Rashida Jones Opens up About Being ‘Way Too Nervous on The Office’ as Karen Filippelli

Rashida Jones got her big break playing Karen Filippelli on The Office. An intimidating role to walk into, Karen was another barrier between Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) and Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer). So The Office fans didn’t exactly welcome the Stamford employee with open arms.

Rashida Jones as Karen Filippelli and John Krasinski as Jim Halpert on 'The Office' in the 'Cocktails' episode.
Rashida Jones as Karen Filippelli and John Krasinski as Jim Halpert | Justin Lubin/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

“I mean, Karen really is smitten by Jim — she has no other design, she’s not trying to break them up…. She didn’t even know about Pam!” Jones told Entertainment Weekly back in 2007. ”Well, nobody has thrown anything at me at least.”

Why Rashida Jones was so nervous when she was on ‘The Office’

In an interview with Off Camera that aired on May 6, Jones spoke about being “way too nervous” when she was on The Office.

“I was way too nervous on The Office. Once and a while I would pipe up and improv. By the end of the season I was doing a much better job at that but I think I probably put it more into practice when I got to Parks because it felt like I was more involved from the ground up,” she said.

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Part of the reason Jones felt more comfortable on Parks and Recreation than she did on The Office was because she never really felt like she was a part of the cast.   

“I always felt like a guest star on The Office. Everybody was so nice to me but I always felt like a guest star. I never felt comfortable. I knew because I was the small point of a love triangle that eventually I’d have to be sacrificed,” she said.

Additionally, Jones knew that being on The Office was a big deal. She says, after being cast, she was aware that her life was “changing a little bit.”

Rashida Jones on acting with Steve Carell on ‘The Office’

Jones was also perhaps nervous to be on The Office because she was acting opposite some artistic powerhouses like Steve Carell as Michael Scott.

“Steve Carell. What he did every day on that show, I’ll never forget it. Because he was so dedicated to the part. He tried something totally new and so weird on every take that was like fully honest and fully hilarious and also had like a ton of pathos every single take. Every single take they could have used,” Jones told Off Camera.

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*Stares in Phyllis Lapin-Vance* #TheOffice

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Carell also had a knack for making his castmembers break character and laugh. Jones was no exception.  

“My first day on the Scranton set, I was sure I was going to get fired because we were doing a conference room scene and Steve Carell was being so thoroughly and relentlessly funny that I couldn’t stop laughing. He did something different, weird and incredible with every take. I seriously thought I was going to be excused, I was guffawing while they were rolling,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2013.

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