The Office may be ending next week, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be seeing more of Craig Robinson this year. Quite the opposite actually as Robinson has 5 movies hitting theaters this year – Including Peeples which opens today! FanBolt had the pleasure of sitting down with Robinson recently as he passed through Atlanta. Check out our interview with him below!
So what advice do you have for guys meeting their girlfriend’s parents for the first time?
Craig Robinson: Don’t show up unannounced. Don’t have a wallet that falls out of your pocket so fast. Be yourself. I feel like that’s the tone of this movie. But yeah, be yourself, tuck your shirt in, and clean up a little.
With this film being everyone’s first foray into this, did it make everyone push harder?
Craig Robinson: I think it made everyone on the same page. David said it best, he wanted to be there for Tina. She was getting a thousand calls a day. Whatever was needed, we were there. It was definitely an ensemble effort. Tina was open for play. If was like if you could add something here, that was cool, if not – it was fine with the script. We were definitely encouraged to play, and we got some fun stuff out of that.
It seems like some of these scenes would be really difficult to shoot, because you would be laughing so much. What was the most challenging scene to shoot and keep a straight face in?
Craig Robinson: It was Timex. It was ridiculous to be so serious about showing those watches. I got in a little bit of trouble with that. It was about seven takes, something ridiculous.
What do you do to avoid laughing?
Craig Robinson: You’ve got to avoid eye contact. You look a little above the eyes, maybe the eyebrows. It’s like being in church and laughing. As soon as someone else laughs … You’re going for it. I haven’t mastered that yet. It only gets worst.
What was it like working with David Alan Grier?
Craig Robinson: He is amazing. He was the father of the set. He owns every room he goes in. He’s just hysterical. I was actually pushing for him to be office manager (on The Office) when Steve was leaving, when we were filming Peeples. I thought it would have been amazing.
It’s hard to out-silly me, and I think he out-sillys me.
Spanning all your years on The Office, have you had one really memorable fan experience?
Craig Robinson: When The Office first started, I went to Comic Con in San Diego. I wasn’t there for The Office, I was there for a movie called Dragon Wars, which no one knows anything about. We got these books, pictures of the cast, and they looked nice. I was walking with these books, and I just wanted to put them down. They were nice, but I just didn’t want to walk around Comic Con with them. This girl and her crew… you would have thought I was Michael Jackson. We took a picture and it was real sweet, and I handed her one of the books and said, ‘Take this.’ And she started crying. She was so overwhelmed, it just tripped me out. Nothing like that has happened since.
How does it feel with The Office wrapping?
Craig Robinson: It got put into perspective for me yesterday. I was at a jazz festival, and this girl was like, “Omigod, omigod! I’ve been watching you from high school through college.”
And I thought wow, that’s right… Someone started watching The Office when they started high school and now they’ve finished college. It’s sweet. It’s an amazing huge part of my life. It’s launched my career and opened doors for me that I couldn’t have opened without it. I’ve made some great friends and some great memories. I’m not sad about it, it’s like closing a chapter. I just shot a new sitcom, we just turned it in today to NBC, so we’ll see if they pick it up.
What can you tell us about the finale?
Craig Robinson: I feel like it’s taking us out on top. We’re going out in a very classy way. It’s everything you expect from The Office. It’s got a lot of humor, a lot of heart, and a lot of awkwardness.
Be sure to check out Peeples in theaters today!