Interview: Brian Baumgartner & Mindy Kaling from The Office

We had the honor of sitting down with Brian Baumgartner, who plays Kevin, and Mindy Kaling, who plays Kelly on the hit series The Office. We talked with the stars about the upcoming Office Games in Scranton on July 19th as well as the webisodes which start July 10th on Here’s what two of our favorite Office workers had to say:

It’s been almost a year since we’ve all been in Scranton and I know you’re heading back there and Kevin I hear rumors you might stop in a little bit later this month too. What are you guys looking forward to going back to see again or maybe that you didn’t experience the first time?

Mindy Kaling: I’m just ready for the food. I – the entire time we were there we toured all of like the different competing hotdog places and supers but I never got to have any food. So what I’m hoping is I’ll have like 20 minutes to sit down and like eat a lobster with a bib on like Scranton people. That’s like kind of the most exciting for me.

Brian Baumgartner: I heard they’re actually, Mindy, they’re not allowing you to eat when you’re there.

Mindy Kaling: No, is that part of my contract, not eating?

Brian Baumgartner: That was part of it. There’s no eating, you must work the entire time. That’s what NBC has dictated. Sorry about that.

Mindy Kaling: This is the worst.

Brian Baumgartner: Yeah.

Mindy Kaling: This is the worst.

Brian Baumgartner: You know, I am excited, I am going back actually I think a week after Mindy. And one of the things that I am excited to do is I’m going to – I’m sure you guys have been seeing the lovely promos on NBC for Celebrity Family Feud but we did participate in that for a local Scranton charity called the Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania and it’s located right in Scranton. And it is for victims of child abuse and they also do education and prevention programs.

And I am very excited actually to go and meet those people that we played for. And I think that episode is airing actually tomorrow night on NBC.

Mindy Kaling: Brian, in the family what position do you feel like you were and in your familial unit? Were you like the father, were you like a cousin?

Brian Baumgartner: I was – no, I was definitely the father.

Mindy Kaling: Okay.

Brian Baumgartner: Yeah, Creed was like the illegitimate son…

Mindy Kaling: Okay.

Brian Baumgartner: And everyone sort of had their role but I would definitely say that I was like daddy bear.

Mindy let me ask you, what role will you be playing in The Office games? I see that you’re officiating, are you just going to be officiating or you going to try your hand at some of the events?

Mindy Kaling: Oh I’m definitely trying my hand at some of the events. I’ve perused what the events are and it seems as though someone with my athletic abilities which is none can do – I could do fairly well. Especially if people feel they should let me win because I’m on The Office. So I’m hoping to sweep the events in all categories.

Brian Baumgartner: Is there a hotdog eating contest?

Mindy Kaling: Oh my God, I hope so. Something – if there’s not a hotdog eating contest then there should be some kind of food where like you just have to eat an enormous quantity and I’ll be ecstatic.

Brian Baumgartner: Perfect.

Mindy, how did you get involved in The Office games, what made you decide to want to take part?

Mindy Kaling: Oh well I was honored that they asked me to come and be an MC. I mean I do stand up comedy in addition to writing so it was great for me to come out there and be in Scranton and be with office and the Scranton convention was so fun. So they I thought great, another excuse to go back to Scranton, I’ll take it.

Brian Baumgartner: You know I wanted to follow up on the first part of her answer. You know, when they cast the show they cast – well the cast me and so they really felt like the show – you know, because it takes place in Scranton that we were too hot. We were too sexy and they really wanted to bring some realism in so they were like what about Mindy? So they brought in Mindy to really kind of like average us out.;

Mindy Kaling: Right, we had to offset Brian’s extreme good looks.

Brian Baumgartner: Yeah, yeah my hotness. Yeah.

Mindy Kaling: Because they thought of Oscar as like the Scranton Ricky Martin and so they were like how do we tone that down.

Brian Baumgartner: Yeah, exactly. Exactly, yeah.

Brian, you mentioned that Mindy’s – Mindy coming across – or cross to in front of the camera was because she needed to offset your extreme sexiness.

