The Biggest Stars on TV #6: John Krasinski

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I defy anybody — man, woman, houseplant — to watch John Krasinski and remain neutral. It’s just not possible. You might relate to him, crush on him or wish you were friends with him, but you’re going to feel something. Krasinski has the ability to make you care.

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Our first taste of this, of course, was when he played Jim Halpert on NBC’s The Office. From 2005 through 2013, viewers found themselves living vicariously through the smart, gleefully insubordinate paper salesman as he quietly endured the indignities of working at Dunder Mifflin, where he pined for, and eventually won, his dream girl, Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer). His victories, disappointments and daily chicanery — writ small against the backdrop of Scranton, Pennsylvania — became our own. He imprinted on us, big time.

The audience’s collective soft spot for Krasinski continues to grow. Where he goes, fans follow. He’s now firmly entrenched as a member of Hollywood’s A-list, shifting seamlessly between film and television, directing and acting. (We don’t even begrudge him for being married to the equally appealing Emily “Mary Poppins” Blunt.)

(Credit: Amazon Prime Video)

Most recently, he’s reinvented himself as an action hero — albeit a suitably enlightened one — with the public’s blessing, and Prime Video’s. (The streaming service green-lighted a second season of its geopolitical thriller series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, with Krasinski in the role previously held by Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck, before the first season was released.) Krasinski has wormed his way into our hearts, and whether holding a pen or a sword, he’s staying put.

This is an abbreviated version of TV Guide Magazine’s latest cover story. For more, pick up the issue, on newsstands now.