasinski, he said, because of how much the book means to him personally - crediting the stories with inspiring him to be an actor.
"We did a stage reading of it in college and I loved it, I just loved it. It was one of those moments that I was really acting for fun. And then you realize there's a whole deeper possibility there," Krasinski said. "I never wanted to be a director or writer, may never do it again, but it was always one of these things, that I always remember how that felt. I want more people to feel that."
As passion projects go, this is one of the coolest. Have you read "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men"? Like John Krasinski? Sound off below.