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The Pixar Character You Likely Forgot The Office's Phyllis Smith Played

Following the closure of the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch in "The Office," a number of the show's cast members went on to appear in various films and TV shows. It wasn't just live-action for these folks though, as a few of "The Office" actors stepped into a recording booth to bring a character to life. John Krasinski lent his voice to play Superman in 2022's "DC's League of Super Pets." And who can forget the Minion-wrangling villain-turned-hero Gru, voiced by Steve Carell, the man once behind the world's best boss, Michael Scott.

Besides these two notable stars, though, there's another voice from the Scranton branch that — despite its sweet and timid nature — you could recognize in an instant if you heard it elsewhere. We're talking about Phyllis Smith, who played Phyllis Vance, wife of Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration, in this award-winning show (via IMDb). While Smith brought a bit of joy for "The Office" fans, she would later take on a character that was all about Sadness.

Phyllis Smith voiced Sadness in Inside Out

In 2015, Phyllis Smith took on the dreary but equally delightful role of Sadness in Pixar's emotional feature film "Inside Out." This performance brought her back together with her former "Office" co-star Mindy Kaling, and also let her play opposite Amy Poehler, the lead of "Parks and Recreation," which was originally intended to be a spin-off to "The Office." A buddy movie with feeling, "Inside Out" sees Smith's character as the personification of Sadness, who, along with Joy (Poehler), Disgust (Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), and Anger (Lewis Black), handles the complex emotions of a teenage girl. Things go awry, though, when she and Joy get lost from Headquarters and have to work together to get back and bring everything under a balanced control.

Before the film's release, Smith had no idea how important her character would wind up being in the movie's final cut. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Smith described being surprised to see an "Inside Out" Superbowl commercial, which featured her name in second billing. She explained her reasoning: "Well, sadness is often thought as a bad thing, and not necessarily as a healthy way to navigate through a situation." The former "Office" star recalled an encounter with a young fan of "Inside Out," adding, "The other day I was in Target, I heard this voice behind me, and there was this tiny little girl. I think she was in kindergarten or in first grade, and she had this Sadness doll, and she said, 'Would you sign this, please?' And she said, 'I love Sadness.'" Well, that's certainly something to be happy about.