The real-life besties share secrets with EW from their new book, Office BFFs: Tales of The Office From Two Best Friends Who Were There.
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Michael Scott, The Office (Steve Carell)

Best friends and former costars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey still have many stories to share from their time on The Office.

The revelation came during a spring cleaning session. While sorting through their garages, attics, and other parts of their homes, Fischer and Kinsey rediscovered tons of Office memorabilia: journals, photos, mementos. While their Office re-watch podcast, Office Ladies, allowed for deeper dives into the episodes, dozens of never-before-seen photos and untold "best friends stories" remain unshared.

Enter: The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office From Two Best Friends Who Were There. Out May 17, the book offers intimate behind-the-scenes stories and never-before-seen photos from Fischer and Kinsey's time on set of the beloved NBC sitcom. A celebration of the costars' friendship, Office BFFs recounts memories from early days on set to the very last day, plus stories about milestone episodes and motherhood.

Ahead of the book's debut, EW hopped on a Zoom call with Fischer and Kinsey to chat all things Office BFFs.

The Office BFFs
'The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office From Two Best Friends Who Were There' by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey is out May 17.
| Credit: Dey Street Books

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So this book wouldn't exist if you two didn't spring clean your homes and rediscover the memorabilia. Were there findings that didn't make it into the final book?

ANGELA KINSEY: There's like 2,000 more photos that didn't make it in and it was really hard to let them go. We did our best to whittle it down. 

JENNA FISCHER: If you noticed in the book, the end papers are all these black and white photos. Those are pictures that we love so much but we didn't have space for in the book. And we were trying to think, 'How can we share these amazing pictures?' And so we made them our end papers. We were really trying to utilize every page of the book to get as much memorabilia and photos in there because between the two of us, we still have so much. There's a really nerdy thing that didn't make it into the book, which is that Angela saved the memo from when we found out that our computers were finally going to get internet. This was during season 2. This was such a big deal for the cast. And for a while we had this memo. We were going to put it in the book, but then as we were going through and having to be really picky, we were like, 'You know what? This memo was so exciting to us, but we're not sure it totally is going to translate in the book.'

KINSEY: It's a total inside joke. People would be like, 'Why is there a memo from the line producer saying, 'Just want to let you know today we have internet on the set.'?'

FISCHER: There's little things like that. I mean, when we finished the pilot, we thought we were never going to see one another again. So I went around and I took a Michael Scott business card. I took the name plate off of my trailer door.

KINSEY: So did I.

FISCHER: I would've loved to have put that in the book, but it looks the same [as the] name plate that went up when we got picked up again. So it was like, 'Well, I don't know if visually it has the meaning that it has to me personally.' So there were just things like that. I mean, I had saved one of the messages that I had written to Steve [Carell] as Michael that Pam handed him [indicating] that someone's called during a scene. 

KINSEY: I saved an accounting profit and loss form that said Dunder Mifflin at the top. That was just like a big piece of paper we did for busy work. And it was a few years into the show that we finally got security badges to come on the set. And I have my security badge with my photo that we took on set that day. And I have Angela Martin hair. It's an Angela Martin security badge, except she's smiling. 

The Office BFFs
An image of John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, and Angela Kinsey from 'The Office BFFs'
| Credit: Courtesy of Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey

You share fun anecdotes from various episodes. One is season 2's "Booze Cruise" with details about using soup for fake vomit for a scene. I have so many questions.

FISCHER: They were doing those scenes kind of on the fly. So I might have been rehearsing or I might have just been down in one of the booths waiting to shoot. So I was actually not aware that Angela was fake vomiting off the side of the boat at the time. I guess you could put that in the column of things I learned when we were writing the book. 

KINSEY: The vomit stuff with me, it was basically picking what type of cold soup you want to hold in your mouth. So until the words 'Action!' are yelled you have to puke off this side of a boat. I mean, I almost really did vomit. And you know, we talked about that in the book, about just everyone being so nauseous. Then to pretend to vomit when you were already on uneasy legs. So that episode was just so much fun. I'm glad we got to share more about it in the book. I think I did three takes, but that was three takes too many. I chose minestrone soup because the thought of cold mushrooms and mushy mushroom [soup] in my mouth really did make me want to vomit. Cold vegetables in your mouth in a liquid form is not good. It's pretty gross.

You also share that NBC offered to extend the series for two more seasons, but there were contracts that were up. You all decided to end together after 9 seasons. Can you speak more on that bittersweet decision?

KINSEY: I obviously can't speak for [producer] Greg [Daniels], but I know they really, what they've shared with us is that they really, it was a very thoughtful decision of, well, what is the show without possibly the core cast? 

FISCHER: I mean, I just think it really points to the collaborative bond and trust that we all had as a creative collective that Greg even made us a part of this conversation, the way he did. And that we had the kind of trust between us that we could all talk about this really openly and come to a decision that we all felt really good about and that we were excited about. I mean the idea of slowly kind of losing people, it just felt like, I don't know. It just felt sad and wrong.

