I'm best known for playing Meredith the drunk on NBC's The Office for 9 seasons and I will be in the upcoming film "4th Man Out" in theaters, VOD and iTunes February 5th! You can watch the trailer here: http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/4thmanout/.

I'm currently touring with Jane Lynch in her anti cabaret act, SEE JANE SING, and you can also catch me performing with Scott Robinson as The Lampshades.

For more information you can check out our website: www.thelampshades.com.


You guys were freakishly awesome, I had a blast! Let's do it again really soon!

Comments: 489 • Responses: 25  • Date: 

SentioVenia642 karma

You had to really put yourself out there for Meredith. Were you ever at a script read-through and and said, "Not this time, fellas"?

KateFlannery873 karma

Ha! No I really trusted our writers and our showrunners so much. I knew I'd be in really good hands and I usually did my own stunts. The only time I didn't was when my hair was on fire! I was actually considering it and they said...maybe not.

I will say that there were times to shoot when I was topless and it was hard to look at the camera guys at lunch.

basildreams328 karma

Which actor do you think is most like their character? I feel like Creed is almost exactly the same on and off screen. Is he?

KateFlannery630 karma

I was gonna say Rainn, he knows a lot about Battlestar Galactica. He's a nerd that way. He's extremely knowledgeable and very smart. He has a command of knowledge in the way that Dwight Schrute -- he's not as weird as Dwight but definitely some similarities.

melgarologist280 karma

How bad is it that I totally would've jumped at the chance for a shot at Meredith?

KateFlannery547 karma

You could do a lot worse! Get in line, take a number!

sjbeeks236 karma

Did you have any ad-libbed lines that made it on to the show? If not, do you have any favorites from other actors that made it on?

KateFlannery585 karma

In season 2 when I first get introduced as a drinker. The line was My New Year's Resolution is I'm not gonna drink anymore... and I added ...during the week. That's the first one I remember.

When Michael hit me with me the car I think I said You broke my pelvis, you're not forgiven...

Those are my favorites.

Oh, when Michael drags Meredith into rehab, that whole conversation in the parking lot was improv.

aparedes99227 karma

Your stripper son was played by the same actor as your son from the old episodes, did you guys keep in touch at all or was that your first time seeing each other since he was a kid?

KateFlannery289 karma

He had been on for the company picnic episode, but it got cut. Mer left him in the car. We didn't really keep in touch. But then he because a regular on "Mom" so I'm proud of him, Spencer is great!

It's so hard to transition from being a kid to a young adult actor and he's done a great job.

timetospeakY195 karma

Why didn't you and Creed ever get together? Match made in heaven.

Serious question though: Who's your biggest comedic influence from the past? Who's your favorite newer comedian?

Love you in The Office (watched at least a dozen times through) and I get really excited to see you pop up in new projects! Cheers!

KateFlannery399 karma

Actually we did!

He actually asks why we never get together. And I say "We did!" and I make a face like it was awful. I think this is season 7 or 8, very short exchange but very telling. And sometimes two wrongs don't make a right.

butterfly_burps159 karma

Did you ever have to be drunk on set to get into character for Merdith?

KateFlannery316 karma

Hahahah! No, I find playing a drunk requires, well...it requires control. Being drunk and playing drunk are two completely different things. Sometimes its a waste of a time to think method acting will serve you.

Doing comedy actually drunk you tend to enjoy everything your saying and it takes a lot longer. You're also a lot slower and that does not serve the comedy.

Taurus_Guy151 karma

Kate I love you! What is the most outlandish story/experience you have had while meeting a fan?

KateFlannery280 karma

Uhh. Well I was walking into a hotel to meet someone and I got dragged into all their wedding photos. I literally got dragged into the wedding party. Its nothing like seeing all these bridesmaids and the bride taking forever to get ready. I mean prepared for hours.

Here I am pulled off the street, you know, in my coat taking all these pictures. Its ridiculous.

Zvchdecker137 karma

Did you actually shave your head for the lice episode!? It looked so convincing!!

KateFlannery269 karma

I did not! That was this guy, Ed French. He's the guru of bald caps. I loved the whole wig thing. The bald cap, it was 4 hours getting in to it and 2 hours getting out. I have newfound respect for all the sci-fi actors. It was a lot, but it was worth it.

Peel_Here137 karma

Did you actually show your boobs to Steve Carell?

KateFlannery228 karma

Uh yes, it was a little bit of modesty coverage but not much.

WriteLefty125 karma

Did you ever hope Meridith would get a promotion and power like a few other characters?

KateFlannery236 karma

Wellll...yes but then I'd fear that it would be too drastic. Some people really enjoy the limits that are handed them and Meredith is one of those people. It's good to skate by. Is it really worth it to work hard if you can't party every night?

I think her motto was: just enjoy what's been handed to you and being slightly under the radar is a fantastic thing.

Givemeyourmilk2108 karma

What has been your favorite part of being in the office?

KateFlannery203 karma

Umm...wow it hard to pick one. It was the greatest job because I got to get out of my head as an actor. Even if I was just there with no lines for days, I had a great time and I felt like my presence was valued. That's a really good thing for an actor, even if they don't speak they're important.

Also, to work with great talent and I was never not entertained by what's going on. It was pretty amazing to have nine seasons of that.

ricochet_rico63 karma

You had a hilarious character - loved how dryly you played her :). Any personal experience you were able to pull from? Drunk "escapades"?

KateFlannery168 karma

You know my Dad owned a Irish bar in Philly. There was only one woman who drank there, I just remember her attitude. There were a lot of characters in his bar. So it was like a study.

