‘The Office’: Jenna Fischer Reveals What She Really Thinks About This Pam Beesly Detail Fans Have Debated Over the Years
Fans have long debated Pam Beesly’s fashion choices on The Office since the character often dressed rather frumpy. While her style did evolve over nine seasons, many viewers thought she could have changed things up more. Jenna Fischer, who played Pam, once weighed in on her character’s style — and her answer was surprising.
Jenna Fischer nailed her Pam audition
Fischer channeled that frumpy Pam style in her audition, she explained during episode 2 of An Oral History of The Office podcast.
Podcast host Brian Baumgartner, who played Kevin Malone, gave some insight into how casting director Allison Jones helped perfectly cast The Office.
Fischer explained that she was planning to quit acting because of the rejection but her acting coach convinced her to continue. The actor called Jones when she got the audition for The Office and was given this key piece of advice for nailing the part — Jones told her to “play it really real.”
Fischer recalled seeing other women auditioning for the role and took note of the style choice that one actor made. “There was this one Pam, she had on these knee-high leather boots and I just was so judgmental. I was like, ‘Oh honey, Pam would never wear boots like that. I know Pam. She doesn’t wear those boots.’”
In a 2013 NPR Fresh Air interview, Fisher shared how Jones told her “don’t come in looking pretty” for the audition. “When I went in for The Office, the casting director said to me, she said, please look normal. Don’t make yourself all pretty, and dare to bore me with your audition. Those were her words. Dare to bore me,” the actor recalled.
Fischer was able to channel her inner Pam, explaining on the podcast, “I believed with my whole heart that this was the part for me. I believed I was the one who should play it … I am literally the only person who should play this part. This is mine.”
Jenna Fischer revealed what she really thought about Pam’s style
During a 2007 interview with Chud.com, Fischer was asked about Pam’s style on The Office and she said she loved it. The interviewer asked, “Does it bother you that in The Office they try to make you look very plain?”
Fischer called it “truly awesome,” explaining, “I love it. I love that my job on The Office is not vanity based. It is so great as an actor to be cast for a reason other than that you have to look hot every day.”
“It’s such a pleasure to get to work and it only takes forty minutes to scrunch my hair into that horrible girl mullet and put barely any make-up on me and the slouchy sweaters,” she continued. “I don’t have to be worried about how I look all day and that is truly awesome.”
Style choices on ‘The Office’ were deliberately plain
Series co-creator Greg Daniels would tell the writers, “This show needs to feel like it’s timeless, like it could be happening at any moment in time from the 70s until like 2050.”
Rainn Wilson, who played Dwight, discussed how other shows’ fashion choices made it easy to pinpoint the era or year it took place. On The Office, the characters’ style didn’t give away the time at all.
“No one’s fashionable … you can’t even tell what time it’s set in,” Wilson shared. “Is it contemporary? Is it the 90s? Is it the 80s? Is it 10 years ago? You can’t really tell.”