Greg Daniels/John Krasinski press call

Greg Daniels: I was watching this morning, there’s going to be this NBC news special on the night of our finale, and they requested footage from the cast auditions. And I was watching John’s audition this morning and in New York.

John Krasinski: Oh my God.

Greg Daniels: Yeah, it’s really interesting. It’s fun. And I asked you to do some improv about your favorite fruit…

John Krasinski: Oh my goodness.

Greg Daniels: …so we kind of went off the script and you were talking about pomegranates being your favorite fruit, because you only get them once a year or something. And I kept saying, “Be more sarcastic about it.” And then, you tagged it with this amazing look right into the audition camera, and it was so funny. It just made people laugh. And so John was just the absolute best Bugs Bunny at getting those looks across.

John Krasinski: I’ve never been compared to Bugs Bunny, and that’s amazing. Thank you. By the way, it should be noted that that audition tape you were watching today was right after I told, what I thought was a nameless person, who asked me if I was nervous to be auditioning. I said, “I’m not nervous for the audition, because you either get these things or you don’t. But I am nervous for the people making it, because we have a tendency in America to screw up all the good shows that come over from England, and I don’t see how you’re going to make this work.” And he said, “Hi, I’m Greg Daniels,” and I threw up in my mouth.

Greg Daniels: Yes, exactly. That was only ten minutes after that you brushed your teeth.

Question: You said you were still a waiter at the time you got the show. So you weren’t completely out of the business, but tell us kind of how your career was going at that time? Were you waiting because you were good at it, or were you waiting because you still didn’t have enough work to get by at that point, or what?

John Krasinski: I definitely had fun being a waiter. I can’t say for sure that I was a good waiter. I think that I made people have a good time. I probably couldn’t tell you what was in any of the plates I was serving, so probably not great for the house. By being a waiter 100%, I think I was a lot like any other actor in New York, I had credits because I’d work lunches during the week, and then on a Wednesday would go be lucky enough to be in a movie like, Kinsey.

…go shoot for a day and come back. So it was one of those things where I definitely was lucky enough to have a few jobs and few commercials. But no, not anything that would allow me to claim that I was a working actor and didn’t need another job.

Question: I wanted to ask Greg to also reflect on this a little bit, because it’s a hugely important role. As you said, it’s the window for the audience, and you gave it to a guy with very, very few credits, but turned out to be perfect casting. What was it at the time that made you realize this was the guy? And also, what was your reaction when he told you, “I didn’t know how it was going to work,” before he knew who you were?

John Krasinski: What he’s asking, Greg, is what the hell were you thinking?

12 comments

  1. Awesome! Thanks!

    Ah, that 27 seconds of silence felt ground-breaking to me. Too much good stuff from this show.

  2. Great great stuff! I feel however that I should curl into the fetal position on the floor imagining the empty office! :(

    [from tanster: yeah. that was heartbreaking to hear.]

  3. Great stuff! I always love cast/writer/director interviews! I’ve blocked out my entire day on May 16th! ;) haha!

  4. Seeing their favorite episodes mentioned you can tell how magical Season 2 was. To this day I go back and watch chunks of it at a time.

    The show had such a great knack for laugh-out-loud silliness grounded with legitimate drama – which it sorely misses these days.

    One of the greatest seasons of scripted comedy tv ever.

  5. What a bummer to think the office is now empty :(

    They should totally auction off some of the set props like they did after Seinfeld ended!!

  6. I don’t know how to describe this feeling. Many shows of GREAT quality, greater quality, have come and gone with sadness at the departure.
    This however, is truly a hollow feeling. I feel like the beat of my heart is echoing inside me because truly the one thing that my wife and I have shared from our first date till now, is over.

    I feel the loss so potently. I’m your average white collar corporate type. 28yrs old. Would never know me as some kind of TV guy. Not like Stanley and his “mystery stories” or Kelly and her “Glee”

    The office wasn’t my Seinfeld or sopranos, it was my date night. My dinner infront of the TV night. My cuddle with my wife and laugh night. The office is my funny bone and much like a funny bone, when it hurts, it’s not funny. I’m pained by the loss but appreciative. I only wish NBC would have given the office the lifespan of Law and Order SVU. Alas, I guess America likes Rape and pedophiles more than Oscar and the Senator or Angela and her Cats.

    Goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend, you have been the one, you have been the one for me..

  7. I realize this is an entirely unrelated thing to post, but now that I know Greg is so fond of lurking and reading the comments, I’m going for it:

    Mr. Daniels, I was going through a box of old college paperwork a couple weeks ago and found one of my annual financial aid statements from a certain women’s college in the Pioneer Valley. I noticed a line item I’d never seen before and did some research on the name. And long story short, tell your parents thanks from a random fangirl for helping to make me the first out of seven kids to go to college. I’ll try to keep repaying the debt by buying DVD sets or something. :)

    Now, the relevant stuff:

    I really want to know where the Homer doll and Pam’s drawing of the building went! When I watch re-runs now, I keep finding myself wondering where certain things ended up. Like, there’s this sad little part of me that really wants Brian Baumgartner to have that blown-up photo of Michael and Jan at Sandals in a basement rec room.

    See you all in Scranton this weekend. :)

  8. I think a small piece of me died when I read that the set is already torn down. :(
    The Office and its fantastic characters will live forever in my heart (and on my dvd shelf).

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