Brian Baumgartner Shares How He's 'Gone Full Circle' After 'The Office'

By Kelly Fisher

November 23, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

Brian Baumgartner is often known for his unforgettable role as Kevin Malone on The Office, the smash-hit, mockumentary TV series that (hilariously) captures the daily lives of employees at a paper supply company in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

After playing an accountant at the fictional paper company, Dunder Mifflin, for about a decade, Baumgartner noted that he’s having an “ironic,” “full circle” moment with one of his latest projects.

Baumgartner is working with Rocketbook, a reusable notebook brand that allows users to jot down handwritten notes on reusable paper. Baumgartner said its been “organic and authentic” to work with the eco-friendly company, and he’s even reunited with a few Office alums — directors David Rogers and Kelly Cantley and actress Angela Kinsey — in a new endeavor to encourage reusable notebooks. Kinsey played Angela Martin on the show, working with Baumgartner’s character in the accounting department.

The former accountants are teaming up with Rocketbook amid a powerful resurgence in popularity of their beloved NBC show, which premiered in 2005 and ended in 2013. Baumgartner, who has also been seeing his other former accounting colleague Oscar Nuñez on a college tour, said “it’s crazy” to think that viewers are still so drawn to The Office, a television show that he said is perfect for streaming, though it was created before streaming services existed. With four- to six-episode arcs throughout each season, it’s easy to watch a few episodes at a time… “Idris Elba [playing Charles Miner] shows up and then he goes away, and you could turn off the TV and then pick it up with Michael Scott [played by Steve Carell] coming back from the Michael Scott Paper Company the next night,” he said, referring to some key moments in the show’s fifth season as an example.

“Obviously it changed my life,” Baumgartner said of The Office when he recently caught up with iHeartRadio. He added later that “the thing that has become the most significantly important thing for me is the how much comfort it gives people. I mean that I hear that over and over and over again, and that the show meant something to people. It was about ordinary people and celebrating their sometimes very, very small victories. …The overall message is one of family and community and love, and that makes people feel good. And that's important.”

Baumgartner is one of any cast members to relive The Office in new ways following its time on the air. That includes publishing the Seriously Good Chili Cookbook (the perfect cookbook theme, according to many Office fans, thanks to an iconic Kevin moment on the show), and on his podcast, Off The Beat with Brian Baumgartner. He launched the podcast after Ben Silverman, who was an executive producer on The Office, approached him, and he kept wondering about “what is it about this show that has given it a new life? …and then I just love the conversations I was having (in each episode),” Baumgartner reflected. His former cast mate — and fellow Rocketbook user — Kinsey has also relived moments on the show, including by teaming up with Jenna Fischer (Pam Beasly/Halpert) to co-host the Office Ladies podcast and co-author The Office BFFs.

Baumgartner said, especially that since launching his podcast, papers with hand-written notes are strewn across his desk. Moving toward a reusable option “is going to only help me for my sporadic notes,” and, he added in a statement shared by Rocketbook: “I’m constantly writing things down for my various projects—whether it be to-do lists, recipes, script annotations—you name it. Writing my notes by hand makes them feel more real, and the automatic cloud sharing features offered by Rocketbook makes it easy to share my thoughts with my team quickly and efficiently.”

Kinsey agreed, explaining that she prefers “to write down my creative ideas rather than typing them as it feels more organic and in the moment.” The reusable paper and notebook option, which also offers cloud-sharing features, “provides a unique opportunity to maintain that authenticity while staying connected to the digital world."

Baumgartner, who hinted that he’s working on a new TV project for 2023, used the eco-friendly notes method to note the progress of his podcast over the years, as he interviews celebrity guests — including favorites from The Office — who tell their most memorable stories. Now, “I'm having so much fun doing it. I’m loving it. …I’m gonna keep going as long as they’ll let me.”

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