“The Office” Cast Goes Hollywood

by | Aug 2nd, 2011 | 2:05PM | Filed under: Hollywood Chatter, Other Bits

In May, the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin paper company bid a tearful goodbye to the World’s Best Boss, Michael Scott. Back in 2005, fans of the original U.K. version of “The Office” had been wary of its Americanization when Steve Carell took on the role made famous (infamous?) by Ricky Gervais, but after seven successful seasons and countless award nominations (and several wins), I think it’s fair to say there was nothing to worry about with the Daily Show alum at the helm.

How the show will fare now that Carell is gone is anyone’s guess (James Spader is set to come on board in September, so that might help), but the rest of the cast has been wasting no time in making sure they have a Plan B—namely, film careers.

Carell had already been on the silver screen by the time he joined “The Office,” with minor roles in comedies like Bruce Almighty and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. His big breakthrough—the lead role in The 40-Year-Old Virgin—coincided with his first year as Michael Scott. He’s been able to juggle both big and small screen careers ever since, with a memorable turn in Little Miss Sunshine, along with starring roles in Get Smart, Date Night, Dinner with Schmucks, Crazy, Stupid, Love, and voice-work in Despicable Me.

Clearly Carell is an established Hollywood star at this point, but will any of the rest of the Dunder Mifflin crew be able to follow in his footsteps? Here’s the rundown of who’s done what on the big screen in the recent past:

Ed Helms (Andy)

Helms is probably the cast’s next-biggest movie star, thanks to his turn as dentist-with-a-dark-side Stu Price in the 2009 and 2011 Hangover films. Like Carell, Helms got his start on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, and had a few small film roles before joining “The Office” in Season Three as Stamford branch transfer, a cappella lover, and proud Cornell alum Andy Bernard. He took on leading man status in this year’s indie comedy Cedar Rapids, and next year will provide the voice of The Once-ler in The Lorax.
John Krasinski (Jim)

Jim Halpert is my favorite character on the show, and so I’ve been especially happy to see John Krasinski show up more and more frequently in theaters. I think he’s absolutely hilarious, and at any moment now is going to land a role that will be his really big “movie star” break. But that’s not to say he hasn’t been doing pretty well for himself in Hollywood already —his film credits include Dreamgirls, Leatherheads, Away We Go, It’s Complicated, and this year’s Something Borrowed. Next year we’ll see him in Everybody Loves Whales, a romantic drama about whale rescuers co-starring Drew Barrymore.
Jenna Fischer (Pam)

Fischer’s portrayal of the always loyal but often exasperated Pam Beasley earned her a Best Supporting Actress Emmy nomination in 2007, and in that same year she started taking on an increasing number of film roles. At first she was all about goofy comedies like Blades of Glory, The Brothers Solomon, and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, but lately she’s been venturing into dramatic territory. She played Michael Douglas’ frustrated daughter in 2009′s Solitary Man, and had the leading role in the indie dram-com A Little Help, which had a limited theatrical run this summer. Her biggest movie role to date has been in Hall Pass, where she gives husband Owen Wilson the OK to take a week off from their marriage. Next year we’ll see Jenna as the female lead in the comedy The Giant Mechanical Man, written and directed by her husband Lee Kirk, and co-starring Chris Messina, Topher Grace, and Malin Ackerman.

The Rest of the Cast

Almost all of the other Dunder Mifflin employees have popped up in movies lately, too—some in higher profile roles than others:

  • Ellie Kemper (the new secretary Erin): A small role in Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere, and one of the bridesmaids in, uh, Bridesmaids
  • B.J. Novak (arrogant intern-turned-full-timer Ryan): Showed up in Inglorious Basterds, and voices Baker Smurf in The Smurfs
  • Phyllis Smith (the quiet Phyllis): Played Steve Carell’s mom in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and is currently in awe of Cameron Diaz on the big screen in Bad Teacher
  • Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute): A small but memorable role in Juno, the lead in The Rocker, and in three 2011 indies: Super, Hesher, and Peep World
  • Mindy Kaling (Ryan’s materialistic and shallow girlfriend Kelly): Wonderful as Natalie Portman’s friend, co-worker, and roommate in this year’s No Strings Attached


Which cast member of “The Office” do you think will have the most successful film career in the future?

Redbox movies from the cast of “The Office”:

7 Responses to ““The Office” Cast Goes Hollywood”

  1. Fiirvoen
    Posted on August 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I’m wondering when the others will get noticed by Hollywood. And you totally forgot Craig Robinson.

  2. Erika Olson

    Posted on August 2, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I have a feeling they’re all going to do just fine. At least I hope so, because it truly is a talented cast. Craig R is one of my faves, as is Creed, but I didn’t want the post to keep going on and on and ON, so I kept it to the cast members that have been in 2011 films. (Hot Tub Time Machine was last year… but then I just realized Creed is in an indie called Terri which is out right now and supposedly really good, but I missed the screenings!) Also forgot the dude who plays Kevin, Brian Baumgartner was a voice in Rio. And then I just totally didn’t count people like Rashida Jones and Amy Ryan and Melora Hardin, who either left the show or weren’t full-time. See, the post could’ve been twice as long!

    - e

  3. Dave
    Posted on August 3, 2011 at 7:34 am

    James Spader is taking over the Kathy Bates role as head of Sabre Printers (who bought Dunder-Mifflin). They still haven’t announced who will be the new manager.


  4. Cate
    Posted on August 3, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Rashida Jones, who was Karen and dated Jim, has been in a lot of movies since leaving The Office. But you are probably just pointing out careers for people that are currently in The Office.

  5. Kim
    Posted on August 3, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    How could you forget Craig Robinson?!?! He did Pineapple Express, Hot Tub Time Machine, Knocked Up and Shrek Forever After to name a few! Shame on you redblog!

  6. Erika Olson

    Posted on August 3, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I didn’t forget him… check my response to the same question earlier in the comments. I kept it to cast members who have movies currently out in theaters, and Craig doesn’t.

  7. Dave S
    Posted on August 9, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Even though I just love Jenna Fischer, I would think Steve Carell would do the best with John Krasinski & Ed Helms close behind. I’m afraid Hollywood doesn’t have enough of the right kind of roles for Jenna. At any rate I think the cast as a whole is likely the best in a very long time,– just briliant!