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How John Krasinski Prepared To Play Jim On The Office

As of this writing, the amount of time that has passed since NBC's American adaptation of the British 9-to-5 mockumentary "The Office" wrapped its final season is more than the amount of time the series spent on the air. For many, it seems, the idea that it's well and good in the rearview mirror is something of a blessing. "The Office" was not, after all, without its vehement detractors. For the rest, though, there's a simple joy in revisiting Scranton, Pennsylvania, whenever the whim strikes. And the whim must strike often because, as Variety noted, the series was streamed for approximately 57 billion minutes in 2020 alone. In short, "The Office" is one of America's favorite comfort shows. 

So, let's ride that wave of serotonin, just a little. Jim Halpert (John Krasinski), the office prankster and love interest for Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer), was the breakout role for the actor. He has gone on the record saying that, had "The Office" not worked out in his favor, he would have quit acting for good, as he once revealed to Stephen Colbert. In his excitement upon receiving the news that he was going to be gainfully employed as an actor, Krasinski went on to prepare for the role in a way that fundamentally shaped what the show would go on to be. Let's take a look. 

John Krasinski traveled to Scranton, Pennsylvania, to do research

As chronicled in "The Bassoon King: Art, Idiocy, and Other Sordid Tales from the Band Room," a comedic autobiography written by Rainn Wilson, who starred in "The Office" as Dwight Schrute, John Krasinski made a trip to Scranton to do some on-location research. Wilson wrote, "Before the pilot was shot ... [Krasinski and his friends] brought a crappy little video recorder and interviewed people who worked at actual paper companies in the Scranton area. This tape would greatly influence the set design and decoration. As they drove around the city, they literally shot out the window at some passing Scranton landmarks. These shots would eventually find their way into our opening credits and would stay there through the entirety of our show. Thanks, Kras!" 

It was this kind of active engagement with the material that made "The Office" such a gem to audiences. As noted by Mental Floss, many of the performers went above and beyond what was expected of them to pour their own personality into their respective roles, so much so that the series reached a point where it was practically expected of the creative minds involved to experiment and iterate. Again, we understand that this is all common knowledge. "The Office" was one of the biggest TV shows, pretty much ever. Still, if this was enough nostalgic goodwill to stir one fan to a repeat viewing, then our job is done.