Brian Baumgartner: Right, exactly.

So I mean, are you upset about her kind of evolution over the show? Because I was re-watching some of the early episodes and, you know, they have her in some crazy frumpy clothes.

Brian Baumgartner: They really do, don’t they? And for some reason as she’s become a producer on the show her clothes have gotten better.

Whereas I am not a producer on the show I believe I’m still wearing the same Dockers and kind of heavy, heavy, hot material wool sport coats. I’m not quite sure how – that’s weird that it’s happened that way. But yes, my – I mean I think that actually Kevin has evolved quite a bit but his wardrobe has not. And they’re really pushing down my sexiness I think. They’re afraid of it.

I know. I think you need to stage some sort of revolt.

Brian Baumgartner: There you go. All right, I’m going to do that.

Getting back to the games for a moment, Mindy, I was just curious, the end of The Office games is the beet eating contest. I was just curious how would you do at that?

Mindy Kaling: Look, I know a lot of people think of me and they like, oh that girl is really sexy, that girl is really put together, she would never do something as unladylike as a beet eating competition. Well let me just say that that is not true. I will be eating beets as fast as humanly possible and I hope to win. Yes I’m seeing a lot of the events, yes I am a cast member on the show, but does that mean I’m not going to force myself to eat thousands upon thousands of beets, no not at all…

Brian Baumgartner: Thousands?

Mindy Kaling: Really sexy. Yes thousands. You know, like I don’t get the rep of somebody who can eat a lot of food but I’m going to and that’s what I can bring to this.

Good and Brian, you know, obviously The Office games is a cool event in Scranton but between this and the board games and the DVD games that are coming out I mean what does it say about The Office that your fans are going to these measure to celebrate the show?

Brian Baumgartner: You know, I was surprised when we went to that convention back in let’s pretend it was the end of October, I think that’s about right, I mean that so many people came. We had people there from Ireland and Toronto.

These guys from Toronto came down, they drove down, we met them at this place, Poor Richard’s, and I was like okay are you guys going to be there tomorrow for the events and they were like, “No we have to work so we’re probably turning right back around and going home.” So they literally drove from Toronto down to Scranton, Pennsylvania for like one night in the hopes that they could like hang out with us for a little bit.

And then they had to just turn right back around and go home. So it was like being there and with all of the people, you know, people from the area of course and also the people not from the area. It was – well that was an experience that I will not forget.

Brian, one of the categories The Office games in Scranton is Office Trivia and how do you think you would do with that? I mean were you participating because you kind of had trouble there with the episode titles.

Brian Baumgartner: You know, when we finished the first six episodes we were like – well at that point they hadn’t been on the air. So then they came on the air and our audience wasn’t great and then Kevin Reilly was nice enough to bring us back. And when we did another six, so we did a total of 12, six the first year and six the second year, and I – it was our last day of shooting those six. And we took a break, we had no idea if we were coming back. Most people think we got an order of 13 that second year which is actually not true at all.

And I was with Rainn and Steve and myself and we were in Rainn’s room and Steve said, “Well at least we got to do 12.” And we truly thought we were going to be done. And so the first 12 episodes I’m really good at, like I’ve really got those down.

After that they’re all just bonus to me. So I can’t remember much. Actually I will admit not to like give any more publicity than they all ready get because I know that so – everybody loves that site. But I did go on that site looking for something and I saw Office trivia on that site and I tried a game and I was terrible. So I don’t…

Now Brian, for you and Mindy you guys have become almost like pop culture icons on the show…

Brian Baumgartner: Definitely, especially me.

Being on Family Feud and now the webisodes are all about Kevin and they’re hilariously funny. How much fun were they to make knowing that they were going to kind of be this extra little gift to the fans?

Brian Baumgartner: Well you know Steve Carell may be the star of The Office but I am huge on the Internet. I am like a complete and total star of two minutes clips online. So it was fun. You know, we got to work with, you know, people doing different things. Brent Forrester was directing and he’s one of the writers on the show, and kind of got together guerilla style with a crew.

