Friday, December 9, 2022

Interview: Angela Kinsey Reminisces on ‘The Office,’ Discusses Current Projects, and More

INTERVIEWSInterview: Angela Kinsey Reminisces on ‘The Office,’ Discusses Current Projects, and More

She may love cats, but Angela Kinsey isn’t quite like her on screen persona of resident Dunder Mifflin stickler Angela Martin. Recently, we had the chance to interview Kinsey about the legacy of The Office, her other career endeavors such as co-hosting a podcast, and her recent partnership with Rocketbook.

Nerds & Beyond: Over the past few years The Office has just absolutely exploded in popularity. I feel like every store now has a dedicated merchandise section, or people are quoting it more now more than ever. What has your experience been like to be a part of a show that had a tough start but has now become a pop culture staple?

Angela Kinsey: Our show started off so under the radar. We filmed on this small lot (just two sound stages) in the middle of nowhere. There was no fancy smancy showbiz vibe. And at first, no one was really watching. It reminded me of my improv days when you were part of a great show but had the Sunday night 10 p.m. time slot at a small 32 seat black box theater. And to see how the show’s popularity has grown over the years since it ended is so wild to the cast. None of us could have ever imagined it would have become what it is now. I mean we all thought we were doing something great and that the show was funny but wow! We are all humbled by it. I love that the show keeps finding a new audience. I think it’s a testament to the writing and the characters that we created. Just yesterday, my sister texted me that there is a The Office gingerbread house for Christmas this year. That’s what I mean, we never thought all those years ago when we were filming that we would be a holiday gingerbread house. The fandom and reach of the show are amazing.

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Nerds & Beyond: I think something that’s really cool about the show is how it speaks to such a wide audience. I remember watching it in high school, no work or office experience, and still relating to a lot of these characters. What do you think are some of the biggest universal messages that still stand today from the show?

Angela Kinsey: I still have folks coming up to me and saying they related to the characters on the show. Whether it’s in a classroom or a workplace, we all know a Dwight. What’s been fun for me is reliving the show through my children’s eyes. My daughter loves to re-watch The Office with me when I prep for my podcast, Office Ladies. Sometimes she’ll say, “Mom! You are so mean to Phyllis!” She also loves the bloopers from each season. We were a close cast and became a true family over the years. We are all still in touch. We meet up for lunch or dinner, support each other’s endeavors, and we still have a group text thread! I think that closeness comes through to the viewers. Most people spend as much time with their coworkers as they do with their actual families, and I think that makes The Office relatable. And like any family, it is a range of characters and personalities, they fight, they make up but at the end of the day, they always have each other’s backs. 

Nerds & Beyond: Recently, you and Brian Baumgartner [Kevin Malone] partnered with Rocketbook to help spread the word about working more sustainably as it pertains to general notetaking for teachers, students, office workers, etc. What does that partnership mean to you, and how do you hope to make a difference with it?

Angela Kinsey: When the team at Rocketbook approached us about working together, it was one of those things that came together so easily. They have a fun, quirky style that felt relatable to me – and we just had a blast on set filming for the campaign. I have a soft spot for teachers. My sister, Janet, is a teacher, and when I told her about Rocketbook, she thought it was so cool. (I might have just spoiled her Christmas gift, but Janet I have all kinds of fun stuff for you from Rocketbook!) It’s the perfect gift for students and teachers, but it’s also a great tool for adult professionals. I love the fact that it’s reusable, so you can save all your notes to the cloud and easily share them with others. 

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Nerds & Beyond: Angela has always been a great character to me. I love that she’s just this no-nonsense, kind of strict person but also got to have some fun and ridiculous moments of her own and had wonderful story arcs. What have you enjoyed the most about playing her? How has she stuck with you through the years?

