August 11, 2020
EP. 40 — Back From Vacation
This week we’re breaking down Back From Vacation and we reached out to some of our favorite The Office cast and crew for the inside scoop on this episode. First, Kentapedia (Kent Zbornak) and Phil Shea help us answer fan questions about Michael and Jan’s vacation photo, and Kim Ferry sends in her memories of creating Michaels beaded vacation hair. Then Angela does some amazing detective work to discover just what was written on that Post-it note on Angela Martin’s partition, and we head to the warehouse inventory-luau and discuss what Spam is made of. Finally, we get an audio clip from the hilarious Kate Flannery about doing her own stunt work, and Jenna shares her memories of that really sweet scene between Pam and Dwight. We hope this episode has left you feeling hot-hot-hot!
40 — Back From Vacation
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:04] I’m Jenna Fischer.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:05] I’m Angela Kinsey.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:06] We were on “The Office” together.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:07] And were best friends.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:08] And now we’re doing the ultimate “Office” rewatch podcast just for you.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:12] Each week we will break down an episode of “The Office” and give exclusive behind-the-scenes stories that only two people who were there can tell you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:19] We’re “The Office” Ladies. Hi, lady.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:25] How’s it going?
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:27] It’s going really great. I’m in my new podcast closet. I moved from one closet to another closet. But this is my permanent podcast’s closet. It’s for podcasting.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:38] This is the third closet I’ve seen you in, podcasting.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:43] That’s right. ‘Cause I did “Casino Night” from my daughter’s closet. Well, let’s tell everyone we’re here to talk about today. We’re talking about the episode “Back from Vacation”. It is Season 3, Episode 11, written by Justin Spitzer and directed by Julian Farino.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:58] Let’s hear a summary.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:00] All right. Well, in this episode, Michael returns from his all inclusive trip to Jamaica. He is tan. He is happy. We find out who he went with.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:11] Mmhmm. Yes, we do.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:12] Jan.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:13] Scandalous office romance.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:17] Well, despite Jan’s insistence that Michael keep their vacation a secret, Michael accidentally circulates an intimate photo of them to the entire office and beyond. So he and Dwight are going to spend this episode trying to retrieve and delete the photo while Michael awaits Jan’s arrival in Scranton. Meanwhile, Angela has to throw together a last minute Luau, and Pam gives Jim advice that helps his relationship with Karen. Yeah, let’s jump into Fast Fact Number One. This episode was written by Justin Spitzer. Now, we talked a little bit about Justin before he created the show “Superstore”. And remember, we found out that he is the person that wrote the twin absorption line for Dwight in “Grief Counseling”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:04] Yes. That was the Jen Celotta deep dive. And we found that out.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:09] Yes. Well, this was Justin’s first full episode. So I reached out to him because I’ve kept in touch with Justin since we wrapped. Justin’s just one of my favorite people. I have to say.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:20] He is so lovely.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:22] So I reached out to Justin and I asked him where did the idea for this episode come from? And he said it was really simple. Greg really wanted to explore this idea of that feeling you get when you have to come back from your vacation and go back to your work grind. And that was it. That was, they built the whole story around that one theme.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:47] You know, what I love about that? Is that I find the stories I like the, the most have such a simple premise. They’re not heavy on premise. And I find them usually the most relatable.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:58] Same. Same. I feel like that’s what made “Halloween” so great. You have to fire someone on Halloween.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:06] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:07] That’s it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:08] That’s it. That’s it. You’ve just had a great vacation and now you’re faced with the reality of your life back home.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:15] Yes. So then I asked Justin, what was it like being your first full script? And he said he was incredibly nervous about doing a good job. And he remembers that it was normal for writers to get a full week to write their first draft. You would usually get sent off on a Friday and you would have the whole next week, and it wouldn’t be due until the following Monday. You’d get about nine days. So he said that this script, though, they did not finish breaking it until Monday night pretty late. And Greg said, I’m going to need this Friday morning. So he only had three days. This is reminding me of when Gene and Lee had to do their first script in like three days.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:02] Yeah, or the time Steve had to write his script over a weekend with his in-laws visiting.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:06] Yes, exactly. Justin said he grabbed a case of Diet Coke out of the kitchen. He said he basically lived on that for the next 72 hours.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:16] Oh gosh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:16] And I guess apparently after Justin left to go write the script because you could write your scripts at home. One of the other writers said to Greg, we’re not behind. Why does he have to write it so fast? And Greg smiled and said to keep the pressure up, just tightening the screws.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:34] Oh. Greg!
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:36] And he said, I think in retrospect, it weirdly did relieve some of the pressure of it being the very first script that he was writing, because no one really expects a script that you write in only three days to be very good. So he was like, well, this is what it is.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:54] He did a dad mind trick. Oh, my gosh. He was like, yeah, I need it in three days. But also knowing that that way Justin wouldn’t, like, make it too precious and take too long with it and kind of just shake off the cobwebs and jump in the deep end. How many analogies can I use?
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:12] It was good. I liked them. Well, Justin said he wants everyone to know that what we ended up shooting was way, way better than what he originally wrote. That he brought that script back and he said he was not able to write the script that you see on the screen in three days. It went through a bunch of rewrites and-. Basically, he said, if I showed you my first draft, your reaction would be, yeah, that pretty much seems like something it would take a person three days to write. But anyway, I thought that was so sweet.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:43] I love all of that. That’s some really great behind-the-scenes in the writers’ room.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:47] All right, Fast Fact Number Two, Angela, directed by Julian Farino.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:52] Julian!
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:53] Julian was born and raised in London. He attended Cambridge University. We loved him. We loved this British man.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:01] Well, Jenna we were so excited to meet him because he had directed an episode of “Rome” on HBO. And you and I, at this time, were bingeing that show together. We were really into it. Jenna, I even remember one day when he was on set that we quoted a line to him. We were like-, do you remember the line? Where we, you and I were like “13! 13”?
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:22] Oh, yeah. That was such a good scene.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:24] And he looked at us and he was like, OK, OK, ladies. Well, if you could go back to reception. We’re going like-. Anyway, you guys, “Rome” was a show on HBO and in my opinion, “Rome” was the first “Game of Thrones”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:39] It was very “Game of Thrones”-y. Yes. It’s extremely violent and bloody. And there’s lots of warring political factions. What are you wearing?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:50] I’m wearing my “Game of Thrones” shirt because, because, I don’t know. “Rome” makes me think of “Game of Thrones”. So today on the podcast, I’m wearing my “Game of Thrones” shirt.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:00] Well, Julian also directed the first three seasons of “Entourage”, including Rainn Willson’s episode, “I Love You Too”. I just think it’s very funny because Charles McDougall, our other director, had also directed episodes of “Rome”. I just think it’s really funny that we had these guys who had been directing bloody battles come into our little paper company, but they were so fun.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:25] I mean, yeah, the, the scale of production that they had to do with chariots tipping over and people flying through the air and, and then literally it’d be like, hey, can you use the stapler slightly harder next to the copier? Like-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:42] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:44] The difference in our quote unquote “action sequence” on Dunder Mifflin versus “Rome”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:48] Well, I think part of Greg’s thinking here was remembering that our show was not just a comedy, that it had dramatic elements and was about real human people. And so by having some of these directors who are known for doing these dramas, these character driven stories, I think that might have been why he was drawn to them. I’m speculating, but that feels right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:08] I like your speculation. I like it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:11] Thank you. OK. I am moving us to Fast Fact Number Three, in this episode, Michael circulates a photo of himself and Jan in Jamaica on their vacation.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:24] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:26] And then the guys in the warehouse blow it up into a poster and hang it on the wall.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:33] Mmhmm.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:34] Right. All right. We got a lot of mail about this picture.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:38] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:39] We have a fan question from Preshia Singal, Amanda McKnight, Meghan Khiel, Meredith Warlow, Stephanie Calahan and many others. They want to know, “Was the Jan Michael photo made? Was it photoshopped”? Some people want to know if Steve and Melora went to Jamaica to take this picture. “Did they do a photo shoot there? How was this picture made”? A lot of curiosity about this picture.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:09] We never had the budget to all go to New York or Scranton. So I doubt they went to Jamaica. Just kidding. I know they didn’t.
