Interview With The Office’s Jake Lacy
Jake Lacy has been leading an emerging career within the North American entertainment industry through his work as an actor .Having graduated from the North Carolina school of the arts in 2008 Lacy went in production with the Hartford Stage’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Summer Dream”.
In addition to performing in other theatre productions, Jake Lacy later starred in several episodes of the popular series Better With You in which he stared as the character of Cassey and also later appearing as Jimmy Goodwin the Goodwin Games.
However, more recently he has been in the current ninth and final season of NBC’S hit sitcom, The Office as the new customer service representative ,Pete. With the character being new to the show and The Office quickly progressing through its final season on the air, all thought it was a time to touch base with the actor for an interview. Particularly, we discuss the initial process and experience involved in being appointed to the role of Pete, his perspective on having been a long-time fan of the show and actually working on it as well as other aspects related to how he portrays the character of Pete.
The actor also talks about his reaction to the show ending this year, the mood and atmosphere on the set. He also delves into some of his insights on the ninth season by discussing his storyline this season in terms of his developing relationship with the character of Erin as well as the challenges which his character faces being one of the new employees at the Scranton branch.
Read through the complete interview below.
Abbas Karimjee.Lets discuss your initial appointment to the role of Pete.Were you contacted for the role or did you audition? Could you please walk us through this initial process?
Jake Lacy:I auditioned for the role in NY and then flew to LA to test for it. I was out-of-town when I first heard about a new role on The Office.I came back later in the week and auditioned with the casting folks in NY and the people in LA liked it so they flew me out the following week. Then I flew back east and waited. I got the call that Friday night. I packed my bag, flew to LA that Sunday and started filming Monday morning! It was crazy.
AK:Given that you have been a fan of the show, could you please share your reaction when you discovered that you landed the role?
JL:Oh, I was ecstatic! The show had been a favorite of mine from the very beginning and getting the opportunity to be a part of it was a dream come true.I’m just a big, big fan of the show and can’t believe I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of it!
AK:How has being a fan of The Office, influenced your day to day experience of working on the show?
JL: I think being such a fan of the show was helpful. As a viewer I understood what makes this show unique and the challenge has been figuring out what that means as an actor. The tone of this show is very specific and it took a few weeks for me to find that balance being doing too much and doing too little.
AK :What was your reaction when you discovered that this would be the final season of The Office, both from your perspective as an actor on the show as well as a long-time fan of the show?
JL: The cast found out pretty early on in filming that this would be the last season. I was still riding the high of being on the show so it really didn’t affect me. Maybe as a fan I’m sad to see The Office come to an end. It still seems so far away. Those decisions are so far out of my control that I try not to get bent out of shape about them. I’m just grateful to have this incredible job for a year.
AK:With many of the cast and crew having worked on the show through out entire nine season run, what is the atmosphere on the set like considering that the show is now in its final season?
JL:Everyone has been very welcoming. The cast has been very warm and kind to a complete stranger setting up shop for a year. We still have another half dozen episodes to shoot so people are still focused on work. I think in the final few weeks emotions may start to run high but right now everyone is very focused on this week’s episode.
AK:How have you related to Pete?
JL:I’m not sure how to answer this question.All I can say is, bottom line, I’m rooting for Pete.
AK:The character of Pete has been quite similar to the character of Jim, in terms of his personality, his life goals as well as in his desire to win the affection of The Office’s receptionist! Given these circumstances, to what extent has John Kraininski’s portrayal of Jim Halpert influenced the way in which you portray the character of Pete? Also,are there any ways in which you think the two are notably different?.
JL:Well, there’s no denying that their circumstances are similar. I think Pete is a little bit of an underdog. Not only is receptionist dating the boss but Pete’s also the new guy at work. There’s an added element of learning the ropes and not wanting to rustle any feathers. I think the similarities and differences may become clearer as the season progresses.
AK:Pete expresses a romantic interest towards the receptionist at the Scranton Branch ,Erin as seen from how he has been flirting with her at the reception and through other comments. What are your thoughts on the suitability of the two as a couple? What do you think is drawing Pete to Erin?
JL:I don’t know if Pete and Erin are right for each other. I just know they have a good time together. Could they become something? Absolutely. Could they wind up really good friends? Definitely. I wish I knew where they were headed but the writers keep things pretty secretive. We don’t find out until we read the script for that week. As far as what draw Pete to Erin: she’s awesome! She’s goofy and pretty and charming. I think Pete’s working at a new job, doesn’t know anybody and finds some kind of connection with Erin.
AK:Although Pete has a romantic interest toward Erin, she is currently involved in a relationship with Andy, who is regional manager.Given these circumstances, what are you able to tell us about the types challenges lay in store for Pete ?Do you have any other thoughts on this storyline?
JL:Andy is off on the family yacht to save the Bernard’s from complete financial collapse. That buys Pete a little time to figure out how he feels about Erin and what he’s going to do. The one thing I can say about Pete is that he’s always interested in trying to doing the right thing. He would rather wait until the time is right than push something. Now, I don’t know how the Pete/Erin story unfolds but I hope the character stays true to those characteristics. That’s one of my favorite aspects of Pete. He’s a stand up guy. I think that counts for something.
AK:What is your favorite episode of the current season? Why?
JL:Selfishly, I would say the episode when we built the tower out of complaint cards. That was the first episode where I got to drive a story. It was awesome! Shooting “Work Bus” was a blast, though.It was a crazy week and many of my best memories of the year were shooting that episode.That was the first time I felt like a real part of the cast. Yeah, let’s go with Work Bus. For the good times.
AK: Is there anything else you would you like to say about what might be in store for Pete in his role as a customer service representative?
JL:Pete and Clark buy a horse-breeding company from Clark’s dying uncle and move to Kentucky for an episode. That was fun to shoot. No, that story’s not true. I think I’ll just let people tune in and see what happens.
AK:What advice do you have for today’s youth who are aspiring to pursue a career in acting?
JL:Be real gentle with your dream. Stick with people who believe in you. Learn how to be honest with yourself. Do what your gut tells you. Work really hard. I needed, and still need, people to tell me those things and show me how to do them. Those things are important.
AK:Are there any favorite memories from your work experiences so far which you would like to share, either on screen or off screen?
JL:I got one small improvised moment into an episode. That was huge. The writer’s are so talented and work so hard that it’s rare for an imporov-ed line to make it to air.I was excited by that.
AK:What message do you have for fans of The Office as the show draws to a close this season?
JL:I’m a fan, too.I know what you’re going through.Please keep watching. Hold my hand and we’ll get through this together.