The Los Angeles Times has a profile piece in today’s paper on The Office‘s Jenna Fischer, who also has a role in this week’s Blades of Glory, and it doesn’t exactly come as a shock that she took secretarial work after graduating from college with a degree in theater, and that she worked in Los Angeles in the same capacity and didn’t give it up even when her husband, Slither writer-director James Gunn, hit it big as a screenwriter.
It’s a nice, gentle-cycle bio piece that mentions Fischer’s casting in Jake Kasdan’s Walk Hard, opposite John C. Reilly, and The Office executive producer Greg Daniels nails it when he says of her, “She’s very subtle and very smart and makes very interesting comic
choices. She has the brain
of a great British comedy actor in a beautiful woman’s body.”
Still, despite having a really brilliant smile and an innate relatability, it’s the melancholic qualities that Fischer most nails on The Office, as beleaguered secretary Pam, and there’s little in any of her other performances to suggest that she can necessarily cross over into leading lady comedienne territory with any sort of mass critical following, and certainly not commercially. (If it didn’t happen in lasting fashion for someone as brassy as Téa Leoni,
it ain’t happening for Fischer.) So can she go sexpot? Or even rom-com vibrant, something for which Hollywood is totally (and rightly) desperate? That’ll be tough, though the latter will require a pinch of the former, if only for differential shading.
All of this isn’t a dis so much as an observation. Obviously Fischer remains totally crush-worthy, and will continue to get comedy work, given her crack timing and instincts. How much any of those hiatus roles allow for any measurable distance between her and her Office character, however, remains to be seen. For the L.A. Times piece, click here. For a review of Fischer’s low-fi, Troma-bred directorial debut, the canted mockumentary Lollilove, click here. For a nice picture from Blades of Glory, meanwhile, of Fischer in lingerie, click here, and enjoy.