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:17] They did not. Well, I reached out to Kent Zbornak, Kent-apedia, and also to Phil Shea, props. And they explained how we made this photo and poster. Are you ready?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:31] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:31] Kent told me that they built a tiny beach down in the warehouse, a little like set that looked like a beach. It had sand and lounge chairs and it was against a green screen.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:45] I remember that. I remember us all seeing it being, like walking over there.
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:49] I have a total memory of going down into the warehouse and there was this tiny beach. And then he said that he and Phil Shea reached out to the people at Sandals Resort, who donated all kinds of product, which they featured, like the umbrellas and all of the stuff that said “Sandals”. They put it all in there. So then Melora and Steve got on a little beach set and they took a bunch of pictures and both Justin and Kent remember that, you know, Melora did not have to get nude-y for this. They did that in Photoshop, you guys. And Phil told me that then he had the posters printed from a little graphics shop in Culver City. And that is how they made the picture.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:30] That was some good Fast Facts, lady.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:33] Hey, well, thanks.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:34] All right. Why don’t we take a break, Jenna. And when we come back, we’ll be “Back from Vacation”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:40] I like it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:44] All right. So we are back and let’s get into this episode. There’s a really fun cold open. It’s Jim. He’s got the sales team in the conference room because he’s in charge while Michael’s away and he’s running this sort of sales meeting. Dwight, of course, I’m sure is bumping up against Jim and his authority. So he sets a little recorder in the middle of the table to record the meeting. And then Jim, of course, has to mess with him. He has to mess with him. He starts being like, Dwight, why are your pants off? And he’s like, my pants aren’t off. And then everyone starts chiming in. And then, of course, Andy takes it to an absurd place and is the fun stopper.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:19] Yes. We had a fan question about this cold open from Sam Terasaz and Eva Mars. “How much of the cold open was improvise”? And Ang, I went to the script and it’s basically all scripted, like all of the stuff that Jim says that Dwight is doing. And Karen’s line and all of that, all scripted.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:41] I would have thought it was scripted. I feel like this is our, our writers at their best, like they were so great at heightening a comedic moment. So that tracks for me. I did write down everything that Jim accused Dwight of doing. Do you want to hear?
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:55] Of course.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:56] OK. So first of all, he says, Dwight, you’re not allowed to take off your pants in the middle of the office. And then he’s like, oh God, he’s got a knife. He’s naked and he has a plastic knife to Stanley’s neck.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:07] I’m sorry. I’m sorry. He’s what? He’s neck-ed? Like his neck holding up his head? He’s neck-ed or he’s naked?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:14] This is like a whole thing. My husband always like, say that again? Naked. Naked? Naked. How do you say it?
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:21] Naked. It’s an A. It’s spelled n-a-k-e-d. Naked.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:26] Where I’m from, it’s naked.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:28] To be fair, it is also naked where I’m from as well.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:31] Really? In St. Louis it’s naked?
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:33] Well, in Missouri.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:36] Oh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:36] Like, it’s interesting, St. Louis and Missouri, have two kind of different accents. If you’re from St. Louis, you’re from Missouri. But if you’re from outside of St. Louis, you’re from Missouri and you’re naked. But if you’re from St. Louis, you eat with a fork.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:51] Yes. That’s what Phyllis would always say. She’d be like, Oh, I can’t find my fork.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:56] Right. So she would eat her dinner naked with a fork, in Missouri. But someone else is going to eat it with a fork naked, in Missouri.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:08] Well, Jenna, if you’re in north Texas, don’t run around naked. And then he also says that Dwight has a baby’s bonnet. And then Phyllis is so adorable. She’s so adorable in this whole episode, she’s, she wants to desperately chime in and she’s like Jim Carey’s here. Get his autograph. You’re like, what? And then Karen says, is that a Muppet Babies tattoo on your belly? And then, of course, Andy takes it to the place of I’m chopping off Phyllis’ head with a chainsaw. Ring, ring, ring!
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:37] My favorite part of all of that is that when Jim says, Oh, my God, Dwight is holding a plastic knife to Stanley’s neck. The camera pans to Stanley and he does not even look up. He gives absolutely no reaction to everything that’s happening in the room. It’s awesome.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:54] It’s amazing. It’s amazing. I will point out that this conference room scene is a conference room table scene. Noted. The table is in the room.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:03] Table is in the room.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:04] Let’s, let’s move on. Sorry. I took us on a detour with how I say “naked”. So now Michael has returned from Jamaica. He’s super excited. He’s desperate for Pam to ask him how his vacation was.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:18] But instead, Pam lets him know that Hannah quit while he was gone. And she’s filed some complaints and he might have to be deposed. And Michael’s like, oh, Pam, it can wait. And she’s like, it’s kind of important.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:32] His, his exact response was, blah, blah, blah. Relax. There’s a really sweet deleted talking head. That is a Pam talking head that I think would have come about right here. And Jenna guess what? She says that Michael sends her a postcard from every vacation he takes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:51] I remember shooting this talking head. They gave me a bunch of postcards and I held them up one after the other, which I found sweet, because that means Pam saves them.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:01] I know. And to me, it’s like you just really see who Pam is to Michael. You see why, ultimately, she’s the last person he speaks to before he leaves at the end of, you know, his time on “The Office”, like. He sees her as family. I really think he does.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:21] Yeah. Well, we had a fan question for this opening scene. There’s that moment where Michael shakes his hair at Pam because he’s gotten some little beads in his hair on his vacation.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:34] I’m telling you, Sandals was like adult camp for Michael. I mean, he says how you go, “Hey, man”. And then everyone yells, “Hey, man”. I could see him being so enthusiastic. He’s going to do everything, braid my hair, learn the dances, learn the chants. He’s in it, Jenna.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:50] He is in it. You’re right. Well, we had this question from Ashley Browning, Hope Kogbill, Jess Graham, Rachel Lapointe and Theresa Rambukwella. They want to know, “Whose idea was it to put the beads in the hair? Were they sewn in? Were they glued in”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:16:06] Well, Jenna, you know, we wanted to get the behind-the-scenes story on this braid. So we reached out to Kim Ferry, who did our hair on “The Office” for all the scoop. And this is what she had to say.
