The Office had an impressive main cast with guest stars whose roles were unforgettable. Rich Sommer was among the guest stars who played Alex, Pam’s friend from art school, in two episodes of season five. You perhaps remember Rich Sommer from his role as Harry Crane on Mad Men. During the Office Ladies podcast, Sommer talked to hosts Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer about his role in various shows.
Rich Sommer’s Role as Alex
Kinsey and Fischer asked Sommer to describe his experience being a part of The Office cast. Rich Sommer got the role thanks to Mindy Kaling, actor, and writer. Mindy Kaling and Sommer met at the SAG Awards, where the cast from Mad Men was nominated. Kaling approached Sommer due to her thrill for his part on Mad Men and asked him to play a section that would be a perfect fit. Rich Sommer accepted the role immediately, although he had previously auditioned for the show and missed out on those roles.
More Than Friendship?
Rich Sommer talked of how his role as Alex was pitched to him. At first, the plan was to have his character throughout season five. His character was likened to the role of Rashida, where it could have been a road bump for Pam and Jim. After filming a couple of scenes that did not air, Sommer began to evaluate the audience’s response.
There are multiple storylines of Pam and Alex that were cut from last edits, although they are available live in deleted scenes reels. Rich Sommer understands that a love story between Alex and Pam would have ruined the relationship between Pam and Jim. That said, Sommer remains delighted about his brief role on The Office.
Filming on Set
Although The Office is an exciting comedy, Sommer had a couple of challenges during filing. Among the episodes that featured Alex was Customer Survey, where Stephen Merchant was the director. Stephen Merchant, alongside Ricky Gervais, are the creators of The Office-British version. Stephen’s presence put some pressure on Sommer when on set.
Rich Sommer got a hold of the original script for the Customer Survey. In the original version, Alex professed his undying love for Pam. Though the lines were changed, Sommer had a difficult time during shooting as he was unable to adjust. Since all the while, Alex had a crush on Pam; Sommer found it hard to shake off the original vibe from Alex.
Although Rich Sommer may have hit a few bumps when on set, Kinsey and Fischer emphasized how much The Office cast appreciated his performance. In the end, it was a happy ending for Sommer as an actor and fan of the American sitcom. You can listen to The Office Ladies podcasts episodes for more stories and behind the scene from Sommer. Fans can understand his role in the Business Trip, Mad Men, and The Office.