The modest, long-unrequited romance between The Office geeks Jim and Pam (Or, Jam) (Or, Pim) affected many of us deeply, but it seems no one was more emotionally affected by the relationship than Jenna Fischer, the real-life Pam.
In her new book, The Actor’s Life: A Survival’s Guide, Fischer recalls the first time she met John Kransinski and feeling like the moment was fated (it involved figurative lightning). She writes:
“He wasn’t just the best Jim — he was Jim. I remember the day we met. As I was being shown to the actor’s holding room, he was just being called in to read with another potential Pam… As he passed by, he introduced himself, and we shook hands. It was as if lightning struck through the center of the room.”
In her mind, Jim—I mean Krasinski—must have felt it, too:
“John and I were walking out of an audition scene, and he suddenly turned to me and whispered, ‘You’re my favorite Pam. I hope you get this job.’ It was exactly as sweet and cute and supportive as anything Jim would say to Pam. I smiled really big and said, ‘I’m so glad you said that because you’re my favorite Jim and I don’t think anyone could do it except for you.’”
I believe that in that moment, their souls gently lifted out of their bodies and they became Jim and Pam. Fischer also had lasting memories of the first kiss between their characters. She writes:
“When he walked away, I felt completely transported into a new reality. I was Pam, I was talking with my mother, and my heart was breaking. I spoke into the phone, telling her I was in love with Jim, but I couldn’t confess my feelings to him. Suddenly, Jim walked in the door. I turned and saw him and my heart felt like it might burst out of my chest. I wanted so much to tell him how I felt, but before I could, he kissed me. It was perfect.”
How real was their love? Well, reality is what you make of it. I’d be interested to hear Krasinski’s version of events, since the last time Fischer commented on their fictional romance it led to an awkward response. During a Watch What Happens Live appearance in January 2016, Fischer told Andy Cohen, “There’s like a real part of me that is Pam, and there’s a real part of him that’s Jim, and those parts of us were genuinely in love with one another.” Krasinski responded by saying he felt “bad for her” because of how the quote was presumably taken out of context.