Stars of The Office US took over Hollywood | Virgin Media
How the stars of The Office US took over Hollywood

How the stars of The Office US took over Hollywood

28/01/2016Movies

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It wasn't given a hope in hell when it first debuted on US TV network NBC in 2005, but the American adaptation of The Office went on to run for nine years, taking on a life and a fan base of its own and scooping armfuls of Emmys in the process. Consequentially, it made stars out of the office regulars, who have gone on to conquer Hollywood slowly but surely...

 

 

John Krasinski

Hench Jim goes to war in 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi

Hench Jim goes to war in 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi

The former Officer wallflower, characterised by his dry wit and frequent looks to camera, is now a bona fide action star. Krasinski stars in Michael Bay's new war thriller 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi, a true story based on the accounts of six security works who took up arms when a US Ambassador in Libya was killed by insurgents. As well as top-lining a Michael Bay movie, Krasinski isn't short on famous friends, family members and co-stars: the husband of Emily Blunt, John has starred in movies directed by George Clooney (Leatherheads) and Cameron Crowe (Aloha) and has counted Matt Damon (Promised Land) and Kermit The Frog (The Muppets) as screen colleagues. Krasinski will make his directorial debut later this year with The Hollars, starring Anna Kendrick and Mary-Elizabeth Winstead. Way to go, Jim!

Steve Carell

He’s not superstitious.  But he is a little stitious.

He’s not superstitious. But he is a little stitious

You know him as Michael Scott, America's most exasperating boss and director/star of self-penned action epic Threat Level: Midnight, but Steve Carell is now a real Hollywood big shot. This week he stars in Oscar-nominated comedic drama The Big Short, a deep-dive into the banking crisis that took America to the brink of financial ruin. He's no stranger to awards season either, having scored a Best Actor nomination for his transformative turn in psycho thriller Foxcatcher in 2014. Carell is one of those rare comedic actors who has broken free of comedy typecasting; later this year he'll star in Woody Allen's new movie, and will play opposite Emma Stone in tennis movie Battle Of The Sexes. Who knew Michael Scott actually had chops?

Rainn Wilson

Let it Rainn

Let it Rainn

As Dwight Schrute – office irritant, beet farmer and volunteer Sheriff's Deputy – we eventually got to know and love Rainn Wilson over nine years. Wilson is now a TV regular on Fox detective series Backstrom, where he uses skills honed from his time when he investigated who smoked a joint in the Dunder Mifflin car park. Like screen frenemy John Krasinski, Rainn has also dallied with Michael Bay at the cinema, albeit in cameo form in the second Transformers movie. He had much more success in James Gunn's superhero shocker Super and opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in underrated comedy Hesher. Wilson will next be seen in comedy Army Of One, in which Nicolas Cage plays a man who single-handedly tries to take down Osama bin Laden (sadly, we will be spared the sight of Wilson playing bin Laden, even if he was the most tyrannical leader Dunder Mifflin ever had).

Ed Helms

Ed helms the reboot of Vacation, available now on Virgin Movies

Ed helms the reboot of Vacation, available now on Virgin Movies

Helms possesses an inhuman amount of pearly white teeth, which he flashed on several occasions as Dunder Mifflin suck-up turned nice guy Andy Bernard aka 'The Nard Dog'. Over seven seasons, Andy did a 180, from snivelling weasel to rage-affected hothead to beloved office lame-o to manager, and that's all because of Helms' considerable charm, which he's since used to great effect to climb the Hollywood ladder like he did Scranton's paper industry ladder. Helms was the breakout star of sleeper hit The Hangover and its what-were-we-thinking sequels, plus he ensured the remake of Vacation was a journey to remember. Next up is another remake as Helms fills the shoes of Leslie Nielsen in a reboot of The Naked Gun. Take it away, Nard Dog...

Jenna Fischer

JAM forever

JAM forever

As half of one of television's greatest and most enduring romances, Jenna Fischer won the nation's hearts over nine years as Pam, object of Jim's affection and long-suffering Dunder Mifflin receptionist. She's found it tricky to maintain a high profile in Hollywood, perhaps because her comedic skills were so expertly underplayed in The Office, but she did appear in Will Ferrell comedy Blades Of Glory, starred in Farrelly brothers’ laugh-fest Hall Pass and played opposite Amy Poehler and Owen Wilson in Are You Here, the comedy from Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner. If it means anything to you Jenna, you'll always be the receptionist of our hearts. (That doesn't mean anything to anyone, does it?).

