If you polled people who they think of when they think of unrequited love, I bet many would answer Jim and Pam from The Office. They’re the gold standard. Saying one of their names without the other sounds wrong. They’re one person or at least that’s what they feel like.
Pam actress Jenna Fischer’s new book The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide covers a lot of ground for young actors. She has loads of advice on how to get your start in Hollywood, New York, or Chicago. It tooks her eight years to land the part of Pam Beasley.
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The ups and downs of Jim and Pam’s relationship largely define The Office. When their status was in question, the show was at its best. When they got married and their romance plotline was largely concluded, the show felt a little stale, attempting to furnish new office romances like Andy and Erin’s or trying to make Dwight and Angela’s relatable. But Jim and Pam’s was the only one that mattered and it culminated at the end of season two with their first kiss.
Fischer gives some behind the scenes insight into that moment. She writes:
We [Fischer, Krasinski, and director Ken Kwapis] decided I would call my mother from Jim’s desk, so my back would be to the door and I wouldn’t see John enter. We discussed the kiss. We all agreed it should be simple, mutually savored, but not too elaborate. No tongue required. (Yes, we got that specific.) We rehearsed the blocking but never rehearsed the kiss.
After what felt like a lifetime, I was finally called to shoot. The set was dimly lit. I couldn’t see any people or any cameras; it felt completely real… [Ken] didn’t want to yell ‘action,’ because it might take me out of the reality of the scene. Instead, he told me, after he walked away, I should wait a few moments, and then start the scene. He assured me the cameras would be rolling.
When he walked away, I felt completely transported into a new reality. I was Pam, I was talking with my mother, and my heart was breaking. I spoke into the phone, telling her I was in love with Jim, but I couldn’t confess my feelings to him. Suddenly, Jim walked in the door. I turned and saw him and my heart felt like it might burst out of my chest. I wanted so much to tell him how I felt, but before I could, he kissed me. It was perfect.
“It was perfect,” she said. The moment feels natural and it seems like the creative team knew what they were doing. Because it just blehhh. It’s just a nice thing.
Fischer also talks about first meeting Jim actor John Krasinski, as well as Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson. The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide may not only be a survival guide for upcoming thespians, but also for fans of The Office who just can’t stop rewatching Jim and Pam’s blossoming romance. If this sounds like you, pick your copy up here.
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