November 3, 2020
EP. 52 — Beach Games
This week we’re breaking down Beach Games. Writer, Jen Celotta sends us her memories from this episode. From the ‘Survivor’ theme to the challenges that went into shooting Andy floating away in the Sumo suit, we get all of the behind the scenes details! Then, we dive into the hilarious hot dog eating contest and Angela schools us with her basketball knowledge. Finally, we answer fan questions about the hot coal walking scene, and discuss Pam’s new found courage to tell the truth to Jim.
52 — Beach Games
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 we’re 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”. Angela.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:27] Hey! We are so excited today, you guys.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:30] We’re going to the beach today.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:31] We’re going to play some “Beach Games”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:34] Yes. Season 3, Episode 22, written by Jen Celotta and Greg Daniels, directed by Harold Ramis. It’s “Beach Games”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:42] We have so much to talk about, I kind of feel like we just got it, we just got to get to it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:48] We should dive in because I took very diligent notes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:51] And I think you did in real life. We’ll get to that.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:55] All right. Here’s a summary. “Michael is invited to interview for a job opening at corporate. Certain that he’s a lock for the job, he takes his employees to the beach at Lake Scranton and holds a series of challenges to determine his successor. At the end of the day, Michael sets up a coal walk as a final challenge. Pam does the coal walk and summons up the courage to tell Jim and the whole office her real feelings”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:23] Oh, man. That was, that was so tough to watch. It was beautiful, Jenna. Pam broke my heart in this episode.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:33] Yeah. I had not seen this episode since it aired, and I, it shocked me.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:41] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:41] And I did it, and I was still shocked.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:45] Isn’t that funny? Like the way the brain works, where you’re like, wait, I did all that. That’s crazy. That’s kind of cool.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:51] Yeah. Yeah. So Fast Fact Number One, Angela, our “Beach Games” is set on Lake Scranton.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:58] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:59] Now obviously, we didn’t go to the real Lake Scranton. But I did want to just talk a little bit about it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:04] Oh, let’s hear it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:06] Well, Lake Scranton is actually a reservoir and it was built with a dam in the early 1900s. The dam was built by William Walker Scranton and the body of water it created was originally called the Burnt Bridge Reservoir, although the public calls it Lake Scranton.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:25] Well, Jenna, you and I have both been to Scranton. And one of the times that I went, they drove me around Lake Scranton and it is so pretty.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:33] So pretty. There is a running track around the real Lake Scranton, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. But I did look up a few facts about it, Ang.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:43] Yeah?
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:45] Swimming is not permitted. Boating is not permitted, but canoeing and kayaking is allowed.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:52] I wonder why you can’t swim in it. Like I get the no motor, right? That’s like-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:56] Right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:57] Like, I think that’s sort of really cool. But I wonder why the no swimming.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:01] I don’t know. I’m not sure.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:04] We’re intrigued. Scranton, write us. Tell us why you can’t swim in your lake.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:09] Well, this leads me to Fast Fact Number Two. I brought up all these facts about Lake Scranton because we had a fan question from Sophia B., Aaron W., Dana D., Meryn B., and Fabi, “Where was the beach that you filmed this episode? Was it a long commute and how many days did you film at that location”? Well, I will tell you.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:36] Tell us. I know, I remember one or two things, but I bet you got all the details, so let’s hear it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:42] Well, I reached out to Kentapedia, and here’s what he told me. We filmed at the beach at the Hansen Dam Recreation Center in Sylmar. We shot there for four days and nights. Well, you mentioned that you’ve been to the real Lake Scranton. I’ve been to this real Hansen Dam Recreation Center outside of us filming.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:03] You have?
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:04] Yes, because there is this museum, this children’s museum called the Discovery Cube. That’s right nearby. And when you go through this area, there’s also like a, an equestrian center. There’s an aquatic center.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:19] What?
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:19] There’s a playground. Because, lady, the place that they put us to film this episode-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:25] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:25] Was like you had an, I had no idea all this stuff was there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:30] My memory of where we filmed was it was like a chemical pond runoff like from a dam.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:37] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:37] Where I was like, are we breathing in fumes? It was really like gross.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:43] They, maybe, like the only place they let you film is in this like, weird janky corner of this area.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:54] Where, where the runoff water goes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:55] Yeah, because this recreation center is actually really nice. But here’s something I found out too. The lake where we filmed is filled with circulated drinking water.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:06] What?
