‘The Office’ featured many characters who shared their names with the actors who played them. What went behind this decision? Keep reading to find out.
‘The Office’ has gone down in history for having the most diverse and quirky set of characters. Most of its leading cast included fresh faces. However, now they have become household names. Speaking of names, here’s why several actors used their real-life names in the fan-favourite sitcom ‘The Office’.
- The reel and real names in ‘The Office’
- The mystery behind actors using real names
As is popularly known, ‘The Office’, through which Scranton’s Dunder Mifflin and its employees won our hearts, is the American rendition of the ‘original’ UK sitcom of the same name by Ricky Gervais. Consequently, the Americanised version borrowed many characters from its English predecessor.
These staple characters, with altered names, included the boss Michael Scott, the goofy salesman Jim Halpert, the desk girl Pam Beesly, the slow accountant Kevin Malone, and the lethargic salesman Stanley played by Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, and Brian Baumgartner, respectively.
However, the show went a few steps ahead and incorporated new additions such as Phyllis, Angela, Oscar and Creed. Brian Baumgartner (Kevin Malone) revealed the intentions of Greg Daniels, the show’s creator, behind this reinvention. Baumgartner expressed on his podcast ‘The Office Deep Dive’, “Greg Daniels always knew he wanted our ensemble to be larger. They brought in other actors that offered different personalities and voices”.
This decision also sealed the fate of these fresh inclusions as these characters on ‘The Office’ have the same first names as the actors who played them.
THE NEW NAMES
Why is it that the aforementioned actors such as Angela Martin, Creed Bratton, Oscar Nunez, and Phyllis Smith used their real names for their characters? As per Brian, it was simply because Greg Daniels had exhausted all his “creative energy”.
While fans expect the reason to be some emotional or creative, in reality, it is quite underwhelming. The creator of ‘The Office’ just gave up on brainstorming.
This decision also turned out to be quite ironic as the actors are vastly different from their characters, despite the similar names. The call to have characters named after the actors who played them was taken right at the time the characters were created, according to Brian.
However, it’s interesting to note that Creed Bratton ended up using his full name in the show, which makes sense. Creed was the most enigmatic character in the show. Thus, this just makes his character weirder.
In the end, it is not entirely disappointing that there is no revelatory story behind ‘The Office’ actors going along with their actual names for the show. After all, fans should be more grateful for the fact that these specific roles were created and played by amazing actors which made the cult comedy what it is today.
Had it not been for these characters and the stars who nailed the roles, ‘The Office’ would have remained incomplete and failed to find its own voice and originality. From Oscar’s wit to Phyllis’ boldness, from Creed’s absurdism to Angela’s snootiness, it was all worth it in the end.
What was your theory behind the characters being named after the actors who played them? Comment below!