And you know, I think they turned out really great. I just saw them last night actually and yeah I’m proud of them. And I think it’s something cool that The Office does too that we’re able to sort of get original clips going over the summer when everybody else is dark. And, you know, hopefully the fans enjoy them.

Mindy Kaling: And I saw a sneak peak and Brian is amazing in it. He’s very, very funny and we – I think people who are big fans of Kevin, which seems to be all of America, will be very excited to see this new adventure.

Brian, I was wondering your opinion, do these webisodes present any additional challenges for actors as compared to full length episodes?

Brian Baumgartner: Well that’s interesting. I mean I think that the challenge in – I mean obviously as I understand we were sort of the first primetime show anyway to sort of do these extra episodes so that was a couple of years ago when we did the accountant series and, you know, this just being our second one as well.

You know, I think that there’s a particular rhythm that you have to find that’s different. I mean you have to sort of – the idea anyway is to sort of wrap up a sort of at least semi satisfying story within two, two and a half minutes. But also make it connect, you know, to sort of the whole series as a whole, if you look at sort of the whole thing as an episode or a mini episode or whatever.

So I would say that would be the challenge. You know, practically, you know, we’re dealing with just a much smaller crew and fewer people which in some ways because, you know, Mindy isn’t around it makes things much easier but it’s also, you know, it’s just you’re – more people are having to do more things which I think is cool. It’s sort of an old school like create a theater piece kind of guerilla, you know, filmmaking.

But, you know, obviously the crew is still the – well not obviously. But, you know, the crew is still the same and so, you know, we all have a short hand of working together and so it doesn’t present too much of a challenge in that way. And I think most of the challenge actually is sort of in with the writers and having to sort of wrap up, you know, some sort of satisfying morsel in two, two and a half minutes and also connect it to something larger.

Brian, are we going to see more like money problems for Kevin next season or maybe even Malone cones or is this just strictly the webisodes?

Brian Baumgartner: You know, that’s probably actually more a question for Mindy. I don’t know – really know exactly what the writers are dreaming up right now. I mean I think that his, well, this sort of irony of how terrible he is with money yet he’s an accountant at Dunder Mifflin has played out a few times. Or maybe his ineptitude has played out.

But there’s been sort of this thing, sort of a running thing, about him not handling his money so well ad Oscar sort of helping out. I don’t know if specifically his ice cream franchise is going to expand but I sort of assume that this is kind of a summer excursion for him.

These webisodes are on the cutting edge of so-called knew media that’s also a point of the ongoing deal with, you know, SAG and the producers. How important do you see – I mean you can almost be a test case I guess. I’m not going to ask you how much you’re compensated but do you see this as kind of in some ways a Litmus test of where the media – where television is going and what the guild needs to do to stay up with it or?

Brian Baumgartner: You know, that’s a really interesting question. I mean initially I would say very much two years ago when we did the first set I think that was – we were very much a Litmus test. And, you know, it sort of changed I think the way everybody was looking at online and what the networks were requesting for making performers and writers and directors do in terms of additional content.

I think now it’s a little different because, you know, all of the contract – whatever (SAG) decides all of the contracts here on out are going to have an online component that they’re going to require writers and directors and actors a sort of a part of their package. And I don’t know what form that’s going to take.

You know, to me the dispute between the guild and the producers is much more about that other kind of material where they want to create actually new programs and original stories. I think that the jurisdiction there is really much more what this dispute is about. I mean the reality is that the networks feel that it is beneficial to have supplemental material for their shows. And whatever (SAG) and them work out they’re going to make that a part of their contract.

So, you know, the specific con- the specific argue- what they’re arguing about right now, you know, is really kind of irrelevant for this kind of thing. I mean obviously for me for example yes, you’re right. I mean they have to come and figure that out on an individual project basis with me at the moment. But going forward it’s going to be part of the contracts one way or the other. So I don’t know if that answers your question but I think the dispute is much less about this than it is about when they want to try new material or try new shows and how those programs, you know, who has jurisdiction over those.