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:08] Yeah, circulated drinking water, and it offers fishing and public boating.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:13] Oh, my gosh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:15] So when Ed is out there floating in the water. He was in some recycled drinking water.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:20] Oh, well, that’s good to know. All these years, I worried for him that he was going to get like some kind of weird rash.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:30] All right, well, let’s move on to Fast Fact Number Three. So like we said earlier, this was written by both Greg Daniels and Jen Celotta. And we reached out to Jen Celotta and she sent us audio clips.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:44] She sent us so many. She’s so gracious. We’re going to sprinkle them throughout. But here she has one for us right now.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:52] Yes. She is going to tell us a little bit about the inspiration for this episode and what it was like to write a script with Greg.
JEN CELOTTA [00:06:00] I think the inspiration for this episode was just “Survivor”. I think it was Greg’s idea. And I remember all of us talking about “Survivor” being a perfect way for Michael Scott to pick his successor. I mean, what other way would this man use to try to pick somebody who could run a branch. It just seemed like a no brainer for Michael Scott to do it this way. And then we tried to sit down and write the whole thing together and we were like, this isn’t going to work. So we divided it up. We can’t remember exactly how we did it. I think sometimes with Paul, when I’d write a script with Paul, I do the first half, he’d do the second or vice versa. And with Greg, I think we didn’t do it cleanly divide it up that way. I think just he did some of the scenes. I did others. And I do remember that the Pam speech was mostly Greg. And I think that is such a beautiful part of the episode. And the Pam arc preexisted the idea of the “Beach Games” episode. So I think some of the ideas from that speech were in his notes, but I love that part. It is one of my favorite parts, if not my favorite part of the episode. So credit to Greg for that part, for sure. But we both wrote a bunch of it, I just don’t think we clearly divided it up.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:19] Well, Ang, I remember Greg talking to me about this Pam arc of her finding her voice.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:27] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:27] And he planted this idea a few episodes ago and we sprinkled it in. And so I just love this idea that he’d been maybe writing down little notes about what Pam will finally say when she says something. And I remember getting the script for this episode and just being so excited as an actor. There was just so much to chew on.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:51] I mean, I thought that it was just beautifully done. Really, just Pam’s whole journey this season about even her sending the wrong beer back. You know what I mean? And-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:04] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:04] And just having these moments where she stood up for herself and spoke her truth and it all builds to this one moment. And it’s just so well done.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:14] When I was rewatching this, I was marveling at what a well written episode this was.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:21] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:22] Well, maybe we should take a quick break and then come back and break down this episode.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:27] I can’t wait, Jenna, we have so much to talk about.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:30] I know, we’ve been trading a lot of texts about this one.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:36] All right, so this episode starts with this very funny cold open. It is Dwight and Michael. They’re in Michael’s office and Michael’s convinced that he’s sick, you guys, he’s convinced. They’re scrolling through a website. It’s like Web M.D. or something. Trying to figure out what he is sick from. Dwight’s very concerned.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:55] Yes. Pam has the talking head where she explains that this happens about 40 times a year.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:01] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:02] Michael gets sick, but has no symptoms.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:04] Yes. Well, Jen left us a really great audio clip about this, about the inspiration for this cold open. Sam, can you play that?
JEN CELOTTA [00:09:11] Greg and I wrote the episode together, and it was really fun. I remember being really curious, what is Greg’s process going to be like because writing scripts, it was such a solitary part of what we did. And so I was always wondering, like, what are other writers like when they go off to write a script? It became quickly obvious that his process at the beginning was like mine, which is like every other writer I’ve ever met, which is there’s a fair amount of procrastinating right away before you have to get into the hard work, it’s figuring out what you want to eat, it’s sharpen your pencils, it’s figuring out the temperature of the room. And for both of us, we started focusing on ailments like what was wrong, how we weren’t feeling well, like my ear was bothering him and he wasn’t feeling super well at the time. And so we went on Web M.D. and we tried to diagnose ourselves and each other. And they used to have a little body where you could like could, point to the part of the body that hurt and that was bothering you. And so he diagnosed me with an ear infection or at least inner ear congestion, and he ended up putting some oil from the kitchen that we found in my ear. It turns out you can do this. It is, it is a home remedy. And it helped! It helped my ear. And I think we diagnosed him with walking pneumonia. So we did this right when we were sent off to write the “Beach Games” episode. And it ended up becoming our cold open because we were probably looking for a cold open. And we’re like, what about what we’re doing right now?
