John Krasinski Told Greg Daniels Not To Blow It At His 'Office' Audition

Brian Baumgartner sits down with Big Tuna himself, John Krasinski, on this episode of The Office Deep Dive to hear all about his very memorable audition, why he and Rainn Wilson worked so well together, what was so special about “Jimming the camera,” how sometimes he’d annoy Steve Carell by laughing too much during scenes, what it’s like now to direct and write, and so much more. John was living in New York waiting tables before he got the call to come in and audition for The Office – for the role of Dwight. “I don’t know where I got the confidence to say, ‘Yeah, no, I don’t want to come in for Dwight, let me know when they’re doing the Jim character,’” he remembers. His manager told him “that didn’t go over great,” but sure enough, he got the call.

At the audition, he remembers seeing a bunch of guys “who looked identical to me” going in to read for Jim until he was the last one left; right then, they decided to take an hour break for lunch. Someone sat across from him to eat and asked if he felt nervous; John said no, but he was nervous about the show because he felt Americans “had a great track record of taking brilliant shows and ruining them.” The guy said, “Well, I’ll try really hard not to ruin it. My name is Greg Daniels and I’m the executive producer.” John thought he was done for right then, but it actually helped his audition; Greg liked that he was so honest, and when he entered the room “they were already laughing at me.” He says he knew Jenna Fisher was Pam “the moment she stepped across the threshold,” and told her so; she told him, “I thought the same thing about you!” When he got the call that he was cast, his first question was, “Did Jenna get it?” 

Rainn Wilson was another person he thought had the part right away; they improvised a scene together where Rainn “was so infuriating….he was making me physically angry….by the end I think I broke and laughed,” John remembers. He also always laughed during their talking heads together, or anytime he was in a scene with Steve. “They’d try to whip pan to me, and I wouldn’t be there – I would have left the set because I was laughing too much,” he says. Plus, how he knew B.J. Novak in high school, when he knew the show was taking off, what Greg taught him about writing and directing, and the iconic shot in the opening credits that John shot himself out of the window of a Jeep; hear all these great stories and more on this episode of The Office Deep Dive.

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