What do Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson and B.J. Novak all have in common, besides being primary players on NBC’s The Office (Thursdays at 9:30 pm/ET)? Each of them has either been Q&A’d by or penned blogs for TVGuide.com during this, the series’ second season. Who is conspicuously MIA from that list? That’s right — on the occasion of the season finale, we finally got on the phone with…
TVGuide.com: … the elusive John Krasinski.
John Krasinski: Hello! How are you doing?
TVGuide.com: I’m good! I’ve had Jenna and B.J. talking about you ad nauseam in their TVGuide.com blogs, but I have yet to actually talk to you.
Krasinski: Oh, man. Well, I’m very excited to talk to you then!
TVGuide.com: You should know that Jenna’s been talking all kinds of smack about how Brian [Baumgartner, Kevin] has been beating up on you in PlayStation 2 football.
Krasinski: That is just garbage. It was a really back-and-forth season there. We had some ups and downs, but it was fun. I think Brian and I called it even.
TVGuide.com: I believe Jenna once reported that your defense was “weak.”
Krasinski: Wow! I… don’t even think she knows what she’s talking about. She’s still asking what color our teams are, so I’m not sure she’s necessarily the best person to talk to about that.
TVGuide.com: Now, you and B.J. went to high school together?
Krasinski: Yeah, we did, and he actually wrote the first acting thing I was ever in, which was basically a parody of the high school. Even back then I thought it was so funny and in a way that I like to see. It wasn’t slapsticky, it was smart and well put together. It’s so funny that he even approached me to do it because I was nowhere near being an actor. I don’t know what he saw in me but thank god he did, because here we are!
TVGuide.com: Let’s face it, he needed “someone tall.”
Krasinski: Exactly! I’m sure that’s the truth, too.
TVGuide.com: Did you guys keep in touch, or was The Office the first you’d seen each other in a while, like: “Hey, I know you.”
Krasinski: The truth is, I went to the call-back audition in L.A. and was reviewing the sides they had given me when I looked up and saw he was doing the same thing. It was one of those surreal moments your brain can’t comprehend. It was fantastic. Now, after working with him for so long, I have to say that he is everything people say he is. He’s one of the best new voices in Hollywood.
TVGuide.com: You always hear stories about how Office cast members pass the time on the set, blogging or playing games on their characters’ computers. What do you tend to do?
Krasinski: I check e-mail here and there, and maybe read some articles online, but I’m in an awkward position because when they shoot outside of Michael’s office or from any angle, because of where my desk is located, you can always see my screen. [Laughs] Right before every shot, it’s like, “John, [put up] something we can use, buddy!”
TVGuide.com: In a recent episode, when Jim was e-mailing Pam, you could see her “Dunder-Mifflin” e-mail address. What happens if I send an e-mail to it?
Krasinski: I have no idea. Check it out, man!
TVGuide.com: Where do you stand on the Pam-Jim hookup timetable?
Krasinski: I don’t know. It’s funny, people always want to know when the “big moment” is going to happen, and the coolest part about being a part of this relationship as an actor is that we have a number of big moments. Sometimes the big moments are really good, sometimes they are really tense…. I can’t say enough about the writers and how real they’ve stayed with our relationship. “Booze Cruise,” that was one of the biggest moments yet. That I wasn’t able to speak or say anything, to me that’s the best drama you can have. That’s so real.
TVGuide.com: When did your counterparts get together in the original British version?
Krasinski: I think at the very end, in the last episode of the whole thing, she walks in and just kisses him.
TVGuide.com: Jenna said you didn’t tell her what Jim wrote on the card he put in her Christmas-present teapot. What’d you write?
Krasinski: I can’t tell you! No….
TVGuide.com: Have you ever ad-libbed something that didn’t make it in?
Krasinski: Everything! No, I’m kidding. Once you’ve done what the writers have written, there is a lot of opportunity to go off. One of the things we have improve[ise]d, and this is hilarious, was when Rainn and I started arm-wrestling, and it turned into a full-on, tackle-to-the-ground and fighting-like-8-year-olds-on-a-playground thing. Part of me wishes that made it in, even though it would have been completely ludicrous.
TVGuide.com: What’s been your favorite episode to date?
Krasinski: I really loved “The Secret.” I thought it was really done. It was so funny when Steve [Carell, as Michael] took me to Hooters, it provided a lot to do for the other cast members, who are so funny, and it did a really good job of pushing the love story forward, too.
TVGuide.com: What can you tease about the “Casino Night” season finale?
Krasinski: It starts out like a simple run-of-the-mill event that the office is hosting — we’re all playing these casino games for our favorite charity — and it turns out to answer a lot of the questions that people have been wondering — about Pam and Jim, Michael and Jan…. All these things are addressed in a really cool way. The characters find themselves in situations they never would have imagined. And that’s the best way to finish a season.
TVGuide.com: Of course there’s a cliff-hanger where someone tries to cheat at cards, a gun goes off, and the screen goes to black.
Krasinski: Wait, did you see it already?! [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Let’s finish up with the movies you have in the pipeline. In License to Wed, you and “fiancée” Mandy Moore get premarital advice from the counselor-from-hell, Robin Williams.
Krasinski: He’s the priest at the church that she grew up at. We shoot that next week and I’m super-excited. I am one of Robin Williams’ biggest fans.
TVGuide.com: Man, talk about ad-libbing!
Krasinski: I know. It’s going to be a clinic for sure. And Mandy Moore, I just think that she’s so talented and a fantastic new face. She’s doing a great job.
TVGuide.com: Smiley Face: Are you a stoner in that?
Krasinski: I’m not, actually. Anna Faris is the stoner, and when she eats a plate of pot brownies and goes to another planet virtually, I’m her roommate’s friend who ends up having to basically baby-sit her all day. I’m a really nerdy kid who’s secretly in love with her.
TVGuide.com: The Dreamgirls movie: I take it you’re playing James “Thunder” Early?
Krasinski: How did you know? No, [writer-director] Bill Condon called one day and he had this idea for one scene where Beyoncé gets to the point where she wants to give movies a try, and I’m a director who’s interested in casting her. It’s me basically saying nothing because John Lithgow is the very loudmouthed producer. It’s a very fun scene, and I’m honored to be a part of it.
TVGuide.com: What else do you have in the works?
Krasinski: I finally finished the script that I was writing, and I’m going to be directing it in November — Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.
TVGuide.com: That’s a great title.
Krasinski: Yeah! I think it definitely leaves people wondering what it’s about, so it will be interesting to see what people think. It’s based on the book by David Foster Wallace, and my goal is to bring his work to a different medium and expose more people to what I thought was an incredible book.
TVGuide.com: At the end of the day, do you envision yourself as 50 percent actor, 50 percent writer-director?
Krasinski: No, not right now. I love acting so much. This is more of a one-time thing and if it happens that I write something again, that would be great. But for right now, this is it.
TVGuide.com: Well, John, I’m glad we finally had the chance to talk!
Krasinski: I know, right? Thanks very much!