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:49] There is so much about that audio clip that I love.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:53] Like it’s so relatable. It’s like whenever you sit down to do something, and it doesn’t matter what it is. I mean, their’s was this writing assignment, but all the different ways you procrastinate before you get to that thing.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:04] Yes. Well, Angela, you and I are working on a project that we can’t say exactly what it is, but it involves quite a bit of writing.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:12] God, yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:12] And I, every time I sit down to write, I will write one sentence and then I will get up and get a snack, and then I’ll come back and write a sentence and then I’ll be like, I need more coffee.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:25] Mmhmm. Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:26] It’s like the procrastination. I loved that she shared that because I think my perception is always that creativity comes easy to people who are successful. I always think, like, it must pour out of them. And it is such a slog. So I loved hearing that. But then the other thing I loved was that their procrastination, it got turned into a story idea like it’s worth it. Like all of that nonsense, it produced something.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:56] Right? Well, I had a writing professor in college that used to always say, write what you know, write what you know, and it’ll be honest.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:05] Oh, well, I just loved this, this opening. And, you know, before they can really diagnose Michael. Pam walks in the office and says David Wallace is on the phone.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:17] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:18] It’s very clear that David Wallace does not call very often.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:21] No, it’s a big deal.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:24] Well, Michael gets on the phone with him. Oh, my goodness.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:28] Michael, what are you doing? Michael, the way Michael talks to his bosses, or even when he goes to New York, to corporate, there is such a casualness to how he relates to them that is so not work appropriate.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:47] It’s so true. Well, we find out the reason that David Wallace is calling is because there is a job opening at corporate and he would like Michael to apply. I can’t believe he still wants Michael to apply after this phone call, but I think Michael has a very, very good sales record and a good record of connecting with people out in the sales world.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:11] Yeah, he’s a really good salesman. Here’s a little interesting tidbit, Jenna. There was a scene that was deleted right after this phone call of David Wallace and Michael. David Wallace calls Jim and tells Jim the same thing.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:25] I saw that in the script.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:26] And they chose not to use it. They chose to like reveal it later, that it’s Jim calling, it’s Jim being more proactive in his life. But there was a version where David calls Jim.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:37] Yeah, I noticed that in the script because that scene on the beach with Jim and Karen calling David and kind of asking if they could go for the job as well. That was not in the original script. So that must have been something that they added later.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:54] Well, I remember when we were at the beach, there were a few scenes that sort of happened on the fly. They were like kind of pitched in the moment.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:01] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:01] And that was one of them.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:03] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:03] So now it is Beach Day. And at 2 minutes, 28 seconds, you get a fantastic look at Michael’s outfit. He clearly bought everything he could at Sandals in the gift shop. He’s got a t-shirt. He’s got a hat. He has a necklace that he probably bought there. Little puka shell necklace. He’s really ready. And he tells everyone they better go potty before they leave. I’m just like Michael’s so ready to be a dad, you know? He just is. Bless his heart.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:33] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:33] And you get to see everybody in casual attire. And I just loved it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:39] Well, I noticed something about our wardrobe.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:42] What’s that?
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:44] Do you see how many layers we all have on?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:46] Oh, well, that was for a reason.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:49] Yep. It was because we shot this episode in March and we knew that that location was going to be perfectly warm and lovely during the day. It turned out to be hot as F.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:02] There was a heatwave. There was this crazy freak March heatwave. It was 98 degrees. I wrote in my journal that it was 98 degrees our first day.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:13] Yeah. But then when the sun went down, it was freezing cold.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:19] Yeah. We’re in this valley. So it was like these really huge swings of temperature.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:24] Yeah. So wardrobe tried to give us layers to help take us between these two extreme temperatures. And I noticed when I was looking at everyone’s beach attire.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:36] Their layers. Well, you know what I noticed? This is really, really fun to me. Toby and Angela almost have on the same outfit.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:44] What? I did not notice that.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:46] They’re both wearing these beige tops. They have huge beige floppy hats and like sort of like, just like pants on. But like, and they’re also both obsessed with sunscreen, both of them.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:59] Well, I noticed that both Andy and Stanley are wearing a red polo shirt.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:16:04] Oh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:04] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:16:05] I did not catch that. But guess what I did catch? And I know it’s your favorite moment of the day.
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:12] Is it a new plant at reception? Because we need a sting for this.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:16:16] New plant alert! 3 minutes, 32 seconds. It is a red flowering plant. There are big red flowers on this plant.
