9 actors who were on The Office before they were famous

THE OFFICE -- "Stress Relief" Episode 13 -- Pictured: (l-r) Steve Carell as Michael Scott, John Krasinski as Jim Halpert (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE OFFICE -- "Stress Relief" Episode 13 -- Pictured: (l-r) Steve Carell as Michael Scott, John Krasinski as Jim Halpert (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) /

Even though the series finale of The Office aired in 2013, it seems like the workplace comedy gets more popular with each passing year. The Office is like a fine wine–it gets better with age!

Of course, the series had its core cast members, but there was also a revolving door of guest stars that kept viewers on their toes. Even now, I’ll rewatch an episode and realize that an actor I know just strolled into view!

Without further ado, here is a list of 10 actors who appeared on The Office before they were household names.

1. John Krasinski before The Office

John Krasinski played Jim Halpert on The Office for the entirety of its run. Prior to the show, he appeared in a few shows, such as Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Ed. He was pretty unknown before starring in the NBC series.

Now, he’s a bonafide movie star! Krasinski has appeared in It’s ComplicatedSomething Borrowed, and Big Miracle, as well as starring as the titular character in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. He made everyone’s day a little brighter during the pandemic via his YouTube series Some Good News.

He also co-wrote, directed, and starred in A Quiet Place and its sequel!

2. Jenna Fischer before The Office

Jenna Fischer played Pam Beesly on The Office. Before that, she appeared in the movie Employee of the Month and the show What I Like About You, among a few other titles. Looks like she was always into comedies!

Since the show concluded, Jenna Fischer has appeared in various films and television shows. She even co-hosts a podcast called Office Ladies where she discusses her days on the workplace comedy!

3. Rainn Wilson before The Office

The one and only Rainn Wilson played Dwight Schrute on The Office. Although he has appeared in numerous movies, Wilson is primarily a television actor. Prior to landing his most famous role, he was actually somewhat known. Wilson actually made his film debut in the 1999 Galaxy Quest, which is my favorite movie! He also appeared as Arthur Martin in Six Feet Under.

Despite having a few popular roles on his resume before The Office, his role at Dunder Mifflin is no doubt what made him a household name.

4. Mindy Kaling before The Office

Actress Mindy Kaling starred as Kelly Kapoor on The Office. Before that, she had never appeared on screen before!

Since the show ended, Kaling has become a superstar. She created, produced, and starred in The Mindy Project. Kaling also created Champions, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Never Have I Ever. She has written two memoirs, titled Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) and Why Not Me?.

Mindy Kaling is seriously talented!

5. B.J. Novak before The Office

B.J. Novak played Ryan Howard on The Office. He also served as a writer and executive producer for the show. He only has two acting credits prior to that, on Punk’d and a TV movie called The Offensive Show.

Since the show ended, Novak has appeared in films like Saving Mr. Banks, The Internship, and The Founder. Novak and Mindy Kaling have a close relationship and they often spend time together.

6. Angela Kinsey before The Office

Angela Kinsey is known for playing Angela Martin on The Office. Before landing that role, she only has a few parts on her resume, including TV shows King of the Hill and Run of the House.

Since the show ended, she has appeared on television shows like New Girl, Hot in Cleveland, Bad Judge, Life in Pieces, Fresh Off the Boat, and BlackAF. She also co-hosts the podcast Office Ladies with Jenna Fischer.

7. Kevin McHale before The Office

Kevin McHale guest-starred on season 4 of The Office as a pizza delivery guy. His only acting credit prior to the NBC show was a spot on Nickelodeon’s All That! Afterward, he went on to play Artie Abrams on Glee.

8. Ken Jeong before The Office

Ken Jeong played one of the students in Michael’s improv class in season 2 of The Office. The actor became popular after starring in The Hangover. Prior to The Office, he had a spot on the comedy series MADtv, and appeared in a few other TV shows.

Jeong has since appeared in a variety of television shows and movies, including titles like Knocked Up, Crazy Rich Asians, Scoob!, Avengers: Endgame, Bob’s Burgers, Glee, Robot Chicken, Magnum P.I., Bojack Horseman, Dr. Ken, and The Masked Singer. 

9. Anna Camp before The Office

Primarily known for her role in Pitch Perfect, Anna Camp portrayed Pam’s younger sister in season 6 of The Office. Before that, she was in a few movies, including Pretty Bird and Bottleworld.

She has appeared in shows including Mad Men, The Good Wife, The Mindy Project, and Vegas, as well as movies like The Help and Café Society.

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