“My dad grew up in a small steel mill town just outside of Pittsburgh; his dad worked three jobs, and he didn’t have a lot,” actor, John Krasinski, told FilmInk in 2012. “I remember as an ignorant eight-year-old asking, ‘So, was your childhood awful?’ He replied, ‘No, it was fantastic. We had great friends. We had faith in the community. We were a very tight knit group of people, and we had the belief that tomorrow was going to be better.’ And that pure idea always stuck with me.” Though he lacks the apparently requisite muscled up physique and square jaw to play Captain America – Marvel’s most pure, decent, and wholly uncompromised superhero – it may have been downhome qualities such as these that saw John Krasinski almost take the lead role in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger. Best known for playing nice guy, Jim Halpert, in the US version of The Office, the tall, skinny actor eventually rose to the top of a list that Marvel had assembled of contenders to play Captain America. The more likely candidates of Kellan Lutz (“I’m a big fan. I’d love to play that! He’s an American hero”), Ryan Phillippe, Sebastian Stan (who went on to star in the film as Captain America’s sidekick, Bucky Barnes), Channing Tatum, and Alexander Skarsgard moved to the back of the line (the less likely figures of Will Smith and Sam Worthington had also been discussed by Marvel as possible players), as Krasinski allegedly read four times for the role and screen tested twice. Though the internet reverberated with news that Krasinski was almost a certainty to become Captain America (website, Collider, proclaimed him to be “a drop of Super Serum away from playing the title role”), the plum part eventually went to Chris Evans, who had turned it down three times because of the enormous time and contractual commitments required to appear in Marvel’s interlocking films.
Would It Have Worked?
Mmmm…maybe. John Krasinski is certainly an odd choice to play Captain America, but his eminent likeability and sly brand of humour would have served him well had he been chosen to don the stars-and-stripes.