While not every US remake of a British show proves successful, the American version of The Office soared past expectations. After a rocky first season that mostly retreaded the story beats of its predecessor, the Steve Carell-led show steadily became a pop-culture juggernaut. With a large ensemble, zany antics, and plenty of inter-office romance, the show touched on a variety of different topics as its characters were put through their paces. The result was one of the funniest TV shows of all time and a rare example of a remake outshining the original.
As the show ran for nine seasons, audiences clearly loved it, but how did its stars feel? Since the series finale aired in 2013, every cast member of The Office has been asked to share behind-the-scenes stories or discuss whether they'd return for a revival. Along the way, The Office cast has also revealed what they think of the show - and their answers range from sweet to surprising.
Steve Carell was already a respected improv performer and comedic actor when he was tasked with Americanizing Ricky Gervais's paper company manager in the remake of The Office. While the show struggled to find its footing for a time, the series - and Carell - soon settled into a rhythm that would carry the US Office to remarkable success and turn Carell into a bona fide star.
Given that Carell's career is intricately linked with the show, imagining a revival of the series without him is difficult. But given his touching sendoff - and equally heartwarming cameo return - it's no surprise the actor is happy to let the show be. When Collider asked him in 2018 to elaborate on why he doesn't want the show to return, Carell explained:
I don’t think you can recapture that same magic. I really think it comes down to that. If it was magic. I don’t want to overstate it. It was just a TV show. I just wouldn’t want to make the mistake of making a less good version of it. The odds wouldn’t be in its favor, in terms of it recapturing exactly what it was, the first time.
No actor wants to be pigeonholed into a certain type of role, and they rarely want to be conflated with one of their characters in real life. But when an actor has a role that so thoroughly defines their career and eclipses their other work, fans often have difficulty tell one from the other.
While guesting on the Lovett or Leave It podcast in 2017, Rainn Wilson revealed just how fed up he is with people thinking he's anything like Dwight Schrute:
I am not Dwight Schrute, okay? I played a character for 200 episodes, and it was an awesome character, and he was a beet farmer. That doesn’t mean you should hand me beets or make beet jokes every time I go into Starbucks and ask if they have, like, a beet latte or something like that.
Fans seem to either love or hate Jim and Pam. The pair undeniably had great chemistry, but some think the "will they, won't they" aspect of their relationship went on for far too long. While appearing on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in 2016, Jenna Fischer revealed the secret behind the sparks between her and costar John Krasinski:
John and I have real chemistry. There's like a real part of me that is Pam and a real part of him that's Jim. And those parts of us were genuinely in love with one another. In real life, we aren't totally Pam and totally Jim. So in real life, we're not like the perfect match. It's a really complicated thing. He was like a type of spouse that I had for a long time. He was my partner, and we will always be close because of it.
While Rainn Wilson may resent being forever associated with Dwight Schrute, John Krasinski feels quite differently about Jim Halpert being his most famous role. Of course, Jim wasn't a socially inept, brown-nosing beet farmer.
Still, after transitioning into directing and writing, no one would blame Krasinski for wanting to distance himself from his comedic character. But that's not the case, as Krasinski told Today that being known as Jim is "the biggest honor."