Though The Office wasn’t at all popular when it first premiered back in 2005, auditions to join the cast were still pretty competitive. Plenty of well-known actors auditioned for roles in the hit NBC show but weren’t lucky enough to make the cut. However, someone who did manage to land a spot in the cast of The Office is John Krasinski. Krasinski played the role of Jim Halpert, a fairly dispassionate salesman at Dunder Mifflin, who often served as the voice of reason in the show.
Krasinski’s character is very well-loved amongst fans of The Office. Jim’s relationship with Pam forms the heartbeat of the show, while his rivalry/bromance with Dwight provides fans with endless laughter. Though Krasinski has done his fair share of acting since The Office ended, he looks back on the experience with great fondness, often calling it one of the best experiences of his life.
John Krasinski’s audition for ‘The Office’ featured improv about fruit
Of course, landing the role of Jim was no easy feat. Krasinski had to go through multiple rounds of auditions and chemistry reads to ensure that he was the best person for the part. Since The Office is a mockumentary-style show and extremely humorous, the actor was also asked to do a fair amount of improv in his audition as well. One memorable part of his audition was when he did a whole improvised bit about pomegranates.
“I asked you to do some improv about your favorite fruit,” The Office creator and showrunner, Greg Daniels, recalled in a press call with Krasinski. “So we kind of went off the script and you were talking about pomegranates being your favorite fruit because you only get them once a year or something. And I kept saying ‘Be more sarcastic about it.’ And then you tagged it with this amazing look right into the audition camera, and it was so funny. It just made people laugh. And John was just the absolute best Bugs Bunny at getting those looks across.”
Krasinski could have ruined his chance of being in the cast
But while Daniels may have been impressed with Krasinski’s pointed looks, his first impression of him wasn’t the best. When the pair first met, Krasinski was unaware of who Daniels was. A fan of the UK version of The Office, Kraskinksi confessed to Daniels that he was worried that the executives in charge of the show would find a way to ruin it.
“By the way, it should be noted that the audition tape you were watching today was right after I told, what I thought was a nameless person, who asked me if I was nervous to be auditioning. I said, ‘I’m not nervous for the audition, because you either get these things or you don’t,'” Krasinski told The Office creator. “But I am nervous for the people making it because we have a tendency in America to screw up all the good shows that come over from England, and I don’t see how you’re going to make this work. And he said, ‘Hi, I’m Greg Daniels.’ and I threw up in my mouth.”
‘The Office’ wouldn’t be the same with Krasinski playing Jim Halpert
Fortunately, Krasinski’s faux pas didn’t cost him his place in The Office cast. By the time the actor was improving about fruit, the awkward encounter with Daniels was practically water under the bridge.