You Asked It

Ask a Grown Man: B.J. Novak

Do looks matter? Why are guys so cocky?

B.J. Novak is a writer, actor, and comedian best known for his work on The Office and in Inglourious Basterds. Most important, he is a Grown Man, and he used his grown, male wisdom to answer some of your questions here.

To submit a question for next month’s Grown Man, write to, and write “Ask a Grown Man” in the subject line.


  • itisyourbirthday April 17th, 2012 3:11 PM


  • moonchild April 17th, 2012 3:12 PM

    OH MY GOD IT’S RYAN!!! ryan started the fire! lol pita pizzas.

    Oh my god I love you.


  • Libby April 17th, 2012 3:13 PM

    This is so cute. (which considering he could be my dad is maybe a weird adjective but anyways). That he keeps on saying, “cocky around chicks” is just so cute.
    And I really like how they actually take this seriously. Not like, oh, texting, pah. But–this means something to you and that gives it importance.
    And I want to play the answer to the last question on a loop forever.
    “guys are stupid. girls are stupid too, everybody’s stupid!”

  • Susann April 17th, 2012 3:15 PM

    I instantly found him so friendly and I loved how nicely and empathetically he answered the questions!

  • starcollector April 17th, 2012 3:16 PM

    True story: Looked up The Office theme song and listened to it in the background of the first portion of this interview. Totally worth it.

  • mayaautumn April 17th, 2012 3:17 PM

    he’s great.
    everyone’s stupid!!!!
    also love it how he says ‘cocky’ like a million times in the first question!

  • marit April 17th, 2012 3:21 PM

    OMG. BJ NOVAK. fangirling so hard right now. I love rookie!!!

  • tallulahpond April 17th, 2012 3:32 PM

    I like this guy- he’s obviously clever, sharp and to the point. Thanks!

  • roseinthewild April 17th, 2012 3:40 PM

    Sage advice BJ! I am always amazed by how I, as a woman, get so confused by things that men just manage to explain with ease. They make it sound so obvious.

    Also, BJ is seriously hot. It’s okay, I’m 25, I’m old enough to say that.

  • Hedwig April 17th, 2012 3:47 PM


  • Jace April 17th, 2012 4:02 PM

    He is so damn smart.

  • decemberbaby April 17th, 2012 4:07 PM

    Ask a Grown Man/Woman is such an awesome feature. All of the guests have been so much fun and so helpful, and Mr. Novak’s no exception.

  • the8thglass April 17th, 2012 4:12 PM

    Ahhh BJ Novak. Champion.

  • spatergator April 17th, 2012 4:17 PM

    Dead on answers

  • hillarwee April 17th, 2012 4:20 PM

    clit. boner.

  • plainjane April 17th, 2012 4:28 PM

    love bj novak! so great on the office. you guys couldnt have picked anyone more perfect!

  • modaveloce April 17th, 2012 4:29 PM

    Aw, I love his answer to the last question. I like how he didn’t lie and say looks aren’t important, but is telling you to take control over your image. I think there’s a makeup commercial out right now that says “pretty is what you are, beauty is what you do with it.” It’s pretty dorky to take advice from a makeup commercial, but I think that’s pretty cool.

    • SweetThangVintage April 17th, 2012 5:54 PM

      I completely agree!

  • Alexis April 17th, 2012 4:37 PM

    …so why does it look like he’s in a poorly-lit boardroom?

    • Alexis April 17th, 2012 4:55 PM

      in other news, this has been my favorite ask a grown man so far! He is an attractively intelligent grown man.

  • WitchesRave April 17th, 2012 4:51 PM

    DUDE, its the gyno from knocked-up! :D

  • Cruicked April 17th, 2012 4:57 PM

    He was awesome in Inglorious Basterds! And this, too, I guess. I haven’t seen the American Office, only the British one because I’m British.

    • CigarGalaxy April 19th, 2012 7:14 PM

      Oh there both so good (Ricki Gervais<3), but quite different, such good cast in the US version : )

  • Sterling87 April 17th, 2012 5:01 PM

    Gawd he is awesome. “I’m gonna fucking kill you Adobe!” Hahahaha great advice too.

  • chameleon22 April 17th, 2012 5:06 PM

    Best ask a grown man yet. love bj novak (happy it’s someone i actually know), and I LOVE how he gave such great answers and took the questions seriously

  • Kathryn April 17th, 2012 5:13 PM

    I love Ask A Grown Man/Woman! You guys always have the best/funniest/most adorable people do it. I think it would be super super amazing if one day you guys got Joseph Gordon-Levitt to do it.

    • KinuKinu April 19th, 2012 6:21 PM


  • mariaantoniavs April 17th, 2012 5:18 PM

    I love Ask a Grown Man/Women! This one was great, specially the last question! <3

  • sasha jade April 17th, 2012 5:19 PM

    haha the texting question was mine! it makes me feel famous to know someone awesome like anaheed read my email and passed it onto someone gorgeous like bj novak! he really made me realise i just need to chill out, i hope i’m not alone in the whole analysing text thing

    • kitafee April 17th, 2012 5:53 PM

      you’re definitely not alone! best thing to do is to try not to think about it, if he likes you and it’s meant to be it will happen and feel natural!

