Jenna Fischer is arguably best known for her role as quiet receptionist Pam on The Office — half of one of the most beloved TV couples of all time. But with the publication of her new book, The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide, she can add “author” to her résumé, too.
As its title suggests, Fischer’s book isn’t a typical celebrity memoir or essay collection. It really is a guidebook for aspiring actors, covering everything from moving to L.A. (or New York, or maybe Chicago) and getting your first headshots to what it’s like to be fired from a high-profile pilot. And yes, of course, she sprinkles in plenty of stories about her own experience trying to break into Hollywood, reminding readers that it took her five years of hustling before getting a (three-line) speaking role on a TV show, and eight years to land her dream role as Pam.
Read on below for our favorite stories about Fischer’s time on The Office.
Her risky audition
After The Office casting director Allison Jones advised Fischer, “Dare to bore me,” the actress decided to take a huge risk.
Needless to say, the producers got — and loved — what Fischer was trying to do with Pam.
The moment she met John Krasinski
Four Jims, four Pams, four Michaels, and four Dwights were called back to test for the roles. To Fischer, Krasinski was the only logical person to play Jim.
Meeting Rainn Wilson — or so she thought
On Steve Carell’s comic timing
Her test with Carell, who would play Office Manager Michael Scott, was the first time she realized the actor’s comedic genius.
On Jim and Pam’s first kiss
Jim and Pam’s long-awaited first kiss was also Fischer’s first big on-camera kissing scene as an actor. Fortunately, it was executed flawlessly.
Krasinski and Fischer were separated while the crew placed hidden cameras around the room, because their characters didn’t know they were being filmed by the documentary crew when the kiss happened.
The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide is available now.