John Krasinski is not the actor one would associate with having a set tantrum, but such was the case when “The Office” threatened to screw with Jim and Pam’s fan-favorite relationship during the show’s eighth season. “The Office” fans will remember that was the season in which Pam went away on maternity leave and was replaced by temporary office administrator Cathy. The new character had the hots for Krasinski’s Jim, but “The Office” showrunner Greg Daniels wanted to take things a bit further by having Jim and Cathy make out. To put it mildly, Krasinski refused.
“That’s the only time I remember putting my foot down,” Krasinski writes in the new oral history book “Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History of The Office” (via Uproxx). “I remember saying things that I never thought I’d say before, like, ‘I’m not going to shoot it.’”
Krasinski continues, “My feeling is there is a threshold with which you can push our audience. They are so dedicated. We have shown such great respect to them. But there’s a moment where if you push them too far, they’ll never come back. And I think that if you show Jim cheating, they’ll never come back.”
Per Uproxx: “The kiss between Jim and Cathy would have happened while they were on a work trip in Florida, but creator Greg Daniels was convinced by Krasinski’s appeal and cut it.”
However, Daniels still defends the idea. “I feel like that kind of worry was good in terms of the fans’ engagement,” he said. “I think they knew what was coming. They were very comfortable with the show they were getting, and I needed to worry them that maybe I was going to give them a bad ending so they were happy when they got a good ending.”
Cathy was played on “The Office” by Lindsey Broad, who revealed in summer 2020 that she still gets harassed by fans of the show on social media due to her character threatening Jim and Pam’s beloved relationship. Broad wrote on Instagram at the time, “If anyone is wondering what it was like to be on ‘The Office,’ the best comedy of this century: I just posted something on Instagram about how my dog was murdered and a bunch of people were like ‘fuck you, Cathy, she deserved it!’ So. There ya go!”
All episodes of “The Office” are now streaming on Peacock.