In an interview with Vanity Fair Bratton did in 2009, he claimed to be just different enough in real life from the Creed he portrayed in The Office, saying if he did act exactly like his character, “I’d be in jail, right?”
“This is how it started out: [executive producer] Greg [Daniels] decided that since I had been in The Grass Roots [a rock band in the 1960s] and was a rock star, it was obvious that I’d be burned out. In reality, I’m not burned out—I’ve actually kept myself pretty healthy through the years—but I can play that really well. So we just went from there, and the next thing you know, I’ve got four toes and I grew up in an iron lung,” he said.
Creed Bratton’s early work on ‘The Office’
As fans of the show probably remember, Creed wasn’t initially a part of the main cast. But Bratton was involved from the beginning.
“I was working on The Bernie Mac Show, and my good buddy Joe Moore, the first A.D. [assistant director], introduced me to [director] Ken Kwapis. He was a big Grass Roots fan, and we hit it off—he knows all about rock ’n’ roll—and Joe later told me that [Kwapis] was doing The Office,” he said. “Now, I was a big fan of the Ricky Gervais show, the British show, so I called [Kwapis] and pleaded with him to at least consider me. He said, ‘We’ve already cast it, but if you want to come along, we’ll stick you in the background. I can’t guarantee you any lines, but I will do what I can to work you into the mix.’”
So Bratton got on set and was worked into the background. Before Creed Bratton became Creed Bratton, he did some voice work for the show. Remember when Michael speaks to a coal shaft operator in season one? That’s Bratton.
How Creed Bratton became Creed Bratton on ‘The Office’
Eventually, Bratton realized if he wanted a bigger part he’d have to “do something drastic.”
“So for two weeks, I listened to the talking heads and read the scripts, and then I wrote my own bit.”
And the rest is history.
“I shot an hour of stuff with Joe Moore’s help, cut it down to about five minutes, and presented it to Greg Daniels and everybody else. A couple of days later, they said, ‘Well, you’re funny.’ And then next season, on the Halloween episode, they gave me my shot,” he said.
In true Creed fashion, Bratton saw what he wanted (a part in The Office) and just… took it.