5 Questions With ‘The Office’ Actress Kate Flannery

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak temporarily axing live events of any kind in the Capital Region at press time, one glimmer of joyful hope is coming up on July 18. Actress Kate Flannery (a.k.a. The Office’s Meredith Palmer) will be doing an in-store appearance at Albany’s Heroes Hideout in Colonie Center. Ironically, Flannery, who played one hell of an HR nightmare on the hit NBC show, is a talented singer and dancer who’s been performing on the touring version of Dancing With The Stars (it, too, was postponed). Saratoga Living recently caught up with Flannery, who told us all about her multifaceted career—and the potential for an Office reboot.

You’re doing a meet-and-greet at Heroes Hideout in Albany this July. How’d that come together?
Thanks to the love for The Office, I’ve received some really great invitations. Coming to Albany was another great “out of the blue” offer. Sounds like a great party, and I rarely turn down an invitation to a party.

Have you ever visited Saratoga during the horse racing season?
I’ve never been to Saratoga Springs. I’m excited! I really like this area. I did a movie in Albany and Troy called Fourth Man Out back in 2015. I also played the Palace Theatre in 1994 in a tour of the show The Real Live Brady Bunch. I know that my dance partner from DWTS, Pasha Pashkov, and his wife have danced there many times.

You’re best known for playing Meredith on The Office. Did you base the character on a real-life person? How much of Meredith is actually you?
The Office had the best writers on TV. I can’t take complete credit for creating Meredith; however, I am a bar owner’s daughter. My dad ran Flannery’s Tavern in Philadelphia for 45 years. My grandfather opened it in 1933. I waited tables and bartended until I was 41. (Yes, I still had my restaurant job during the first season of The Office!) I waited on a lot of Merediths.

Which of your Office co-stars do you still stay in touch with?
I heard from five cast members this week! Angela Kinsey (Angela Martin), Oscar Nuñez (Oscar Martinez), Craig Robinson (Darryl Philbin), Andy Buckley (David Wallace) and Dave Koechner (Todd Packer). Don’t make me pick my favorite cast member. We are all like family!

What can you tell us about the rumored Office revival?
I don’t know for sure if there will be a reboot of The Office. It was the best nine years of my life, and I would love to do more. So we will see. I was 40 when I got the job on The Office, so I will always speak to the late bloomers. I know I have more gratitude and I am more grounded, but also, I have learned the value of hard work and enjoying every minute. Nothing lasts forever, so smile while you can.

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