Brian Baumgartner Taps Into His Inner Kevin with a 'The Office' Fantasy Football League and BBQ (EXCLUSIVE)

Brian Baumgartner is known as Kevin from ‘The Office,’ but he’s much more than that. He’s a grill master and a multifaceted actor.

Jamie Lerner - Author

Jun. 28 2024, Published 3:45 p.m. ET

Brian Baumgartner holds 5-Hour ENERGY BBQ sauce
Source: 5-hour ENERGY

As we gear up for the summer, there’s nothing we love more than some sweet, sweet barbecue. And no one knows about barbecue more than Brian Baumgartner, who’s famous for playing and originating Kevin Malone in The Office.

Distractify was lucky enough to speak with him and we can confirm that he is much more than his hilarious The Office character.

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While partnering with 5-Hour ENERGY’s new BBQ sauce, Brian shared a bit about what he’s up to today and how he feels about The Office now, over 10 years after the final episode aired. And despite getting boxed into Kevin for a short time, Brian is now following his bliss and doing what he loves — acting, BBQing, and sharing his humor and intelligence with the world through his podcast, Off the Beat.

Brian Baumgartner as Kevin in the famous chili scene of 'The Office'
Source: NBC
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Brian now thinks fondly of his time as Kevin in ‘The Office.’

For a few years, Brian wanted to break out of his Kevin persona since Kevin was a “character he crafted” as a trained actor.

“I think that I am the least like my character in the show,” Brian shared exclusively with Distractify. “I spent a number of years saying no to anything similar or sort of anything associated with the show. I wanted to find that distance. I came from theater, so for me it's about creating characters and I wanted to create a variety of characters in different mediums.”

But after The Office catapulted to popularity after it finished airing, Brian realized that he and Kevin were stuck together. So despite moving away from Kevin-like roles, Brian has been embracing their shared interests, like sports, cooking, and even a bit of gambling.

“Using that to re-identify or really define myself in a new way is what I've tried to do.”

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For example, he and his former castmates and crew members have a fantasy football league. In their 19th or 20th year, Brian has sadly never won despite consistently appearing in the fantasy “Super Bowl” more than anyone else.

Another example of Brian’s Kevin embrace is his partnership with 5-Hour ENERGY’s barbecue sauce and his brand-new BBQ cookbook.

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Now, Brian Baumgartner, who played Kevin in ‘The Office,’ is sharing his love of BBQ with the world.

As July 4 approaches, everyone wants the best sauce for their smoked meats possible. While many of us may think Brian’s BBQ experience starts and ends with “Kevin’s Famous Chili,” he’s actually a pretty experienced grillmaster. In fact, he’s even written a book on barbecuing with his Seriously Good Barbecue Cookbook, so if anyone needs tips or tricks on how to grill for the perfect July 4 party, Brian is your guy.

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“So I come from Georgia and [BBQ] was really always a part of my part of my culture,” Brian said. “I did theater for a long period of time and I worked with a director at one point who was French and he would talk about food. And he used food and the cooking of food as a distraction from the work.

“It was a way for him to sort of dive in and focus on something else that then allowed his mind to clear for a period of time, and then go back into it. So I sort of started that idea from him and the barbecue was really where I grew up, and that's where I feel the most comfortable. It's been a part of my culture for a long time. And I've really been using it particularly once I came to Southern California because you can grill all year long.”

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5-Hour ENERGY BBQ Sauce
Source: 5-hour ENERGY

We’re not all as lucky as Brian to live in Southern California with perfect grilling weather all year, but in the height of the summer, his cookbook and the 5-hour ENERGY sauce he’s promoting will definitely come in handy. “It has some pep,” he confirmed of its caffeine content. “When you're barbecuing, it is an activity. So last week this whole pork I made, it was a six or seven-hour endeavor from prep by the time you're done. So it does actually help you get through quite a bit.”

Fans of caffeine and BBQ sauce can get their 5-Hour ENERGY sauce on the house on limited drop dates July 2, July 9, and July 16, 2024.

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