ALICIA RANCILIO The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Spoiler alert: Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey clearly knew how “The Office” ended its nine-year run on NBC, as they filmed it after all — but returned to that era for their new book, “Office BFFs: Tales from The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There”, was still something they put off.
“I haven’t even fully watched the final episode yet,” Fischer, who played receptionist Pam Beasley, recently admitted via Zoom. “I just watched the parts I had to write about in the book because it’s too emotional for me.”
Kinsey, however, “saw the whole thing.”
“I got through it. When we wrote about it, I started crying,” said Kinsey, who played the persistent, cat-loving accountant, Angela Martin.
The real-life best friends and former co-stars have put their memories to good use, with both “Office BFFs” and a rewatch podcast called “Office Ladies.” They are more than halfway through season six of the series.
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In “Office BFFs” they also document the growth of their friendship from when they first bonded while filming an episode in season one to Kinsey by Fischer’s side when she broke her back while attending a concert. NBC party in New York during the intermission between seasons three and four.
Fischer and Kinsey recently spoke about their book, the podcast and their friendship. The answers have been edited for length and clarity.
How do you remember so clearly what happened to be able to fill a podcast and a book?
Fisher: We’re great journalists, so we covered our days on set. And Angela is a digital hoarder. She saved every email I ever sent her. It was so great. When I was writing the chapter on the romance between (characters) Jim and Pam, she had an old email I wrote to her. She forwarded that to me, and I could use it.
Is there anything you saved especially for the podcast and other things for the book? Or was there overlap?
Kinsey: The podcast is a real re-watch. And the book is our personal journey as two girls who aren’t from show business or Hollywood… just trying to figure out what it means to be on a show and navigate a red carpet and how to do interviews and all. those things you do don’t learn in an acting class. And we were terrible at it. Those are things we don’t really talk about in the podcast.
You started these companies together and embarked on a new career path, focusing on yourself rather than characters. Do you want to inspire others to make career changes by thinking outside the box?
Kinsey: I turned 50 and I didn’t think I would try anything new in my career at 50. And here I am, learning how to make a podcast and write a book with my best friend. I’m just thinking about other women that I’ve always looked up to and reinvented themselves later in life and you don’t have to say, “Oh, I can’t or it’s too late.” It’s not too late, it really isn’t. That’s something I’d like to share with other people out there.
Both the podcast and book introduce fans to the behind-the-scenes people of “The Office” who helped make the show, such as editors, props, and your wardrobe and hair department. It must be gratifying to put them in the spotlight a little bit.
Fisher: One of my favorite pieces of mail we’ve received is when someone wrote to us, “All those names I see in the credits at the end of the episode, now I feel like I know everyone.” I’m so proud of that.
On the first episode of your podcast, Jenna, you made a comment about how many episodes you guys had left to sum up and you sounded overwhelmed and maybe even scared. Is it funny to think about that now?
Fisher: Yes. There are 201 episodes of “The Office” and imagining yourself doing 201 of something you’re not sure how to do is very daunting. We’re definitely in a groove now. We’re more than halfway there and now we’re starting to talk about what we can do now.
Are you seriously thinking about what else you can do together?
Kinsey: Rainn Wilson (who played Dwight in “The Office”) will tell you we love to chat. So I think we’ll have some ideas for what “Office Ladies” would be after we cut all the episodes.”