KINSEY: Yeah. It felt wrong. It felt wrong and not, it felt like it would just ruin the world to slowly make up excuses, why people are leaving. And one of the things I loved and we all got excited about was being able to know what the end was. As soon as we collectively made that decision, well then we could start, the writers in particular could start developing to an end, having a story and having all the characters have their arc towards the same goal. Right? And then Greg did this amazing thing that was so kind where he invited us all in to meet with him, to talk about what is something we always had hoped for our character, or we had always hoped for the show. And we got to share with him. And I mean, that was just such a gracious thing that he did. 

The Office BFFs
An image of Angela Kinsey from 'The Office BFFs'
| Credit: Courtesy of Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey

Did any of your pitches make it into the final season?

KINSEY: Creed [Bratton]'s did, which I think is so sweet. So Creed in that Halloween episode, it was between Creed and Devon, right? Who's getting fired. And Creed said he thought it would be great if Devon could be part of the final part of the show. 

FISCHER: John [Krasinski] and I were very involved in the Jim/Pam storyline for the final season. We spent a lot of time throughout the entire season working out the nuances of that story and introducing the character of Brian, the boom operator, [and how] this long distance relationship was going to impact them and their marriage. Also, a big pitch of John's was that Jim would ask the documentary crew to put together a video for Pam to watch of their romance together. Gosh, you need to ask John. Because I just remember him coming to the set and saying, 'Don't you wish you could go back and see a video of the moment that your romance started up until now? Wouldn't it be so amazing?' Jim and Pam can do that because there is footage of all those moments from reception to their kiss to being married and their kids. Their life has been documented and they've never seen it. How would that impact you? If you could go back and someone had taped your first date? That would be incredible. We just got so excited about that idea and that ended up being a big moment in the final season. 

Steve returns in the final season, in the finale. Jenna, you touch on how only you, John, and Rainn Wilson knew about this at first. Tell me more about keeping this big secret. 

FISCHER: It was really hard not to tell Angela. Rainn was like, 'Jenna, don't you dare.' And part of me was like, 'Listen, if I tell Angela and then I didn't tell Oscar [Nunez] [and] start picking who I'm telling, then Angela has to keep it from Brian [Baumgartner] and Kate [Flannery].' I was like, 'Oh my gosh. I don't want to start something.' So I did keep the secret from Angela. I was so excited when she knew, but then we all had to not say anything. We had to do all of our press for the finale. We taped a lot of stuff before the episode aired. There were all these articles and talk shows that we did in anticipation of the finale coming out and we all were lying. We never even teased it. We never even said, 'Oh, there might be a fun surprise.' We didn't say anything like that because Greg really, really wanted to surprise the audience. He did not want promos. He did not want teases. He wanted that moment to just shock the heck out of people. And it did. I mean, I remember the online response.

KINSEY:  And I think about the world we live in now with social media, right Jenna? How could we have ever pulled that off? I still can't believe we pulled it off. I still can't.

The Office BFFs
A cast image from 'The Office BFFs'
| Credit: Courtesy of Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey

You touch on The Farm, the spin-off with Rainn that never reached fruition, in the book, too. Would you both be open to a spin-off if the opportunity presented itself?

KINSEY: Well, me and Brian and Oscar for years joked about the spin-off called The Accountants. And that maybe we started our own accounting firm. I mean, if they called me up and said, 'Angela, do you want to do The Accountants with Brian and Oscar?' I'd say, 'Of course.' But I think as we re-watch the show and have become such true fans of the show — we're watching it now. We get to be an audience. The show itself to me just ends so perfectly that I wouldn't ever want to do a reboot that steps on what's there. 

FISCHER: I agree.

You write about the challenges of being working moms while filming the series. In your joint Kelly Clarkson Show appearance, Angela, you said your daughter started watching it. What does she think about the show? Jenna, would you be open to your kids tuning in?

KINSEY: Well, my daughter's in middle school. And I will tell you, middle schoolers love The Office. They love it. I go to pick her up at school and I see seventh and eighth graders with Dunder Mifflin T-shirts on or Schrute Farms T-shirts. Now that we're re-watching the show for the [Office Ladies] podcast, she often re-watches with me and she is cracking up. She loves it. She is sometimes upset with me because she thinks I'm too mean to Phyllis. She's like, 'Mom, you're so mean to Phyllis.' And I'm like, 'That's not me!' But it is a really fun thing to see the show through her eyes. I've really enjoyed that. 

FISCHER: Yeah, my kids are a little too young to have an interest in it just yet. But similarly when I've been re-watching episodes for the podcast, they'll catch a little bit here or there and they definitely think Dwight is so funny. So they appreciate Dwight. But when they're older, if they take an interest, which they may, I think it would be fun to watch it with them.

The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office From Two Best Friends Who Were There is out May 17, and available for pre-order now.

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Michael Scott, The Office (Steve Carell)
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