KIM FERRY [00:16:17] Well, hello, lovely “Office Ladies”. Gosh darn it. I miss both of you so much. Thank you for asking me these questions. As usual, if there were any hair gags, Greg Daniels would either have me paged up or he would come find me and we would discuss what the look would be for whatever the actors were doing in this episode. In this one, it was specifically Michael Scott. And I know on the makeup side he was going to be tan because they wanted him to kind of have that tan glow from Jamaica. But my side, it was about having something in his hair. Could it be dreaded? Could it be beaded? You know, what could we do? And in the end, I kind of liked the idea of putting beads in. But I was a little nervous because his hair was only one inch on the sides, in the back. He had a short haircut at that time, so I wasn’t sure if something would stick in there. But I, you know, I rose to the challenge and told my team I was gonna be in the trailer for a little bit. And I did a couple of variations of it. And I also had human hair. So you can have these actual real human hair clips. And I would sew them into the little things called toupee clips. And I ended up braiding it down probably about two inches long, two to three inches long. And at the very end, I had a little elastic on the bottom and that really held all the beads in place. And I know I had done a few options for Greg with different colors, but in the end, he liked the red and yellow and green. So that’s what we went with. And the little clip, it just kind of like hooks into the hair. So it sticks really well. And if I’d just back combed it a little bit and with a little bit of hairspray and then pop that clip in, it wasn’t going anywhere. And it didn’t. It didn’t move at all during that episode. So I was very happy. But that’s just one of the things that I loved doing when I get challenges from Greg. It was always fun to not only make him happy after he saw it, but just to kind of, really, he would just, he would enjoy it. It made me so happy when he would smile and he’d be like, Yeah, yeah, that’s it. So that is my story for this episode. And I miss you both so much. And I’m sending you hugs and I’m so proud of you. I love your podcast, and I can’t wait to hopefully join you guys there someday. All right, you guys take care. Love you both. Bye.
JENNA FISCHER [00:18:46] Aw.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:46] That was so sweet.
JENNA FISCHER [00:18:48] I love that. I love knowing that they didn’t do anything to his actual hair. She would just clip that in and out every day.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:56] Yeah. I remember Kim always having these heads with like different, like forms of hair and wigs and braids and like, whatever she was tinkering on. She had like a row of, like, fake hair with like different versions of things, especially for Meredith. Oh, my gosh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:15] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:15] Meredith was always having something done to her hair. So. Yeah. Thank you so much, Kim, for the behind-the-scenes on that one.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:23] So listen, Ang, I know we’re still talking about this opening scene, but I had to bring up something else.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:29] What?
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:31] So when Michael walks through the door, he’s carrying like nine gazillion bags. Right?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:36] Mmhmm.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:36] And we’re gonna come to learn that one of them contains this steel drum that he is obsessed with playing.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:42] He’s holding a box. He’s holding bags and a box. And the steel drum, I think is in the box because it’s a big rectangle.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:49] Same, but it made me wonder what is in all the other bags. And that is an amazing deleted scene.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:57] Yes. Jenna. So those bags were gifts. They were like souvenirs that he bought everyone. They definitely look like the souvenirs you bought at the airport. And then it’s all in the deleted scenes. He goes around the office handing them out.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:10] Well, I remember doing that scene because the thing he gives Pam is a coconut bra and he’s like, some coconuts for your coconuts. And I’m like, thanks.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:22] Then he says, do you want to see if it fits? And you’re like, no. I’m not going to go try on this coconut bikini top right now. Thanks.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:31] Yes, exactly. But I remember shooting that with Steve because I couldn’t get through it. Every time I opened it up, it was so ludicrous to me. But that was the gift he gave Pam. It would make me laugh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:44] He gives Angela Martin a lei. And he puts it around her neck and she’s like, thank you. And he goes, you just got laid. And I’m like, no, I didn’t.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:52] And you, like, rip it off. Right?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:54] Yeah. I get really mad.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:57] Well, next, we’re going to find out that Karen and Jim are experiencing some tension.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:05] Oh, yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:06] And here is why. It is because Jim does not want Karen to move into an apartment that is two blocks away from his apartment, even though she’s been having a really hard time finding an apartment and she is currently living in a motel.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:21] She said a Days Inn. That’s what, we learned that in a deleted scene. I mean, come on.
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:27] Well, she says it down in the warehouse to Pam as well, later.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:30] She, she needs to find a place to live.
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:33] You know what I noticed? When Karen does her talking head, she’s standing at the copier in the annex! Remember in the other episode, we were like, is this copier always here? That’s where she’s standing. That’s back by Kelly’s desk and Toby’s desk in the annex.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:50] Jenna, what does it mean if your talking head is in the annex? What does that mean?
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:56] What does it mean? I think it means you’re trying to avoid somebody and you’re using the copier in the annex.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:02] Yeah. Jenna, speaking of deleted scenes, there’s another great runner between Phyllis and Stanley because, you know, Stanley says he doesn’t get all of his bonus and he’s not going to work, not a lick, until he gets that bonus money. And it starts driving Phyllis crazy because he won’t answer his phone. She has a phenomenal talking head. So that’s in the DVD deleted scenes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:26] I remember shooting those and they were very funny. And I love anytime there’s a dynamic between Phyllis and Stanley. So now we’re in Michael’s office and he’s playing the steel drum for Pam. He’s telling her all about his trip to Jamaica. He’s explaining that everyone in Jamaica just relaxes all day and they party all the time. They love it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:51] Yeah. He’s like, write this down, Pam. Piña coladas every day at 3 p.m. Like he is just, he is definitely not ready to go back to work.
JENNA FISCHER [00:23:00] And this is when Pam breaks the news to him that they have to do inventory, which is something that he was hoping to avoid by going on vacation. And she says, Michael, we can’t do inventory without you. We had to wait. It has to be done today.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:17] He is so bummed out. He hates doing inventory. He says, it’s boring. So he decides to make it a party. And he tells Angela, get the Party Planning Committee together. We’re gonna have a luau this afternoon. And she is not having it. She’s like, what? At 4 minutes, you get a shot of a real snarky expression from Angela Martin about this luau that she now has to throw. But please look at the outfit. Crazy blouse with a high collar, frooffy collar, argyle sweater in shades of beige and brown, brown skirt, ponytail with what Kim Ferry and I called the sloop. This is a classic Angela Martin outfit, if I have to say so myself.
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:03] Well, lady, we had a fan question from Katie Wegmann who is asking, “Is the shirt that you’re wearing the same one you wear in Benihana Christmas because it looks almost identical”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:13] No, it is not. This season, the wardrobe department had bought me all of these high collared frooffy blouses, which only live this season and never come back. But that is not the same one. It’s yet another frooffy blouse.
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:27] Well, now we go into the conference room, Angela, because Michael wants everyone to watch a video slide show on island life and a big thing happens. Karen does not sit next to Jim.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:41] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:42] Mmmm. It’s serious. This fight is serious. And then while they’re watching the slide show, Pam spots Jan on the beach with Michael. But he denies that it’s her.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:55] Jenna, hold up. I have written down here, Pam pulls a Michael. Pam, why did you call it out? Why? I mean, that’s something Michael would do. I feel like a normal move for Pam would be to notice Jan, totally know it was her, and not say anything and instead be like, Oooh. Right? And then maybe go be chatty with Jim about it later. But instead, Pam points at the screen and goes, Wait, is that Jan? That’s Jan. And I feel like that’s something Michael or Dwight would have done. Normally.