I had such affection for those people, it allowed me to come from a place of love. I'm always surprised when people say "I'm the Meredith of my office!" they're so loud and proud. It was an honor to put her on the TV screen.

DMWWFP96 karma

Would you do an office reunion? Any talks of one?

KateFlannery187 karma

There are no talks but I definitely would absolutely, I loved every minute of that show. The answer is "Yes" but there are no talks.

Frajer89 karma

What's your favorite memory from the Office?

KateFlannery229 karma

Meredith's Walk of Shame, when Will and Steve are waiting on the porch to give me my Dundee nomination certificate. When we got to sing to Michael's character. It scratched a certain itch and Michael cries. It was amazing.

Zak3786 karma

What made you audition or be picked for Meredith?

KateFlannery168 karma

I initially auditioned for the part of 'Jan' but I didn't get it. They had a call right before Labor Day after the pilot shot, I auditioned and they just kept calling. The casting director I'd know before, and I was a fan of the British show. I was scared it would be a weird imitation but it didn't stop me.

joesmanbun82 karma

Hi Kate! Thanks for doing this!

I relate a lot to meredith because I am also a fiery redhead who loves to drink...

My question is: Who on set most frequently got you to break character/crack up? And do you have any specific stories of when this happened?


KateFlannery134 karma

Umm. Oh my gosh. Well, Steve. He was such an amazing performer. He would come up with stuff, and he'd do the 6th take and it would be equally as funny. There was one cold open, Michael Scott is in his strait jacket, then Jim and Pam move the key. He's a genius.

ki10_butt59 karma

Hi Kate! I think you're absolutely hilarious and wonderful. You were SO fantastic on The Office!

My question is about Cooties - Did you have a lot of fun on set? Any fun stories you could share? Was it fun to work with Rainn again?

KateFlannery71 karma

I didn't have scenes with Rainn but I worked with Elijah...he's just a great talent and sweet guy. I kept saying my character must have been a slut in HS because I was a little too young to play his mom. But I hope there's a Cooties 2 because my character didn't die so I hope I come back.

roodus41 karma

If you weren't an actress, what would your career be?

KateFlannery64 karma

Well, out of my mind! That's just all I'm gonna say.

NotAGangMember40 karma

Kate! Love your work. How much are you actually like Meredith? What's the most Meredith thing you've ever done?

KateFlannery64 karma

Oh my gosh. It's hard to pick one. I am very different in many ways. That's a really hard one, you may have stumped me. I remember there was an episode where we had to clean the office. I told that story about how we had to clean my Dad's bar. So I tell Dwight that and he assigns me the men's room.

But I'm in a stable relationship so taking my shirt off randomly is not in my repertoire.

My college gave me Silver Star award and I felt like they were giving Meredith the award not Kate. That did not bother me one bit, I thought it was great. I didn't give a speech but I just said "Don't drink at work!"

ThisMachineKILLS30 karma

Oh god oh god I have a chance to speak directly to someone from the greatest TV show of all time

What was the hardest scene to film without laughing and ruining it?

How did Meredith's PhD in child psychology coincide with her son turning into a stripper with a face tattoo?

KateFlannery63 karma

Well...to the last question. Anyone who is getting a PhD...she's working as hard she can to make ends meet, and her son should be working too. If he borrows the boombox for the job so be it.

TheBeardedPilot29 karma

Were Merediths sex scenes ever awkward for you as an actress?

KateFlannery90 karma

Um, well - I didn't really have sex scenes per se. They were always implied. I had more topless scenes. In "Booze Cruise", Rob Riggle and I go into a room where it's implied. Sex scenes? No. Nudity, a little bit. "Casual Friday" was awkward because there was talk of a merkin, that was a little more crazy.

In the last season, we were watching a clip together and my modesty cover was slipping and Ed Helms was like "Cut....yea cut please" Duct tape would have been more reliable.

There's a scene where I first meet Timothy Olyphant. I was a little intimidated and such a fan of his. It was too much too soon, I don't know what this has to do with your question but I added it in anyway.

dancechick09322 karma

What kind of research did you do for your role in "4th Man out"? Did you talk to any parents who had their children come out to them?

KateFlannery34 karma

I didn't and I'll tell you...this is so crazy...I went to college for musical theater. I had a lot of friends come out very late. It was the 80s, kids didn't usually come out in high school. One of my best friends he came to the Chicago to the screening at the festival in the fall.

He told me one scene was very identical, and he felt like he should have trusted me and he didn't. I think it's crazy that it played out so similarly. Pretty ironic that it was already on the page and I'd already gone through that.

mcgillycuddy41216 karma

I just listened to a Lampshades song. You guys are like a funnier version of Lovage, if you've ever heard of them. So, what music are you in to?

KateFlannery27 karma

I feel like the Lampshades are in a time capsule. They're doing an act cause they're trapped in the 70's and 80's. I love a lot of 50's jazz. I'm a big fan of Sinatra.

I have the taste of an 85 year old woman. I love Broadway but before the 80s - after that it changed and I wasn't as into it. I love the music of the 40's. But don't get me wrong, I do love rock n'roll. I like more alternative though. I actually saw Nile Rodgers and Duran Duran concert and Craig Robinson got up there - I was being such a groupie. I love Erykah Badu and St. Vincent. And I'm still obsessed with the Garden State soundtrack.

Foodapoodas14 karma

Have you ever regretted a role you've taken?

KateFlannery24 karma

I don't think so. I've been really lucky. I've not rolled my eyes or anything.