‘The Office’: These Two Cast Members Have Known Each Other Their Whole Lives

John Krasinski and B.J. Novak go way back. Long before they starred on The Office as Jim Halpert and Ryan Howard, they knew each other when they were on the same little league team and they went to high school together. Novak, in fact, might be responsible for Krasinski pursuing acting, after asking him to act in a senior show he wrote.

Cast of 'The Office'
Cast of ‘The Office’ | Mitchell Haaseth/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Krasinski explained how Novak recruited him for a play

During a 2016 interview with WUSA9, Krasinski shared his history with Novak. “We did go to high school together,” he explained. “It was weird, I had done one play as a kid, I had done Annie and I was Daddy Warbucks, you’re welcome… and it was phenomenal.”

He continued, “But I didn’t think I wanted to act at all and then B.J. came up to me in high school and said I’m writing this basically a giant parody on the school and the teachers.” Novak was writing the senior show and told Krasinski, “I’d love you to act in it and I said, ‘Oh yeah, I’m not an actor’ and he’s like, ‘I don’t know, I think you could be a good actor. Would you ever want to do this part?”

Krasinski added, “So he was really one of the first people ever to tell me that acting is something I should even consider.”

“The way I tell it, I feel like I owe him a percentage of everything I’ve done since,” he added.

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Novak was the ‘Home Run King’

Krasinski called their reunion working together on a successful TV show “super trippy.” He explained that at the audition, “to walk into a room, because I was living in New York at the time, so there were LA kids testing for The Office and New York kids… I walked in and saw the LA kids and it was like that Seinfeld ‘bizarro’ episode where people looked exactly like you but were from a different city going after the same thing.”

He continued, “And I saw B.J. and I remember getting really nervous and he said ‘I’m going up for this part of Ryan’ and I went ‘Oh, great, you’re not going up for Jim.’ And we were good friends after that but it would have been bad news” if he was auditioning for the same part as Krasinski.

The actor had nothing but high praise for his former high school classmate, calling Novak talented, “such a great writer and actor and standup,” but he knows him from way back before he was famous. “I weirdly know him as the ‘Home Run King’ of my little league. That’s not a joke. I think I was on the same team as him at 12 years old and he was like a legend… he hit the ball so far and so hard and everybody knew his name as the Home Run King of Newton.”

Novak said knowing Krasinski his whole life is bizarre

Novak also spoke about knowing John when they were school kids, telling Ellen DeGeneres during a 2014 interview, “John Krasinski and I have known each other our whole lives in the weirdest, most coincidental way.”

He continued, “We played little league together,” adding, “There’s a picture in my house of a little league team that I was on in sixth grade and I was sick that day the photo was taken… so John is in this photo that’s been in my house my whole life — and I’m not. That’s how bizarre the whole thing is.”

“We’ve known each other forever and we showed up at the final audition callback for The Office… it’s so bizarre that sometimes I think if ever I woke up and the whole Office had just been a dream, I’d be like ‘I should have known… you know who played Jim? John from high school. It’s that weird.”