When it comes to The Office, few characters had as big of a story arc as Jan Levison. Formerly Jan Levison Gould, Jan bought a wonderful sense of humor to the show. Amidst an abundance of colorful characters, Jan started her journey on The Office as the straight-laced super boss of Dunder Mifflin. One of the funniest things about Jan was how little patience she had for Michael. While he was over the top and bumbling, Jan was the absolute anthesis.
Of course, as seasons of The Office went by, Jan’s character began to change; first in subtle ways and then all at once. Things really started shifting when she began dating Michael openly. Fans were drawn to the couple because it was often like watching oil and water. Furthermore, their relationship often subverted traditional gender expectations and norms. Jan was seen as a more masculine and dominant force while Michael occupied the more sensitive, submissive, space that is usually reserved for women on television.
The crazy character arc of Jan Levinson
Of course, Jan’s character eventually did a full 180 by the end of the third season of The Office. Up until that point, it seemed as if Jan was simply going through an irresponsible phase. But, things really shifted when Jan got her boob job. It was then that things in her life truly begin to spiral out of control. After Michael breaks up with her, she tries desperately to win him back. He originally rejects her but then changes his mind when she reveals her boob job. But, where did the idea for a boob job even come from?
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Melora Hardin (who plays the character Jan) recalled how Jan’s boob job came about. According to the actress, she inadvertently gave the idea to one of The Office’s creators, Greg Daniels, during the first season of the show. Hardin noted how rare it was that nobody in the cast had work done and that comment planted a seed in Daniels’ head.
Melora Hardin gave ‘The Office’ creator the idea for Jan’s boob job
“I turned to Greg and said, ‘It’s funny, I’m looking around at the females in our cast, and I’m thinking nobody in our cast has a boob job.’ Now, I’m not sure that I’m totally right about that, by the way, but that’s what I thought. His wheels just started turning in that moment. It was just so funny to see. That was when he thought, ‘Ding-ding-ding-ding! Jan’s getting a boob job!'” Hardin shared about how The Office creator took the idea and ran with it.
Hardin also cites Jan’s boob job as the moment when her character really starts spiraling to the point of no return. “When Michael broke up with her, in order to get him back, she goes and gets her boobs giant. I just think that’s hilarious, and obviously the beginning of her losing her sh*t,” The Office alum revealed. It was truly wonderful to watch Jan’s character development throughout the series. Whether she was being straight-laced or bat sh*t crazy, we always loved watching her.