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:28] OK, I’m sorry. I see that as a metaphor because Pam is going to bloom in this episode.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:16:35] That is so good. Pam’s going to flower. She’s going to bloom.
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:39] Well, we forgot to talk about how Michael has told Toby he can’t come on the Beach Day.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:16:43] Oh, that was so good. Toby’s disappointment. He doesn’t get to see you in a two piece. Jenna, I wrote, “How did you get through that scene without laughing”?
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:53] I didn’t.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:16:53] How did you do it? Because when you were like, “Oh, thanks. I’m going to wear my two piece”. His face is so good.
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:00] It’s so funny.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:01] We also didn’t mention and I’m tracking this, “The Meredith Flash Count”. This is flash number two.
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:07] Yes. Meredith has that great talking head where she explains that she wore her bathing suit to work.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:13] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:13] And she lifts her shirt to show you, and she’s like, “Oh, shoot, it’s in my purse”. Michael has a special assignment for Pam on Beach Day.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:22] Of course, because she needs an assignment.
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:25] Yeah. Michael tells her that she has to take notes, all day, on people’s character, humor, charisma and the indefinable qualities that they possess, but not their hotness per say. I loved that line.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:41] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:42] Per say. Like you, she could add that if she wanted, but it’s not 100 percent necessary, I guess. But he also doesn’t tell her why she has to do this.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:51] No, he, he just needs to find out which of his employees has the skills to be a chicken with a head.
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:57] That’s right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:58] That makes sense.
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:59] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:59] What? What?
JENNA FISCHER [00:18:02] Well, let’s see. Now the gang is all going to board the bus. Michael’s got a big party bus to take everyone to the beach.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:10] Yeah. Creed’s got a boogie board. He’s ready to go.
JENNA FISCHER [00:18:15] Yeah. Kevin says he just wants to lay on the beach and eat hot dogs. It’s literally all he’s ever wanted. Now this bus that we’re all riding in, we really rode in that. That’s how we got to the beach.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:29] That day. But then the days after that, we drove ourselves.
JENNA FISCHER [00:18:32] Yes. That first day, though, they shuttled us from the stages. And the plan was that we would use the time to shoot the scene with Michael, but then we had extra time.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:43] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:18:44] So we all started singing.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:46] Well, listen, I watched the DVD commentary for this and I thought it was so sweet because Harold Ramis is on the DVD commentary and, and Jen Celotta was on it as well. And Jen was like, you know, Harold said I’d never been on a bus where we didn’t sing.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:01] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:01] He was like, everybody, when you get on the bus with people, you sing, right? That was Harold Ramis being genius. And I do know two other songs we sang, Jenna.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:11] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:12] Do you remember?
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:13] What?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:13] We sang, “Tiny Dancer”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:16] Oh, yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:17] And then we also sang “Friends”. And we did the handclaps.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:20] I remember that.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:21] Yeah. I didn’t know all the words to that, so I just clapped.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:25] Well, Angela, I have to say, I remember that vibe of us just singing our way to the beach that very first day. And then frankly, as we walked off the bus and got hit in the face with that 98 degree weather, I feel like you see that play out on our faces.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:44] I felt the same thing in rewatching this. That shot, when we’re walking across the beach, we’re all carrying our stuff. Meredith is dragging a cooler. Do you know the shot I’m talking about?
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:54] Yes. Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:54] I took a photo of it because I think it’s so amazing. I took a screen grab. That is all real. Like that, that struggle to drag that stuff across the beach. And it was hot. You guys have all been there. You’ve been to that beach where you had a park super far away and lug your stuff in the heat and all your enthusiasm of getting there is so quickly, like, oh, God, here we go.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:20] Well, Angela, you mentioned a little bit about the challenges of this location, and Jen talked about that as well. So, Sam, will you play that? Audio clip number eight.
JEN CELOTTA [00:20:30] It was a super fun episode, but it was really challenging. I remember even the bathrooms weren’t close to the location, so, and they were as close as they could be, but we needed a golf cart. And so anytime anybody had to go to the bathroom, there was a golf cart taking people up a hill. And I remember it was super hot and super cold all within the course of one day. There were heat lamps and heat warm-, hand warmers. And then it was really, really hot in the middle of the afternoon. So everything about this episode was a challenge. And I feel like, we just, in order to get everything great, it just took a long time.