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:28] I totally hear that. I think that’s a valid analysis. I will say I think it was probably so shocking to Pam that she just blurted it out. I mean, it’s, to see Jan in the picture. She just I, I imagine she was just like, oh, my God!
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:46] OK. OK, fair enough. OK, I get it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:49] Well, we had a fan question about the scene, Angela from Marin Allen. She wrote in to say, “My 13 year old daughter, Dakota, pointed out that when Pam notices Jan and Michael’s vacation slide show, Michael says that she’s actually a German woman named Urgogru. And my daughter would like to know if this name was improvised and if it has anything to do with Steve’s ‘Despicable Me’ character, Gru”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:14] I had the same question. So I looked it up. This episode was filmed in 2007, “Back from Vacation”. “Despicable Me” came out in 2010. So then I researched animation production and how long it takes a movie like “Despicable Me” to be made and they take three to five years. So it is possible that there was an overlap that Steve was doing voiceover while we were filming on “The Office”. It’s possible.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:44] Oh my gosh. And maybe that is why. Because in the script it says Earlgrah. But he says Urgogru. Maybe it was like on his mind. And that’s why he said, Gru.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:58] Let’s move it on. Michael, I mean, he’s got to tell someone. Right? He’s so excited to tell Packer that Jan went with him to Jamaica. And Packer doesn’t believe him. He’s like, no way. So Michael’s like, you know what? I’ll send you a picture. And Packer’s email is Packer@DunderMifflin. But he sends it to Packaging@DunderMifflin.
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:26] And how this all goes down in the scene is so great because Michael is like, did you get it? Hit refresh. Hit refresh. And Packer is like, no, I didn’t get it. And then all of a sudden he says, Oh, I just got it from someone else.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:43] Yeah. And then Michael’s like, Wait, wait. What? Why? Who else? What? And then Michael realizes he has sent it to the wrong place. He sent it to Darryl in the warehouse.
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:52] Who has clearly forwarded it to Packer or someone else who forwarded it to Packer. But it is out. Basically. I want to point out that that line at the end when Packer says, “How do I get you out of this picture”? That was an improv. That was a Dave Koechner add.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:10] Yeah. That’s Dave Koechner at his best.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:13] After Michael gets off the phone with Packer, he is freaked out.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:17] Oh, he’s freakin’ the heck out.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:19] He needs to do damage control. So he runs. He sprints to the warehouse. We had a fan question from Anna Rhodes. She says, “At 7 minutes, 20 seconds, where is that hallway that Michael is running down to get to the warehouse”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:36] Anna, I had the same question. So I did some digging. But Jenna, I know you did too. And you went to Kent-apedia. So what do you got?
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:43] All right. Kent told me that that is the hallway where our writers work. He is running down the writers’ hallway. All those doors you see are writers’ offices. And when he turns the corner and he runs through that doorway, he is running into Mindy Kaling’s office.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:01] Is he really?
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:02] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:03] Oh my-. I thought that was Kent’s office. Oh, my gosh. OK, I love that. Well, I have a little catch Jenna. He runs past a woman sitting at a desk, right? Right at the very beginning of his sprint. Well, that is Mary Wall. And she was our executive producer assistant. She’s in an orange hoodie. She, she was the best. She did everything for us.
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:25] I love that we put Mary in that scene. So I guess they just made all the writers closed their doors. But they let Mary keep working and they just shot that scene. Steve ran right past her.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:35] Yeah. And the desk that Mary is sitting at is directly outside of the writers’ room conference room. They had their own conference room. And Steve starts his sprint right in the doorway of that writers’ room conference room. And he runs right past Mary at the desk outside of it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:50] Well, after he runs into Mindy’s office, obviously it’s a dead end. So they had to cut there. Then Steve had to go down into the warehouse, walk up the steps and get into that little fake box at the top of the stairs that actually leads nowhere.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:07] And then come back down.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:09] Yes. And then they would yell action. And he would come running back down the stairs as if he had actually come from somewhere.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:17] Right.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:18] So then he runs into Darryl’s office. And I believe, Angela, this is the first time we’ve seen Darryl’s office in the warehouse. Where we’ve actually gone inside of it. In this scene at 7 minutes, 38 seconds, Darryl is eating a giant plate of food. We had a fan question from Dave H. and Andrea Potitbell. “What is up with Darryl’s massive plate of food when Michael goes in to ask him about the picture”? Well, Angela, it is not in the script that Darryl is eating and usually it is. Usually it is scripted that we’re eating food. Here’s why I went to look. When I looked at that plate of food, it 100 percent looked like the stuff they would serve us at craft services.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:04] I thought the same thing. Jenna. Oh, my God. When I looked at it, I was like, is Craig as Darryl just holding his lunch? Or like a snack-?
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:13] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:14] He made?
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:15] Yeah, I think he was hungry and he was having a plate of food and they were like, oh, you should just eat that in the scene. That food brought me back. I had a sense memory when I saw the plate. I was like, that’s our food. That’s what we used to eat all the time.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:31] Yeah. Especially like they would bring in those big trays of chicken wings, remember?
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:35] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:36] Like drumsticks and wings.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:37] Yes. Well, so when Michael is there, he’s asking Darryl, did you get my email? Did you? And Darryl’s like, yeah. And he’s like, well, did you get my email about deleting that email? And Darryl is like, you know what, Mike? I’m very busy down here. So clearly, Darryl is gonna be no help in getting Michael’s picture deleted.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:57] Oh, no. Well, I want to take us back to accounting for a second, Jenna. Humor me for some background catches. At 8 minutes, 12 seconds, Andy, Meredith and Jim are gathered around Kevin’s computer looking at the photo. Now over Kevin’s shoulder, you can see a message on his bulletin board that says, “Don’t eat the yellow snow”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:21] What is that?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:21] Maybe Kevin, maybe Kevin needed a reminder. But at 8 minutes, 18 seconds, there is a Post-it note on Angela Martin’s side of the partition and Jenna, I zoomed in on that sucker. I zoomed on it so hard. And do you know what it says?
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:37] We got so much mail about this Post-it note. Angela, you’re gonna make so many people very happy right now. What does it say?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:43] Well, I have to thank my husband, Josh, because this was half an hour of our lives that I made him do with me. I, he has editing software. I made him screengrab, blow it up. We put different filters on it that would highlight different letters. You guys. It was a huge task, but we did it. This is what we 99.9 percent believe that it says after our half an hour research. “Angela, comma, can I have eight dollars petty cash to buy some more jelly beans? I’ll get your licorice and cherry. Thanks, Pam”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:17] Oh, my gosh. I’ll get you licorice and cherry.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:21] Well, you know that Dwight likes licorice.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:23] Wow. I guess you’re the one who likes cherry.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:26] I guess so. But we literally, it was like. It was like we had found the Rosetta Stone. We’re like, that’s an R, I’m positive. OK. That’s a C. That’s a Y. Like literally like we were like figuring out hieroglyphics and we became obsessed. And that’s what we’re pretty sure it says.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:45] Well, what I love about that is that it reveals that Pam doesn’t pay for her own candy. She gets petty cash from Angela and that it is something that Pam is doing for the office. Almost like maybe the person before her did it too. I could imagine Pam starting work and Angela going up to her and saying, you will put out candy on your desk. I will give you petty cash. You need to bring me a receipt. But like, this is part of Pam’s like work list.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:13] Yeah. It made me rethink front reception too, especially during the holidays, because I thought all those little decorations, I always sort of thought that was Pam’s effort to spruce up her desk area. But now I think maybe Angela Martin is like, remember, you have a budget for decorating the front reception. It’s the first thing people see when they walk through the door.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:32] Yeah. Like this candy and the decorations are mandated. Can we, though, believe that Pam buys the plants herself?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:39] If you want to.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:40] Thanks.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:42] She can’t keep any of them alive. But OK. OK.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:47] All right. So now we have two things happening. We have Michael, who tells Dwight about the photo. He says he needs Dwight’s help in retrieving it. My favorite part of this scene is when we learned that Michael has named the photo “Jamaican Jan Sun Princess”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:03] Amazing.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:04] And then the other thing that happens is that Jim is sad. Sad Jim is in the break room. Pam walks in. And she gets Jim to confide in her. And he says that he is in kind of a stupid fight with Karen and Pam says, do you want to talk about it?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:21] I have a question for you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:22] What?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:23] Do you really think that Pam wants to talk about it or do you think somewhere deep in her subconscious, I don’t think she’s a mean spirited person, but maybe she has found a way just to spend time with him again?
