''The Office'' actor takes us through her TV resume from ''The Wire'' to her upcoming role on ''In Treatment''

By Jennifer Armstrong
Updated October 08, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Oscar nominee (for 2007’s Gone Baby Gone) will get back to her TV roots this fall with a new role on HBO’s In Treatment (premiering Oct. 25) and a much-anticipated return to The Office as Holly, the love of Michael Scott’s life. Here, Ryan, 40, takes us through her diverse TV résumé.

In Treatment, HBO (2010)
She plays Adele Brown, the new therapist to Gabriel Byrne’s Dr. Paul Weston, taking over for Dianne Wiest in the drama’s third season. ”Adele is very good at boundaries. Paul’s not used to therapy in that setting. Dianne’s character was a mother figure, a teacher, a supervisor. He tries to lean on Adele in similar ways, and she’s always reminding him that’s not her place.”

The Wire, HBO (2003-08)
She joined the beloved Baltimore cops-and-drug-dealers saga in its second season as Officer Beadie Russell, a job she cites as her proudest TV moment. ”I was a huge fan of the first season. I remember walking on set, and up in the rafters was that orange couch where [the drug dealers] all sat. That just stopped me in my tracks. I thought, ‘My God, I’ve never been starstruck by furniture before.”’

The Office, NBC (2008-11)
She’ll return for seven episodes starting in December as HR manager Holly Flax, hopefully in time for a happy ending with star-crossed soul mate Michael Scott (Steve Carell) in his final season. ”I hope they end up together, though I’m dead set against, like, a very special wedding in Hawaii. I don’t like those episodes. I hope they go off into the sunset as awkwardly as possible.”

The Naked Truth, ABC (1995-96)
The then 25-year-old appeared on the tabloid-set sitcom as star Téa Leoni’s spoiled stepdaughter/best friend. ”That show was a little chaotic, but I have to say it was really fun. Téa would do anything. She wanted to do all her own stunts, and she had the bruises to prove it.” There, Ryan also met a key contact: future Office writer-star Paul Lieberstein (a.k.a. Toby). ”That was one of his first writing jobs, and my first season-regular job — my earliest L.A. days.”