The webisodes for Kevin’s loan it says he finds a unique solution to pay back his gambling debts, I was just curious, what’s he gambling on?

Brian Baumgartner: You know, what isn’t he gambling on? Well I think that he loves sports gambling. I mean I think that that’s been in a couple of episodes. It was actually also sort of a call back to the original webisode series of a couple of years ago where he was betting on sports.

But as in the episode that I can’t remember the title that was directed by Harold Ramis that was written by BJ Novak…

Mindy Kaling: Safety Training, Safety Training.

Brian Baumgartner: Safety Training, you know, he made a bet that – he basically said that anytime you can get odds you should take it even if it’s a horrible bet. So I guess I’m rolling with the fact that he would pretty much bet on anything.

I was curious as to why you guys didn’t do webisodes last year? Why did you take a year off? Was there a scheduling issue?

Brian Baumgartner: You know, I don’t know if I’m supposed to say it or not but I really don’t care, you know, after…

Was it the strike or something?

Brian Baumgartner: After we did the first set of webisodes, you know, that started a lot of the controversy happening between SAG and… and the guild. They needed to come to some sort of agreement about that.

But now everything is okay in a sense maybe.

Brian Baumgartner: No, everything’s fine, you know. It’s a different situation now and they, you know, they have come to agreement specifically with Greg Daniels and figured out that we can do them and so, you know, we’re back happily doing them. It’s great.

Here’s a chance to rebut that Entertainment Weekly – I just saw the issue, the so-called new classes for the past 25 years. They had the British Office in the top 10, they had your Office in the 70’s or 80’s which I think is way too low for your show. So do you want to say anything to that?

Brian Baumgartner: Well, you know, first of all I love Entertainment Weekly and I hope they never say anything bad about me. And second of all, you know, TV Land would certainly rebut that in that we were just named a new classic or the new classic show from TV Land, which was actually a total gasp, like it was us and the Golden Girls getting like a lifetime achievement award so just us being able to share the stage with Bea Arthur was – and Gary Coleman that was pretty cool.

Mindy any thoughts on that?

Mindy Kaling: Well, you know, the original Office I think everyone in the cast and crew we think of as kind of a perfect show.

Brian Baumgartner: Oh it’s terrible, terrible.

Mindy Kaling: Just that, yeah, I mean it’s like as a writer certainly the writing in that show is so amazing that I – of course it should be in the top 10, if not the best show ever. And so, you know, we’re honored just to be ever thought of. Entertainment Weekly has been pretty good to us so I can’t complain.

Brian Baumgartner: I do love Entertainment Weekly but the British Office was terrible and let’s face it we have far exceeded…

Mindy Kaling: Entertainment Weekly loves you…

Brian Baumgartner: What?

Mindy Kaling: Entertainment Weekly thinks you should run for President. Like they love you.

Brian Baumgartner: No I know, that’s what I said three times, I love Entertainment Weekly. I think that they are the best publication except for everyone on this conference call of course. But I mean – no, yeah.

They just got it wrong here, right?

Brian Baumgartner: Yeah, they just got… They just made a slight err- I bet it was a typo. They meant 7 but then there was a 70 put in. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt though because they really are a fantastic publication.

Mindy I know that you and BJ have both written on the show and I was curious as to what made you decide to also step in front of the camera?

Mindy Kaling: Well initially it wasn’t our decision, it was Greg Daniels the show owner. BJ had been cast from the very beginning before the pilot as an actor and a writer, but I and Paul Lieberstein who plays Toby we came aboard later during the pilot when Greg said our look was — and I guess this is slightly insulting but I think he meant it in a good way — sort of like average and ordinary enough that we would fit into the world of the office.

So that’s sort of how that happened. And then as obviously Toby is now a really popular character so that sort of took off.

Mindy, what percentage wise, are you constantly writing as well as acting or I mean how do you split up your obligations to the show and how do you manage that?

Mindy Kaling: Well because I don’t have a huge part on The Office most of the time I’m writing or, you know, preparing for writing. I would say that it’s probably like a 70/30 split, although jokes and episodes that are written by other people because I’m a producer and sort of acknowledge that I should be looking always sort of aware for any punch up which means like if there could be a joke that could be funnier or something lie that.