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:38] Of course. Of course.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:40] Right? She has, she has ulterior motives here.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:44] Well, I think it’s also, though. You know what? I actually don’t think she has those ulterior motives. I think she is really trying to believe and convince herself that she can have a friendship with Jim and that this is what friends do. So, yes, I think part of her is craving that connection. But I think the real thing and why she’s going to break down later is that she thinks she’s ready to be this kind of friend to him.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:13] And she’s-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:14] She’s going to find out that she’s not.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:15] Right.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:16] But she thinks that she is. And this is her attempt.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:19] Well, I’ll tell you, there’s a deleted scene between Jim and Pam. I’m actually, for their storyline, I think it was the right thing to delete it because it takes Pam sort of earnestness to want to help him and try to really be a good friend to him. And it makes it seem like maybe she just wanted to hang out with him. And it’s, the two of you at front reception at Pam’s computer, kind of in that canoodling form, the way you guys used to plan pranks on Dwight, and he’d be leaning in. You’d be laughing and looking at each other. You’re doing all of that, but you’re looking for apartments together for Karen.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:54] Oh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:55] And it felt, it felt off. And so I think it was the right move to delete it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:01] I’m glad they deleted that, because my take away from this episode was that Pam was being really earnest.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:07] Yeah. And then just realized she can’t. She.
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:10] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:10] She can’t be that yet.
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:13] Well we also get a big piece of information about Jim and Karen’s relationship in this scene, we find out that they’ve been dating a month. Jim says, we’ve only been dating a month.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:26] That is not very long.
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:28] No. So definitely the whole dating thing started after she moved to Scranton because we are about four weeks into her move.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:38] That kind of makes Jim’s argument makes sense. I mean, if you’ve just started dating someone, you’re only dating them a month. You might not want them living right down the street because you’re like, what if it doesn’t work out?
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:47] Yeah, but are you really going to see them that much unless you want to? I mean, it’s not like their direct neighbors or living in the same building.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:55] I don’t know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:55] Two blocks away is far if you want it to be.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:59] I don’t know, I’m might be on Jim’s side on this one.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:03] I guess I’m Pam.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:03] I might be like, hey, I want to be able to go for a walk or jog. I mean, who are we kidding? I’m not jogging anywhere. But like, my point is, I don’t know. That might be too close.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:13] So in the end, Pam tells Jim that she thinks maybe he’s being unreasonable. Maybe he should reconsider. She very gently suggests this. And then they start giggling about the fact that Michael went to Jamaica with Jan.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:28] Yes. And that must feel like a little bit like, like they’re back. And that must make Pam happy, you know?
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:36] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:36] It’s like that moment. I want to give a little shout out to a Toby line, because Toby confronts Michael in the next scene saying that he has to report it if he’s having a relationship with a coworker. And Michael is denying everything. But Toby says 9 different people e-mailed me that photo, including my ex-wife, and we don’t even really talk.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:58] I love that. And then that made me laugh out loud. And then Michael’s response is, well maybe this will be the ice breaker. That’s how Michael responds to that.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:39:09] But if it just shows you how far and wide this photo is going now.
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:12] So now here’s what’s happening in the rest of the office. Angela’s in the conference room. She is called together an emergency meeting of the Party Planning Committee. How are they going to throw this luau? She’s very stressed.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:39:25] Oh, she’s not happy about it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:27] So then the very next scene, we’re all out in the bullpen again. We’re done with our meeting apparently. Pam is back at reception. She’s fielding a phone call from Jan.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:39:37] This must be a time jump. Maybe it was a continuity error.
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:41] I don’t know. There’s a little-. There are a couple times when Pam is both in the break room talking to Jim. And at the reception desk.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:39:47] Pam has superpowers. She’s all over the place.
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:51] Pam is in a lot of places at once in this episode. But in this moment, Jan has called the office and Michael will not take the call. He is freaking out. He says he will call Jan back. And I want to note, Angela, not only are you not in the conference room at 12 minutes, 4 seconds, you are standing at the mail cart with Andy.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:11] Hold up, lady. 3 seconds ago, you were shredding green construction paper to make decorations for the luau. Now you’re at the mail cart. What’s happening?
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:20] Using the mail cart, apparently. Very important. Mail cart tracking.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:25] What? With Andy. Well, I have a question for you, Jenna. At 12 minutes, 14 seconds. Dwight opens Michael’s office window, not the window that faces the bullpen. The window that faces like front reception and the couch. You know, the hallway as you come in.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:40] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:40] He slides the window open and tries to poke his head through the blinds to tell Michael he needs to come down to the warehouse ASAP.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:48] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:48] Jenna, is that the first and only time that windows open?
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:54] I’m not sure. I feel like we’ve opened that window before and there were other people who wrote in and pointed that out. That why did Dwight do that? How did he do that? But, yeah, he slid the window open and spoke through the blinds. I guess because he’s been in the warehouse, he’s run upstairs and he needs to tell Michael immediately. And for some reason, I guess he thinks this is more secretive or something. A way to get Michael’s attention.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:41:22] Yeah. I mean, it was so jarring to me. I’m like, oh, God, Dwight. Where are you coming from? What’s happening?
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:26] Well, then Michael and Dwight, they do that run down the hallway again. They go into the warehouse to discover that they have turned his picture with Jan into a giant poster and hung it on the wall. And all the guys start applauding for Michael. Michael is so conflicted in this moment. He doesn’t know if he wants to be popular or if he wants to do the right thing.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:41:50] Yeah. And, you know, Jan is legendary within this office. She is the corporate boss. So this is a, this is a big story. And-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:59] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:00] Michael is very conflicted.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:02] All right. Well, I think maybe we should take a break. And when we come back, we’ll figure out how Michael is going to solve this problem.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:08] And see if this luau party actually happens.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:11] Yes. All right. We are back. Michael makes an announcement in the office and tells everyone that they have to delete this photo. That is not Jan. It could be Jan, but it’s not Jan. But whatever the case, just delete the photo. Then he goes down into the parking lot and he starts playing his steel drum again.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:37] It’s a very wintery parking lot too, like the trees are covered in snow. But he’s determined to play the only thing he knows which is “Feeling hot, hot, hot”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:48] Yes. And only one note from that song, he can play on the steel drum. But I’m really glad that you mentioned the weather, Angela, because we had to set all of that up. We shot this in October, but of course, this aired in the middle of winter. So we wanted to make sure that our seasons on the show coordinated with what would actually be happening in Scranton, Pennsylvania, at the time. And it was my idea to not come all the way out the door. I said, Pam doesn’t have her coat on. I think if, if this were really me, I would just sort of hover inside and kind of talk through a crack in the door when it’s really cold. And I just love that that made that in. They liked that idea. And so that’s why Pam doesn’t come all the way outside to talk to Michael.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:31] Oh, I loved that. I didn’t know that. But it felt very real to me that you’d be like, hey, idiot, come inside.
