'The Office' Star Leslie David Baker on Kickstarting His Spinoff 'Uncle Stanley' (Exclusive)
By Liz Calvario
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Leslie David Baker has a goal -- and it's to bring his beloved character Stanley Hudson from The Office back to the screen. The actor, who portrayed the Dunder Mifflin employee for nine seasons, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to create a spinoff series titled Uncle Stan: Coming Out of Retirement.
"After having gone and done a lot of personal appearances at sporting events and Comic-Cons, I kept getting the question of, 'What happened to Stanley after his retirement? Where is he, what's going on with him?'" Baker told ET's Lauren Zima. "This character was and is so beloved that people wanted to know what is going on with him. And after several years, after his retirement, I said, 'You know what? There is a life for this character after The Office. So let's explore that, let's look at it and see what he's doing. We wanna know what his hopes, wishes, dreams, ambitions were.'"
Picked as one of Kickstarter's "Projects We Love," Uncle Stan would follow Baker's character, who is deep into retired life when he gets a call from his favorite nephew, Lucky, who is a recent widower with two children and runs a motorcycle and flower shop that belonged to his late wife.
"He's still holding onto the florist shop and wondering what to do with it and what to do with these two kids and his life," Baker detailed. When Lucky calls up his uncle for guidance and support, "Uncle Stan is coming out of retirement, because what do you do after you retire? You go somewhere else and find something else to get tired of. And in this case, it'll be his favorite nephew and his great niece and nephew, and chaos ensues."
Baker shared that Stanley "has not ceased to exist" and has much life to live after his time in retirement spent "carving wood and listening to disco." "It's like an onion, you start peeling away all those different layers that have yet to be explored."
And fans can hopefully expect to see some recognizable and sorely-missed Dunder Mifflin faces on the spinoff.
"They will be invited and we'll try and incorporate as much as we can, because again, this is part of Stanley's life," Baker said of his former co-stars. "This is several years later after his retirement, but as with any of us, once you retire from a job, you don't leave all the people that you worked with behind. They are a part of the fabric of your life, your personality. They have helped make you in part who you are and you still revisit that from time to time -- or it revisits you."
Baker, meanwhile, in the age of streaming, has gained a whole new generation of The Office fans, with people constantly recognizing him from the sitcom.
"Now we're getting a new generation of Office watchers and hopefully those Office watchers will be able to ask and respond to the question of, 'What happened to Stanley after Dunder Mifflin?'" he said. "What's going on with him today in 2020? What would he have to say about the pandemic? What do you have to say about all of the Black Lives Matter [movement], protests, things that are going on in the world that are affecting all of us?"
He hopes that people who love the show will help bring their favorite characters back to the screen via the Kickstarter campaign -- which also features special perks for fans who donate. For those who give $100, they will get a personal phone call from Baker, saying hello and thanking them for their contribution. For $200, they will also get a call, as well as a signed Blu-ray, T-shirt, poster, a shout-out on the website, an exclusive sticker pack and all other digital assets from the project.
"This newer generation is starting to watch The Office and they're starting to see that it does not have a time limit in terms of it being dated. The issues that come up on the show then are still relevant now, and they'll still be relevant again," Baker shared. "You want to find out what's going on with these characters, and in particular, what's going on with Stanley."