Angela Kinsey: Getting to play Angela Martin was a dream as an actor. While Angela was definitely a little bossy and strict, she warmed up as the show went on and ended up finding her happily ever after. I loved the Dwight and Angela journey. Some of my fondest memories of the show are doing scenes with Rainn Wilson. I remember reciting the list of Sprinkles’ ailments and medicines to Dwight and trying not to laugh. When I think about my time on set, those are the moments that pop up for me. All of us trying not to laugh. It’s a great way to spend your day, surrounded by laugher. And it was really fun playing that type of character because she’s not like me at all. I’m a chatter box and have never met a stranger but I do relate to Angela in a lot of ways. She’s very focused and takes her work seriously. And I am pretty sure my family would tell you that I can be a bit bossy, too! And of course, you know I have cats!

Nerds & Beyond: Even though the show has ended, you keep it very much alive with your Office Ladies podcast, which you co-host with Jenna Fischer. The two of you also wrote a book together! I think I speak for a lot of fans when I say it’s been so great to watch you both continue to thrive together.What have been some highlights of working, still, so closely with Jenna and being able to do what you’ve done with your best friend?

Angela Kinsey: Office Ladies is one of the highlights of my career. I can’t believe I get to work with my best friend, and we get to talk about one of the most fun chapters of our lives together. We are having so much fun and we are so thankful that the reaction from the fans has been so positive. And each week, we get to reconnect with our cast and crew! I have learned so many behind the scenes details that went into making each episode. I’ve become a nerd for my own show! I’m just very grateful that I get to be creative and share stories from our days on The Office. And it really doesn’t feel like work when you are with one of your BFFs!

Nerds & Beyond: You also guest starred in Never Have I Ever – created by your Office co-star Mindy Kaling, of course – as Ben’s mom. What was it like to be able to reunite with Mindy for that? Will we get to see you again in the upcoming final season?

Angela Kinsey: I had such a great time filming Never Have I Ever. It was created by Mindy Kaling and Lou Lang and they are both so talented. Mindy texted me about playing Ben’s mom and I said yes immediately. I adore Mindy and was thrilled to get to work with her again. Ben, who is played by Jaren Lewinson, is awesome and I loved our scenes together. I didn’t have any scenes with Maitreyi Ramakrishnan who plays Devi but one day when I was filming, she and I got to hang out between scenes and chat. Jaren had told me that Devi was a big The Office fan. She is so sweet and fun. The whole cast was wonderful, and I loved being on that set.

Nerds & Beyond: Looking forward, what are some of your biggest career goals, whether it’s with your podcast, acting, or something else?

Angela Kinsey: Right now, I’m really focused on my family and being the best mom I can be. You’ll see me at a lot of soccer games and helping with homework. My husband Josh and I love to cook and spend time together around the dinner table with the kids. The Office Ladies podcast is a personal passion project of mine. I get to work with my BFF Jenna and we have so much fun reliving the show with our fans. One of the reasons we started the podcast was so we could have a job that kept us close to home and family. We also wrote a New York Times bestselling book together, The Office BFFs, so that was amazing to work on together as well. And as a result, all of the photos from The Office that I have been saving all of these years are now safe and preserved in a beautiful book! I’m very happy and settled in my career now. I take acting jobs if they fit in with my “family first” goal of being close to home. And I enjoy partnering with like-minded brands like Rocketbook and am excited to share more of our videos soon. You can see them on my Instagram account. Brian and I had a blast filming together again!

Nerds & Beyond: To wrap up, one question we like to ask people is, what do you like to get nerdy about?

Angela Kinsey: Right now, I’m nerding out about Rocketbook! My family loves it too! They just released some new colors that are gorgeous, so of course, my kids want them all! Their products are something that can take the traditional pen and paper experience and bring it into the future. I also think it’s so cool they were once on Shark Tank! I love geeking out over the amazing inventions people come up with, and how I can use them in my own life. While Rocketbook didn’t get a deal with the Sharks, they were able to take their idea and run with it. I’m really excited that Brian and I get to partner with them.

Thank you to Angela for taking the time to answer our questions! Make sure to catch Kinsey in The Office, streaming now on Peacock. Find our other related coverage here.

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