Jenna Fischer gets maternal for two different roles

Rick Bentley, Tribune News Service on

Published in Entertainment News

"I think there is something about the single-camera, being able to get intimate with you that works a little better with what I do," Fischer says.

She showed her ability with a single-camera for eight seasons playing Pam Beesley on NBC's "The Office." She picked up an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a comedy series. Since the series ended, Fischer starred in the off-Broadway production of Neil LaBute's play "Reasons to Be Happy" with Josh Hamilton, Leslie Bibb and Fred Weller, plus wrote "The Actor's Life," a book about her experiences in becoming an actor.

Fischer's additional film credits include "The Giant Mechanical Man," "A Little Help," "Hall Pass," "Solitary Man," "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" and "Blades of Glory." On TV, she was seen in "The Mysteries of Laura" and "You, Me and the Apocalypse."

None of that work has earned her as much attention as her days on "The Office." That was one reason Fischer worked on movies and did a variety of smaller roles on TV shows before committing to starring in another series.

"I wanted to get some distance from 'The Office' before taking on another big job. And then there was just something about this script that spoke to me. That's kind of what I look for in a project: Do I see myself in this person that I have the possibility to play?" Fischer says. "I'm a wife and a mother now, and I feel like I'm going to get to express this whole other part of my personality, the part of my personality that likes to make lists and anticipate things a week in advance.

"These are all aspects of the character that I related to and that I was excited to kind of dig into. And the other thing that I really loved about the show is that while it's a show about two people who are divorced, I don't think you have to be divorced, or to have experienced divorce, in order to relate to the show."


Fischer loves the new series but isn't completely connected on a personal level with the concept. She's having trouble believing anyone would find happiness in giving up their children every other week. The one thing Fischer loves more than acting is being a parent and considers it her true pleasure in life. The most she will concede is everybody can use a little break now and then.

How much her character gets a break is to be seen. In "Splitting Up Together," Fischer's part of the couple is the one who is more dependable, and a lot of the storylines will come out of how she deals with her soon to be ex-husband.

"She has a hard time letting go," Fischer says. "She claims that she wants him to help out around the house but as soon as he tries to help out she takes over and does it for him. She wants it her ways so she is going to do it.

"When she is forced to let him to deal with the kids, it really turns out to be a good thing."

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