  • unefillecommetoi April 17th, 2012 5:23 PM

    “if you’re honest and kind your friendship will survive” :D wise words. i loved his answers
    by the way are you in any way related to kim novak?

  • Bren April 17th, 2012 5:29 PM

    Ahhhhhh! BJ!
    Okay, I’ll go watch it now.

  • maddy417 April 17th, 2012 5:33 PM

    oh my god today’s my birthday AND ask a grown man is bj novak?? i don’t think this day could get any better.

    faux style.

    • Emilie April 17th, 2012 6:03 PM

      happy birthday!!!

    • Anaheed April 17th, 2012 7:31 PM

      Yeah, happy birthday!!!

    • Abby April 18th, 2012 4:39 PM

      Happy Happy Birthday,
      may all your dreams come true,
      I hope you like this birthday song
      cause I sang (typed) it for you!

  • Abby April 17th, 2012 5:42 PM

    Why is he so ADORABLE AND SMART???

    Also: “If adobe pops up one more time I’m gonna kill it” ……. ahahaha

  • kitafee April 17th, 2012 5:53 PM

    “act like you have the answers and dress like you have the answers”


  • Abby April 17th, 2012 5:54 PM

    “Adobe, I’m gonna fucking kill you.” I have no clue why, but I just, like, peed my pants laughing at that haha. I think it’s just him… he’s just somehow a really funny person without actually making any jokes… Nevermind, you guys probably all think I’m crazy now…

    • 3LL3NH April 17th, 2012 6:29 PM

      Nah, I agree, those are my favourite kind of people. Especially when they’re semi-nerdy and don’t realize how amazingly hilarious the world thinks they are….

      (I’m totally thinking Robert Sean Leonard right now)
      (bring him to Rookie for ask a grown man and I will love you forever to the moon and back)

      • Bren April 17th, 2012 9:52 PM

        ahhhh, RSL. Yes.

      • Abby April 18th, 2012 4:38 PM

        GAHHHH I LOVE WILSON. I mean Robert Sean Leonard… but mostly WIIIIILLLLSSSOOOONNN……

  • starsinyourheart April 17th, 2012 5:56 PM

    ryan started the fireee!
    i love him :)

  • Hazel April 17th, 2012 5:57 PM

    omfg the kissing question <3 <3 <3

  • Abby April 17th, 2012 5:57 PM

    Ok, now I’m just leaving too many comments… sorry ha. But I have to say this… I love these columns, because it’s so cool to be getting advice from people that I can google their names and stuff actually comes up that’s actually them because they’re actually famous. It’s just cool. FAMOUS PEOPLE ARE GIVING ME ADVICE… BEAT THAT, MEAN PEOPLE.

  • amandalise April 17th, 2012 6:12 PM

    “… I’m not updating anything today.”
    What a well-spoken, brilliant, hilarious person. Much love for BJ and Rookie! xo

  • maddzwx April 17th, 2012 6:17 PM

    aww I love how serious he is about all of this! he is awesome!!

  • hannahsophia April 17th, 2012 6:54 PM

    So cute. So honest. So helpful. I heart BJ Novak <3

  • Limey April 17th, 2012 7:06 PM

    I saw BJ when he came to Mandel Hall at the University of Chicago!
    He’s so funny and intelligent <33333luv~~~

  • Franny Glass April 17th, 2012 7:24 PM

    Bahah his ending is so funny. And, “Adobe, I’m going to fucking kill you.” BEST.

  • Sparletta April 17th, 2012 7:40 PM

    Wow I was really impressed with his answer about looks. He was totally honest which is good :)

    • Anaheed April 17th, 2012 7:41 PM

      Me too! I think that’s the first time I’ve heard anyone answer that question in a way that feels satisfying to me.

  • Beatriz April 17th, 2012 7:44 PM

    Yes! It would be amazing if you guys could get Joseph Gordon-Levitt to be in “Ask a grown man” :’D. Plus,this edition was really nice, i love the way he answers the questions. He’s cute and intelligent.

    • cherrycola27 April 17th, 2012 11:53 PM

      That would be cool! I love him! (Who doesn’t) Haha

    • Caden April 18th, 2012 2:05 AM

      Yes please.

  • Tyknos93 April 17th, 2012 7:45 PM

    So pretty…. O_O
    Also the answers were really good. This is now one of my favorite things. Thank you.

  • Mags April 17th, 2012 8:15 PM

    Very good advice. He obviously took the questions very seriously. I love this segment!

  • homemadepepsi April 17th, 2012 8:27 PM

    did he really just say “dick” when responding to the 11-year-old? come on man, know your audience.

