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Craig Robinson on ‘Zack and Miri’ and Why Darryl and Kelly Won’t Be the Next Jim and Pam

“Dear Betty, I really hope you’re not having casual sex with some stranger right now …”

Here at Vulture, we make no secret of our love for Craig Robinson, The Office’s affable Darryl. And we couldn’t possibly be more thrilled with the way his star is rising, with roles in this summer’s Pineapple Express and Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno (out tomorrow). We spoke with Robinson recently about homemade pornography, battling the MPAA, and what not to expect on this season’s Office finale.

Can you tell us about your role in Zack and Miri?
I play Delaney, and he works at a coffee shop along with Zack. I’m waiting on my disability check so I can buy a flat-screen TV. Why? Not only is it a man thing, but it’s a nice distraction from my wife who I’m constantly fighting with. But Zack convinces me to back their porn movie, so I invest in a camera instead. So I become the producer for the porno movie. I get to audition girls and do things like make sure their breasts are in good condition, and that makes my character very happy. It’s raunchy.

The MPAA thought so, too. Were you surprised that they initially rated it NC-17?
When I heard all of that was going, I didn’t think it deserved that rating. But then Kevin got it overturned without having to take any of the footage out. They didn’t change a thing.

How much of that rating were you responsible for?
About 65 percent. That’s based on individual percentages. Seth is 100 percent. One scene, I’m sure, was a good 150 percent.

How do you talk the MPAA into knocking it down to an R without cutting any footage?
I think that they sent nude pictures of me over. I’m pretty sure that’s what happened. Nobody will confirm or deny that, though.

You worked with actual porn stars, like Traci Lourdes and Katie Morgan. What was that like?
They just came in and rocked their scenes. The fact that they’re there gives the film a stamp of approval. They were good actresses and very sweet people.

Do you think Zack and Miri is going to inspire its own porn spinoff?
Funny you say that, because right now I’m in the middle of filming one in my suite at the Four Seasons. Coming to a video store near you.

Just one Office question: Do you think Darryl and Kelly might ever be the new Jim and Pam?
I don’t, because Darryl would kill himself first. That’s a crazy relationship. I can deny that rumor: It’s just not happening.

Craig Robinson on ‘Zack and Miri’ and Why Darryl and Kelly Won’t Be the Next Jim and Pam