- “The Office” finale came out over five years ago, but that hasn’t stopped fans from reliving the fun on streaming services.
- The US version of “The Office” came from the original British one of the same name, created by Ricky Gervais.
- From people who almost played Michael Scott, to John Krasiniski’s unknown role in the show, these are things you didn’t know about the show.
The final season of the mockumentary sitcom “The Office” may have aired over five years ago, but if anything, fans now love it even more than they did when new episodes were premiering each week. With a stellar cast that includes actors and actresses like Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Mindy Kaling, and Rainn Wilson, just to name a few, this show was known for being hilarious and heartwarming all at once.
You might already know that this version of “The Office” is actually a play on the original show, which aired in the United Kingdom and was created by British comedian and actor Ricky Gervais, but there are lots of other facts about this show that you probably never knew – and they could change the way you binge watch it forever. Check out some interesting facts about “The Office” that will make you love this show even more.
Seth Rogen could have been Dwight Schrute.
It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Dwight aside from Rainn Wilson. But when old audition tapes for the show were released on YouTube, they showed that Rogen had also auditioned for the role as well.
John Krasinski shot the opening credit footage.
If you’ve ever seen “The Office,” then you’re familiar with the iconic opening credits: they feature scenes of Scranton, Pennsylvania, where the fictional office is supposed to be located. That footage looks amateur because it is.
Krasinski took a trip to Scranton as research for his role of Jim, where he shot that footage himself as part of his research.
A lot of the actors were hesitant about the show being a success.
Many people were worried about how the American version of “The Office” would fare against the British version, the cast included.
Oscar Nunez, who played Oscar on the show, told The Hollywood Reporter he didn’t think they’d make it past the pilot. He said, “I didn’t think an American version could do justice to what Ricky Gervais did.” He explained that he kept waiting tables because he was sure the show would get canceled.
Krasinski almost missed out on the role because he was so sure the show wouldn’t do well.
In one interview, Krasinski revealed that he almost messed up his entire audition for Jim.
When he was sitting in the waiting room, he said a guy asked him if he was nervous.In an interview, he said that he answered, “You know, not really. You either get these things or you don’t. But what I’m really nervous about is this show. It’s just that I love the British show so much and Americans have a tendency to just really screw these opportunities up. I just don’t know how I’ll live with myself if they screw this show-up and ruin it for me.”
The man revealed himself to be the executive producer.
Even the show’s executives thought they were doomed.
According to the New York Times, Krasinski said that shooting the first season of the show was tough because NBC executives were so negative on set. They would show up and say things like, “This episode is so good – unfortunately it’s the last one we’re going to do.” This didn’t really encourage the cast either.
The pilot was actually one of the worst on air.
As it turns out, some of those fears were legitimate. Wilson once told TV Guide that the very first episode did not do well at all, saying, “It’s one of the worst-testing pilots ever, alongside ‘Seinfeld.'”
Phyllis Smith’s role almost didn’t exist.
It’s weird to think of “The Office” without the weirdly loveable character of Phyllis Vance. But Smith, who plays that role, was originally just a casting associate for the show.
The producers liked her so much that they eventually created that role specifically for her.
Angela and Pam are best friends in real life.
In “The Office” universe, the characters of Angela and Pam strongly dislike each other. In real life, though, actresses Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey have a very close friendship that you can see if you follow either of them on social media.
Oscar’s character was not gay originally.
In an interview with AV/TV Club, Nunez said that they didn’t make Oscar gay until halfway through the first season. He said, “Greg came up top me and was like, ‘Do you mind if we make your character gay?’ I’m like, ‘Greg, I already saw the script, it’s already written. What does it matter what I say at this point? But I don’t care.”
Adam Scott almost played the part of Jim.
Another thing those audition tapes revealed is that Adam Scott had auditioned for the role of Jim.
Steve Carell had actually been planning to leave after the seventh season since the third season.
When Carell left the show after the seventh season, it was easy to assume that it was because he had gotten so famous that he felt he needed to move past the show and do bigger projects. But in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Carell revealed that he had been planning that for a very long time.
He said, “I was always assuming I’d leave after that season was done. Everyone was well aware of that. I owed the show a lot and I loved doing it, but you have to take risks.”
B.J. Novak and Krasinski went to the same high school.
Novak, who played Ryan, was actually childhood friends with Krasinski long before the show aired. In an interview, Krasinski revealed that Novak is the one who got him into acting. He said Novak wrote a play and asked Krasinski to act in it. Although Krasinski wasn’t interested at first, Novak pushed him, and really helped him want to pursue it seriously.
Bob Odenkirk was originally cast as Michael Scott.
