John Krasinski The Office revival
John Krasinski is down for The Office revival. Photo by Getty Images

John Krasinski may have missed out on playing Captain America, but the Newton native did get a chance to be a superhero in real life.

In a wide-ranging new interview with Playboy ahead of the release of his new film "A Quiet Place," "The Office" alum opened up about a life-changing experience he had during his time working as an English teacher in Costa Rica as a teenager. Krasinski revealed that he was forced to spring into action one day while swimming at a beach called Manuel Antonio, as a girl got swept up in a riptide.

I just went out and tried to save her. And then of course when I got out there, I was in a crosscurrent with her. It was one of those moments of “Oh my God, you just made a poor choice and it might cost you your life.” But I didn’t think about it like that. It was just this survival instinct. It was really weird—like the girl was asking me to let her die. But I got her back.

Luckily, Krasinski was pretty adept at swimming thanks to his mother, who was a lifeguard and gave him lessons at an early age. The Boston-bred actor told Playboy that the experience completely altered his outlook on life.

 

"Granted, not everybody needs to have life-or-death experiences, but that changed my entire life," Krasinski said. "All of a sudden I grew up."

"When I got to Brown, I remember kids calling their parents and saying, 'I miss home' and 'I’m lonely,' which I totally get, but I was so far beyond that," he added. "Whereas college should have been my defining moment, Costa Rica was. It just ripped all the protective layers apart and allowed me to get hurt."

Krasinski also talked about how, during his travels abroad, he was inspired by seeing people in poverty still able to find happiness. These encounters have affected how he views the meaning of "Make America Great Again."

"In my opinion, the whole idea of making America great again is so much more on us than anybody else," Krasinski said. "Wherever you stand politically, I don’t think 'Make America Great Again' is supposed to be up to our politicians. It needs to be on us. You go down there and realize they’re making their country great by living every single day."