‘The Office’: Jenna Fischer Said Explaining She and John Krasinski Weren’t a Couple in Real Life Was ‘Like Telling Kids There’s No Santa’

The Office’s Jim and Pam were such a loved TV couple that fans really thought the actors who played them, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer, were together in real life. On An Oral History of The Office podcast episode, Fischer explained how telling people they weren’t together was “a little bit like telling kids there’s no Santa.”

John Krasinski as Jim Halpert and Jenna Fischer as Pam Halpert on 'The Office'
John Krasinski as Jim and Jenna Fischer as Pam on ‘The Office’ | Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

The show expertly crafted the Jim and Pam romance storyline

Fans were rooting for a Jim and Pam romance from the very beginning of the series and, eventually, they came together. There was definitely some timing issues along the way, however.

The show’s creative team found a way to tell Jim and Pam’s story that wasn’t so in your face but still got fans invested. It was a “will they, won’t they” situation, but turned on its head.

During the July 28 episode of An Oral History of The Office, writer Mike Schur explained how they accomplished this different approach to storytelling. “Almost every show in history has had a formula, and the formula is the center of the show is a ‘will they, won’t they’ Sam and Diane romance. And off in the corner is a wacky boss. And occasionally the wacky boss comes in, does something wacky and funny and gets big laughs and then leaves.”

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“And very simply the British Office inverted it,” he explained. This allowed the boss to be the focus with the romance “shoved into the corner.”

Approaching Jim and Pam in this way, he shared, “becomes this very delicate gossamer spider web of glances and tiny little moments in the… getting someone a candy bar from the vending machine becomes an enormous emotional moment, right? Then you have fundamentally changed the way audiences relate to romance, which is they’re like, they’re like on the edge of their seat, like, ‘Oh, I’ve only got eight seconds of the romance this week, I want more.'”

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People thought Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski were a real couple

Fischer and Krasinski sold their characters’ love story so well that fans thought the actors were a couple in real life. During the podcast, Fischer shared how she had to often explain that they were playing characters, but doing so felt a bit like “destroying some of the magic of Jim and Pam.”

“People don’t know how John and I are not a couple in real life,” she explained. “They don’t understand it. And I don’t know how to explain it because it’s a little bit like telling kids there’s no Santa.”

Fischer continued, “See I have to, I feel like I have to justify why John and I aren’t actually in love… And the bottom line is we were playing characters, but I know that if people think of us as John and Jenna, then it’s destroying some of the magic of Jim and Pam.”

“A lot of people say things to me like I think ‘I found my Pam. I think I found my Jim,’ you know, using us as like, I don’t know, like, what do you call that as like a noun for love,” she added.