‘The Office’: Rashida Jones Was Scared She Was Going to Be Fired Then Karen Was Changed

Season 3 had a big change for The Office with Jim (John Krasinski) working at a different office. Ed Helms and Rashida Jones joined the cast to play Jim’s new co-workers. Find out what Jones said about being scared of being fired and how Karen Filippelli was changed after her first episode.

Rashida Jones was crushed when Karen was written out of ‘The Office’

Rashida Jones as Karen Filippelli and Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly on 'The Office'
Rashida Jones as Karen Filippelli and Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly on ‘The Office’ | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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Karen and Jim eventually breakup and she leaves the show. Jones wasn’t surprised by this but she said it was still hard on her.

“I knew it was going to happen because there was emotionally nowhere else to go with my character. But I was pretty crushed,” Jones said on Off Camera.

She knew that the show was going to have Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Jim eventually get together as a couple. Jones said this affected how she felt on set.

“I always felt like a guest star on The Office. Everybody was so nice to me but I always felt like a guest star. I never felt comfortable. I knew because I was the small point of a love triangle that eventually I’d have to be sacrificed,” she said.

Jones was scared to be fired and her character was changed

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Kinsey revealed that she texted Jones about the episode “Gay Witch Hunt” on Office Ladies. She revealed what the actor had to say about filming it.

“She said ‘I was so damn nervous.’ She told me she was convinced she was gonna get fired,” Kinsey said. She also claimed Jones said the character was originally written to be more “sour and mean.”

Jones pointed out that Karen’s bangs were pinned to her forehead and she wore less makeup in the beginning because of this. “They just thought that Karen was gonna be a little bit more gruff and kind of a meanie,” Kinsey said. “And then she said Greg [Daniels] decided to soften her and so in the next episode she’s a little softer. She’s not quite so sour.”

Jenna Fischer said Jones was her pick for Karen

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Fischer revealed that she did a screen test with multiple actors who were auditioning to play Karen. She said Jones was one of them and they acted out a scene that was written between Karen and Pam. This scene was just for the audition and didn’t make it in to an episode. They asked Fischer who she liked best.

“I said my favorite was Rashida Jones,” she said. Fischer later added, “I just didn’t feel like I had to work hard on my scenes with her. I effortlessly felt this chemistry between Pam and Karen. I knew who Pam and Karen were and who they were going to be.”

She continued, “I also think from that first moment in that audition, Angela [Kinsey], I immediately saw her as a little bit of like this shiny object that I admired. She was such a cool woman. That I was like ‘Oh that’s a good dynamic for Pam and Karen too.’ Because I think Pam does look at Karen as a woman she’d aspire to be. Karen has an inner confidence, she has ambition that she’s not afraid of, and so I felt all of that at play even from our very first time meeting.”

Jones didn’t last for the rest of the series but she did stick around for a good amount of time. It sounds like Fischer really enjoyed acting with her.