It all started with an offbeat, awkwardly hilarious British comedy about the dull office life of a dead-end paper company. Originally created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, The Office was eventually adapted by veteran TV writer, Greg Daniels, for US audiences.
The show had a remarkable ensemble cast and some great laugh-out-loud humor. There were also some surprisingly touching moments of character drama! The series became a huge hit during its run of nine years.
Five years have passed since the series finale, and the cast have all gone in vastly different directions. Some have renewed their careers with new successes and creative roles, while others seem to have faded from the limelight or gone off into smaller projects. Let's take a look at what the actors of The Office have been up to lately!
15 Brian Baumgartner (Kevin Malone)
Known for his lack of communication skills, large size, and unusual culinary tastes, Kevin quickly managed to stand out amidst the minor characters in The Office. Working as one of the accountants, he was typically quite subdued. However, he was prone to making blunt or offensive comments regarding his fellow employees.
His tactless interactions around the office and odd Internet habits have made Kevin a quirky and unpredictable secondary character. And let's not forget his hilarious "cooking show", with "quesadillas" made of chips and squeezy-cheese, and "crème brûlée" made of rice pudding and sugar...
However, actor Brian Baumgartner hasn't yet managed to regain the level of success that The Office brought him. He's appeared in a few TV shows since then, but usually in guest roles that only lasted for 2-3 episodes or less. Aside from his short-lived appearances in series like Mike & Molly, The Bridge or Chicago Fire, Baumgartner also got a handful of minor roles in a few films. He played a secondary character in Ordinary World and had a cameo appearance in the extended cut of 2016's Ghostbusters. For the most part, though, his career has remained pretty quiet since audiences last saw him as Kevin.
14 Kate Flannery (Meredith Palmer)
Although one of The Office's more minor characters, Meredith Palmer did manage to shine through in a few scenes. As the branch's Supplier Relations rep, she was mostly known for her socially awkward and promiscuous nature. She would sometimes arrive at work with an obvious hangover, complaining that "people talk too loudly" or that "the office lights are too bright in the morning." Her careless driving is also a trait that many fans dearly remember.
There was also a recurring gag that, whenever some nonsense in the office would result in someone getting injured, Meredith would be that someone. Among other indignities, Dwight almost suffocated her by putting a garbage bag over her head, Michael accidentally hit her with his car, and Pam once hit her in the face with a football!
Actress Kate Flannery's career has been relatively quiet since the series finale. She's had a few minor roles in films like Cooties or Dial a Prayer. She's also made a few guest appearances in TV shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Steven Universe. She did get a main role in the animated series OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes. Flannery was pretty lucky for nabbing a main role in a TV series, especially after having played one minor character for 8 years in a show. That doesn't happen too often.
13 Leslie David Baker (Stanley Hudson)
Fans mostly remember Stanley Hudson for his grumpy, disgruntled behavior and his visible dislike of Michael Scott's incessant antics. He usually showed his indifference by doing crossword puzzles during every meeting, especially when Michael would hold a meeting on topics such as diversity or equality. Michael would affectionately described Stanley's remarks as "clever" and "sassy." But in reality, Stanley was barely attempting to hide his disrespect towards his boss. Aside from that, Stanley remained on good terms with his fellow employees.
He was a pretty laid-back person, but could be somewhat frightening when angry.
Ryan Howard from the temp agency learned this the hard way after Stanley had mistakenly believed that he was "sniffing around" his young daughter. He may not have taken his sales job very seriously, but Stanley could still be quite cheerful at times, especially on Pretzel Day. Since the show's finale, actor Leslie Baker has had a few TV guest roles. He's appeared in sitcoms like Marry Me or Raven's Home for a handful of episodes. He also lent his voice to animated films such as Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie and The Happytime Murders, which is scheduled to be released later on this year.
12 Oscar Nunez (Oscar Martinez)
He may have been a minor character, but Oscar was still important in The Office due to his orientation and ethnicity. He was one of the few openly gay characters in broadcast television at the time that the series aired. As the show continued, he also became one of the very few LGBTQ non-white characters on a regular series. Compared to more exuberant characters like Michael or Dwight, Oscar was a fairly quiet and intellectual guy. He was also arguably one of the most efficient workers in the office.