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:04] Oh, yeah. It was slim pickings out there on the beach. I mean, we had just enough room to shoot. There was, I mean, I remember us just being huddled under, like, a little pop-up tent or something.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:17] Yeah. I mean, when I was looking at the photos that I have, there’s nothing out there. Once we were on the beach, we’re sort of on our own because things couldn’t be in the shot. They did get us like some lawn chairs. I have this great photo, Jenna, of Steve and I sitting next to each other, clearly between a scene. And we’re just like in lawn chairs, like just hanging out and talking. I just love it. And also this week, Jenna, I brought my football.
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:43] OK.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:43] Like in real life, I had it in my car. And when they would have some setups to do, in particular, like when, when they were setting up the hot dogs and all that, I have these photos of us throwing the football on the beach.
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:56] Aw. We were having our own Beach Day.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:57] So, yes, it was sort of like, there weren’t bathrooms nearby and it was hot, but we were also just making our own fun and we always did that. I felt like as a group, Jenna, we were really just kind of roll with it and make the best of it. And I always loved that about our show.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:13] All right. Well, let’s see, where are we? We’ve arrived. We’re yanking our stuff down the beach. And Michael tells us it’s time to start the fun-tivities.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:22] Such a great word. I want to use it. It’s like nifty giftys. Fun-tivities. Like can you imagine if I did that, like at a family reunion? Alright everybody. It’s time for fun-tivites.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:34] I love it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:35] I know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:37] Personally.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:37] You and I would both be excited. We’d want to be on the Fun-tivities, like Organizing Group.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:41] The Fun-tivities Committee.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:43] The Fun-tivities Committee.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:44] Or the Committee to Plan Fun-tivities.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:46] Or what was wrong with my brain? The Fun-tivities Organizing Group. What? Momma needs another cup of tea.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:56] Well, Michael tells everyone that they have to divide into teams. He picks the team leaders, quote unquote, “randomly”. They are Jim, Dwight, Andy and Stanley. These guys are clearly his top contenders for the job. And he makes them choose their tribes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:16] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:23:16] But not Pam. Pam cannot be included.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:18] Pam can’t be included in. And also, these are the team names. Ready?
JENNA FISCHER [00:23:23] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:23] We have Gryffindor, Voldemort, Blue and USA.
JENNA FISCHER [00:23:31] It’s incredible. Yes. Well, I loved all of these Harry Potter references. You know, my son is right in that age range where we’ve got Harry Potter over here. And we reached out to Jen about this.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:46] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:23:46] What was up with the Harry Potter thing?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:48] Yeah, I was so curious. I was like, was this like an inside joke in the writers’ room? And this is what Jen had to say.
JEN CELOTTA [00:23:55] We had a bunch of Harry Potter fans in the writers’ room, it even evolved to a situation where we had chopsticks hanging around the room from takeout, you know, ’cause we ate a lot of our meals in the writers’ room. And so one afternoon we decorated our chopsticks while we were probably pitching stories and jokes, we each decorated chopsticks. And then we had, we were pretending that they were Harry Potter wands and we would do spells on each other, probably just comedy spells. But we even had wand stands near the writers’ room door that were just little thumbtacks, you know, spread apart so that we would rest our wands on them. So everybody had their Harry Potter chopstick wands and our wand stands. And that sounds super dorky. And I believe it is. It was really fun.
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:50] Once again, what the writers were doing to procrastinate made it into a script.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:55] Yeah. I feel like there’s probably more of that than we will ever know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:59] Yes, exactly.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:01] All right. So it’s 7 minutes, 6 seconds, Michael has his big “Survivor” speech. Now, you guys, we’ve shared this before, but our camera operators, Randall and Matt, both worked on “Survivor”. So this had to been a little bit of a interesting callback for them. Right, Jenna?
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:18] Well, yes. And how prepared were they to lug cameras on their shoulders on a beach? I mean, these guys were, they were like, oh, I’ve come full circle.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:28] Yeah. Bring it. So Michael says this, “A group of Americans will undergo the ultimate challenge. One day, 14 strangers, who worked together, but only one Survivor”. And they’re all like, what? What’s about to happen here?
