The Office ran for 9 seasons and collected a massive group of fans over its life. Even today, more and more people are being introduced to the workplace comedy and becoming instant devotees of the show. Odd characters, awkward situations, and relatable humor made The Office a hit.
Even though the first season wasn’t well-received and the pilot was “one of the worst-testing pilots ever" (according to Rainn Wilson), The Office managed to stave off cancellation to become one of the most beloved shows of all time.
The main actors who really brought the show to life were clearly Steve Carell (as Michael Scott), John Krasinski (as Jim Halpert), Rainn Wilson (as Dwight K. Schrute), and Jenna Fischer (as Pam Beesly). Even the secondary actors and actresses like Ellie Kemper, Mindy Kaling, and B.J. Novak helped give The Office full of life beyond the storylines of the main characters. Many of the cast members became household names after the show premiered.
It’s not unusual, especially in shows that lasted a long time, for fans and viewers to associate the actor or actress with the behavior of their character in real life. If the character is nice, then it’s assumed the actor is nice. If the character is mean and nasty (or a villain), then people think that’s how they must be in reality. The Office actors have also fallen into that trap. For the most part, the actors and actresses on this list are sweethearts, but there were a few who did some not-so-sweet things to place them in another category.
Here’s The Office: 15 Stars Who Are Legitimate Sweethearts (And 5 Who Aren’t).
20 Sweet: Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling played the constantly love-stricken Kelly Kapoor on The Office.
Not only is Kaling considered nice, but also very humble.
On The Today Show, Kaling broke down and cried because B.J. Novak tweeted a special message to her. It said, “When I met @mindykaling she lived in a small apartment on Fairfax Ave. This is what’s in front of that building today. Congrats to Mindy..and those who are inspired to do great things.” Kaling and Novak are great friends to this day.
There was a time when she was accused by OK Magazine of being “difficult” on set because of her pregnancy, but those rumors turned out false. The “vibe on the set [of The Mindy Project] remains upbeat.” Which shows she doesn’t stoop to the gossip surrounding her.
19 Sweet: Ed Helms
Reputed to be the one of the nicest guys in Hollywood according to GQ, Ed Helms played Andy Bernard, a character who was nice, then kind awful, then near the end of season 9, nice again.
Helms has been nice all this life, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.
He humbly plays banjo in a band called The Lonesome Trio because he simply enjoys it. Since The Office, Ed Helms has given a number of Commencement Addresses and Valedictory Speeches at various universities. One was Cornell University, as you know as Andy Bernhard’s alma mater.
Friends say he’s ready for any hi-jinks, and the director of Cedar Rapids has always been impressed with Helms’s confidence.
18 Not So Sweet: Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson - who played Darryl Philbin - had two instances where he was arrested and detained for possession.
The first was in 2008 in California when an officer stopped a car for a traffic violation. Inside the car were illegal substances, and the cop found the actor intoxicated with some as as well. Robinson went through a diversion program and then had the charges removed.
In 2013, as Robinson attempted to leave the Bahamas, he was detained for possession. The 2 counts included 1/2 gram of illegal substances and 18 pills. Robinson stated to the judge he brought them from the U.S. and was unaware the substances were illegal in the Bahamas. He paid a fine, then escorted from the country.
17 Sweet: John Krasinski
John Krasinksi played Jim Halpert, an incredibly sweet and caring character with loyalty to Pam and his friends. In reality, Krasinski is almost a perfect facsimile of his character.
In interviews, when asked about dating and marrying his wife Emily Blunt, Krasinski often gushes, almost like a schoolboy with a crush. “I was scared out of my mind to even go up and say ‘Hi’ to her. I think that I was so sure that I would never end up with her…I was like, ‘I’m going to blow it right away and then that way you don’t feel bad.’”
Other actors find him to be talented, nice, and a really great guy.
Matt Damon is a close friend of Krasinski's and even co-wrote and co-starred in Promised Land with him.
16 Sweet: Steve Carell
As Michael Scott, Steve Carell played the hapless, awkward regional manager with perfection. There were plenty of sweet and endearing moments for Michael Scott, which mirrored how Carell acts and is perceived in his personal life.
Various actors have praised Carell’s work ethic, niceness, and how he doesn’t indulge in back-stabbing and trash-talking others. In Mindy Kaling’s book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, she said it best: “Steve Carell is a very nice guy. His niceness manifests itself mostly in the fact he never complains.” Adding “I’ve always found Steve gentlemanly and private, like a Jane Austen character.” Although Mindy stated she tried to get Steve to talk trash about another actor - even in fun - Carell politely excused himself.
Some people aspire to handle situations like Michael Scott, but perhaps Steve Carell should be the model.
