celebrity shopping

What Actor Brian Baumgartner Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: Sarah Morris / Getty Images

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hairspray and the electric toothbrush. We asked actor Brian Baumgartner — who famously played Kevin on The Office and whose podcast An Oral History of the Office launched today on Spotify — about the chili pot, baseball hat, and headphones he can’t live without.

I started eating pistachios at Dodgers Stadium; I’m a huge baseball fan. I’m not really a peanut guy — peanuts are too simple. I guess it’s a Southern California thing to do pistachios instead of peanuts? They definitely have peanuts at the stadium, but when I had these pistachios I was like, “This is a nut that I can get behind.” You have to buy them in the shell because part of the fun is getting them out, right?

I have kind of a distinctive head. Rainn Wilson, who is generally goofy-looking, and I both have this problem and we get spotted easily. The quickest and easiest way to avoid that is to wear a hat. So every time I go to a different city, even if I’m not a fan of the local team, I will buy a relaxed-fit, extra-large, 47 brand hat for that team. I feel like it gives me a cloak of invisibility or something. It doesn’t really work, but it makes me feel better and less like I’m out in the open. I have hundreds of these hats. It’s truly a problem. If I had to pick a specific team’s hat I wear more regularly, I’d say the Dodgers or the Yankees. I’m not a huge Yankees fan, but I do really like their logo. I think it’s super classic. I definitely try to pretend I’m from New York when I’m there. I think people in New York think you’re cooler if you’re from New York, so I try to carry that vibe.

Saying I can’t live without chili is sort of a half-joke that anyone who watched The Office will find funny. Kevin’s Famous Chili is all you need to know. But yes, I do actually have a specific pot that I use for chili. It’s a very lovely pot from Le Creuset. I’m not like Angela Kinsey — I’m not a major cooking expert, but I do like this pot. There’s a Le Creuset outlet near me, and I’ve bought multiple things there. Everything is a different color because I decided that it’s cooler to be eclectic and not matching. I honestly don’t think I made chili before the show, but now I make it fairly often, mostly during football season. Every time I make it, I post a picture of me with the chili on Instagram, and every time, 100,000 people like that picture because they think it’s so funny I’m actually making chili. It always amazes me.