09/19/2012 04:25 pm ET

'The Office' Season 9: Ellie Kemper, Oscar Nunez, Brian Baumgartner Reflect On Final Season

Less than a month ago, NBC announced that the upcoming season of "The Office" would be the show's last.

"This year feels like the last chance to … make an artistic ending for the show. This will be the last season of 'The Office,' and we’re planning a big exciting last season," showrunner Greg Daniels told EW. "All questions will be answered this year. We’re going to see who’s behind the documentary.”

While no one was celebrating a la the "Jersey Shore" cancellation
, it wasn't surprising that "The Office" was coming to an end. After all, Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) had left the series in 2010 and the will-they-won't-they comic couple of the decade, Jim and Pam, had settled into a life of mundane domesticity.

But in honor of a show that has made us laugh every Thursday night since 2005, HuffPost TV spoke with a few cast members via phone to discuss the final season of "The Office," Steve Carrell's departure and how they felt about saying goodbye to their longtime co-stars.

Here's what you need to know about how the "Office" cast's swan song according to Brian Baumgartner (Kevin) Ellie Kemper (Erin) and Oscar Nunez (Oscar).

The cast wasn't in on the "final season" secret.

Ellie Kemper: We found out just before it was announced. Greg [Daniels] emailed us to let us know officially.

No one's devastated that the show's coming to an end.

Kemper: It's bittersweet, I think ... It's good time to end it, but it's always sad when things come to an end.

Oscar Nunez: I sort of felt it was going to happen. I didn't know how much further we could go in the ninth season.

Brian Baumgartner: It's definitely a mixed bag. Obviously the time was going to come, but I feel good because we're able go out on our terms, which is something that's really important to us.

... But they're feeling a little nostalgic.

Baumgartner: There was a moment that happened during the Halloween episode last week where someone said, "Oh, this is our last Halloween episode." That was kind of sad.

Kemper: I feel like it's similar to when Steve [Carell] left, because the weeks leading up to that were filled with tears. We haven't gotten to the tears yet, but I'm sure that will come.

Nunez: It's nice because we know that [it's the final season], so everything is cherished just a little bit more. Everything is a little more special.

They miss Carrell a lot.

Kemper: One of the saddest things about [Carell leaving] was, I thought to myself, "Oh, I won't get see him every day."

Luckily, they stay in touch with him.

Nunez: We had a surprise birthday party for him. He was totally surprised. He's doing great, and he's very missed.

Kemper: The whole cast went, and it was really nice to have everyone together.

If the cast knows whether he'll make a cameo on the final season, they're keeping it quiet about it.

Kemper: I know nothing, but it would be wonderful. It would be great to have Michael and Holly both come back.

Nunez: I have no idea. That would be fun ...

Baumgartner: [Carrell] had a pretty special arc of episodes that was his goodbye, and he was tremendously proud and happy about that. I personally hope it happens, but we'll see.

Scranton's getting a shakeup.

Nunez: I don't know what I can say, but there's going to be a lot of office drama this season!

Baumgartner: Kevin learns a secret that nobody else knows, and we've been doing a lot of fun stuff in terms of having to keep this big secret.

If their current friendships are any indication, the Dunder Mifflin crew will stay tight in their post-"Office" lives.

Baumgartner: So many friendship that have been born out of this show. It's difficult because it obviously won't be the same -- we won't show up in our pretend Scranton every day -- but in terms of our personal relationships, they will continue. There will always be a bond between all of us.

Kemper: Unless this is all a big trick being played on me, everyone's pretty close-knit. And I feel so honored -- and this may sound corny -- that they welcomed me in when I got there, and I feel confident that people will stay in touch. Again, they've all been there longer than I have, but I would imagine [being this close] is pretty rare. Los Angeles is a weird town, and there is this feeling of family on the set.

They're rooting for their characters.

Baumgartner: I hope Kevin has little victory. Whether it's in love or work, I'd love to see him win one.

Kemper: It would be great to see [Erin] assume a new level of maturity. This is her first job, sort of like me in real life. Regardless of romance and whatever outcome happens on that front, I just hope she gets to know herself a little bit more. I want her to gain confidence in what she wants to do, both professionally and personally. I hope she becomes a fuller, more self-aware person. I sound like I just talked to my therapist!

Season 9 of "The Office" premieres on Thurs., Sept. 20 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

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