‘The Office’ star Brian Baumgartner recalls how a childhood injury led to his successful acting career


Before Brian Baumgartner rose to fame in “The Office”, he dreamed of becoming a baseball player.

On Wednesday, the actor made an appearance on Nick Viall’s podcast, “The Viall Files,” where he opened up about a childhood injury that landed him in a wheelchair, disrupting his original focus.

“If I had a dream from my childhood it was that I was going to be a professional baseball player – any sport actually, but baseball was really for me – but my bone was twisted in my leg from birth. , it was the kind of thing I could have lived with forever… my foot was slightly rotated relative to my knee, ”the 48-year-old explained.

“It wasn’t dramatic, it was something I could have lived with, but if you want to be a professional baseball player, no, you need to line everything up and be able to run fast,” he said. -he declares.

During his teenage years, Baumgartner underwent surgery to resolve the problem. However, he said that “something went wrong” during the procedure.

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“Basically what happened was they did the operation, they put on the splint, they put the cast to hold the leg in place and there was either a chemical mixture. , either the cast got very hot at the pressure point … something went wrong but for days I was in pain and [the doctors] were like, ‘He’s fine, give him morphine,’ and then finally they were like, ‘Well, he shouldn’t be feeling that,’ ”Baumgartner recalls.

“So they cut the plaster and it burned my Achilles tendon on the back of my leg,” he continued. “So now elective surgery to try to resolve a situation created a situation where I had to relearn to walk. There were skin grafts… I was in a wheelchair. I had a walker.”

The health complication made Baumgartner realize that sport may not be in his future.

“I was a very active kid,” he said. “I was playing tennis, basketball, baseball and I needed to find something else. And that’s how I got into the theater… I was just trying to find something I could. make.”

And the decision changed her life forever.

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Left to right: Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, Oscar Nunez as Oscar Martinez and Brian Baumgartner as Kevin Malone in

From left to right: Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, Oscar Nunez as Oscar Martinez and Brian Baumgartner as Kevin Malone in “The Office”.
(Photo by Justin Lubin / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

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Baumgartner is best known for playing the role of Kevin Malone on the hit sitcom “The Office”, which aired from 2005 to 2013. In the podcast, Baumgartner said he was initially drawn to the series after seeing the version. British original.

“I called my agent and told her it was the show, she told me they were looking for strangers but they weren’t looking for you strangers – like totally strangers,” he said. he told the media. “But my manager worked and worked and made me meet [casting director] Allison Jones. “

“The Office” was the most-viewed show on Netflix in 2018, airing for more than 52 billion minutes, according to Nielsen. This equates to almost 15 hours for each of Netflix’s 58.5 million U.S. subscribers. “Friends” was # 2 and “Grey’s Anatomy” # 3.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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