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:47] Well, what’s about to happen is a spoon and egg race, Angela.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:49] Oh, yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:53] Except the person with the egg will be blindfolded.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:56] Also Jenna, I don’t know if you remember this, but poor Brian. They had him in the background. He’s just eating his egg. He’s eating.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:06] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:06] And it didn’t make it on camera. And I remember feeling so bad that Brian, in the course of this time, in the heat, had to eat hard boiled eggs and hot dogs. I was like, this poor guy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:17] And also, I think it’s very funny that Michael hard boiled the eggs.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:22] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:23] Because then if they fall off the spoon, it doesn’t matter.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:26] There’s no point. There’s no point.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:28] Now, I am wondering and I don’t know the answer. I’m speculating, but I wonder if we had to hard boil the eggs because we couldn’t risk having eggs break on the beach.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:41] Oh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:42] And sort of leaving behind that kind of debris because when we left there, we had to make it seem like we’d never been there at all.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:48] Not only that, but there’s no way we could be dealing with wardrobe issues with egg yolk.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:55] Yes, exactly. But I like to think that it was just Michael’s strange choice. But it was probably a very, very practical one.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:03] Oh, I’m sure it was very thought out. I wrote, “What the heck? Who is setting up these tiki torches? Where did the blindfolds come in? Who carried the eggs? Who had the spoons? What is happening”?
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:15] Oh, Angela, I don’t know if it’s in the deleted scenes, but in the script, there was an extra scene where Dwight discovers these boxes of supplies that Michael has packed in the back of the bus and he’s trying to get Michael to tell him what they are. “What are the torches for? What is this for, Michael”? And Michael’s like, “Stop badgering me”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:38] That is in the deleted scenes. But it’s just a bag where he’s trying to zip up and Dwight’s like, Is that a sumo suit. Are we going to do Japanese business exercises”? And, but none of the other supplies are seen. And I guess my whole point is fine. Fine, Jenna. He had the supplies on the back of the bus. Who’s setting him up? Where’s my B-roll footage of Dwight having to run around and stab tiki torches in the ground?
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:02] Well, I know I’m jumping ahead, but later we’re going to see two guys setting a giant fire pit thing.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:09] With a red pickup truck. Who are these dudes?
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:12] I guess-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:13] All right.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:13] I don’t know. Michael had some assistance.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:15] OK. We just have to suspend belief a little bit, guys.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:19] I guess so.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:20] Well, during this egg race, at 9 minutes, 54 seconds, you can fully see Mindy starting to laugh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:27] Oh, yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:28] When Ed is yelling at her, when she’s afraid she’s going to run into the big rock.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:32] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:33] She starts laughing.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:35] Yes. And I personally love how Ryan says to Dwight, “If you keep shouting at me, I’m going to stop. I’m going to stop this race”. And he doesn’t stop shouting. So he just takes off his blindfold and throws his spoon on the ground.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:51] Now, Jenna, I think there was a portion of that scene, that was on the fly kind of scene. And that was improvised dialog between B.J. and Rainn, that’s what they talked about in the DVD commentary.
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:02] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:02] Do you remember that?
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:04] Yes. Yes, that’s right. Well, now Pam has her talking head where we see that she’s taking her diligent notes. And we had some fan questions from Lily S., Ashley Hildreth and Madison Barton. “Jenna, did you really write the notes? And if so, what did you write”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:22] I’m with you. I want to know too. I’m like, I know my BFF, and I’m guessing you actually were writing things down. What were you doing?
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:31] I was taking diligent notes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:33] I knew it, I knew it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:35] In character. Yeah. So there’s a moment where I hold up my notebook and I tried to freeze on it to see if I could copy down what it said.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:43] And?
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:44] It was too fuzzy. But you can see that I am writing. You know, Dwight did this. Dwight did that. Jim did this. I thought that the best way to get through those scenes was to actually write down what was happening around me as if I was in character. So I did.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:04] I figured you were. So you can see Michael is losing people, like Stanley is so happy Phyllis dropped the egg. He’s gonna go sit down. He’s going to do his crossword on his lawn chair. Creed wanders off and in the background, we see him catch a fish with his bare hands.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:22] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:23] Well, there’s a really fun little tidbit about that on the DVD commentary. Harold said, you guys, this is how we did it. There was a rubber fish that they sort of submerge like in a bucket. What you can’t see is this rubber fish in water in a bucket.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:40] Oh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:40] And they really were able to cheat it because Creed’s a little bit over the hill, you know?
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:44] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:44] And he reaches down real fast and he pulls it out. But I thought Creed did a great job of selling that.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:50] That was some good hand acting.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:52] It was. And, and Harold said true to Hollywood form, this gag, that rubber fish cost 500 dollars.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:02] Well, here’s an interesting tidbit. Fishing is not allowed on Lake Scranton.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:06] Oh, that’s true. But maybe if you’re Creed and you grab it with your bare hands.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:11] Well, you know what that scene reminded me of, Angela?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:13] What?
