At just 30 years old, B.J Novak has already had a wealth of eye-opening experiences in the world of entertainment. One of the most bizarre involved him, Scattergories and the King of Pop at the private home of one of the world’s biggest leaders in the meditation movement.
“This figure sweeps into the room in a red military outfit and black hat and sunglasses and sits down at the kids’ table. I thought, How weird. Deepak hired a Michael Jackson impersonator. Then I realized, It is f**king Michael Jackson,” Novak recalls of a childhood visit to Deepak Chopra’s home in Playboy’s May 20Q feature (issue on newsstands and online at Playboydigital.com on Friday, April 16).
“I remember three things about it: He didn’t touch his food at dinner, we played board games, and nobody believed me at school the next day when I said I played Scattergories with Michael Jackson.”
Novak, who is also a writer and co-executive producer of “The Office,” said his co-stars are just as “weird” off-screen as they are on, and opened up about what his fellow “The Office” star John Krasinski was really like in their Massachusetts high school days together.
“He was the guy with the follow-up plan. He was popular and smart, and if he liked a girl he would just ask her out,” Novak told the mag. “I was at home, meanwhile, writing to my local TV affiliates, telling them they should air more sitcoms.”
“Brad was charismatic and kind and cool, and Quentin was super intense and wanted to stay up all night talking about the different guns used in a biopic of Dillinger from the 1940s. The guy is astonishing,” Novak said. “I don’t know anything about movies beyond, basically, ‘Remember when DiCaprio said, “I’m the king of the world?”’ But that’s what you expect from Quentin Tarantino. And what I’ve learned about meeting famous people is that they’re almost always exactly who you expect them to be.”
And despite all his success, Novak is struggling to find that someone special and has no plans for romance anytime soon.
“I’ve always been shy and inept with women. Like, every time I got near a girl in junior high or high school, it felt like a fluke. I still feel that way… Part of me still thinks every chance I have to kiss a girl is my last chance.
"When you are sort of quiet and self-conscious and average-looking, you’re not used to getting into conversations at a bar. So it gets complicated when you’re on television, because the conversations start coming to you. People – women, beautiful women – have something to say to you. They feel they know you. But all that means is that meeting people is much easier compared with how it used to be.
“We work really long hours on 'The Office,' and I’d usually rather just recover on a Friday night than go out. Relationships for me are like screenplays for a lot of television writers. You keep telling yourself you’ll start one when you get a little time off, but then you start one only to abandon it.”