Phyllis Smith

Phyllis Smith gives an endearing performance as Sadness in Inside Out

Phyllis Smith gives an endearing performance as Sadness in Inside Out

Sales sadsack Phyllis was the butt of many a joke during her stint in The Office, but she came good in the end, marrying fridge magnate Bob Vance (of Vance Refrigeration) and triumphing over Angela to finally become head of the Party Planning Committee. The real Phyllis mirrored her on screen achievements and used her glum persona to her advantage to play Sadness in Pixar's latest masterpiece Inside Out, perfectly managing to recall every lost lunch hour and unnecessary meeting room conference she suffered at the hands of Michael Scott.

BJ Novak

Temp-orary high

Temp-orary high

Novak famously played Ryan Howard on The Office, and-... you remember Ryan, right? Okay, fine: he played 'The Temp', even though he rode the rollercoaster of a temporary work placement to become an executive at Dunder Mifflin, surfed a wave of cocaine abuse into rehab and managed to weasel his way back in as an unpaid intern of The Michael Scott Paper Company. Though Ryan's company Wuhpf (pronounced “Woof”) never took off, BJ Novak's Hollywood career has been pretty peachy: he was hand-picked by Quentin Tarantino for his role in Inglourious Basterds and he had the key villain role of Alastair Smythe in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, one which would have been developed further in the sequels had the film not under-performed.

Mindy Kaling

The New New Girl

The New New Girl

Kaling started life on The Office as a crude Indian stereotype (one which was mercilessly exploited by Michael Scott) but over time, her fabulous side came out and she became the office glamourpuss: the first port of call for matters of customer service, gossip and time-wasting. Kaling parlayed her success at Dunder Mifflin into her own show The Mindy Project in 2012, which is still running today. She also no doubt called upon her time as the perennially sour-faced Kelly Kapoor to play Disgust in Inside Out – working opposite fat slob Kevin in Accounts is all the experience she needed.

Ellie Kemper

The unbreakable Ellie Kemper

The unbreakable Ellie Kemper

Ah, Erin. Possibly the stupidest person on the planet, with her big stupid grin and her big stupid heart. She almost replaced Pam in our hearts as our favourite Dunder Mifflin receptionist, thanks mostly to her eternally upbeat attitude and her on-again off-again relationship with the equally smiley Andy. Kemper took that attitude and turned it into box-office gold with Bridesmaids (playing to type as cute but earnest) but she scored her biggest role to date as the star of Tina Fey's Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as a woman let loose on New York after spending 15 years in an underground cult. Sorting Michael Scott's paperwork probably had a similar effect.

David Denman

David Denman stands guard in 13 Hours

David Denman stands guard in 13 Hours

Otherwise known as Roy, warehouse work and Pam's 'better' half; the love rival of Jim, even though he was oblivious for all of about three seasons (you should have signed off on that engagement, buddy). Only an occasional visitor to The Office, Denman slowly built up a great body of work in Hollywood on both the big and small screens: he appears alongside his former rival Jim in 13 Hours this week, starred in the last season of Mad Men, made an appearance in the first season of True Detective and played Jim Vance (Vance Refrigeration?) in Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children.

Rashida Jones

“You are a beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox”

“You are a beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox”

Karen Filippelli (a name which is impossible to say in anything other than Michael Scott's dubious Italian accent) was a brief but shining star in the world of The Office; the Stamford employee momentarily distracted Jim from his true love Pam before she wisely stood aside (and coincidentally got hired in Office companion show Parks & Recreation). Jones has made funny in all sorts of movies (I Love You Man, The Social Network, The Muppets, Cuban Fury) but it's on the page where she is currently flourishing. Her debut screenplay, Celeste & Jesse Forever, got the attention of the Pixar top bods, and she is now currently putting the finishing touches to the script of none other than Toy Story 4. Not bad for a Stamford girl.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi is released in UK cinemas on Friday 29th January.

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