Compared to most of his coworkers, Oscar was the one who'd ask pointed financial questions. This is fair considering that he was an accountant in the office. He was also the one who would often see the logic in an odd and hectic situation.
Reserved yet friendly, he didn't show any desire to engage in conversation with most of his colleagues. He did, however, strike an unusual friendship with Kevin, which led to more than a few quirky moments between the two.
Aside from co-starring in the short-lived sitcom Benched, actor Oscar Nunez had a few guest roles in series like New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He's also been starring in the ongoing sci-fi comedy series, People of Earth, since 2016.
11 Melora Hardin (Jan Levinson)
As Vice President of Sales at Dunder Mifflin Paper, Jan Levinson started off as a corporate foil to Michael's shenanigans. She directly supervised him and didn't appreciate his management style at all. However, she is mostly remembered by fans for the dysfunctional relationship that she shared with Michael. Audiences really got the full scope of their terrible pairing in iconic episodes such as "The Job" or "Dinner Party." Despite her strong business acumen and no-nonsense attitude, Jan turned out to be a very unstable and erratic person.
Aside from smoking during stressful situations, she also indulged in self-destructive tendencies with surprisingly poor judgment.
In her relationship with Michael, she demonstrated a seriously unhealthy dominant attitude and even some tendencies that would lead to Michael being humiliated. This all led to many hilarious moments of pure awkwardness. Many fans still fondly remember those scenes to this day. Since the finale of the show, actress Melora Hardin guest starred in a few TV series. She's appeared in a few episodes of Scandal and Falling Skies, and she's also had a recurring role in the acclaimed series Transparent. This role even earned her an Emmy nomination. She's also been starring in the comedy-drama series The Bold Type since 2017.
10 Mindy Kaling (Kelly Kapoor)
Known as the "office chatterbox," Kelly Kapoor's main topics of conversation were either boys, dating or celebrity gossip. Of Indian-American origin, she tended to make somewhat incorrect statements about her heritage or her religion. Most often, she would engage in long-winded, one-sided conversations on relatively trivial subjects. Her attitude ended up greatly annoying some of her colleagues, especially Toby, Ryan and Jim.
Kelly didn't take her customer service job very seriously, spending most of her time hanging out with other employees like Pam or Erin. Her on-and-off relationship with Ryan was also strained for a while. Especially since she began a separate relationship with warehouse employee, Darryl Philbin, in order to make Ryan jealous.
With her aggressively perky behavior, Kelly roused much laughter due to her adolescent attitude at work and life in general.
Actress Mindy Kaling left the show after Season 8 to create and star in the sitcom, The Mindy Project. She also lent her voice to animated films such as Wreck-It Ralph and Inside Out, and recently starred in Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time. On top of that, NBC ordered her latest show, Champions. Lastly, she wrote two New York Times best-selling memoirs. So, yeah, Mindy's been keeping busy!
9 Paul Lieberstein (Toby Flenderson)
As the butt of many of Michael's shenanigans, Toby usually left viewers with a mixed feeling of laughter and pity. As the HR representative of the office, he reported directly to corporate headquarters and frequently tried to discourage Michael from carrying out some of his ill-conceived ideas. Yet, Toby was also mild-mannered to the point of being physically incapable of asserting himself towards other employees. Most people would kind of avoid him since he would often complain about his unfortunate life choices.
Fans mostly remember Toby for his monotone voice, or his dispassionate reactions at pretty much everything.
This proved efficient for making his character memorable, as he usually served as the competent yet dull corporate voice of reason that no other employee really wanted to hear. Aside from playing Toby, actor Paul Lieberstein worked as a producer and writer on the show. After the series finale, he was a producer on the final season of The Newsroom and earned a few guest roles in shows like Bad Teacher and People of Earth. Also, it was announced in 2017 that Lieberstein would replace Kevin Etten as showrunner of the series Ghosted. His career has been more promising than Toby's, that's for sure!
8 Phyllis Smith (Phyllis Vance)
Another minor character who is fondly remembered by many fans, Phyllis was known for her quiet but friendly nature and her penchant for "girl talk" and gossip. She could actually be pretty vindictive despite her sweet and motherly exterior. She was also often the butt of Michael's insensitive comments regarding her age or her appearance.
Aside from her uneasy interactions with Michael, Phyllis got along pretty well with her colleagues for the most part. She would occasionally engage in conversation with Pam and Kelly, yet also butted heads with Angela. Particularly when the two were both member of the office's Party Planning Committee.
