Jenna Fischer knew from her audition that she was destined to play Pam Beesly on The Office and it turned out her gut feeling was right because the casting was perfect. During an episode of the Office Ladies podcast, Fischer revealed why she was able to so deeply connect with the character due to her own personal experiences.
Jenna Fischer felt like the role of Pam Beesly was a perfect fit
Fischer shared her audition story during an episode of An Oral History of The Office podcast, saying that when she auditioned for Pam she felt very confident that she nailed it.
“I believed with my whole heart that this was the part for me,” Fischer explained. “I believed I was the one who should play it… I am literally the only person who should play this part. This is mine.”
Jenna Fischer and Steve Carell shared an emotional moment at Pam’s art show
During the Sept. 23 episode of the Office Ladies podcast, Fischer and co-host Angela Kinsey discussed the “Business School” episode, which involved a storyline about Pam having watercolor pieces on display at an art show.
Pam gets little support from her co-workers and appears defeated by the end of the show, when boss Michael Scott arrives just as she’s taking her pieces down. Michael is impressed with Pam’s work and tells her he’s proud of her, which moves Pam to tears. The two share a hug and the sweet moment gets a brief bit of humor as well.
Fischer explained how the touching scene wasn’t hard to prepare for because she looks up to Carell and admires him. When Michael says he’s proud of Pam, Fischer said the emotion was readily available to tap into.
“I didn’t have to prepare much for this because my scene partner was Steve Carell,” Fischer explained. “The relationship that I had with Steve in real life… he was someone I looked up to in the way that you look up to a mentor or a parent and I admired him so much. So just to have him look at me and say ‘I’m proud of you,’ I just started crying.”
“His sincerity and his truth in saying it, he’s a wonderful actor and it was easy,” she added.
Fischer tapped into her own experience to connect as Pam
Brent Forrester, who wrote the episode, explained how Fischer perfectly executed emotional moments as Pam because she used her own experience with trying to make it as an actor.
“That experience of terrible defeat is something that I believe she never forgot and it’s what she’s expressing at the end of this episode,” Forrester said about Fischer.
He added, “Steve Carell says that when he watches ‘Business School,’ that moment where Michael Scott hugs Pam and there’s a close on her face… Steve says he can see five different emotions play through Jenna’s face in that performance.”
Fischer shared how she had called her managers “after seven years of failures” with the news that she wanted to pursue a career as a vet technician. She was talked into continuing with acting career and landed the role on The Office.
She revealed how that experience connected her with her character. “I did channel a lot of those struggling years into my performance for Pam. I literally sat at a reception desk and dreamed of being an artist. I have done that. I did it for seven years, so I deeply, deeply felt Pam’s longing,” Fischer said.