Rashida Jones Knew She’d Have to Be ‘Sacrificed’ on ‘The Office’

While Rashida Jones has racked up plenty of credits, fans still recall her stint on The Office. The actor portrayed Karen Filippelli on the hit NBC series and had a pretty substantial role in season 3 of the show. While she returned for three additional episodes between season 4 and season 7, her character’s arc on the show was pretty much done in season 3. But Jones pretty much expected that to be the case. In fact, she knew going in that her journey on The Office would likely be a brief one.

The Office stars Rashida Jones and John Krasinski as Karen and Jim
‘The Office’ stars Rashida Jones and John Krasinski | Justin Lubin /NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Rashida Jones was over the moon when she joined ‘The Office’ cast

Jones was a huge fan of The Office before she was ever cast to portray Karen. In fact, she was such a fan that she was super nervous during her first day on the job. While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the BlackAF alum reflected on her first day on set. She recalled feeling like she’d hit the jackpot.

“The first day on set I was terrified,” Jones admitted. ”I kept saying to Ed Helms [who portrayed Andy Bernard on The Office], I felt like I had won some radio contest and they had thrown me into my favorite show. How is this possible? What am I going to do?”

The actor knew her character, Karen Filippelli, would have to be sacrificed

Jones may have been terrified, but she also knew that her days on The Office were numbered. Because her character’s main plot point was her relationship with Jim Halpert, Jones knew that she wouldn’t be on the show forever. As a fan of the show, she likely knew that Jim would ultimately end up with Pam Beesly. This kept her from truly feeling comfortable during her tenure on the show.

“I always felt like a guest star on The Office,” Jones admitted in an interview with The Off Camera Show. “Everybody was so nice to me, but I always felt like a guest star. I never felt, like, comfortable. I knew because I was like the small point of a love triangle that I would eventually just have to be sacrificed.”

Jones was crushed when Ed Helms was bumped up to a series regular on ‘The Office’

But even though Jones had an inkling of Karen’s fate, it didn’t make it any easier to digest. In fact, when Helms was offered a series regular role on The Office, Jones was pretty devastated. Since the pair started at the same time, they spent a lot of time together. The fact that Helms’ journey on the show was continuing while hers was ending was a tough pill to swallow.

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“I remember when he got offered, like, a regular spot, I was pretty crushed,” Jones admitted. “I knew it was going to happen because there was emotionally nowhere else to go with my character. But I was pretty crushed.” Jones may have been crushed, but things worked out for her in the end. After, leaving The Office, she was scooped up for Parks and Recreation, which became successful in its own right. So clearly, fate had other plans for the actor.