15 Sweet: Rainn Wilson
Rainn Wilson is not anything like his Dwight Schrute character on The Office. Wilson is notably super nice, especially with fans and with his co-stars. Like many actors who’ve played memorable and iconic characters, he’s embraced the persona.
Wilson treats his fans with respect and curiosity.
Once, two sister missionaries were spreading the Gospel near Church members’ homes, and Rainn Wilson came over his fence to talk to the women and express his admiration for missionaries and what they do. “He was so down to earth and nice!” the Sisters told LDS Living.
When making an appearance at the Steamtown Mall (mentioned in The Office several times), he spent hours signing different memorabilia, making jokes about his co-stars, and answering question after question. Fans drove for miles to see the “nice and gracious guy.”
14 Not Sweet: Ricky Gervais
If you’ve seen any of his comedy specials or follow him on Twitter, you know Ricky Gervais is very outspoken on the issues of atheism, animal abuse, and those who find his jokes harmful.
For example, one instance on Twitter involved Gervais making an insensitive joke about AIDS. Despite the backlash, Gervais said that because they’re jokes, “I don’t hold the same world view as my jokes. Most people get that.”
13 Sweet: B.J. Novak
B.J. Novak hit The Office running in the first season with his character Ryan Howard. Eventually he starting writing for the show, then taking a producer role, and even directing some episodes. Outside The Office, he’s constantly busy doing side projects that could only be considered nice.
The actor writes children’s books.
One is called The Book with No Pictures, and when he goes to read it to children, Novak is treated like a rock star.
He also became a tech entrepreneur by creating the app Li.St (now defunct), which had let you create your a list of “Best of” things as advice to others.
He’s also still very good friends with Mindy Kaling, who still considers him her soul mate (in a friendship way), even after their on-again/off-again relationship from The Office years.
12 Sweet: Ellie Kemper
Erin Hannon was immediately lovable when she took over the reception desk in “Michael Scott Paper Company.” The actress Ellie Kemper is known as a sincere and down-to-earth girl who lets those qualities shine through her characters.
Interviewers love her and say she’s super nice.
One even called her “the epitome of a good egg.” What makes Kemper amazingly sweet is her ability to give you her undivided attention, and you clearly know you have it. She loves to ask questions about others lives, and exudes bubbly energy and a subtle charm that doesn’t intimidate you.
During a photo shoot with Women’s Running, the interviewer made special mention of her focus during the hot August day. Kemper kept up the interview and still managed to crack jokes with others and simply be an awesome human being.
11 Sweet: Catherine Tate
Catherine Tate played Nelly Bertram, who wiggled her way into a job when Andy Bernard was absent. Tate is also known for her Doctor Who role. Being so entrenched in pop culture with her roles over the years, Tate has assumed a extremely friendly role with fans and journalists, although she has deep shyness insecurities. She goes out of her way to talk to fans and do interviews.
During one major comic con, Tate was over 30 minutes late for her autograph session. One Con volunteer said, “If she’s hanging with John Barrowman, it could be much longer.”
When she finally arrived, she personally greeted as many fans in her line as she could, sincerely apologizing for the delay and chatting with people who felt like chatting. She stayed well past her scheduled time to get to everyone.
10 Not Sweet: James Spader
James Spader has taken many quirky roles, often portraying eccentric characters with obsessive compulsive disorders and large egos. In The Office, he played Robert California, who had the latter characteristic. In real life, he has the former characteristic, which makes him not such a sweetheart, especially on set.
With his experience, Spader has eventually relied on certain routines. He has obsessive compulsive disorder in reality. “It’s very hard for me, you know? It makes you very addictive in behavior,” he has said But it has served his acting and movie and TV work “very well: Things don’t slip by. But I’m not very easygoing.” He wants everything he does to be perfect.
Also, Spader hates to watch people eat. He’d purposely walk around craft services tables when entering or leaving a sound stage.
9 Sweet: Creed Bratton
According to his website, Creed Bratton has been described as “good-hearted” and “downright talented.” Even though it’s in the bio, the words were spoken by others over the years. The words “mysterious” and “eccentric” have also been used, which leans towards the real-life Creed being similar to the on-screen Creed.
His main passion is music. He was in The Grass Roots band, had several years where he did solo work, and in April 2018 released an album called While the Young Punks Dance. Bratton continues to tour the United States performing his music and comedy show.
He actively supports FirstBook, which distributes books and educational resources to schools with low-income families.
Other charities he’s involved include Lide (initiative to share arts and literacy to empower at-risk adolescent girls in Haiti) and the Alzheimer’s Association.
8 Sweet: Angela Kinsey
Despite playing old-fashioned and strict Angela Martin, Angela Kinsey is anything but. She’s fun and sweet while supporting the causes that are important to her.
Kinsey is a big advocate for Alley Cat Allies, which supports the reform of policies and institutions to better serve the lives of cats.