Which is good because I’m miserable at keeping a straight face as Brian knows and if I can – the less time I’m on screen the less there is a possibility I’ll ruin several takes by laughing at something that Brian or Steve or Rainn does that’s hilarious. So I think that benefits everybody.

What’s one of your favorite episodes that you’ve been part of writing?

Mindy Kaling: My favorite episode that I’ve written is probably from the second season called The Injury. It’s probably our broadest episode so people critique it for that but it’s also just one of the – just one of the goofiest and most fun.

Brian what about you? What is your favorite episode that you’ve been in?

Brian Baumgartner: Oh man, you know, I would say two but they’re really for nostalgia sake. I don’t know if they’re actually still the best but the first I would say is actually the first episode that we produced after the pilot which was Diversity Day. And it was doing that that I was like okay we have a really cool special show here if people give it a chance. Just because I felt like we were doing something really bold and different and talking about race in a way that people hadn’t in so long.

And the second one again was sort of a launching for us, was in the second season, the Christmas episode. I felt like that was sort of where the show in terms of everybody had something to do in terms of the ensemble and really the show from that place on a practically level. It really took off in terms of audience size and acclaim and so forth. So those two were certainly special to me.

Mindy, are you going to be writing with the spin off or are you sticking to the original Office?

Mindy Kaling: I will be sticking on the mothership for as long as I can tell. Although the spin off from what I’ve heard sounds amazing and that will be really fun for those writers.

Awesome. And you said you did stand up, where in LA are you doing – are you doing it in LA at all?

Mindy Kaling: Yeah I do a lot of stand up at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre which is sort of in central Hollywood. And now I’m doing a lot of colleges. Well not right now because it’s summer break but in the fall I’ll continue to do some colleges.

I was wondering about the status of Paul Lieberstein and BJ Novak. As they do more behind the scenes are we going to see a little bit less of Toby and Ryan this season coming up?

Mindy Kaling: I think that we, without giving away anything from this next season, I think that we will be satisfied with how much we see Toby and Ryan. Because both of them have, you know, Toby disappeared in the finale of last season and Ryan seemingly is arrested. So solving tying up those stories will be interesting and we haven’t seen the last of Toby what I can tell of him.

Those are the worst. So personally I don’t mind seeing less of him. I’m just kidding everybody.

Do you ever get back to Cambridge and if you do is there anything in particular that you have to do, that you’re looking forward to doing?

Mindy Kaling: I was actually in Cambridge with BJ Novak three days ago and we had Vietnamese food at Sylvester in Harvard square. So yeah I did it.

Steve signed on for three more years, has the rest of the cast signed on as well or?

Brian Baumgartner: You know, I think that the show will be around for a long time.

Mindy Kaling: I’m on a week to week contract, they can fire me any week. I’m serious.

Brian Baumgartner: You know, it’s so funny, I read that thing too that he signed on for three more years but I honestly I really thought he was signed on for three more years…

Mindy Kaling: Me too, I think that too…

Brian Baumgartner: So I don’t really know…

Joanne Park (from NBC): That’s actually true.

Brian Baumgartner: Yeah.

Joanne Park: It is true. He had three more years in his contract.

Brian Baumgartner: Yeah, that was Rick… That was Ricky Gervais like, I don’t know, like wanting to make everybody happy. But I don’t think that that was actually a new development. So, yeah, there you go. And that was from Joanne Park not me. I have no idea of his contract details.

(Mindy departs)

Brian, when’s the next time you’ll be coming down to your hometown of Atlanta? Do you get down here very much or are you way too busy?

Brian Baumgartner: You know, I will – much like Mindy it wasn’t three days ago but my sister who is in Atlanta and just – I just became an uncle for the first time… So I came down I guess about a month ago. And I experienced many places in and around Virginia Highland, she lives around there. So…

Did you hit any of the bars at all or?

