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She was one half of the sweetest power couples in sitcom history. According to this Yahoo Entertainment article, John Krasinski said that as soon as she entered the room, he knew Jenna Fischer was the perfect actress to play the role of America’s sweetheart, for what would become nine seasons. I know they’re fictional but if you don’t think Jim and Pam were meant to be together from the very first episode of The Office then you should go to a cardiologist because I’m fairly certain not having a heart is a serious medical condition. Jenna Fischer made America laugh, cry, and cringe as the lovable Pam Beasley. But did you know it took her years and years to even get a paying role in Hollywood? And what’s she up to now? Welcome, class, to Jenna Fischer 101. Today we will be discussing just how epic America’s sweetheart is.
Jenna Fischer’s Beginnings: a Long Road
For any Jenna Fischer fan and any aspiring actor, I recommend reading “Actor’s Life” in which Fischer recounts her story of trying to make it in Hollywood. She moved to LA shortly after finishing college, thus beginning her eight years of struggle clawing her way to stardom. During this time, Fischer slogged through background work, three-line roles, and odd jobs she needed to take in order to support herself. Still, she persevered and eventually got her SAG card although it was still a long road before she eventually started making good money from acting. Jenna states in her book that the most important thing an actress can do for herself is to never give up and never stop hustling. If you have the talent and create opportunities for yourself, with a little bit of luck you can make it. Just never stop believing in yourself.
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Lollilove: The pre-Office Office
Lollilove was a mockumentary film created by Fischer and her then husband James Gunn. Fischer says that this project might have been what got her an audition for The Office. Lollilove is about a bourgeois couple trying to make a difference in the world by handing out lollipops to the homeless. The style of humor is similar to that of The Office and I would definitely recommend any Office fans to check it out. Much of what was written in the script was based on Fischer and Gunn’s real life and was filmed in their real home. Much of the movie was improvised with Fischer simply telling the actors their motivations for a scene and having them run with it. The great thing about this movie is it was just a bunch of friends with a camera working on a project together. There was no big studio involved. Lollilove premiered at the St. Louis International Film Festival.
The Office and Beyond – “ol’ Pammy is getting what she wants”
For those of you who live under a rock, The Office is based on the BBC sitcom of the same name and centers around a group of people working at Dunder Mifflin paper company. It ran from 2005-2013. She says it herself, Jenna Fischer struck gold when she landed her role on The Office. Fischer has said on her podcast that all the stars aligned perfectly when they cast the hit sitcom. It’s obvious just from watching the pilot that every actor on the show was born to play the part they were cast as. That helped create a ton of chemistry between the characters as well as long lasting friendships between actors. Despite the stellar cast and crew of The Office, however, no one was sure that the show would last past the first season let alone nine. It was not particularly popular when the first season aired, and Jenna braced herself as she had been hired to act in shows before only to see the show not picked up or cancelled just as quickly as it had started. Fortunately, NBC took a chance on the scrappy mockumentary and the show quickly acquired the legendary status it still holds today.
Related article: Can We Call ‘The Office’ A Classic Yet?
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