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Home » PEOPLE AND PLACES » MASSACHUSETTS » From Little League to “The Office”
Creed Bratton, Jenna Fischer, Kate Flannery, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski and Kevin Malone in The Office.     BY: Justin Lubin – © NBC Universal, Inc.
From Little League to “The Office”

The New England Connection to the Hit TV Show

By Peter F. Demers | September 27, 2012

Even in New England where small towns and close knit communities are often part of our youth, the fast moving and mobile culture in which we live has made keeping up with your high school classmates increasingly challenging.

John Krasinski in The Office
By Trae Patton – © NBC Universal, Inc.

But B.J. Novak (Ryan, on NBC’s hit comedy The Office) and John Krasinski (Jim) have managed to keep their high school friendship going.

They first started working together as teammates on a Little League baseball team in Newton, Massachusetts.

They were classmates and fellow graduates of Newton South’s Class of 1997 where they honed a friendship and professional relationship.

They began working together when Novak provided Krasinski his first big break at Newton South as the star of a satirical high school play written and cast by Novak.

While they went their separate ways after high school, both stayed close to their New England roots with Krasinski attending Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and Novak, Harvard in neighboring Cambridge.

John Krasinski was born on October 20, 1979, in Newton, Massachusetts to a family of Polish-American heritage; he is the youngest of three brothers.

His father Ronald is an internist and his mother Mary Claire a nurse. Graduating from Brown as a playwright with honors, Krasinski stayed in New England studying at the Eugene O'Neill (I) National Theatre Institute in Waterford, Connecticut.

In addition to his continuing role on The Office, Krasinski has established himself as a star of a number of feature films including It’s Complicated with Meryl Streep, Away We Go,Monsters vs. Aliens and Shrek the Third.   He has also tried his hand at writing, directing and producing with Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.

B.J. Novak in The Office
By Trae Patton – © NBC Universal, Inc.

After graduating from Harvard with a degree in English and Spanish literature, Novak, son of noted ghostwriter William Novak, continued writing and acting in movies such as Inglorious Bastards and Knocked Up. However, following in his father’s writing footsteps, he has directed, written and produced a number of episodes of The Office. He also is a frequent guest of fellow Newton, Massachusetts native and Harvard graduate Conan O’Brien.

While the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company’s Office is located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the New England influence on The Office does not stop with Novak and Krasinski.

Steve Carell, who plays Michael and is the star of the show, is a native of Concord, Massachusetts. Carell, who is leaving the show at the end of the 2011 season, worked at a Store 24 in Maynard, Massachusetts, a job where his interactions with customers who frequented the store served as the foundation for his comic inspiration.

Mindy Kaling (Kelly) is from Cambridge, Massachusetts and went to Buckingham, Brown and Nichols in Cambridge before heading off to Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. She is one of only two female writers on the show having been recognized for her acclaimed play, Matt and Ben about two other fellow New Englanders, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, both fellow Cambridge, Massachusetts natives.

Paul Lieberstein (Toby) is from Westport, Connecticut and is the brother-in-law of Greg Daniels who is a writer on the show and a graduate of Harvard. He is also the brother-in-law of Angela Kinsey who plays Angela.

Seattle native, Rainin Wilson (Dwight) has a New England connection having attended Tufts University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Interestingly, BJ Novak and John Krasinski are not the only high school classmates on The Office.   Ed Helms (Andy) and Brian Baumgartner (Kevin) graduated in the same class from Westminster High School in Atlanta, Georgia.

Even the fictional Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company has a New England office in Stamford, Connecticut completing the New England connection.

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