Other memorable moments include her wedding to Bob Vance, where Michael's antics caused laugh-out-loud awkwardness at the ceremony. After all, if your boss revealed that your high school nickname was "Easy Rider" at your wedding, you probably wouldn't be too happy either...
Actress Phyllis Smith was actually working as a casting associate on The Office when she was offered the role of Phyllis Vance, a character that was specifically created for her. After the series finale, she lended her voice for the character of Sadness in Inside Out. This performance earned her critical acclaim. She also has a regular role on the Netflix mystery drama series The OA!
7 Angela Kinsey (Angela Martin)
Compared to Pam, Kelly and Phyllis, Angela was clearly the least likable female worker in the office. She was usually cold, judgmental, condescending and uptight. She was mostly seen frowning upon any frivolous activity that was happening in the workplace. She would openly disapprove of the romance between Pam and Jim, and didn't really get along with most of her co-workers. Later on, Angela developed feelings for the top salesman in the office, Dwight Schrute, although their relationship was way rockier than Jim and Pam's.
Like Dwight, she had little patience for humor and almost never smiled or showed happiness.
Honestly, she would only show some semblance of joy when talking about her cats or expressing contempt for her colleagues. She was also attracted to acts of power and was extremely secretive with her emotions, which somewhat explains her ambiguous attraction to Dwight. After The Office ended its run, actress Angela Kinsey earned critical acclaim for her role in the Netflix series Haters Back Off in 2016-2017. She had guest roles in series such as New Girl and Bad Judge, and also starred in the Hulu sitcom The Hotwives of Orlando. She also shares her character's affection for cats by supporting Alley Cat Allies, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and improving the lives of stray or sickly cats.
6 Ed Helms (Andy Bernard)
Joining the Scranton branch after the downsizing of Dunder Mifflin's Stamford branch in Season 3, Andy turned out to be a rather polarizing character for many fans. Some found him overly insecure and annoying, while others loved him for the very same reasons. Nonetheless, his self-centered and arrogant attitude did arouse much laughter for the most part. And don't get us started on his falsetto singing and banjo skills!
Andy was also known for his over-the-top preppy fashion style, which complemented his tendency to brag about being a Cornell alumnus. His brown-nosing behavior towards his superiors and anger management issues made him highly recognizable among the cast. His competition against Dwight for Angela's affections in Season 4 was also a memorable character moment for him. It briefly portrayed him in a more sympathetic light.
Famous for his role as Stuart Price in the Hangover trilogy, actor Ed Helms managed to appear in a few more projects after The Office ended its run. He starred in films like 2015's Vacation and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. He also had guest roles in TV series such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine and BoJack Horseman. Helms is also an accomplished musician, part of the bluegrass band, The Lonesome Trio.
5 B. J. Novak (Ryan Howard)
Starting out as an office temp, Ryan Bailey Howard managed to climb the Dunder Mifflin corporate ladder in very unconventional ways. In the end, though, he was brought back down a few notches on several occasions. His subdued and indifferent attitude in the office was largely due to his uneasy professional relationships with his co-workers. Michael would try too hard to be "buddies" with Ryan, and his strained on-and-off relationship with Kelly didn't help matters either. Ryan eventually lost his sense of morality when he got promoted to a position at corporate.
From there on, his attitude towards his colleagues was mostly contemptuous and arrogant.
His flashy "nouveau riche" persona only made him seem more ridiculous to viewers. In the end, Ryan's success turned out to be short-lived. He kept bouncing back-and-forth between the Scranton branch and corporate up until the series finale. Actor B. J. Novak also served as a writer and executive producer on the show, and became close friends with co-star Mindy Kaling. After the series finale, he wrote and directed a few episodes of her show, The Mindy Project. He had small roles in films like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and The Founder and also appeared in TV shows like Community and The Newsroom.
4 Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute)
One of the series' most celebrated characters, Dwight became iconic for his lack of social skills and his love of martial arts and the justice system. But he really gained popularity for his office rivalry with Jim Halpert. As the butt of Jim's pranks, Dwight demonstrated little sense of humor and took everything very literally. Much to his rival's amusement. His suck-up behavior towards Michael, of which Michael clearly took advantage of, led to many hilarious moments.