Odenkirk was originally cast for the role, but according to the New York Times, he was replaced with Carell. Carell was first to be considered, but ended up taking a role in an NBC comedy called “Come to Papa.” They hired Odenkirk, but when “Come to Papa” was canceled, they brought Carell back in.
The Scranton branch has a tribute to the UK show.
If you pay close attention to details, you’ll notice that the address for the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin is 1725 Slough Avenue. This isn’t a real street in Scranton, Pennsylvania, but a reference to the original British show, which takes place in Slough, England.
Fischer cried when she found out Krasinski was going to be Jim.
It seems like Jim and Pam had an adorable relationship even in real life. On an episode of “The Jeff Probst Show,” Fischer said that she had been paired up with Krasinski a few times during auditions, and he was her favourite Jim.
She said that on the second day, Krasinski whispered to her, “You’re my favourite Pam. I hope you get it.” She added that when they told her she had the role of Pam and Krasinski had the role of Jim, “I started crying because I knew it would be good. I mean this honestly – I can’t do Pam without him. In the way you need the right partner to have a great marriage, I needed the right costar to have this relationship.”
Carell’s performance in “40-Year-Old Virgin” changed the way they wrote Michael.
In an interview with TV Guide, Daniels said that Carell’s role in the movie gave them “a little bit of insight into how to write him differently – how he could be appealing as the lead.” Kate Flannery, who played Meredith, said, “The writers found a new way to utilise all his talents. He didn’t just have to be this bleak guy. We could really kind of exploit his ability to have his heart in the wrong place.”
Andy almost didn’t make it back to Scranton.
At one point during the show, Krasinski moves to the Stamford branch. When he comes back, none of the Stamford characters were supposed to become long-term characters, but the producers liked Ed Helms as Andy so much that they wanted to keep him.
Daniels told Screener, “The plan was to have a merger so that the two branches would merge and that Michael, in a series of funny episodes, would alienate or fire or cause all the other characters to quit. But Ed Helms was so funny that we were like, ‘Oh no, he’s got to stay.’ So we converted him into a series regular role pretty quickly.”
The Stamford cast was even almost a spinoff.
The producers actually liked all of the Stamford characters so much that they almost made them into their own spinoff show. Daniels told Screener that executive producer and future head of NBC Ben Silverman wanted to do a spinoff with the Stamford branch, but they were already committed to a long storyline of firing them all.
Andy became the manager at the end because he was similar to Michael.
In an interview with Vulture, Paul Lieberstein, who was the showrunner at the time, explained why he chose to make Andy take over the role of Michael when Carell left. He said, “The Andy character is very different from Michael, but one of the things they have in common is that they both put people first and relationships first.”
Apparently, they were also considering Darryl, but ultimately decided he was “too rational and smart” to take on the role.
Fischer will probably never reveal what Carell whispered to her during Pam and Michael’s airport goodbye.
One of the most touching moments of Carell’s last episode was when Michael said goodbye to Pam at the airport. In that scene, Pam takes off her mic and Michael whispers something to her – but we’ll never know what it was, because it was real.
In an interview with New York magazine, Fischer said it was very emotional, because they told her to just say whatever she wanted and they would tape the goodbyes. She said, “And it was actually a challenge because every time I got down there I would start to cry right away, and I had to try to hold that in a little bit.”
“Parks and Recreation” was almost an “Office” spinoff.
“Parks and Rec” has the same show creators as “The Office,” and was even almost a spinoff. According to TV Guide, Lieberstein was going to do that in a unique way.
He was planning on having a copy machine break during “The Office.” When a repairman came to fix it, the machine got loaded on a truck and refurbished in a warehouse. Then it got loaded onto another truck and taken to Pawnee, Indiana, where it’s dropped off in the “Parks and Rec” office. They ultimately decided against it.
Krasinski wore a wig in part of season three.
In the early episodes of “The Office,” Jim’s hair is floppy, messy, and long. But during season three, Krasinski was also shooting “Leatherheads,” a role he had to shave his head for. Producers wanted to keep Jim’s messy hair, so they had Krasinski wear a wig.
One scene made Helms laugh so hard he had to hide.
During an interview on “The Dan Patrick Show,” Helms said that one scene he shot with Carell made him laugh so hard he had to hide from the cameras. It was during the episode “Secret Santa” during Season six, when Michael dresses as Santa and invites the employees to sit on his lap.
Helms explained, “Kevin is sitting in his lap, and he’s so awful about it, because it’s uncomfortable for him, and he’s just being really rude and weird and mean about it. I had to duck behind a plant – you can see it in the actual episode.”
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