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:14] “The Edge”. “The Edge”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:15] Oh, good Lord.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:17] Having to just get the fish. You gotta. I mean, I don’t know if anyone actually catches a fish with their hand in The Edge”. But I mean, that’s survival.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:26] Maybe the bear did.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:28] The bear did. Oh, I won’t bring up the bear. I know it’s, I know it’s a trigger for you.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:33] I really think you need to watch the series alone about the survivalist in the woods, cause that’s what it made me think of now.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:41] Maybe I should go.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:43] OK.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:43] I’m currently really obsessed with “The Chef Show”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:48] “The Chef Show”?
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:49] “The Chef Show”. OK, so Jon Favreau, who incidentally, directed an episode of “The Office” in Season 9. We’ll get to it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:55] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:55] He has this movie called “Chef” and it’s so good. Came out several years ago. It’s one of my favorite movies. Well, he is obsessed with bread baking and cooking. And so he has started this series called “The Chef Show” where he goes and he interviews different chefs while they make their signature dishes. I can’t get enough of it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:18] You must love it. Now, this is a total tangent, but Isabelle and I love “The Greatest British Bake Off”. We love it so much. And it’s-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:27] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:27] It checks off all my boxes. It’s like in the beautiful English countryside.
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:32] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:33] And I just love, I love everything, especially when things don’t go well. They’ll say like, “Mmm, it’s a bit of a disaster, wasn’t it? Yes. Quite fall apart. Yeah”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:41] I know.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:42] So matter of fact.
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:45] I love that show as well. That show is the show that got me to start making bread.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:49] Oh, I didn’t know that.
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:50] Yeah. Yeah. That’s my bread origin story.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:52] Your bread origin story.
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:55] My gosh. We are very off topic.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:57] We’re very off topic, and we have a lot to cover. We’ve got to get to this hot dog eating contest.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:02] Let’s do it. We have a scene. Michael comes up to Pam and hands her 800 hot dogs that she needs to have ready in 10 minutes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:12] What was Michael’s budget for this day?
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:16] I don’t know. Where did he get the money for this? Just the 800 hot dogs alone.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:19] I know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:22] How much does that cost? Can someone do some math on that? Please.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:26] 800 hot dogs.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:28] I need to know how much money Michael spent on hot dogs. Well, also during that scene and this is slightly off topic, but also not. We got some mail about it. At 11 minutes, 27 seconds, you can see my bra strap.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:40] Oh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:42] And a lot of people wanted to know why am I wearing a bra and a bathing suit?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:50] A bathing suit.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:50] So here are my layers for the day, guys. I had on a bra because I like wearing them. That’s why I have a bra on. Because I didn’t want to wear just a flimsy swimming suit top. I like some support. On top of the bra, I’m wearing my wardrobe swimming suit top, which I loved because Carey Bennett, she came up with this idea that if it was like a halter suit, you, we would get an indication of a bathing suit, even though you’ve never see me in the bathing suit.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:19] Right.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:19] I thought it was a great idea.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:20] Right.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:21] Then I have on a tank top. And the reason I’m wearing the tank top is to cover up the bra strap. We had a little bit of a fail here at 11 minutes, 27 seconds, and then I’m wearing a hoodie. Those were my layers. So I guess somehow Pam cooked these hot dogs. I mean, she has a glance to camera where she’s like, I don’t know, maybe I didn’t cook them.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:43] There is a deleted scene between Pam and Michael where she is grilling the hot dogs and he comes over and he’s like, “Speed it up, Pam. Why aren’t these done yet”? And you’re like, “‘Cause there’s 800 of them”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:53] Amazing. Amazing. So now it’s time for the big hot dog eating contest.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:01] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:02] Where, by the way, Michael takes credit for cooking up the hot dogs.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:05] I know. I know. And there is a wonderful deleted scene, Jenna. It wasn’t scripted. It was a collective improv moment when Michael says, “Dip it in the water so it will slide down your gullet more easily”. Our whole table said, “That’s what she said”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:23] I remember that.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:24] And it didn’t make it in, but it’s so good.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:28] That’s because that line from Steve was an improvisation. He, he, in the script, he yells at Phyllis, “Dip it in the water. Dip it in the water”. But that’s all that was scripted. So Steve in the moment added this, “So it’ll slide down your gullet faster”. And then we all-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:45] We all said.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:45] I mean, how can you not? How can you not?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:47] How can you not?
