The Office
The B.J. Novak Interview

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"It Was Just So Intellectually Stimulating And Inspiring; It Was All I Wanted To Do"
BJN: Both. Total coincidence. I mean, whenever I really stop and think about it, it's just so crazy I stop thinking. But no, we were friends for, I don't even know how long. And our first collaboration was actually eerily similar to this: our senior year in high school, I wrote, with a few other people, the senior class show, and cast John in the lead, and so John was the star of our show, and I was the writer who had a small comic part. And now eight years later -- '97: nine years later, and it's the exact same thing. WC: What was the show about? BJN: The show was called The Senior Show. It was an original comedy show with a couple of musical numbers -- mostly a parody of the school, its teachers, etc. John played an English teacher we liked, Mr. Todd, who dressed himself as a ghost and visited four "types" of students on the last night of eighth grade and gave them missions to accomplish in high school. I played Mr. Yasi, an eighth-grade teacher with a cheerful Boston accent who taught the American Presidents class that John and I both took; I also played a student with a propensity for creatively dumb questions. WC: And you said you did keep in touch after that. BJN: Yeah, we kept in touch a little. We'd run into each other at, you know, Blockbuster Video, or wherever kids hang out, and over Thanksgiving break, and catch up. And I would hear, "John's in this Pepsi commercial," or I'm sure he heard about Punk'd and stuff, because, you know: high school. Word travels. And then there he was at the final callback, and as soon as I saw him, I knew he'd get the part. But, um, yeah. It's really weird. It's fantastic. Oh, I have one story about John that I haven't told anyone. WC: Hit it. BJN: I was talking to my parents, complaining about L.A. and not having anyone to hang out with on a weekend or something, it being an antisocial town or something. Just one weekend; I like L.A. in general. But my mom said, "Oh, you know John Krasinski feels the same way!" And I said, "Really? How do you know that?" And she said, "Oh, I read it in an interview with him." And I thought, "Okay, this is a very awkward, middleman way of learning about my friend John. Maybe we should catch up more on the set." WC: Was it a credible interview, or had she read about it in Life & Style or something? BJN: She read it in the Boston Herald or something. WC: That's adorable.

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The Office




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