At the NBC party for the Television Critics Association, I noticed the office’s John Krasinski stepping off the red carpet to go enjoy a drink and some gourmet cuisine. I managed to stop him for an exclusive interview before any of my colleagues found him.
Now I’m sure you’re expecting me to goof around and be funny with the smart alec from the hit NBC comedy. Well, I’m not an A-list TV comedy writer, so get off my back! I went the straightforward path and got some scoops on season eight and spoilers for Jim’s storylines.
Q: What is the new dynamic like with James Spader?
John Krasinski: Spader is unbelievable. I’ve been the biggest James Spader fan forever. To have him on set is a huge, huge coup for the show but also for me. I’m just really excited because his energy as a character is unlike anything we’ve ever had on the show.
Q: Is it different than we saw in the season finale?
JK: Not really. It’s a similar episode. He’s definitely that guy. He’s incredibly competent. We offered him a boss position and he wanted the CEO position and he got it. That’s how incredibly persuasive he is. Robert California, which I think is one of the greatest names and funniest characters ever.
Q: Michael Scott always wanted to be your friend as well as your boss. How does it change everything when you have a guy who’s not trying to do that?
JK: It’s really interesting. I feel like we’re definitely all inferior to James’ character and I think he very much knows that. He puts us on the spot immediately for being not so good at what we do which is weirdly incredibly motivating. We get to be a lot better very fast.
Q: What’s going on with Jim and Pam?
JK: Pam’s pregnant. Jenna, her commitment level is so high to get pregnant for this part. No, Pam’s pregnant and Jim’s finding it a lot more fun to be at work and just providing for his family. He starts to feel like with the office being run a little more efficiently he can have a lot more fun himself.
Q: Do you have scenes with different characters than you’ve had in the past?
JK: Yes, I will definitely start having different [scenes]. I know that I have a lot of fun stuff with Andy who needs my help in different ways, shapes and forms. I have a lot of stuff with Kevin, which is great. It feels a lot like the first couple seasons where just inter-office relationships are the thing that was so fun.
Q: Were you ever a guy who messed with people at work?
JK: No, I was never clever enough to do any sort of pranks whatsoever.
Q: How will Jim be messing with Dwight this season?
JK: We have a whole bunch of different pranks. One of my favorite ones will be at Schrute farms.
Q: One of my favorite episodes was when Jim started taking over a management position and started to tone it down, nobody liked him. He was trying to be fair and it just didn’t work. What were your thoughts on that storyline?
JK: I don’t think Jim was made for the leadership role. I think he’s a really good middleman and he’s a good cushion and filter for the rest of the office. I don’t see him running the office any time soon.
Q: Do we need a guy like Jim to take the bosses down a peg?
JK: I hope so, that way I’ll have a job.
Q: When you do movies, are they pegging you as the rom-com guy, or the male friend in the rom-com?
JK: I don’t think so, I hope not. I feel like right now, it’s just been a lot of fun to work on projects at all in the hiatus. It’s a short little window and I’ve been really lucky to be a part of some great movies.
The Office returns to NBC this fall.