John Krasinski Says the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Effect on His Kids Inspired ‘IF’ Imaginary Friends Movie | Video

“Genuinely, I saw their light starting to go out,” the actor tells Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show”

John Krasinski sat down with Jimmy Fallon on Friday to discuss his newest movie “IF,” which he said was partly inspired by the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on his two children, Hazel and Violet. He explained that during the pandemic, “Genuinely, I saw their light starting to go out, and they started playing fewer and fewer imaginary games.”

Krasinski said he always wanted to make a film for his children, but wasn’t sure what story would work the best. He had the idea to tie in imaginary friends “like 10 years ago,” but nothing was cemented. Over time, the imaginary world he watched his and wife Emily Blunt’s daughters disappear into inspired him.

“I used to just stand in the doorway and watch my kids disappear in this magical world that we, as parents, aren’t allowed in,” he explained. “And 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.’”

Krasinski added that he wrote the movie in part to, in turn, inspire his daughters. “I’m writing this movie right now to prove to you that magical world is always there and you can always go back,” he said that he told them.

The movie stars Cailey Fleming as Bea, a young girl who has discovered she can see people’s imaginary friends and makes it her mission to reconnect forgotten imaginary friends, or “IFs,” with their kids.

Krasinski had plenty of praise for Fleming. He said, “I’ll be honest, the whole movie works because of her, because you have this idea and it’s hugely ambitious, and it can go around many ways.”

Watch the full interview with John Krasinski from “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” in the video above.

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