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:38] Can I confess something?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:40] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:40] I really loves when I get to pretend to be cold.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:44] Really?
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:46] Yeah, because I’m cold all the time. I feel like I have such a full suitcase of material to pull from when I need to be cold. I’m cold constantly. And so that’s why I was like, oh, you need me to pretend to be cold. Well, I’ll tell you what I would do. I wouldn’t walk all the way outside without a coat on. Let me throw that at ya. And there was like, there was an episode a few episodes ago where we were all in the parking lot. And we’re pretending to be cold. And I saw myself. I kept putting my mouth down into the front of my coat and breathing into it because that’s something I do when I’m cold. I’m noticing all of my cold detail acting, and I’m really proud of it. So I’m giving a little flex to it right now.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:44:27] All your cold shtick. You’ve got your cold shtick down.
JENNA FISCHER [00:44:32] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:44:32] I own a sweatshirt that says “Always cold”. That my family gave to me as a gift because I drive everyone crazy. I sneak up behind and turn the thermostat off. Like I’m that person. So Jenna, I don’t know if I’m great at pretending to be cold, but I’m with you. I mean, you and I froze our butts off on that set. So now we’re at the luau. Angela Martin is cutting up spam? Because-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:44:57] I guess that’s all you could get. You couldn’t get a full pig from the petting zoo, as you had told Phyllis.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:03] Oh lord. Well, my dad loves spam. So when I saw that, I just got tickled because it made me think of my dad. My dad, whenever, my mom was really in charge of all the cooking and meal prep when I was growing up, unless it was barbecuing. Like they were so traditional, my dad like manned the barbecue. But if my mom, and it was very rare, but let’s say my mom woke up and she’s like, oh gosh, I have a cold, I have a fever, you know, whatever. One of those mornings where my dad had to take over. My dad would fry spam and we’d all be like, ugh. And he’d be like, you’re going to have spam. And then you would fried up for breakfast. And then if you had to make our lunch, he’d be like, well, we got leftover spam. It was like, dad! So much spam.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:41] What is spam?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:43] I think spam’s a lot a parts.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:46] Does it have flavors in it? Is it a specific flavor?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:51] It’s very salty.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:52] OK, wait. We’re getting a message from Codi. This is the benefit of Zooming our podcasts, our producer can pop on. She is telling us that spams basic ingredients are, quote, “pork with ham added salt-water, modified potato starch as a binder sugar and sodium nitrate as a preservative. There is also a natural gelatin that is formed during cooking and it’s tins on the production line”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:17] Codi’s clarifying. Ham is from the pig’s hind leg, while pork is any meat from pigs.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:23] Wait, guys. The spam conversation is not over.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:26] It’s not over.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:26] ‘Cause I know you were worried that we were stopping the spam conversation, but Sam just threw down that there are 15 different flavors of spam.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:35] OK, well, that seems crazy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:38] It’s what you’re here for, guys. It’s what you’re here for.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:41] It’s what you’re here for. All right. Well, so, yes, we’re back to the luau in the warehouse. Jim gives Karen some papers. What are they, Jenna?
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:51] Yes. He hands her a rental agreement for the apartment that is two blocks away from him. And they’re so happy. And they make up, you know, Angela, we got a lot of questions about why are they having this luau down in the warehouse? People were kind of confused. And I think that’s because there were a bunch of scenes that got deleted from this section of the show that remind you that we’re supposed to be doing inventory down there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:19] There are so many deleted scenes from the warehouse. So there were all of these little vignettes. One of the ones I loved was that Ryan is staring at a bunch of boxes and he has like a clicker in his hand like that, you know, you would check off. You, like a barcode, like beep, beep. And Roy walks up and goes, what’s the problem? And Ryan’s like, well, we’re seven boxes short of whatever yellow paper, or whatever it was. And. Roy just takes the clicker from Ryan and then just scans into the air like seven. Beep, beep, beep. And he goes fixed. So there’s like, and Ryan’s like, oh. So we’re not doing, we’re just fudging it. But like, there’s all these different moments within the warehouse that are happening that remind you that we’re actually there to do inventory. Then another deleted scene that happens is Meredith is doing inventory and she’s trying to get to one of the boxes on top of the shelf. And she does that thing, you guys, I have done so many times, especially in a grocery store, when I can’t reach something on the top. I climb up the bottom of the shelf and she does this and the whole entire shelf comes crashing down on her head with all the boxes. She’s completely buried. If you watch the deleted scenes, you can’t even see Kate anymore. She’s buried. No one notices. People just keep on, business as usual. And then you hear this muffled voice say, hello, I’m stuck. Hello? Like. We got a fan question about this moment. Jess Moore wrote in and said, “Did Kate Flannery do her own stunt in that deleted scene in the warehouse”? Well, Jess, we reached out to Kate, and this is what she had to say.
