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The Office Cast Gives Emotional Goodbye Before Series Finale

The employees of Dunder Mifflin are days away from clocking out — forever. In a new video tribute from NBC, actors John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer and Rainn Wilson — who played Jim Halpert, Pam Beesly and Dwight Schrute, respectively — share their favorite memories from The Office, which ends its nine-season run on Thursday, May 16, at 8 p.m. EST.

“I was the first person who auditioned for The Office,” says Wilson, whose offbeat character proposed to Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey) in the penultimate episode. “I knew who this person was. I knew exactly how he needed to be brought to life.”

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The chemistry between Krasinski, 33, and Fischer, 39, was undeniable from the moment the actors auditioned together. (Jim and Pam’s will-they-won’t-they dynamic became a central storyline during the show’s first few seasons.)

Related: VIDEO: Mindy Kaling chats with Us Weekly about women in comedy

When Fischer was hired, “The first question I asked was, ‘Is John Krasinski going to play Jim?'” she recalls. “The role of Pam couldn’t be done unless I had the right partner, and during the audition I knew that he was my teammate.” Krasinski calls the role “the greatest honor I’ve ever had.”

the office
Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski of The Office.

Though The Office suffered from low ratings during its first few years, the American adaptation of the British hit quickly won over critics. When Steve Carell won a Golden Globe in 2006 for his role as regional manager Michael Scott, the cast felt vindicated. “That was the moment when we felt like we’d arrived,” Fischer explains. “Every week we felt like we were going to get canceled. Then Steve got nominated for an award, then Steve won the award, and it was like, ‘We did it! We did it!” (Carell left the show in 2011 after seven seasons.)

Related: PHOTOS: Stars who were fired from jobs

Wilson, 47, says his favorite episode aired during Season 2. Written by Mindy Kaling, “The Injury” featured Michael stepping on a George Foreman grill and accidentally burning his foot. “Dwight rushes to get him and gets in a car accident, throws up all over his car and gets a concussion,” Wilson remembers. “His personality changes and he becomes friends with Pam. It was just so much fun to play Dwight going into this weird dementia.”

When she realizes that she’ll never set foot on the L.A.-area set again, Fischer begins to tear up. “I hope that I never have to work at this location again under different circumstances,” she jokes. “I hope that in my memory, when I drive down this road, our buildings are here and our set is here. I never want to come here and walk through that stage door and see anything else because that way it will always be there.”

“Thank you for watching and thank you to everyone for your friendship and your devotion,” she adds. “I don’t know. How do you say goodbye?”

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