Movie Reviews

The Office's Meredith Actor Recalls Working With Guest Star Kathy Bates

The Office star, Kate Flannery, recently recalled working with guest star Kathy Bates. Flannery starred as Meredith Palmer, Dunder Mifflin’s grossly inappropriate and socially awkward supplier relations representative in the US version of The Office. Based on the UK show of the same name created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the American series premiered in 2005 and quickly became one of the most popular sitcoms in the country. Due to its success, the show attracted top talent including James Spader as Robert California, Will Ferrel as Deangelo, and Jim Carrey as the Finger Lakes guy.

During The Office season 6, Sabre purchases Dunder Mifflin and Bates is introduced as its CEO, Jo Bennet, a Southern tough-talking direct authority. She leads by example and rewards integrity, especially when Michael Scott (Steve Carell) steps up to take responsibility for the press leak about the faulty printers. Although Bates returned for The Office season 7, due to conflicting schedules with her show, Harry’s Law, she could not return in the same capacity for The Office season 8 and was written out, although Jo remained the head of Sabre.

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While appearing on the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast, Flannery recalled working with Bates during her time on The Office. When asked if she ever got star-struck by Bates, Flannery admitted that she didn’t, but called the venerable actor “amazing.” However, as they were working together, the two were not able to talk much between scenes due to the long monologues Bates initially had to memorize. Read what Flannery said about Bates below.

Flannery undoubtedly has a great deal of respect for the Richard Jewell star and clearly recognized the actor’s long experience in the industry while observing Bates’ dedication to the craft. Unfortunately, due to Bates’ minor role on the show, and Meredith generally being relegated to a small number of jokes per episode, the two did not share a significant amount of screen time. Regardless, it appears that Flannery still cherished the little time she had with Bates.

Bates was one of the few big celebrities who joined the show in a relatively significant role. It would have been interesting to see how Jo’s time with Dunder Mifflin would have panned out if Bates had been able to commit to The Office instead of Harry’s Law, which unfortunately only lasted for two seasons. Although her time on the sitcom was brief, her impact on The Office was long-lasting with her role ranking high on the short list of celebrity guest appearances.

Source: Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum

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