Brian Baumgartner: You know I did go by Dark Horse. I mean I remember going there. Well of course once I was of legal age coming back from college… You know when the Indigo Girls were there and all of those guys. I mean that place has been around forever.

Yes it has, yes. And was it pure coincidence you and Ed Helms went to Westminster schools at the same time? Was that just pure coincidence or is there some connection there?

Brian Baumgartner: You mean in terms of him being on the show?

Yes exactly.

Brian Baumgartner: I would say it’s a total coincidence that we actually went to school there at the same time. In terms of the show yes it is. In fact the first time we were shooting the webisodes two years ago this is from – I had not seen him – well I seen him around some sort of events or like an ME party or something that was before we had been nominated but…

And we were shooting the webisodes, it was summer and there was like nobody around and I was talking and I looked past the camera and suddenly there was Ed Helms who I went to school with and I was like, what are you doing here. This – it was like completely mind warping.

But, you know, he had, you know, had a relationship with, you know, forming an relationship with NBC and came and met with Greg Daniels and they loved him and, you know, he’s been a great, great addition to the show. But our folks are still friends or, you know, see each other. And he has older brothers too. I was sort of in between him and his older brothers and stuff at Westminster.

But I knew him. We were in shows together.

Which shows, do you remember specifically which show?

Brian Baumgartner: I know we were in As You Like It together.

Oh, a little bit of Shakespeare.

Brian Baumgartner: A little bit of Shakespeare. In fact he played like one of my – I was like an evil duke and he was like one of my assistants. And someone recently sent me a picture of me strangling him which I don’t remember. I think I liked him well enough but I know that one.

I presume that was offstage that that shot of you strangling him right was sort of a…

Brian Baumgartner: Exactly.

So how do you guys get along now? Is it just kind of a weird thing to have that Westminster connection as just one of those strange coincidences?

Brian Baumgartner: No. I think it’s, you know, I – it’s no, it’s great. I’m really happy and, you know, to sort of get to know him again. You know, obviously his success on The Daily Show, you know, I had seen him some but, you know, now he’s living out in Los Angeles and obviously we get to see each other a whole lot. No, it’s been really fun.

Who was more popular in school, you or Ed?

Brian Baumgartner: Please, it’s not even a contest. You know there’s cool and there’s me and then there’s not cool and there’s Ed.

When fans talk to you do they think that you are as slow as Kevin is?

Brian Baumgartner: You know, nobody ever lets on right away that they think that. But then after awhile if the conversation goes beyond a sentence then I invariably will get like, you know, some comment like, “You talk different.” I wanted to say, “Well yeah I guess I do.” Like I don’t really know how to respond to that in that way but I mean it’s – I actually think I don’t know exactly what it is but Kevin has this like everybody wants to have a beer with him thing.

So it can be a dangerous proposition at any drinking establishment because everybody wants to like buy Kevin — not really me — but like have a shot or a drink of something with Kevin. So I don’t really know what that’s about. I don’t really feel like he’s boozed it up so much on the show but there is some sort of big guy loveable oaf thing that people respond to I guess.

Outside of The Office, what other projects do you have, and the webisodes, do you have anything going on as far as like what, you know, like a stand up comedy career or do you do other writing?

Brian Baumgartner: You know, I do do other writing and I am – I have written something that’s, well, hopefully going to be done very soon. But aside from that that I can’t really talk about I did just shoot a movie Into – it’s called Into Temptation with Jeremy Sisto and Kristin Chenoweth.

And that was really exciting for me because it’s a drama. And, you know, unlike a lot of these Office guys who came from improve or from stand up I, you know, I’m really just from the theater. And so having an opportunity as much as — and truly I mean this — as much as I love working on The Office and love playing Kevin, you know, being able to do something different during the off season now was very pleasurable.

I’m just curious to know, have you seen any of the other foreign like the German version of The Office or the French version or the Quebeque…

Brian Baumgartner: No! No, I haven’t. I haven’t. And of course I was joking before about the British version, I’m a huge, huge, huge fan of that show. And we’ve talked about it but no we haven’t – maybe we should get NBC to find us that. That would be fun to see.

