‘A Quiet Place’: John Krasinski Says Cast Learned Sign Language for Silent Thriller (Exclusive Video)

Director/star also tells TheWrap how deaf actress Millicent Simmonds helped ground the film in reality

“A Quiet Place” takes place 95 percent in silence — that means barely any music or dialogue — and director and star John Krasinski said that the cast learned sign language for every line in the script.

“We did all learn sign language,” Krasinski told TheWrap at the SXSW Film Festival last month. “We had the most incredible actress [Millicent Simmonds] who happens to be deaf in real life, which was sort of a non-negotiable thing for me. It was one of those things, when I got the original script from [Bryan Woods and Scott Beck], they had this deaf character, and in my rewrite, I wanted to flesh that out even more.”

Krasinski said that Simmonds being deaf in real life helped him ground the film in reality more because she was a “guide through what it’s like to experience the world without hearing it.”

“Not only are you so happy and honored to have a deaf actress performing this role, but you also have a guide throughout this entire story,” he added. “Because in our story, our daughter is deaf in our family, I found myself asking her all the time, ‘Is this right?’ And she would be like, ‘maybe do it more like this?” She was not intimidated at all.”

“A Quiet Place” is about a family that has to live in complete silence, otherwise creatures will hunt them. Even the most normal tasks become daunting: eating dinner with the family, playing board games or going fishing makes the characters fear for their lives. But with no sound and perhaps two lines of dialogue, Krasinski said one of his biggest fears going into this movie was to keep people engaged.

“Once we started shooting, in the first couple days, you realize that this thing I was most scared of ended up being our super power,” he said. “There is something so engaging about taking sound or music out of a movie and you know, it’s not totally silent. It’s quiet, but it’s not totally silent, and I think you actually start to lean in — you want to experience this moment and this situation with this family, so when you have a rule — this family, if they hear you, they hunt you — that idea, it makes you terrified for these people, and we had so much fun playing with that.”

“A Quiet Place” also stars Emily Blunt and Noah Jupe, and will hit theaters on Friday.

Watch the video above.