This Saturday (July 9) marks the 10th anniversary of the very first episode of The Office appearing on BBC2. Back then, everyone involved was either just starting a career, or had been kicking around at the fringes of success for a while without much of a breakthrough. There were no stars, and no one thought there were going to be. It was just another comedy show, featuring an oily guy with a goatee beard.
Since then, everything has changed, so we’ve been digging about and finding out what the main cast members have been up to, in the past 10 years. In the main, the answer is LOTS.
Gosh, where to start with Ricky Gervais. First off, I think it’s safe to say that the British funnyman is one of the few celebrities in Hollywood who’s made a handful of controversial remarks over the years, while maintaining a spot at the top. He has a vast collection of BAFTAs, British Comedy Awards, Golden Globes, and Emmys and long list of hit shows to prove it.
With his longtime collaborator Stephen Merchant, he’s given us Extras. They’ll surely get us laughing out loud when their new show, Life’s Too Short (see photo), debuts on HBO next year. Oh and thanks to HBO, we get to enjoy an animated version of their massively popular podcast with Karl Pilkington, The Ricky Gervais Show, all over again.
Gervais has graced the Dunder Mifflin office on this side of the Atlantic several times (as David Brent, of course), as well as The Simpsons and Curb Your Enthusiasm. His smiley mug has gone on to appear in numerous movies like Ghost Town, The Invention of Lying, and Night at the Museum and its sequel. Lastly, his four stand-up comedy tours have had left countless fans around the globe in absolute tears. He did just the same when he hosted the Academy Awards in 2010 and 2011. Bless him for that.
Let’s be honest, you KNOW where Martin Freeman is now, we’ve done little else but tell you. His first steps outside of Wernam-Hogg were into an ITV sitcom about working in a hardware shop, entitled (cleverly) Hardware. But he very quickly established himself as one of the warmest, most charming of British character actors, bringing the same resigned British everyman touch to any of his subsequent roles. He was Arthur Dent in the movie adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, he was the sex-scene body double who struggles to ask out Gavin And Stacey‘s Joanna Page in Love, Actually. He’s been an astonishing Doctor Watson in Sherlock (see pic), and has now signed on to play the biggest little everyman role of them all, Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson‘s two-part adaptation of The Hobbit. Oh and he also presented a BBC documentary in which he traveled to Detroit to meet Motown’s house band.
Lucy is another of The Office team whose career has taken a skyward trajectory in the U.S., perhaps more so than in the UK. Having made a few appearances in British projects such as Pride and Prejudice, Shaun of the Dead, Black Books and Sex Lives of the Potato Men (alongside Mackenzie Crook), her most notable roles of late have been in U.S. TV shows — Ugly Betty, Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip, Californication, Reaper — although she did manage a six-part comedy drama series for ITV called Married Single Other (see pic). She’s now set to appear in John Landis‘s latest project Some Guy Who Kills People.
Since portraying Wernam Hogg’s resident suck up, Crook has stayed close to television with spots on Popetown, Skins, Demons and Merlin, but he’s moved on to the silver screen as well. We’ve seen him play opposite Johnny Depp in the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films and Finding Neverland, while other notable parts in The Brothers Grimm (with Matt Damon and Heath Ledger), The Merchant of Venice (with Al Pacino), and Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (with Ralph Ineson) also appear on his extensive résumé. Speaking of that, the versatile Crook has spent some time on the London stage, having starred in Jerusalem and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in the West End and in The Seagull at the Royal Court Theatre. Next, we’ll hear his voice in Steven Spielberg‘s The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn.
Ralph has also been gainfully employed as a character actor (more often than not playing a rogue of some sort) ever since The Office. He’s done TV dramas – Merlin, Coronation Street, Heartbeat, Waterloo Road (see pic); comedies – The IT Crowd, Lead Balloon and movies – The Damned United, Sex & Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll. And if you’ve been paying attention to the last few Harry Potter films (including part 2 of Deathly Hallows), you’ll have seen him there too.
It’s not everyone that can say they’ve played Dodi Al-Fayed AND a comedy superhero, and yet that’s how Patrick’s post-Office career has panned out. He’s done a ton of TV work – Bodies, Mistresses, Silent Witness, No Heroics (see pic) – a ton of film work – Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, The International – and continued to appear on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He’s also in a band with Keith Allen, Lily‘s dad.