The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey share their ‘Office’ memories

The self-proclaimed ‘Office BFFs’ have a new book — and some thoughts on where Jim and Pam would be today

Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. (Adam Hendershott)
Placeholder while article actions load

We could debate all day about what the two most iconic couples from “The Office” — Pam and Jim, and Dwight and Angela — would be doing in 2022. And we certainly will.

But it’s just as much fun to check in on what Jenna Fischer (who played secretary Pam Beesly) and Angela Kinsey (accountant Angela Martin) are doing today. Behind the scenes, the pair formed a best friendship that persists nearly 10 years after the NBC sitcom went off-air at the network — and they’re probably hanging out in Target’s seasonal aisle.

They also appreciate a good power walk. “Except Angela stops and gets some sort of pastry,” Fischer chided her friend during a recent Zoom interview. “We’re still debating this, years later. I don’t think it counts as exercise if you get a snack along the way.” Kinsey interjected: “I think it does, because I moved my butt to get there.”

Here’s why we’re bingeing ‘The Office’ during the pandemic

Fun and macarons aside, Fischer and Kinsey have kept fans of “The Office” satiated with the podcast they launched in 2019, “Office Ladies,” in which they re-watch and dissect the show’s episodes. Now they’ve teamed up on their first joint book, “The Office BFFs.” It’s full of entertaining photos and memories that trace the evolution of their friendship and the show.

The duo recently talked to The Washington Post about their favorite scenes, what they appreciate about each other and that time the cast staged a fight to see if it would generate any attention.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Q: You already do a podcast — why a book? What appealed to you about this format?

Fischer: Well, first of all, we have thousands of these personal photos, and we wanted a way to visually commemorate our time on the show. And the book gives us an opportunity to do a memoir of our best-friendship, which is something we don’t do so much on the podcast. You get a sense of our friendship, but this gives us the chance to tell our best-friendship story.

Kinsey: Yeah, in a more intimate way. I’m just so happy that I can have this book for my daughter — she’s going to have this book about this wonderful, strong female friendship.

10 books to read in May

Q: What’s one scene, or episode, from the show that’s lodged at the very front of your memory?

Fischer: Doing the scene up on the roof, where Jim and Pam are sharing their grilled cheese sandwich, and they’re watching Dwight and Kevin set off fireworks in the far distance. It was this beautiful California summer evening, it was warm, and there was a very tiny group of us up there. That was also the first episode in our Season 2 pickup. That was the first time I remember looking around and thinking, “Oh my gosh, we might actually be on a TV show.” It was just magical, and the grilled cheese was really good.

Kinsey: I just love every time the whole group had an activity, like when Michael had a ridiculous idea, and then everyone else had a rapid-fire response. We were this amazing ensemble. Like “Yankee Swap,” when we’re all sitting around in a circle exchanging gifts, and Michael's pouting, and everyone has a moment. It’s so well written, and all the characters are so fully realized.

Q: In the book, you describe the cast staging a fight in the middle of the after-party for the SAG Awards. Tell me about that.

Kinsey: I remember we were all just joking that no one ever wrote about us. We would go to things and be like, “Hi, we’re on ‘The Office,’” and they’d say, “What office do you work for?” And so we were like, what if we did something to get everyone’s attention?

Fischer: It was just silly — no one cared. No one batted an eye.

Kinsey: We were pulling Kate Flannery’s hair, and no one even looked over. We have the photos, and they're hilarious.

Sign up for the Book World newsletter

Q: “The Office” fans are hardcore. Is there anything about the show that would surprise them?

Fischer: Everyone is always talking about how we’re friends, but I think with the photos in the book, you can really feel and see the intimacy of our cast. We tried to share photos not just where we’re on set, but where we’re out in life together — like where Oscar [Nunez] has come ice skating with my family over Christmas Eve. These relationships were more than just work to us, and they still are.

Kinsey: Creed [Bratton] texted me last week, “Pumpkin, when are we gonna watch another animal show?” He loves animal documentaries. We’re very much still in each other's lives.

Q: Where do you think the two couples would be today? Would they have made it through the pandemic intact?

Kinsey: Well, I know Dwight and Angela would have thrived in the pandemic because they would have a bunker. They would have everything you need — they’re on a farm, so they’d grow their own food, and they’d probably have 10 kids. There’s a chance they didn’t even know about the virus, they’re so off the grid.

Fischer: I think Jim and Pam are thriving in Austin. They probably had to do quite a bit of Zoom school with Cece and Phillip.

Kinsey: Angela and Dwight home-school, so no Zoom school for them.

Fischer: I think the question for me is more, do you think Jim and Pam and Dwight and Angela stayed in touch?

Kinsey: I have a feeling that every once in a while, Dwight would call Jim with some ridiculous request.

Fischer: Yes, or Jim would find a way to prank Dwight from afar.

Kinsey: And then Dwight would fall for it again, and Angela would be like, “That's Jim. I'm calling him.”

Why was ‘The Office’ so successful? Kevin Malone, aka Brian Baumgartner, seeks answers in a new book

Q: Back to your relationship. What do you love about each other? What’s kept you best friends all these years?

Fischer: Angela has this unconditional love for people. If she makes you her friend, you're her friend for life. It’s this very solid, reliable, consistent love that she brings, and it makes me feel like I can really be myself with her and tell her anything.

Kinsey: It’s the same with me for Jenna. She’s just a constant. We’ve had wonderful moments in our lives together, and we’ve had sad moments, and she’s unwavering. I just feel thankful that I have this person in my life, this friend who helps me make sense of the world. She’s my life anchor.

Fischer: We met in our 30s, which was pretty late in life to find a best friend. I don't even know if I was ready to be a best friend, or knew how to be a best friend.

Kinsey: There was something very unique about Jenna because we were thrown into this crazy situation of our careers taking off, and so many things coming at us that were very foreign, because we're just simple gals. It made us close on a whole different level because we were learning this world of Hollywood together.

Fischer: I’m so glad we did, because, boy, I needed her to be able to do things like yank my Spanx off after we walked the red carpet.

Angela Haupt is a freelance writer and full-time health editor in D.C.

The Office BFFs

Tales of the Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There

By Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey

Dey Street Books. 336 pp. $27.99

A note to our readers

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.