His relationship with Angela showed Dwight's soft side, and he managed to befriend Jim over time as the two both dealt with challenges in their lives. However, Dwight's work ethic and seriousness did grant him success in the end. After working for many years as Assistant (to the) Regional Manager, he was finally offered the job of Regional Manager in the last season.
After the series ended, actor Rainn Wilson managed to get a few small roles in films such as Cooties and The Boy. He also produced and starred in the crime-drama series, Backstorm, as well as the comedy-drama series, Roadies. Additionally, Wilson founded the online production company, SoulPancake. This company has since earned a reputation as one of the fastest growing Internet companies in recent years.
3 Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesly)
Not only was Pam one of the most well-defined characters in The Office, but also for her romance with Jim which provided a lot of the series' most heart-warming moments. She started out as the sweet but shy office receptionist in the first few seasons. As the show progressed, she gradually became much more confident and assertive. This helped her grow in both her personal and professional life. Pam got along with most of her colleagues, although she could easily be annoyed by Michael's antics like everybody else. She eventually became close friends with Michael.
Her heartfelt goodbye to her former boss at the end of season 7 proved to be one of the show's most touching moments.
In the end, Pam underwent a significant character arc. More so, even, than most of her co-workers, much to the satisfaction of many fans. Actress Jenna Fischer found some success after the series ended, appearing in series like You, Me and the Apocalypse and The Mysteries of Laura. She currently stars in the ABC sitcom, Splitting Up Together, and had a small role in Clint Eastwood's latest film, The 15:17 to Paris. Her first book, The Actor's Life: A Survival Guide, was published in 2017, with an introduction by co-star, Steve Carell.
2 John Krasinski (Jim Halpert)
Acting as the intelligent, mild-mannered salesman to Michael's shenanigans, Jim is fondly remembered for his pranks on Dwight and his romance with Pam. He was truly one of the show's most relatable characters. He was capable of balancing genuinely funny jokes with heartfelt moments of character development. He would also often ask himself hard questions about his career plans, which is something that audiences definitely related to.
Jim's character arc was defined by realistic challenges in his relationship with Pam, from the early stages of their romance which led to their marriage and family life. He also dealt with career choices that caused a strain in his personal and professional life. But through his sincere love for Pam and his hardworking attitude, Jim succeeded in leaving Dunder Mifflin to go on and create his own sports marketing company.
After The Office ended its run, actor John Krasinski renewed his success by appearing in series like Arrested Development and BoJack Horseman. He also lent his voice to animated films such as Monsters University and the English dub of The Wind Rises. However, his greatest success came with the acclaimed suspense-horror film, A Quiet Place, which he directed, co-wrote and co-starred in along with his wife, Emily Blunt.
1 Steve Carell (Michael Scott)
Clearly the series' breakout character, Michael G. Scott, was the type of nonsensical boss that nobody would really want to work for in real life. His lack of common sense, irresponsible management and desire to be the centre of attention led to one hilarious scene after the other. Every time he'd say "That's what she said!" or made a comment about one of his employees, most fans were rightfully left in stitches. However, aside from providing a lot of the series' humor, Michael also underwent a strong character arc over the course of the show.
After his dysfunctional relationship with Jan, he developed a genuine romantic interest towards his colleague, Holly, in Season 5.
Eventually, he got engaged to her and chose to leave Dunder Mifflin to live with her in Colorado. This proved his personal growth in a way that was both touching and endearingly funny. Earning widespread success even before The Office first aired, actor Steve Carell managed to preserve his reputation as one of the America's greatest comedic actors after the series ended. His acclaimed performance in 2014's Foxcatcher earned him an Academy Award nomination. He also starred in films such as The Big Short and Battle of the Sexes. His career is far from being over, and we really couldn't be happier about it!
References: buzzfeed.com, youtube.com, ign.com, dailymotion.com, alchetron.com, gettyimages.com, fanpop.com, nytimes.com, theoffice.wikia.com, wikipedia, soulpancake, etonline.com, popsugar.com, hellogiggles.com, bustle.com, deadline.com, theofficeanalytics.wordpress.com, thecelebscloset.com, entertainment.ie, cleveland.com, indiewire.com, pinterest.com, zimbio.com, uproxx.com, tvline.com, complex.com, mashable.com, variety.com