John Krasinski's first major movie role after the success of The Office is License to Wed. He plays Ben, a lovable sap who proposes to his girlfriend (Mandy Moore). But since she's obsessed with getting married at her old family church, he has to go through the crazy relationship course that Reverend Frank (Robin Williams) sets out for his couples. Krasinski saw a bit of himself in Ben.
John Krasinski on License to Wed
"I think he’s a pretty laid back guy and I definitely would have had the idea to like go to the Caribbean and get married," said Krasinski. "So I would have been taken aback probably if somebody had said, ‘I want to get married here with this sort of regimented thing’. It wouldn’t have derailed me but it would have been definitely a surprise. I think I’m spontaneous and not as controlling, sort of willing for things to go whatever way they go."
Ben's function in the script is really to react to the craziness of Reverend Frank. The robot babies he assigns the couple steal the show. "I was carrying them the whole time. They were really heavy but they smelled so bad. It felt like a locker room made of rubber. It was really gross. It definitely went against that old saying ‘All babies are cute’. I mean James Cagney as a baby is not my ideal thing. It was fun to work with because they were so hideous and really hard to hold and all that so it really made those scenes a lot easier to do, especially smashing it against the glass. I was happy to do that."
License to Wed is a romantic comedy and Krasinski does get kissy with Moore. "It wasn’t my first kiss but when you have to kiss someone, I think doing a movie about getting married, for me I was extremely nervous because you need a partner that’s really willing to go there and be silly. It was also fun because we were really getting to know each other as our characters. I think that’s the real premise of the movie. You never really know someone until things go badly for you. So it was fun to get to know Mandy in all these tests and I can say that working with someone that has so much more experience than you do and yet is still extremely invigorated and youthful and fun. I just took her lead as far as what I needed to do on set and just tried to make it okay. The kiss I tried to not make look terrible."
Since Hollywood films are shot out of order, Moore and Krasinski broke the ice with the film's most dramatic scene. "The first scene that we shot was us breaking up, her leaving the church which I thought was pretty insane. From an acting perspective and the movie perspective, that was really exciting to shoot this scene where all this stuff happens. ‘Hi, Mandy. I’m John and you’re about to break up with me’. That was really exciting and a fun way to go about it."