Exclusive Interview: Craig Robinson, from 'The Office' and 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno'
Exclusive Interview: Craig Robinson, from 'The Office' and 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno'
BuddyTV interviews Craig Robinson, who plays Darryl on The Office.

Craig Robinson is everywhere.  The man got his start in the stand-up game, and stayed there for the better part of his career.  Ever since being cast as Darryl, a warehouse employee, on The Office, Robinson has been a stand-out.  He steals nearly every scene he appears in on The Office, and in doing so drew the attention of Judd Apatow.  Robinson has since appeared in Knocked Up and last summer's Pineapple Express, and he is prominently featured in Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which will be released in theaters tomorrow.   We recently got the opportunity to speak with Craig about The Office, Zack and Miri, and what his ideal Darryl story-line would be.

Below you will find both the written transcript and the full mp3 audio of the interview.

Hey, this is Oscar Dahl with BuddyTV and I'm here with Craig Robinson, who plays Darryl on The Office, recently co-starred in Pineapple Express and he's got a new movie called Zack and Miri Make a Porno coming out at the end of the month.  Craig, how's it going?

Oscar...sorry, I'm just piling in a cheeseburger.  All is well, you?

Good.  You're a pretty busy guy these days, huh?

Yeah, pretty much.  Right now I just left North Carolina where I'm filming an HBO project, East Bound and Down, with Danny McBride.  And, Will Ferrell was in it and we had a blast over there.

Well, before we get to Zack and Miri, let's talk about The Office for a second.  It's been five seasons now - how are you feeling about playing Darryl?  Is it still fun to play, even after you've had this bigger film success?

Oh, absolutely.  I'm enjoying playing Darryl more and more each day.  I love my spot on there. People like, "Oh, they don't use you enough."  I disagree.  I think that it's a matter of the cardinal rule of show business - Leave them wanting more.   And so they let me get off - it's kind of like a basketball team.  I come in, score ten points, might as well let me score forty.  It's a blast and you'd have to pry me out of there by my cold dead hands.

I agree that you're deployed very well by the writers on the show, but is there any part of you that would like to see a Darryl-centric episode in the near future or are you totally cool with just popping in and out?

Every once in a while, like in "Negotiation," they'll pop me in there. Wear lady clothes and stuff like that. Every season they've got something special for me and this season, I'll just tell you Darryl and Michael and someone else take a road trip, so I'll be in that one.

Nice.  So, most of your scenes on The Office at this point are either with Steve Carrell or with Mindy Kaling.  Which scenes are your favorite to play and which are more difficult for you?

Actually both, one in the same.  My favorite is with Steve.  It's fun watching him, learning from him and he's sitting there, improving and so forth, he's just cracking you up and it's difficult because he is trying to crack you up and you are sitting there, OK, got to keep a straight face.  It's always challenging and it ends up helping you grow.

Has that sort of improv and dealing with other actors' improv, helped you in doing all of the Apatow films you've been involved with?

Absolutely.  With Knocked Up, Judd likes to run the camera, keep going and get stuff he wanted and then try new stuff.  He was just letting me go and go on that scene and then he cut it together to what you saw which was...half of the monologue was what he had written and the bottom half, things like "old pregnant bitches", like "you're too old for this club, but not for earth" that was, you know, from me.  "I wanna tear that ass up."

So, moving to Zack and Miri, if you didn't know it was a Kevin Smith film, you'd think it was a Judd Apatow film because of you and Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks.  Did that Seth Rogen connection have anything to do with you getting the role?

Seth was like, "Gotta hire Craig, gotta hire Craig."  And I did audition for it and in the audition everyone let me know that Smith was an Office fan, that was the first time I met him and I auditioned with Seth.  So, having that rapport with Seth was key because I went in there and we comfortably improved and everything.  I didn't see the script until after I agreed to the movie.  So, when I got to the audition they handed me these sides, took a look at it, when you're ready come on out, and I did it with Seth.

Can you tell us a little bit about your role in Zack and Miri Make a Porno and how it fits in to the film's plot?

I play Delaney who was on the hustle, he's on disability from the post office so he's waiting on his checks and in the meantime he's working at the coffee shop Bean N' Gone with Zack, played by Seth of course, and one of my goals in life is to get a big-screen TV.  He needs a distraction from his home life because he and his wife are always going at it.  So, Zack comes and, just before I'm going to buy my TV, Zack says "Hey, I need your help.  I want you to help me get this camera, we need the money for the TV and we're going to make a porno and you can be the producer and the producer gets to do things like help cast and look at boobies."  So, I become the producer in the movie.

Was Zack and Miri similar to a Judd Apatow production with all the improv or did you actors who were used to that kind of adapt to Kevin Smith's...

I was looking forward to doing Kevin's words, but with Seth you've got have some improv going on, cause he just tops himself with each line.  Zack and Miri, Kevin was letting us do improv, I probably improved the least.  There's a couple of scenes in there where there was a lot of improv for me.  Like the audition scene and the scene with Tisha Campbell. Kevin is usually a stickler for being down to the letter so it was experimental for all of us in that sense.  And he was loose, he trusted us.  What you see is what you get.

You got your start doing stand-up and then moved into TV and recently you've been doing films - is that where you saw your career going, is that something you always wanted to do?  What do you like most?  Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I love doing live performance.  That's my number one.  I've always wanted to make a name for myself and I knew I wanted to do it through film and acting.  And then go on the road and have people have an interest in me from that realm and then see the act and have a new respect what I do.  I'm enjoying that ride, living that dream and in a few years I just, I'm more like, I'm watching it unfold and I get a little bit at a time.  Say, since the scene in the Knocked Up, I had a scene there, I had a couple scenes in Pineapple Express, and now I got more in Zack and Miri.  It's my biggest to date, so I'm just looking forward to watching it progress and seeing where it goes.

All right, last question, going back to The Office.  By the end of the show's run, what would be your dream story-line for Darryl?

Darryl and Kelly and Pam and Jan and Angela make a porno would be a dream.  Right there in the warehouse.  Bow-chicka-bow-wow!

This is when The Office moves to HBO, right?

Exactly.  I don't know.  I would like to see Darryl get himself a spin-off. A companion piece to the show. That'd be awesome.  "The Warehouse Show" or whatever.

I'd watch that show.

I enjoy playing that character, man.  Steve doesn't make it easy to not crack up, but it's just...I've been blessed to work with some of the top people in the game and it doesn't get much bigger or better.

All right, Craig, I appreciate you taking the time, man.

Yeah, I appreciate you, Oscar.

No problem.  Good luck.

Thank you, take care. 

-Interview Conducted by Oscar Dahl
(Image Courtesy of NBC)

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