‘The Office’ Series Finale: 10 Questions With John Krasinski

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After nine seasons, The Office is finally closing its Dunder Mifflin doors as the series finale will air tonight on NBC. Besides the laughs and memorable characters, what really has stood out about the comedy is how it gave the nameless careers most actors could only dream of, John Krasinski being one of them. Working as a waiter during the time of his audition, the now 33-year-old looked back recently on what’s it been like to play the adorable Jim Halpert for all these years during a conference call with creator Greg Daniels. Check out his top 10 answers, including his thoughts on never looking at the camera again, his favorite episodes, and what the very last shot of the show turned out to be.

Seriously, it’s tough saying goodbye to Jim and that face of his.

On His Audition
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 sccrew up all the good shoes that comes 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.  

On The Character Jim
I remember talking to Greg in the first week about how he saw Jim as the window for the audience into this office that everyone could watch. They needed someone to tell them that it was okay to laugh at everything, and to see everything as a little bit ridiculous, and to me that was so much fun to play.

On The Show’s Rough Start
I remember every week being told that this would be our last episode, and unfortunately we weren’t going to keep going. I remember saying, ‘Is there any way I could get a DVD of this to show my mom, because this is definitely the best thing I’ve ever done.’ And I was happy with that, and I actually still have that DVD. So for us, it was just like we were in the best regional theater group in the world. We just thought no one was necessarily paying attention, but we were having a blast. 

On His Favorite Episodes
Our first sort of running at our own pace was Diversity Day and I actually remember people looking around the room at each other, as if you do when you saw something incredibly special and important…And then of course, personally for me, two episodes that I’ll never forget is “Casino Night.” I had never been a part of anything like that. I remember shooting that last scene and Greg had the set cleared and the lights were low and there was an importance put on this, and you realize that it wasn’t an important because of us, like that the actors needed it necessarily. It was more like, ‘We’ve got to get this right for the people that never thought people would watch TV and be so invested that you can’t just at the end of the episode say, ‘I love you’ and kiss. It has to be very real and very special and exactly how they think the characters would do it, and that was amazing. That was an amazing night. And then, the other thing that I remember defining the show was–“Booze Cruise” will always be one of my favorite episodes on so many levels. 

On Not Looking Into The Camera Anymore
I wish I could say I was professional enough to never look at a camera again on another job, but that’s already been blown several times. And on movie sets they don’t really dig it when you look in the camera, which is a bizarre fact. I will miss it very much. I remember the first time reading the script that I had to look in the camera. That’s very stressful, because you don’t want to blow it and overdo it. I always joke that there’s a number. My favorite thing was our DP, Matt Sohn, was like, ‘So on this scene when you look to Jenna, give me the number four.’ And I always loved thinking that I had somehow got it down to a catalog of different looks. 

On Jim And Pam
The idea of Jim’s ambition was always one of my favorite things from the early seasons that it seemed like between Australia and trying to being the boss at corporate and NYC. And I think that all of those things for me were really exciting that Jim always felt like there was something that he could be doing more of…I said to Greg, ‘It would be really interesting to see how that split will affect two people that you know so well.’ The exciting this was to know that the audience would sort of take a guess at what Jim would do and what Pam would do, and so to run those numbers on this relationship was really, really interesting to me. Rather than introducing an affair or something. A huge credit to Greg and the writers, they’ve never gone the easy route. They’ve always gone the very realistic route and I’ve always really, really admired that.

On The Fan Base
I think there’s a lot of shows that say they owe it all to their fans, but we actually technically can say that we owe everything to the fans because I think that our show is so fan-driven in such a specific way, as evidence by iTunes…I remember “Diversity Day” hitting and just every other person on the street would come up to me and say, ‘The show is awesome.’ You had this group of people who almost started a grass roots political campaign for our show.

On The Last Day Of Filming
I think for so many people this wasn’t just a job, and there’s no way it could be just a job. This was a huge incredibly emotional family and connection that we all had. To say it was emotional would be a complete understatement. Knowing that we’ll see these people still in our lives, and it was still that emotional, it says a lot about how much we are all defined by this show and how much we honor how defined we are by this show. 

On The Very Last Scene Shot
We chose a random scene where everyone’s exiting the office for the last show that we ever did, and I’m so glad we did. It was a very sort of mundane walking out of the office. It wasn’t big and dramatic or anything, and I think it was at the beginning of the show or something, so it’s not like it’s the last shot. And we were all–I’ll never forget, we were all joking around. I was, as per usual, crying laughing as we exited. I’m a crier laugher, which is a bummer, but I was crying laughing with Craig [Robinson] and we were all joking around waiting in the hall every time we exited. And then, one of the times we came back, instead of saying, ‘Going again,’ Greg randomly appeared and just said, ‘Ladie and gentleman, that’s the end of The Office.’ And it was, I mean even talking about it now, it was a gut punch.

On What The Show Has Meant To Him
There’s so much to miss. For me, and I think probably more than the other cast membes, I was a waiter before this show, so what I miss about about this character is way too complexly entwined in my real life. So to me, this was a winning lottery ticket, except with a winning lottery ticket you just get money, and with this you get a whole change of your life. And everything about my life has changed and become better, and I feel so lucky to be where I am.

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