“Sadness knows her worth”: Inside Out 2 Star’s Genius Strategy For Making Big Bucks in Hollywood After ‘The Office’ Role Allegedly Made Disney Bend To Her Will

The actress did not record her voice for the character in Los Angeles.

inside out 2, the office


  • Despite her fame for her role in The Office and the Inside Out films, Phyllis Smith prefers to lead a quiet life away from Hollywood.
  • Even with her success as Sadness, she has resisted the spotlight, choosing to voice the character in a studio in Missouri rather than going to Los Angeles for the sequel.
  • Her career strategy focuses on selective roles, showing a greater desire for meaningful projects.
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Phyllis Smith is a low-key actress. Even after being cast in the famous series The Office, she now lives quietly, with no desire for fame or the media. However, voicing a character in one of Pixar’s films seems to be the complete opposite.


With the great success of Inside Out in 2015 and the long-awaited sequel having premiered in June this year, it was expected that she would have to change her plans and see herself in the spotlight again. As it turns out, she seems to have been quite determined not to give up the “retired” acting career she was pursuing.

Phyllis Smith’s Genius Strategy

Despite her resounding success as the character Phyllis Vance in The Office, as well as the critically acclaimed Netflix series The OA, Phyllis Smith is not such a well-known actress in the industry. Even though she has very specific productions on her resume, the fact that she is a professional far from the public eye has led some to believe that she has chosen to retire.


Nothing has been confirmed by the actress herself and, even if the premiere of Inside Out 2 was perhaps an indication that what they believed was not true, this is not exactly what happened. She hasn’t literally retired, but maybe she prefers to keep it true somehow. Although her name is now linked to Pixar, the actress made a point of not succumbing to the wishes of the major studio and Disney itself.

She asked Pixar to arrange a recording studio in Missouri, as she didn’t want to travel to Los Angeles just for the job — since only her voice would be needed. Little is known about this information, but different opinions have been raised on social media, ranging from reasons such as financial savings in relation to the studio to also a personal decision. Some of the movie fans commented on this:

It brings me Joy to know Sadness knows her worth!! All emotions are important and she is perfect as she is…in Missouri.

What is certain is that Smith doesn’t seem to care about looking for different roles just to gain attention and visibility. That’s why the retirement rumor.


(…) I never saw The Office coming, I never saw Inside Out coming, and I just feel grateful and thankful to have these opportunities and to have an actual real enthusiasm in my life. This is a new career for me and I intend to do it as long as people want to hire me. I really feel that I’m just beginning.

At the end of the day, she is a determined actress who has managed to create a good strategy for continuing with her work, while also knowing how to choose the ideal opportunities — big projects — that come along.

The Professional Career Of Phyllis Smith In The Film Industry

Even before entering the industry, Phyllis Smith began her career as a dancer and member of theater groups, but only became recognized, establishing a place in the industry, with her role in The Office. She had previously worked for a casting director, which also helped give her an insight into the inner workings of Hollywood.

With the end of the series, the actress tried to explore other productions, gaining a few small roles. The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Trophy Wife, The Middle, and The OA were just some of them.


However, it was in her role as Lynn Davies in the movie Bad Teacher that she guaranteed Sadness in Inside Out. Jonas Rivera, the executive producer, quickly saw her bringing the character to life and invited her to the project. Her voice acting work was extremely praised in terms of emotion and depth, considering that she was a very prominent character in the very first movie as well.

Lately, Smith has really decided to start being selective with her career, preferring roles that could really be valuable. Demanding? Maybe. Still, it’s a smart strategy for those who know how to value their own work.


Written by Catherine Delgado

Articles Published: 14

A geek enthusiast of fantasy and sci-fi, Catherine is also a screenwriter, completely obsessed with pop culture. Graduated in Audiovisual Production, she creates characters and writes about fictional universes when not writing articles, binge-watching shows, or reading sagas.