As paper-pushing prankster Jim Halpert on NBC’s Emmy-winning comedy The Office, now in its fourth season, John Krasinski won our hearts as he awkwardly romanced Pam the receptionist. Punching in for his first chat with gay media to promote his new football comedy Leatherheads — he thanked me afterward “for being so gentle” — the 28-year-old holiday Gap model opened up about costar George Clooney’s irresistible superpowers and his own sex-symbol status.
The Advocate: So this is your first gay press interview?
John Krasinski: Wow, now that I think about, it is. There’s so much pressure! But I’m very excited.
Which burning question do you think the gays want answered?
Oh, my God. My imagination’s running wild.
Were you aware that you had a gay following?
Oh, is that why everyone in West Hollywood’s so nice? I thought they were just big Jim/Pam fans, but you’ve totally decoded it for me. No, I was not aware that I had a gay following, but I think it’s great. I mean, I live right in West Hollywood, so I’m constantly walking through the neighborhood, seeing how enthusiastic and extremely fun everybody is down there, so those are the fans to have behind you — the people who can make a party out of anything.
How did growing up Catholic in Newton, Mass., influence your views on homosexuality?
Luckily, I have two of the coolest parents around. They’re so open about having any and all experiences, so they never hindered us in any way by categorizing or judging anything. Having people be that open was actually incredibly wild, because I was always a little confused when I heard anybody have issues with anything like homosexuality. It was very foreign to me. But I probably never gave it too much thought until I went to Brown, where I had a whole lot of friends who were gay. They talked about the fantastic parts of it and the really difficult parts of it, and that’s when I fully realized the scope of the experience, rather than the classification of being gay as having some weird romantic idea.
Who’s the most important gay person in your life?
One of my acting teachers from Brown, who’s probably one of the most important people in my life, period. He was the guy who basically helped me transform from someone who just wanted to get a laugh, and who used humor as a way to distract people from being insecure in acting class. He really got me to face a lot of different stuff, like who I was and who I wanted to be.