Saturday , May 18 2024
Coy Jandreau, Leslie David Baker, Creed Bratton and Oscar Nuñez (Credit: Pat Cuadros)

Fan EXPO Boston: Leslie David Baker, Creed Bratton, Oscar Nunez on ‘The Office’

The Office remains as popular as ever, as attested by a Fan EXPO Boston panel with stars Leslie David Baker, Creed Bratton and Oscar Nuñez. It’s been 10 years since the final episodes aired for the mockumentary focusing on the antics at the Dunder Mifflin paper company. Moderator Coy Jandreau spoke with the trio about their early days and some fun behind-the-scenes stories.

On Massachusetts Roots

Bratton, who plays a fictionalized Creed on The Office, is also an accomplished singer and musician with a few Golden records under his belt. He said, “I’m actually working on my tenth solo album as we speak. I played Boston numerous times. Come on out, see the old man!”

Castmate Nuñez, who portrayed Oscar Martinez, lived in Massachusetts briefly when his family came over as refugees from Cuba. Their trip was sponsored by the Catholic Church and a family in the area until his parents opted to relocate. “The first wave of Cuban immigrants who landed were going to Florida and New Jersey. All their friends were in Jersey, so we lived here for one year and then we moved to New Jersey.”

Before ‘The Office’

All three actors were involved in other fields before they hit their big breaks in acting. Formerly a member of the Grass Roots, Bratton jokingly described himself as “a reluctant rockstar.” He also remarked in his usual deadpan way, “I wanted to be a veterinarian for a while. A cowboy and a spy.”

Nuñez and Baker both taught in schools, which enhanced their abilities in adapting to situations. Baker said, “When I was substitute teaching years ago and walked into a classroom, there’d be no lesson plans, no nothing. We had to think fast on our feet.”

Baker, who played the ever-serious Stanley, actually has a bachelor of science degree in applied psychology and a masters in human services and administration. He attended medical school, but he didn’t enjoy that career path and he left. “I walked into the anatomy lab and they opened the little tank with the cadaver in it. There was a girl and it was her aunt there in the tank … She didn’t know that her aunt had donated herself [to science].”

Still, his psychology degree provides a certain amount of amusement at the L.A. parties. “You can go to a Hollywood party and sit in the corner and just go, ‘On medication. Not on medication. Should be on more medication.'”

Photo of The Office actors Leslie David Baker, Creed Bratton and Oscar Nunez
Leslie David Baker, Creed Bratton and Oscar Nuñez (Credit: Pat Cuadros)

On ‘The Office’

Nuñez spoke positively about the audition process for The Office. “When we auditioned for the show, a lot of it was improvised. I think I came back three times or something. They just kept asking me questions and stuff. It was fun to do.”

After he landed the role, he was astonished to encounter a familiar face. “Angela [Kinsey] and I knew each other from The Groundlings. It was crazy to see her on set. I said, ‘What are you doing here?’ She said, ‘What are you doing here?’ That never happens!”

On Recent Activities

I asked Baker at the Q&A if he took up anything new when the pandemic started. He said, “I did have an outdoor bathroom built by my pool so that people could finally stop trekking bleach water through my house.”

He also added extra storage space on a garage project. “My assistant likes to do design so he handled all that. Those were my at-home COVID projects.”

These days, Baker, Bratton and Nuñez are enjoying the convention circuit because they didn’t meet many fans while they filmed The Office in Van Nuys, California. Baker said, “There’d be an occasional person who would show up at the gate for the first couple of years we were doing the show. We didn’t even have security at the front gate because nobody knew we were there! Then somebody followed John Krasinski to the lot.”

About Pat Cuadros

Pat Cuadros is Pop Culture Editor for Blogcritics Magazine. She frequently covers TV, film and theater. Her portfolio includes interviews with Ndaba Mandela and actors Juliette Binoche, Fran Drescher, Derek Jacobi and Brent Spiner. She's also spoken with notable voice actors Petrea Burchard, Garry Chalk, Peter Cullen and Brian Drummond.

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