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The Office's Brian Baumgartner Explains How He Developed Kevin's Voice

For fans of a particular, long-running TV series, it's always fun to go back and watch the earliest episodes to see how much the show had changed over the years. With one peek at a long-lasting series pilot episode, it's easy to spot different factors, such as pacing, writing, and even background music. Most noticeable, however, has to be how different each character behaves, compared to what most fans have grown accustomed to. For example, when watching the first few episodes of "The Office," it's not too difficult to see how much change the series' characters went through over its nine-season run. This can surely be said about Kevin Malone, who is played by Brian Baumgartner.

"The Office," which premiered on NBC back in 2005, was an American version of a popular U.K. series of the same name, originally starring Ricky Gervais. Finding a unique take on the series, while still staying true to the original, no doubt contributed to the show's initial identity crisis. It didn't take too much time for the U.S. edition of "The Office" to find its stride, as the show focused mainly on Michael Scott (Steve Carell) until his departure after Season 7. However, fans know that each office employee equally contributed to making the show as good as it was. This includes Kevin, the gentle giant whose work production matched his below-the-line IQ. And Baumgartner, like the other actors, had to find Kevin's "voice" as the episodes went on.

It's started with the writers, then Baumgartner took over

There was a clear transformation in the character of Kevin on NBC's "The Office," something Brian Baumgartner was well aware of. Not that long ago, he was asked by u/samorgan193 on a Reddit AMA about how Kevin's voice change came about, and who decided to make that alteration. Baumgartner said that the character's transformation began with the writer, but he later took over. "It was a progression," he explained. "Based on HOW the writers started writing Kevin. It came from me... and my nerdy/ actory justification has always been... Kevin was shy with the cameras around in the beginning, and as he became more comfortable- more of his true self came out."

As mentioned earlier, almost all the characters seemed to experience a significant progression, when comparing the pilot episode to the show's later seasons. One example was the character of Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), who Baumgartner believed was one of the greatest TV characters of all time. When he spoke to the Podcrushed podcast, he expressed why he's so much enjoyed Dwight's progression from a stuck-up "assistant to the general manager," to the eccentric/enjoyable character he eventually became. "Well, he is a Trans Am driving beet farmer who likes anime and is a volunteer Sheriff's Deputy who likes hard, heavy metal rock music, but is kind of a nerd," he said. And just like Kevin Malone's transformation, that was a description change that fans couldn't have predicted.