It’d be great to see how they translate your character to those shows.

Brian Baumgartner: Yeah absolutely.

I was thinking back to one of my favorite Kevin moments of the season was where you – things broke off with Stacy and it was nice to win one…

Brian Baumgartner: Yeah. That was – actually that was from Chair Model… Because I want to prove that I can remember some episodes.

Do you have your own back story? What happened there with Stacy, I think a lot of fans were disappointed with that. And where you think – where you see them going with Kevin relationship-wise?

Brian Baumgartner: Well, you know, that’s a really – I love that. I mean thank you for bringing up that moment. Because I really loved that moment too because it, you know, obviously something that’s been very important in terms of the show is – in terms of Michael’s development and, you know, he can be such an ass and such a buffoon.

But, you know, we work really hard to give him those moments where he’s redeemed. Where you see what, you know, what – at least the potential for being a good man is there or being good at his job or whatever. And, you know, I really saw that as one of those kinds of moments for Kevin where you see him a very small victory, you know, in life, being able to get back to the parking spaces. But for him sort of a very large redeeming moment for him.

In terms of what happened I don’t know if we’ll ever know. I did hear some very funny ideas on… On what happened. One of which was that she was married the whole time, that Stacy was married the whole time. I – but I don’t know, you know, if that’s ever going to play itself out. But I think sort of with that near the end of the year and then obviously the story in the finale where, you know, he, you know, maybe he has a slight more confidence. Or is at least excited by the attention he’s getting from the new HR person. I would say def- Kevin’s definitely on the prowl and so we’ll see if he can get lucky maybe sometime the first part of this year.

You had a lot of really good scenes last – in the finale with Amy Ryan. I was just wondering, are you exciting she’s going to make these episodes this season?

Brian Baumgartner: I’m thrilled.

How will Kevin’s relationship with Holly evolve do you think?

Brian Baumgartner: You know, I have recently heard how it is going to play out and I can only say I guess at this point that it will play out from here. You know, we’re still so far off now and obviously everything can change. But I was so thrilled that she’s coming back. She was fantastic to work with, I thought she brought a great new color and level to the show. She’s a fantastic actor and was really fun for me to work with. And it really – it was fun for Kevin to be able to play in that way as well.

I mean some people said it was sort of a joke that had been setting up unbeknownst to anybody for four years but I feel like when it played itself out it was very, very funny. It – well it did very well in our table read, I’ll say that. And yeah, I’m thrilled she’s coming back and I do understand that she will have – she and Kevin will have some more interactions coming up the first part of the year.

So everybody knows that Kevin’s big vice is gambling. I want to know if maybe you had any vices along the same lines?

Brian Baumgartner: Wow. That I can talk about, unknown number of people listening. You know, I like to gamble. I would not say that I’m like Kevin actually. But I do enjoy blackjack and poker. Again, I’m like way, way, way less involved than he is.

But I – there’s not really a vice. But I do play quite a lot of golf actually. And I’m going to play in this tournament this weekend that’s actually once again going to be on NBC I think this coming up weekend in Lake Tahoe. So because it’s in Lake Tahoe I imagine a couple of days from now when I’m not playing golf which if you want to call that a vice you can, I might be doing – playing a little blackjack.

How has the success of this how changed your life?

Brian Baumgartner: Wow, well, you know, even, you know, taking into account of course my extreme sexiness that we discussed earlier I am a fairly distinct looking guy and I’ll just tell you a brief story about that. I was shooting a movie in Vancouver with John Krasinski and Mandy Moore. And the three of us were sitting at dinner and a group of people came over to the table to me for me to get up and take pictures and sign things for them.

And I wanted to yell, of course I didn’t, like look who else is sitting at this table. This is Mandy Moore and I’m sure the guy you all love, John Krasinski. But I think that there’s, you know, my well let’s just say distinctive head that I think draws people’s eye. And so I think actually in some ways I get a little more attention actually than most of the other people.

Interview By: Emma Loggins

The Office


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