John Krasinski never imagined he'd be playing Dunder-Mifflin's perpetual prankster Jim Halpert on NBC's The Office for seven years, but that's exactly what happened.
As the mockumentary comedy's ninth and final season airs on NBC, Krasinski, 33, opens up to VMAN about how the show was once in jeopardy of never being seen.
"We were constantly in fear of getting cancelled. We actually had a guy come down every Friday to the set and he'd be like, 'Ah man, this episode's so great. It's going so well. The dailies are looking great. You know this is the last episode, right? We're not going to pick it up,'" the actor recalls. "And I was like, 'Can I at least get these on DVD to show my mom?' And he actually did give me the first six episodes on DVD, because we were sure we actually weren't going to get picked up."
Inspired by Ricky Gervais' smash British comedy of the same name, The Office premiered on March 24, 2005, but it wasn't an overnight success. "There was a confluence of events, which was, critically, people thought it was pretty good, but iTunes was a huge factor," explains Krasinski, married to Emily Blunt since 2010. "I remember walking around New York and people would stop me on the street with buds in their ears and go, 'Oh my God!' And I'd say, 'What?' And then they'd turn their iPod around and say, 'You're on my iPod!'"
"We were one of the first big TV shows on iTunes," the actor adds. "People were watching the show, like, in the subway. And that completely saved us, totally saved us. We built sort of a cult group of amazing fans and from there, people actually started watching the show on television."
Though several cast members have already moved on -- most notably Steve Carell and Mindy Kaling -- Krasinski isn't entirely ready to say goodbye. "I get so emotional to think that we're ending the show," he tells VMAN. "But I'm unbelievably proud to be a part of one that actually gets to end. Instead of being asked to leave, I actually get a shot at bringing the whole story and all the characters to a close."