How Well You Know The Characters at The Office?
So you think you know the show "The Office"? Think Twice!
On March 24, 2005, The Office premiered. Based on the successful UK version created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, it depicted the day-to-day life of the employees at the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch of paper company Dunder Mifflin, as seen through the eyes and camera of a documentary film crew.
Many of the cast members were also writers on the show, and by the end of the series, there was a bevy of writer-director-producer-actors sitting in those swivel chairs. What else was going on in those chairs? A lot of emailing, online shopping, and solitaire, with several participants also writing behind-the-scenes or character blogs while appearing to be hard at work.
The show attracted great talent. Paul Giamatti, Martin Short, Bob Odenkirk and Hank Azaria were all considered for the Michael Scott role before Steve Carell was hired, and guest directors on the series included Jason Reitman, J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, Amy Heckerling, Bryan Cranston and Harold Ramis.
Steve Carell (Michael Scott)
Michael Scott finally got it all. He married his true love Holly (Amy Ryan), they had kids, and he had so many pictures of them that he had to buy a second phone to hold them all. He made Dwight’s wedding everything Dwight dreamed it could be by showing up just in time to step in as the best man.
Carell has come a long way since his days as “Sapphire Steve Carell” on his college radio station. He first got notice on the short-lived Dana Carvey Show, but it was his five years well spent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart that really put him in the spotlight, and ultimately led to his starring role on The Office, where his salary was doubled by season three and his status as a star was confirmed. A string of hit movies followed, with the funnyman continuing to voice the villainous Gru from the 2010 animated feature Despicable Me through multiple sequels. Carell also showcased a broader range of acting skills with 2014’s Foxcatcher, for which he earned an Oscar nomination, and later garnered Golden Globe nods for his roles in The Big Short and Battle of the Sexes. https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
John Krasinski (Jim Halpert)
“Even if I didn’t love every minute of it, everything I have I owe to this job. This stupid, wonderful, boring amazing job.” That’s how Jim wraps up his experience at Dunder Mifflin, as he prepares to move to Austin with Pam and their kids to start a new life.
The charismatic John Krasinski honed his acting chops at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon Avon, so of course, he was still working as a waiter to pay the bills right up until he got his role on The Office. He’d also been a script intern on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
His career has skyrocketed since then. He’s co-starred with George Clooney, co-written with Matt Damon, and wrote and directed Brief Interviews with Hideous Men while The Office was still in production, based on the short story by David Foster Wallace.
Along with appearing in Cameron Crowe’s Aloha, and voicing a character in the animated movie Animal Crackers, alongside Sylvester Stallone, Ian McKellen and Danny DeVito, Krasinski continued his work behind the camera as director of The Hollars and the hit horror flick A Quiet Place. He also began starring on the Amazon series Jack Ryan, and further expanded his fan base in 2020 with the web series Some Good News, with Krasinksi reeling in several Office co-stars to watch him officiate a wedding on one episode.
Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesly)
Pam Beesly wrapped up her life in Scranton pretty definitively. Married to Jim with two kids, she gave him the kick he needed to pursue his dreams with the grand gesture of selling their house without telling him. . .much the way he initially bought it without telling her. The perfect match.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
Between takes for The Office, Fisher co-starred in Blades of Glory, Hall Pass, and The Giant Mechanical Man, the latter written and directed by husband Lee Kirk, with whom she has two children. She went on to lead roles in the series You, Me and the Apocalypse and Splitting Up Together, along the way recounting her Hollywood journey in the memoir The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide.
Despite their frosty on-screen relationship, she and Angela Kinsey are actually best friends, and Fischer is godmother to Kinsey’s daughter. The besties teamed up in 2019 to launch the Office Ladies podcast, in which they rewatch and provide commentary to each episode of their hit show.
Kate Flannery (Meredith Palmer)
At the end of the series, alcoholic and notorious flasher Meredith Palmer celebrates Angela’s bachelorette party by dancing with her son, who was hired as a stripper for the occasion. Surprise!
Kate Flannery, while not an alcoholic flasher, did grow up in a bar-owning family. On Sundays when it was closed, she and her six siblings would hang out, help clean up, and dance on the windowsill while playing music on the jukebox.
After The Office, Flannery rejoined Jane Lynch for the latter’s musical comedy tour, See Jane Sing, and voiced a main character on the cartoon OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes. She also returned to her bar-dancing roots as a contestant on season 28 of Dancing with the Stars, before getting eliminated in week eight.
Ed Helms (Andy Bernard)
Poor Andy. At the end of the series, he’s still something of a laughingstock after his tearful audition for an a capella show goes viral, but at least he has a job at his beloved alma mater, Cornell.
While Ed Helms didn’t attend Cornell – he went to Oberlin – he did have his shining Cornell moment, delivering their convocation speech in 2014.
Like Steve Carell, his career got a big boost on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He was added to The Office cast in 2006 in a recurring role, and had so much in common with the character they wanted to create that a year later they made him a series regular. Since then, he’s starred in The Hangover trilogy, voiced leading characters in The Lorax and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, and starred as Rusty Griswold in a revival of the Vacation franchise. He’s also in a bluegrass band called The Lonesome Trio. Like Andy, Helms is also obsessed with a cappella music and plays guitar, banjo, piano and sitar.
Mindy Kaling (Kelly Kapoor)
In the end, Kelly finally got what she wanted all along: Ryan.
Since The Office, in addition to her success with The Mindy Project, Kaling has appeared in the movies This Is the End, A Wrinkle in Time, Ocean’s 8, and Late Night, and voiced characters in Wreck-It Ralph and Inside Out. She’s also continued her work for the small screen, co-creating the shows Champions, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Never Have I Ever, along with a much-talked-about Nationwide commercial, with Matt Damon, in which she actually walked through a real car wash.
Kaling also became a mother to daughter Katherine in 2017 and remains close friends with B.J. Novak.
Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute)
Dwight married his Angela, kept his farm, and finally achieved his dream of becoming the regional manager of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin. In an uncharacteristic act of kindness, he fired both Jim and Pam, so they’d be able to get severance when they moved to Austin to start their new lives.
Rainn Wilson is the only cast member to appear in every single episode of The Office. He originally auditioned for Michael Scott but was given the role of Dwight, beating Seth Rogen for the part.
His first post-Office venture was going to be a spin-off centering around Dwight’s life on Schrute Farm, but Wilson’s glad that didn’t work out, as it gave him the opportunity to try something new. He starred in the crime comedy-drama Backstrom and appeared in indie films like Uncanny and The Boy, before landing a recurring role on the hit sitcom Moms. Wilson also continued developing content for the website and YouTube channel SoulPancake, which he co-founded while The Office was still on the air, and wrote a memoir, The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy.
Ellie Kemper (Erin Hannon)
Erin met her biological parents in the final episode of The Office. They apologized for giving her up, and said it was the biggest mistake of their lives. Also, they’re puppeteers. Also, in a move of brilliant casting, they were played by Ed Begley, Jr. and Joan Cusack.
Since then, Ellie Kemper has been busy. She was the first-ever guest host of Ellen, appeared in Bridesmaids, and went on to star in the popular Netflix series The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, created for her by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock of 30 Rock fame, as a young woman who starts a new life in New York after escaping a doomsday cult. She also lent her voice to The Secret Life of Pets, alongside Louis C.K., Albert Brooks, and Kevin Hart, penned an autobiographical collection of essays, and found time to become a wife and mother.