    • anonymouse April 17th, 2012 10:13 PM

      What? Are you saying 11 yr old’s don’t say dick? I said dick as an 11 yr old. Sh!t, my friends and I were telling sex jokes by then. Would you prefer that he said “cockface,” maybe “penishead”?

    • Maddy April 17th, 2012 10:59 PM

      I thought something similar, but I was mostly surprised that an 11 year old was reading Rookie. If they’re mature/exposed enough to be on the website, where there are candid stories about sex, then I assume they can handle that word.

  • Lauren K April 17th, 2012 8:37 PM

    just wanted to say I LOVE THIS and i havent even listened to like two minutes of it yet :D my fav fav fav quote from this so far (which is going up on my corkboard very soon btw) is “You fake it when you feel like there’s something you need to fake.” god this applies to me so much right now!

    THANK YOU ROOKIE! (and ryan :D)

  • TessAnnesley April 17th, 2012 9:33 PM


    i am flailing and squealing so much (not literally because i am lazy and fangirling takes energy but you know)

  • Bren April 17th, 2012 9:51 PM

    I like that he took them seriously, and that he was honest. He wasn’t trying to be silly or sound like he was trying to be nice just to win us over. I love this guy.

  • Laia April 17th, 2012 9:57 PM

    this is so sweet.

  • Adrienne April 17th, 2012 10:16 PM

    Yay! I love him in The Office. :) Great answers BJ and thank you so much Rookie!

  • natalie April 17th, 2012 10:19 PM

    Ah, another great ask a grown man! Eeek, what a sweetie. I love it that he didn’t generalize, like “All guys think this” or “doing this will always work” because, like he send, it depends on the person and on the situation.

    Eeeeeeek greatjob greatjob. +100000000points of liking (?)

  • teenager April 17th, 2012 10:30 PM

    “If Adobe pops up one more time I am going to kill it. I am not updating anything today.”

    my heart expanded 100x its size while watching this

  • missblack April 17th, 2012 11:40 PM

    Oh my God he’s so WISE.


  • cherrycola27 April 17th, 2012 11:52 PM

    Yes! I love this! He took these all so seriously, and I really liked the question about looks. He didn’t try to sugar-coat it or anything, I feel like he just said it like it is.

  • sarabigail April 18th, 2012 1:16 AM

    this is SO rad

  • Caden April 18th, 2012 2:04 AM

    He is gorgeous. And clever. And right.

  • Mariann April 18th, 2012 3:02 AM

    Well thank you BJ Novak, this actually helped a lot, and it is so nice to hear you and watch you.

  • Lily April 18th, 2012 3:45 AM

    this was great!

  • allyishere April 18th, 2012 4:22 AM

    I’ve been watching the Office all day and BJ I LOVE YOU <3

  • chloelou April 18th, 2012 4:22 AM

    PLEASE STOP SAYING THE THE WORD “CHICKS” – arguishfidhg *pulls hair out*

    • sasha jade April 18th, 2012 5:03 AM

      i thought the way he said it was really cute

    • tangela April 18th, 2012 7:57 PM

      It kinda bothered me at first too, but I think he was just trying to relate to the girl who asked the question since she used the word first.

  • Eliza April 18th, 2012 5:36 AM

    He is really intelligent.

  • Narnie April 18th, 2012 7:39 AM

    He is completely wonderful. I love that he answered everything so genuinely and honestly, without trying to say what someone wanted him to say. Everything he said was well thought out and wise. I know everyone has already said it, but ESPECIALLY the looks question.
    And he’s funny too!!! Perfect guy…

  • Maradoll Mynx April 18th, 2012 10:07 PM

    So wise and heartbreakingly just…RAD. LOVE him~I love you, BJ!! P.S. RYAN, NOT SO MUCH ;)

  • Maradoll Mynx April 18th, 2012 10:16 PM


  • Kaleidoscopeeyes April 19th, 2012 1:20 AM

    My favorite ask a grown man yet! I loved what he had to say about appearances. Great advice.

  • Simona Sara April 19th, 2012 7:33 AM

    Cheers BJ – these are very kind and thoughtful responses.

  • soretudaaa April 19th, 2012 5:08 PM

    ….but WHY is there a board behind me? Is he at a school or something???

    That aside.. I’m in love with him.

  • MissKnowItAll April 19th, 2012 8:09 PM

    I was really impressed how he answered the last question. The truth is, we all want to believe looks don’t mean anything and that what’s inside matters the most. But that’s not the reality.

  • koolkat April 20th, 2012 6:09 PM

    adobe popped up right as I clicked the play button… it was really creepy…

  • mercury May 12th, 2012 11:19 PM

    BJ Novak is so adorable & so wise. His answers were fantastic.
    Congrats to the creators, contributors, and readers of Rookie; for your innovation and your creativity and for the positive messages your site promotes.

  • Leene Be May 23rd, 2012 12:43 PM

    He’s amazing.
    Best answers ever !