‘The Office’: Jenna Fischer Accidentally Prepared for Pam Beasley Role for 7 Years

There’s no shortage on the number of celebrities who worked odd jobs to get their career where it is today, and there’s not always a quick breakthrough in Hollywood. Bills still have to be paid, and that means taking on side jobs in the meantime.

Fortunately for Jenna Fischer, one of her odd jobs accidentally prepared her for the Pam Beasly role in The Office. Little did she know, it would become her most prominent role and lead to other successes like her new book, The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide, in 2017 and her latest podcast called Office Ladies

Jenna Fischer is good friends with ‘The Office’ co-star Angela Kinsey

Guest Jenna Fischer on the set of Busy Tonight
Jenna Fischer | Jordin Althaus/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Fischer has acted in 46 TV shows and movies, but she is primarily known for her role as Pam Beesly on The Office. She has also dabbled in writing, producing, and directing but is most recently back in the limelight for her podcast Office Ladies.

Her new podcast is co-hosted with her best friend Angela Kinsey, who played Angela on The Office. For each episode of the podcast, they watch an episode of The Office, give you the scoop into what happened behind the scenes, and some banter about their lives you can’t get anywhere else.

Fischer became best friends with Kinsey in real life in season one of the show, after numerous ‘friendly moments’ that led to a heart-to-heart. Despite their characters’ competitive rivalry on the show, the two women discuss how they bonded to BUILD Series, saying that it was during the basketball episode when “there were two days where all the men played basketball, and we sat on a bench,” and we “spent about 24 hours sitting next to one another on the bench, and we told one another our life stories.”

Kinsey emphasizes that they talked about “everything, everything.” Capturing the unsuspecting friendship blossoming, Phyllis took a picture of Fischer and Kinsey on the bench, and it now hangs on Fischer’s wall.

Who is Pam Beasley in ‘The Office’?

The Office cast member Jenna Fischer
Jenna Fischer | Byron Cohen/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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On The Office, Pam Beesly is the receptionist at Dunder Mifflin paper company. She answers calls, passes along messages, and does the scheduling for Michael Scott. She’s artistically talented, a little shy, and eventually makes her way up to salesman but is so terrible at the job she had to figure out a way to make more money without going back to being the receptionist.

She complains to Jim: “I can’t do this. I don’t have this sales gene, or whatever it is.” Fortunes change for her when someone comes into the office asking for an Office Administrator.

Pam tells the cameras: “There are a few ways to get promoted. One thing is to wait for an opening and apply for it. That’s the main way but this could work.” She convinces Gabe that she had been promoted to Office Administrator prior to him working at Dunder Mifflin, creating a new opportunity for herself. 

How Jenna Fisher brought Pam to life through her own experiences 

Like many celebrities, Fischer struggled in the pursuit of being an actor before making it big with her role on The Office. She worked odd jobs to pay bills, and one of them happened to be an office job.

There was no way for her to know her future would be shaped in a similar role on TV screens, but it certainly prepared her by accident. Taking what she learned from the real-life position, Fischer shaped Pam Beesly into the incredible character she is to fans today.

In an interview about her new book, Fischer told The Hollywood Reporter: “I earned my living as an administrative assistant for seven years as a struggling actress, so I had many office jobs. When I got my job on The Office, one of the things that I did was I went to an office supply store, and I bought my own pot for my desk, and I bought the things that I used to really like having on my desk when I was a real administrative assistant.”

She said, “I think that it just made the whole world feel more real because I had that real-life experience when I got The Office job.”