I've always enjoyed watching Craig Robinson's work, whether in features or on television or even live as a stand-up, and I think one of the great pleasures of "The Office" has been seeing the way his character changed and grew over the course of the show.
As they were in production on the final episode of the series, Brian Baumgartner (Kevin on the show) was basically live-tweeting from the set, and I thought it was pretty emotional, as it always must be when you're wrapping up something that's been your primary focus for a decade or so. When I got a few minutes to chat with Robinson at this weekend's WonderCon, our main point of conversation is the upcoming comedy "This Is The End," in which Robinson plays himself, trapped in a house with James Franco, Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel, and Jonah Hill as the world ends.
But we also got around to "The Office," and what I like most about Robinson is that while he's a very quick wit and he certainly knows how to goof on the whole publicity process, when it came time to talk about this milestone in his professional life, he was nothing but sincere, and it's pretty obvious how much the series has meant to him.
I love that most of the cast stayed intact over the long run of "The Office," and it still seems somewhat miraculous to me that NBC not only managed to successfully translate the series to America, but that it managed to take on a life and an identity all its own. If you'd asked me after the pilot whether on not "The Office" would work, I would have bet against it whole-heartedly. It just felt like the original Ricky Gervais version was such a singular thing that trying to make it happen again would be foolish. I am thrilled to have been dead wrong, and it was a pleasure to touch base with Robinson and hear how much it meant to him.
"This Is The End" opens June 14, 2013, and the final episode of "The Office" airs on May 16 on NBC.