KATE FLANNERY [00:48:57] Hey, “Office Ladies” podcast fans. It’s me, Kate Flannery. Meredith from “The Office”. Yes, I did a lot of my own stunts. I kind of got the idea that as much physical comedy as I could do, I was gonna do. So I have, I suggested I do a lot of my stunts, even though I know that there was a stunt double there that day. Debbie Evans. But they did not use her. It happened several times. So I think the stunt people still got paid, but, and I never went to the hospital, so who cares? Right? But, yeah, we sort of perfected things. So by the time Meredith gets hit by the car in Season 4, we were really off to the races. So this is, this episode, the stunt was kind of like the beginnings of, of my bravery. So thanks for watching.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:48] She’s fearless. She really is.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:50] That is insane.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:51] I mean, she is fearless if you go and watch that deleted scene. Truly, a whole entire shelf full of stuff falls on her and you can’t even see her. It’s, it’s. She’s fearless.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:03] I would’ve been like, Debbie. I’m going to need you. I’m going to need you in. Debbie, get on in here. Because, there is no way I would have done that. No way. I am too much of a scaredy cat.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:16] You know what’s interesting is that one of the things I really wanted to do on this show, I don’t know why. I think, I think I’m a bad ass driver. I’m probably not. But I always wanted to do all my driving stunts. And when they let me like because, you know, Dwight and I have a few driving scenes, I would get really excited.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:31] Don’t want to do those either. I like it when they hook it up to a rig and pull the car. I’m like, I don’t want to drive this down the road while I’m acting. No one wants that. I’ve had to do that before. I’m always terrified. Well, one thing that did make it into the scene is this very odd moment of Darryl finding his iPod. And I want you to know that is not in the script. That was an improvisation by Craig on the day. He actually found an iPod deck and speaker somewhere back in the warehouse and he just did this bit and it made it into the show. And it is so funny to me. We got so much mail about it. People are like, “Is there something I’m missing? Is there a deleted scene from a previous episode where Darryl loses his iPod? Is this product placement for iPod again”? No, it was just this random funny bit. He does it with such like real enthusiasm.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:26] Well, we had to be there pretending like we were going through boxes, guys. So we were really doing stuff which you don’t really see. It didn’t really make it into the show. But I think that he legitimately opened up a box and that was in there and he got all excited.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:42] Yes, exactly.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:44] Well, I have a little Angela Roy moment that happens right at the same time. At 14 minutes, 44 seconds, you can see Angela starts to walk up to Roy and is about to, like, go up to him. And then Darryl yells, I found an iPod dock. And I, I whip my head and I pivot the other way.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:04] Wow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:52:05] You have to go and watch it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:07] More of the untold Angela Roy’s story.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:52:10] And I’m wondering, I mean, what? What was meant to happen there? Like, it’s not in the script. It’s not in deleted scenes, but I’m sure I was given some direction maybe to go over and, you know, in the background sort of talk to Roy. But yeah, when Darryl yells, I turn around and go the other direction. It’s a fun little catch.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:28] Well, then we see Pam is doing some inventory. And Karen comes up to her and thanks her. She says, thank you so much for talking sense into Jim. Karen is so happy. Her relationship is back on. Everything’s OK. And then we cut to Pam just sobbing on a bench in the hallway. And Angela, I watched this scene and it just brought tears to my eyes because I remember shooting it so clearly. So clearly. And we got a lot of questions about it. So we got questions from Joe Salazar, Angie Letwurth, Elisa Goldman, Jillian Riley and Charlie Sparkenbah. They wanted to know, “How was it filming that iconic Pam and Dwight scene when Pam is crying”? Well, guys, this was like early on in the show and whenever we had these really emotional scenes like that parking lot scene with Jim and Pam. We would just kind of shut down everything, and I remember that we shut down the set and we took hours prepping and shooting this crying scene. It was really important to Greg that I really be crying. They did not want to put fake tears in my eyes. He wanted me to really go there. And this is a really big challenge for an actor. And so what they did was they made everything really quiet. And no one talked to me for about a half hour. And I put on the saddest music I could find and it was sad because it was personal to me. Right? It was music that brought up memories of breakups, music that I listened to at different times in my life when I was having a particularly hard time. So it would bring up a lot of emotions. And I had spent the previous week creating this playlist because I knew that it would invoke a lot of emotion. And I sat and I listened to it until I was crying. And then Kelly, our first A.D., came and took the headphones away from me and then they started rolling. And that’s how they were able to begin the scene with me crying. Because when you play a scene, Angela, and you have dialog and you have connection with a person. A lot of times that will bring the emotion out of you. But it’s really hard to start a scene in a full cry because you would just have to get yourself there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:05] No, that’s so true. It’s, it’s actually really hard because you’re basically taking yourself emotionally from 0 to 60. And I had to do a crying scene in a show called “Haters Back Off” that was like something in the middle. And I remember they let me sort of, sort of just step away from set to get myself there. And once I was there, they started rolling. I took this acting class and it was talking about emotional journeys. And the acting teacher encouraged us to pick a song, one song, because sometimes on set you don’t have the luxury of being able to, like, go listen. That really shows how much our show was taking care of you in that moment. I feel like.
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:43] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:45] But sometimes you only have a few minutes to reset yourself emotionally to get to that place. So we took, everyone picked one song and in your mind you sing that one song and by the end of that song you should be in that emotional place. And it really worked for me. And I find for myself now, I’m older now, guys. I’m 49 and more life has happened to me and it’s easier for me to get to that place than when I was a younger actor.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:16] Yeah, same. But music is a big way to trigger it for me and I think for a lot of actors.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:24] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:25] I’ve created musical soundtracks for a lot of things I’ve done. I had to do a play and I had to start out the play in a rage. I had to start out very, very angry. And I couldn’t find a song that exactly triggered my anger. I had a song that would kind of amp me up. And then I realized I had some audio of an ex-boyfriend.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:45] Oh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:47] Who I like really was pissed that still to this day, I found this audiotape and I played his voice and it made me so damn mad that I could, you can hear me right now just thinking about it. It made me so damn mad that I could just walk out on stage and start screaming at the other actor on stage because just his voice triggered me.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:09] Wow.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:09] So I think there, you know, music. Something you can listen to.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:14] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:15] That works.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:16] Yeah, I think that goes. I mean, you guys listening, you can I know there are songs that take you right back to a moment in your life. That’s, that’s the power and beauty of music. Right? The song that like would make me tear up by the end is a Lefty Frizzell song called “That’s the Way Love Goes”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:33] Mmmm.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:35] So and.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:36] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:36] It’s an old song, some of you will know it. Some of you in this moment know that I’m 100 hundred years old. It’s a really old song.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:44] Well, one of the songs I was listening to to help make me cry for Pam was a Ben Folds song. But I had a whole Pam soundtrack that I would listen to on my drive to work during Season 3 when her and Jim were estranged. And it was Norah Jones.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:01] Lady.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:01] ‘Cause she’s just so soulful and wishing and a little lost.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:09] I remember you guys doing the scene and I remember it from the filter of your BFF. And I remember you were really anxious about it. You really wanted to get it right. You were doing all the prep. I remember when you guys went to do the scene that I left you alone. You know, you don’t need your chatty 5’1. blah blah blah. I was like, I’m going to give her all the space she needs and rewatching it, Jenna, it made me tear up. It’s so beautiful. And I think I see Rainn as Dwight tearing up. But surely Dwight wouldn’t tear up. But I think Rainn your friend is tearing up watching you cry.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:47] Angela, it’s making me get choked up when you say it because this is a little bit of a place where the line blurred between the Rainn that you and I know.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:00] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:00] And Dwight. Rainn simply couldn’t do that scene without empathizing with Pam. Every time we did a take, he teared up when I cried harder. It was like Rainn Wilson, the man, was incapable of sitting next to a person in pain without feeling their pain. And this is the thing that we know about Rainn. It’s the thing that we love about Rainn. And when I saw it in the scene, it just made me miss Rainn so much, because that’s who Rainn is to me on a personal level.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:31] Yeah. Yeah. I just saw Rainn. I just saw him and he’s tearing up. And then he has to snap back to Dwight.
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:40] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:41] You know? And say the liner, you know, PMS-ing pretty hard, right?
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:45] Yeah. Yes. Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:47] One of my favorite things he does in the scene as Dwight is he takes his jacket off and you’re positive he’s going to wrap it around Pam. And he ties it around his waist. So awkwardly.
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:59] Yes. That was in the script. That’s the other thing. All the little beats, all the moments, him putting his jacket around his waist, giving the handkerchief, awkwardly putting his arm around her shoulder. All of that is scripted. All those moments. It’s just, it was a beautifully written scene and they gave us great time to figure it out and shoot it. I’m, I’m really proud of that scene. It’s one of my favorites from the series that I got to do.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:00:23] I know. You just did it so well. Where are we now?
JENNA FISCHER [01:00:28] Well, Jan has arrived. Oh, it’s so awkward.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:00:32] Jan has arrived. And you could, you could cut the tension. Even though we were acting, I remember, Melora has such a presence. And when she walked into that warehouse, it was like you could hear a pin drop, even though we knew we were acting. It just was a powerful moment.
