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Everyone is talking about talent compensation lately, and that includes Cameo co-founder and CEO Steven Galanis who revealed the video messaging platform’s most bankable star was no A-lister but, rather, the lovable accountant from The Office.
Galanis dished actor Brian Baumgartner did “over $1 million” in 2020 thanks to charging $195 per message. Baumgartner tells The Hollywood Reporter that he was skeptical about creating an account after being asked several times. “I finally decided to give it a try,” he says, crediting his success to the staying power of the show. “I know this sounds Pollyanna or politically correct, but I was on a very popular beloved television show. There’s a comedy that I’m known for, which is helpful, but really what happened during this time is that people wanted to make a connection. It’s not really about me. I’m really the person who gets two people together.”
Baumgartner, who hosts an Office podcast and has the book Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History of The Office coming Oct. 19, admits that fans have leaned on him to mend broken fences. “I get messages from people who are estranged from loved ones, and they are throwing a buoy out in the water. Or it’s, like, a father and daughter watched the show together or friends that may not have seen each other in a while. They use it to find a connection, come closer together or use my character Kevin to make somebody laugh. That’s how I view it and I really do enjoy that.”
This story first appeared in the Sept. 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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