What prompted you to try acting? Joel Morales-Rolón SAN JUAN, P.R.
I wanted to be an English teacher. I wanted to do it for the corduroy jackets with patches on the side. When I got to college, as I was walking across campus one day, I ripped off a little flyer for this sketch-comedy group. It ended up being one of the greatest things I've ever done.
How did you become reunited with your high school classmate B.J. Novak (also on The Office)? Anthony M. Belz PROVIDENCE, R.I.
Reunited--that sounds so romantic. We were doing our final auditions in L.A., and he was across the room. That was the first time I'd seen him since high school. It's one of those moments where your brain kind of caves in on itself. And then as soon as I asked him what part he was auditioning for and he didn't say my part, I was like, How are you?!
How hard was it to write the screenplay for David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men? Zach Watson COLUMBUS, OHIO
I think David Foster Wallace is one of the greatest writers that has ever lived. The majority of the movie is his words. I didn't change too much. I felt really nervous pretty much every day for about five years because I know how many people love his work.
What other writers or novels do you admire? Jude Lovell, BETHLEHEM, PA.
I'm a huge classics fan. I love Ernest Hemingway and J.D. Salinger. I'm that guy who rereads a book before I read newer stuff, which is probably not all that progressive, and it's not really going to make me a better reader. I'm like, "Oh, my God, you should read To Kill a Mockingbird." And people are like, "I'm not 15." Still good, though.
What drew you to Away We Go? Val Matchus, SCHAUMBURG, ILL.
I got a call from Sam Mendes, who said, "I just read the script, and I'm only thinking of you for the part." I know everybody reading this is like, "The dude from The Office got a call from Sam Mendes?" I know. It's insane. The script is one of the best I've ever read.
Do you plan on taking more dramatic roles, or do you prefer comedy? Jessica Feldman, MERRICK, N.Y.
I love to do both. A good part's a good part. You can play serious and funny moments with a well-written role. Away We Go is a great example. I had so much fun [with] these weird, odd moments, but in the end, I play this guy who's really scared to have a baby.
How are you least like Jim Halpert, your The Office character? Carla Good ROCKLAND, CALIF.
I think the thing about Jim is that he's very rarely willing to take chances. He's more comfortable being in a stable job where he's paid what he's paid and he does what he does, even though I think that there's something bubbling beneath him that wants him to go somewhere else. I hope that I'm the type of guy who, when I have a big idea or a big aspiration, I at least give it a shot.
How much of The Office is scripted, and how much is ad-libbed? Chris Barszcz GREEN BAY, WIS.
Virtually none of it is ad-libbed. We have the greatest writers in television, truly. They write every 'um' and 'ah' and beat and pause. We are all talentless on the show and can do nothing without writers. That's basically what I'm saying.
Are you worried about being typecast as the nice guy? Kelly Ermolowich LITTLE FALLS, N.J.
I think there are a lot worse things you could be typecast as.