John Krasinski inspires Brown University students to 'believe in something' as he delivers their commencement address
He rocketed to fame as the camera-gazing Jim Halpert on The Office, but John Krasinski doesn't attribute his rise to that singular role.
The 39-year-old actor and director offered a different explanation while delivering the commencement address at Brown University on Saturday.
Crediting his community, John singled out the inspiring friends and colleagues he met in college for helping him to succeed.
Inspiring words: John Krasinski, 39, delivered the commencement address at his alma mater Brown University on Saturday, during which he encouraged students to 'remember to believe in something'
'My entire life changed,' he began. 'Nope, not because I got in, not because I started acting. It was through that group that I found my way into this community.
'It was through that group that I met my people, and all of a sudden I was surrounded by the most inspiring peers,' he said.
'One of the best decisions I made in my life was just to lean all the way in.'
John laced his speech with plenty of humorous bits, including a reference to his disappointing early roles as Terrified Hostage Guest #2 in a Brown production of Die Hard: The Musical.
Going for it: 'One of the best decisions I made in my life was just to lean all the way in,' he said of his time pursuing new passions at Brown
Humble beginnings: He also threw in humorous references to his role as a hostage in a campus production of Die Hard: The Musical
'People ask me how I got into acting, and the truth is, I didn’t get into acting. I got into everything,' he reminisced. 'For the next four years I wanted to be part of it all, I formed a new way of thinking. A new way to execute those thoughts. I left my comfort zone and then stayed there, and left again.'
Some of the It's Complicated actor's most impassioned sentiments urged students to avoid easy conformity and to constantly challenge themselves.
'Real change is organic. The only responsibility you all have is to hold fast to everything you have lived, right here. To not conform, to realize that when you’re out there, you’ve done all this before,' he said.
'Remember fondly the discomfort you felt when you were asked to push yourself farther than you were ever sure you could go. And the elation when you finally got there.'
Standing out: 'The only responsibility you all have is to hold fast to everything you have lived, right here. To not conform, to realize that when you’re out there, you’ve done all this before,' he said
John wrapped up his speech with a call to 'remember to believe in something' and to 'fall in love as many times as it takes.'
'Remember, before you do something special, just do something,' he added.
The Office star was awarded an honorary degree at the ceremony, as was esteemed documentarian Ken Burns.
Leaning in: 'Remember fondly the discomfort you felt when you were asked to push yourself farther than you were ever sure you could go. And the elation when you finally got there'; pictured in November with his wife and collaborator Emily Blunt
Though he would initially go on to pursue acting full-time, the Jack Ryan star graduated from Brown in 2001 as a playwright with a degree in theater arts.
In between filming seasons of The Office, John would put his other skills to use, writing the environmental drama Promised Land and making his directorial debut with the David Foster Wallace-adapting Brief Interviews With Hideous Men.
He spawned a massive critical and box office success with the horror thriller A Quiet Place, which he co-wrote, directed and starred in opposite his wife Emily Blunt.
Triple threat: Though he's best known as an actor, he graduated as a playwright in 2001 and has gone on to write and direct multiple films and TV episodes; pictured May 20 with producer Rebecca Feferman