How about Michaela Scott?
That’s what Jenna Fischer, who played Pam on all nine seasons of the US version of The officejokingly suggests to Yahoo Entertainment when she learns of plans for a female-led Australian version of the popular comedy at work.
Though the sitcom ended in 2013, it’s still a pop culture force, available daily to catch either through streaming or in cable reruns, or to support by purchasing an ever-lengthening list of merchandise: greeting cards, shot glasses , toys, books and more. The officewhich centered on Steve Carrell’s Michael Scott is still going strong in many ways, including The Office Ladies podcast hosted by Fischer and her former co-star Angela Kinsey. Their characters, Pam and Angela, couldn’t stand each other at Dunder Mifflin, but the two are famously best friends in real life, regularly leaving each other voice memos and meeting for margaritas at Chili’s, the restaurant where they have worked. with to reveal some new menu items.
Fischer and Kinsey even carpool to the studio where they create their podcast, where they rewatch all 188 half-hour episodes, featuring appearances from former co-stars and crew members. They were pleasantly surprised to learn about the new version of the show the day it was announced, right after coming out of a recording session.
“We don’t know about it,” says Kinsey of the new Aussie version of The office“but I love that, and I can’t wait to find out more.”
Fischer agrees: “Yeah, I can’t wait to meet this female Michael Scott.”
Kinsey kindly offers to reprise her role as bossy cat lover Angela.
“If,” Kinsey jokes, “they need a real ticklish accountant to come over and, you know, give everyone a hot second review, I’m available.”
But they reject the idea of reprising their roles in an American revival. And for the record, Carrell said in 2018 that he didn’t think the deliberately inappropriately portrayed culture would “fly now.”
“I don’t think a restart of the US office is realistic,” Fischer says now. “I think, you know, look at us. We’ve all aged 15 years. I’m not sure we can go back and sit down at our desks and do it again.”
But they continued to enjoy rewatching the episodes every week for research; They are currently in the first part of Season 8.
So they long ago covered “The Dundies,” the hilarious 2005 episode written by Mindy Kaling in which Michael Scott hands out random and even insulting awards to his employees. A drunken Pam is actually kicked out of the Chili’s where the awards are held. She also has a close-up moment with John Krasinski’s Jim. He and Pam ultimately provided the show’s big love story, but their relationship was very want it or not early on.
“We were about to get canceled when we were filming the Dundies episode at the Chili’s,” Fischer recalled. “And I took Greg Daniels, our showrunner, aside, and I said, ‘Should we do a shot where Jim and Pam share a kiss very clearly, in case the show gets canceled after this airing? So we can give people some closure the relationship between Jim and Pam.” And Greg said, “No, because if we film it, they can use it. If they really want to see you guys kiss, they’ll have to pick us up for another season.” But back then it was very touch and go.”
That alone would make the fast-casual restaurant important to her, but she also remembers it as a venue where she held family dinners growing up. Kinsey started going there in college to celebrate with friends after a big exam. It was actually their idea to partner with the restaurant.
“I know you’d expect us to say we’re excited about this partnership,” says Fischer, “but I just want to say that I actually met the folks at Chili’s at an event in Los Angeles, and I cornered them in the room, and told them I wanted to do a campaign with them, because I love them, and that me and Angela should do one as best friends… So when we say we’re excited to work with them, mean it.”
While Fischer and Kinsey love their happy hours together, they appreciate each other much more.
“I just appreciate Angela’s unconditional love and acceptance of me,” says Fischer. “She doesn’t shy away from the parts of me that I might be ashamed to share with everyone. I feel like I can share every part of myself with her, and she just always comes to me with love and acceptance.” She doesn’t judge me in any way, and that allows me to grow. Because you can grow in a relationship like that, and I feel like I’ve grown a lot from my best friendship with her.”
Kinsey replies, “Lady, that hits me in the gut.”
She has a very un-Angela-ish take on the same question about Fischer.
“I always say Jenna is my constant in the storm. No matter the good or the bad or whatever, she’s just always there,” says Kinsey. “She’s so steadfast and steadfast when things are overwhelming for me or too big, she’s just there by my side. Even when we’re apart. One of the things I cherish about our friendship is…I found that great every day on the set of The office, we would have lunch together. And we would kind of talk about our day. And we’ve maintained that wherever we are in the world, we leave little memos for each other. And I know everything about her life. It doesn’t matter where she is and vice versa. And I just cherish it, I really do.”