JENNA FISCHER [01:00:52] Yes. And Michael’s slow walk up the stairs was so good, so good.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:01:01] So good. And then, Jenna, when they get back to Michael’s office. What a power move. Jan is sitting in his seat. He has to sit across from her where the other employees would normally sit.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:16] It was so bad ass. I so loved it. So now in this scene, you don’t know what’s gonna happen. You’re pretty sure that she knows about this picture and she has come to just lay into Michael about sending out this photo. But she’s either unaware of the photo or she doesn’t care because she tells Michael this amazing speech. It’s so amazing.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:01:41] It’s so good. She says her therapist thinks she has self-destructive tendencies and she should just lean into ’em. Let’s try that for a change. Let’s just go with the destruction.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:55] I love it, she says, in this past year, I have been through a divorce, an identity theft.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:01] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:02:02] An identity theft. She’s like my ex-husband, you know, can’t or won’t share his feelings with me. And then she says maybe she will find happiness by lowering her expectations and following her instinct to be with Michael. Everything in Melora’s performance is perfection. And then it is mirrored by Steve’s perfect reactions to everything she’s saying. He is confused. He isn’t sure if he can be happy. He’s clearly, like, afraid to react.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:37] Yeah. He’s frozen because he’s like she’s breaking up with me. Wait, she’s not. Wait, she likes me. Oh, but she’s leaving me. Who’s this therapist? What’s happening?
JENNA FISCHER [01:02:46] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:46] All of those things are happening. And then, you know, she grabs him and gives them a big, sloppy kiss. I wrote on my card, “Jan #DGAF”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:02:57] What’s DGAF?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:59] Don’t give a [beep].
JENNA FISCHER [01:03:01] Oh.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:03:02] Because she knows the camera crew is there. She is clearly over it. She’s like, I’m going to lean into this, just like my doctor said. She says, meet me back at your condo in 15 minutes. And then, it’s my favorite moment. I mean, well, there’s many favorite moments. But this is one of my favorite moments. He is stunned and he looks at her and says, “You complete me”. Like from “Jerry Maguire”. Like that scene in the elevator.
JENNA FISCHER [01:03:31] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:03:31] He’s like, “You complete me”. And she looks at him and pauses, it’s such a, such a wonderful pause. And she goes, “Oh, God”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:03:41] All of that was scripted, Angela.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:03:42] Oh, it’s so good.
JENNA FISCHER [01:03:46] All of that. It says that he says that line and then it says, Jan pauses and then sighs. But she’s, like, still going to meet him at his apartment.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:03:55] Yeah. That, “Oh, God” is like, well, I’m in it now.
JENNA FISCHER [01:04:00] Lady, we got a fan question about this scene that so intrigued me. Listen to this.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:04:08] OK.
JENNA FISCHER [01:04:08] This is from Nili. Nili said, “Daniel Levinson and Roger Gould are adult developmental psychologists who have contributed massively to the field, including the study and definition of the midlife crisis. Is Jan Levinson Gould’s name a reference to the fact that she is the epitome of a midlife crisis? Or is it just a coincidence”?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:04:33] That is an amazing catch.
JENNA FISCHER [01:04:36] I think it’s a coincidence because I don’t think they knew that the character of Jan was going to become what she was when we started. So when they named her Jan Levinson Gould, they were not aware that she was going to spin out and go down this road with Michael yet. That, that happened over time. But I will tell you that I appreciate this fan letter because it sent me down a fabulous two hour rabbit hole where I Googled Dr. Roger Gould, Adult Development Theory. Fascinating. I’d like you to know that you can also get a book called “The Seasons of a Man’s Life” by Dr. Daniel Levinson. But all of their work was combined into a wonderful book by Gail Sheehy. She’s a feminist journalist and she wrote “Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life”. Did I buy all these books? And I’m waiting for them? Maybe I did, Nilli, maybe I did. I’ll report back. But guys, if you want to go on the journey with me, you can Google it all. It was really awesome.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:05:36] Jenna, I love this so much because you and I do our prep separately, so I don’t know the rabbit holes you’re going down. You’re doing that. And I spent half an hour looking up different flavors of jelly beans.
JENNA FISCHER [01:05:49] It’s all valid, lady.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:05:49] It’s all good.
JENNA FISCHER [01:05:49] And all important. It’s all important.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:05:53] Well, you know, so we go back to the luau. It’s not going great. People look like they’re having a pretty lame time. And there’s a scene between Roy and Pam. And he kind of cheers her up.
JENNA FISCHER [01:06:05] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:06:05] Yeah, Roy’s says, remember how we were deciding where to go on the honeymoon? You wanted Hawaii. I wanted Mexico. Well, I was right. So I think he’s sort of saying that Mexico would be better than Hawaii because this luau’s lame. I don’t track his reasoning, but Pam laughs And I think she really needed that laugh.
JENNA FISCHER [01:06:25] Yeah. This was the first moment where we show that, like, Pam is being comforted by Roy. So all along, we’ve been seeing Roy try to make these gestures reaching out to her. And this one lands. And this was kind of going to maybe put Pam and Roy back on track.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:06:43] Well, before we wrap up “Back from Vacation”, Jenna, I have one deleted scene. It’s a Michael talking head, and I have to share it with you because it really sums up Michael’s, Michael’s state of mind as he comes back from Jamaica.
JENNA FISCHER [01:07:01] All right. I got to hear this. What is it?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:07:03] So Michael is driving in his car to work. It’s his first day back to work from Jamaica. Driving in his car, talking head. He says, “You know how they say take a chill pill? In Jamaica, I took one. Guy on the beach sold it to me for 40 dollars. And after I finished vomiting, I was more relaxed than I’ve ever been. I lost six pounds too. And that’s how I want everyday to be”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:07:32] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:07:32] Who wants to take a pill, vomit his brains out, then be relaxed?
JENNA FISCHER [01:07:37] And then have a Piña Colada at 3 o’clock?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:07:40] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:07:42] Amazing.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:07:43] Amazing.
JENNA FISCHER [01:07:43] Well, guys, that was “Back from Vacation”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:07:47] Yes. Thank you so much for sending in your questions. And a big thank you to Kim Ferry. You can find her on Instagram at HairFerry.Kim. That’s H-a-i-r-F-e-r-r-y, dot, Kim. She posts so many fun behind-the-scenes things from all the projects she’s worked on, including “The Office”. And Kate Flannery, thank you so much for your audio clip. I asked Kate, was there anything I could share? And she said, will you tell them all that I’m just so tickled that I, Meredith Palmer, has a Funko Pop.
JENNA FISCHER [01:08:15] I love that.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:08:18] You can see what Kate’s up to at the RealKateFlannery on Instagram. And also, thank you to Justin Spitzer. And, of course, Kent-apedia for helping us answer all those fan questions. Thanks, guys.
JENNA FISCHER [01:08:30] Yes. And Phil Shea, I reach out to these guys all the time and they always come through for me. We couldn’t do the podcast without them, just like we couldn’t make the show without them.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:08:39] That’s right. And you guys and Sam and Codi, love you all. Have a great week. And we’ll see you next time.
JENNA FISCHER [01:08:48] Thank you for listening to “Office Ladies”. “Office Ladies” is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. Our producer is Codi Fischer. Our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer.
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