She’s an avid Instagram poster, showing her daily life in peppy and inspirational posts, all of which show a sweet side. One time in an airport, she bought a outerwear jacket from a vending machine and added an Instagram picture, saying “Yasssss! Airport jacket vending machine! #itsthelittlethings.” Days later, a fan created an Instagram account just for the jacket, which soon became Internet famous. It shows how much fun Kinsey can have with a simple article of clothing.
7 Sweet: Oscar Nunez
Oscar Nunez’s Twitter profile simply states: “I like to hike but prefer sitting.” Whether this is a nod to his role as the Dunder-Mifflin accountant in The Office or not, it shows you that he’s a normal person that enjoys laziness too.
Nunez takes a lot of time to support charities like the Mona Foundation (which he was playing for on the show Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition) and Blessings in a Backpack.
He reprised his part for the Finer Things Club in a reunion to help “refugee families survive and succeed.”
If you haven’t been paying attention to a certain series of State Farm commercials, you’ll find Nunez playing Agent Cole Perez Paul.
6 Not Sweet: Martin Freeman
The typically-adorable Martin Freeman (from the British The Office and Lord of the Rings) has displayed some offensive behavior that makes him not entirely sweet. And this behavior isn’t one-off.
In an interview about The Hobbit, Freeman answered a question about what race in the movie he’d like to sleep with the most with an assault joke. He followed up the joke with “Maybe I should stop talking,” as if he knew what he said was wrong and offensive.
That wasn't not the first time. He’s used racist language and made homophobic comments and exhibited sexism towards Lucy Liu, who is on Elementary as Watson. The pattern of this offensive behavior keeps piling up and is hard to ignore.
5 Sweet: Will Ferrell
There are tons of stories about how amazing Will Ferrell is with his fans. He’ll go out of his way to entertain co-workers when the camera is off, or make someone’s day by randomly showing up at an event. He even appeared in a fan's wedding once.
He's completely opposite of the macho and overbearing characters he sometimes plays.
One time at a baseball game, fans kept coming up to him to talk and ask for his autograph. While he was trying to enjoy the game, he spent three hours chatting with fans and signing things for them.
Other celebrities know how sweet he is. Adam McKay said, “He has one of the most freakishly healthy egos of anyone.” Tiny Fey said, “There’s something about Will that is so completely American.”
4 Sweet: Phyllis Smith
Phyllis Smith played Phyllis Vance (formerly Lapin) on The Office. She’s mild-mannered, reserved, but has no problems seeking revenge when the situation calls for it. For example, look at the episodes when she’s vindictive against Angela. Thankfully, that attitude doesn’t transfer into real life.
Smith adores her fans, and when out in public will talk to them no matter where she is.
One time, when at a mall, Smith even Facetimed with a fan’s friend. When a picture circulated around the internet that Smith was a burlesque dancer, she wasn’t upset or mad - unlike how other celebrities act in similar situations. She set the record straight, saying she wore feathers. You can currently catch Smith in Netflix’s The OA.
3 Sweet: Jenna Fischer
The character of Pam Halpert has received a lot of hate over the years. The actress who played her, Jenna Fischer, lives a life that deserves the opposite reactions.
One main passion in Fischer’s life is her seriousness about animal rescue and the charities Kitten Rescue and Rescue Rover. Before The Office, she worked at both of them.
Fischer fosters cats all the time and even hosted the Fur Ball Gala three years in a row.
More recently, when she made an appearance at DePauw university promoting her new book The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide, her speech was interrupted by protests about racial injustice, so she donated the money she got for the appearances to the NAACP, Anti-Defamation League, and The Trevor Project.
2 Not Sweet: Stephen Collins
You know Stephen Collins as the dad from 7th Heaven, but he also played Andy Bernard’s father in the episode, “Garden Party.” This seemingly mild-mannered actor who played moralistic roles was far from that in real life.
In 2014, Collins was investigated over a confession in a therapy sessions about “acting badly with girls.” The actor admitted to being “inappropriate” with females in 1973, 1982, and 1994. According to him, he has “not had an impulse to act out in any such way” since. He claimed he apologized to one of the girls years later.
As a result of Collins' confession, networks pulled reruns of 7th Heaven from circulation.
1 Sweet: Amy Adams
Amy Adams had a short stint on The Office, appearing in the episodes “Hot Girl,” “Booze Cruise,” and “The Fire.” She played Katy, who Pam Beesley described as “sweet.” In real life, Adams is also sweetheart.
What really sets her apart is her respect for the military. When Amy was preparing to fly from Detroit to L.A. one time, she saw a military person in his uniform who had been sold a coach ticket. Adams must have felt this was wrong, so she gave the serviceman her 1st Class ticket. She took his seat in coach. “I did it for the attention for the troops,” she had said.
Who's your favorite star from The Office? Let us know in the comments!