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:49] That was a layup.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:52] No, that was a softball.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:54] Isn’t a layup and a softball sort of the same idea?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:57] I don’t know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:58] A layup. After I’ve thought about it, I’m going to give this to softball because a softball involves more than one person, right?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:07] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:08] So softball, one person sends a softball to another who then hits it out of the park. Whereas with a lay up, it’s, you do it on your own.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:14] You do it on your own. And I mean, a layup through a crowd is not easy to do if there’s a bunch of guys in the paint. Let me throw some basketball at ya. But maybe if we got a-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:25] What are you talking? What do you think a layup is?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:27] If you-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:28] Hold on a second. Hold on a second.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:29] When’s the last time you did a layup? I did one this week.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:32] What is it to you?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:34] A layup is when you dribble up to the basket and you put it in. On your own. But I’m telling you, if you’re doing a layup, you know, and you’re being-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:44] Is that what a layup is?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:45] If you’re doing a layup and you’re being guarded, but then there’s the breakaway layup, right? If you steal the ball and you got the whole back of the court to yourself and you’re like, yeah. And you do your layup and then sometimes you want to dunk on your layup hard for me because I’m 5’1.
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:01] What’s happening right now?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:02] I don’t know. Where are we?
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:04] What is? What? Wait. Do you watch basketball? Are you like a basketball fan? Where’s all this lingo coming from?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:12] I play basketball. I played J.V. And then when everyone got really tall, I had to stop playing because I was too short and we had a really good point guard. So then I became a basketball cheerleader and I was also the manager on the basketball team and I was also a mascot one basketball season. And I love basketball and we have a hoop in our driveway and we play all the time. And I have a fantastic outside shot and I often win at Horse.
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:39] Angela, I would-, I’m clapping because people couldn’t see me bowing down to you. But I mean, I’m speechless. I did not know this about you. And also, I, I mean, I defer to you here. If this were a debate and someone had to win. You won. I mean, that was just.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:01] I want you to know it’s not out yet, but I have this Advil commercial where I have to shoot baskets and I made like 13 baskets in a row. And one of them they used in the actual shot. And I was so happy that they showed the whole shot. ‘Cause I was like, I made that sucker.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:15] You were Brian Baumgartner while shooting the basketball episode. You have like a secret basketball skill that no one knew about.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:24] Don’t you remember the basketball hoop by our trailers? And we would play Horse. I was always out there with the guys playing Horse.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:30] I do remember that. And I have a picture of it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:32] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:34] Well, listen, I feel like we’ve gone off topic.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:37] You think? Wait. We’re back to the hot dogs, guys, back to the hot dogs. Andy wins the competition, but this was an arduous scene for everyone to shoot. I was really lucky, Jenna, because I said my character’s a vegetarian. She’s not going to be eating these. I made a really big plea about that. But poor Brian. And Ed. Leslie, all those guys were shoving hot dogs in their face. And Jenna, do you remember they were starting to gag? Do you remember that?
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:08] Yeah. You know, we got a fan question from Caitlin Mulvihill who said, “How many times did you have to film the hot dog contest scene? And did you have to eat all the hot dogs every time”? I, I just remember it took a long time. It was a lot of angles. A lot of coverage.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:39:29] A lot of reaction shots. We were there for like half a day.
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:32] Yeah. And Jen, we asked Jen, what was the hardest stunt during “Beach Games”. And this is what she had to say.
JEN CELOTTA [00:39:43] I think the answer for what was the hardest stunt of this episode depends on who you ask. I think for the actors, it was possibly the hot dog eating contest. I’m curious what you guys think. I remember spit buckets. I could be wrong about that, but I’m fairly certain there were a bunch of spit buckets, but there was some actual eating of hot dogs. And I think Ed Helms eat an enormous amount of hot dogs, if I remember correctly. I think he was going really hard for winning the contest. So I, I think that was probably a lot of people’s answers. For me, it was getting the shot during the Michael talking head of Andy floating away at sea.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:26] Yes, we will get to that. She sent in some more amazing stuff about that stunt. But I do remember the spit buckets, Ang.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:36] I do too. And one of the things, you guys, on some shows, the way they shoot, you know, when you’re on camera. And when you’re off camera, you don’t have to sort of participate. You can kind of not eat. Right?
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:50] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:50] But the way we shot this, there was a huge group shot. Right? There’s a camera that’s capturing everything. So these guys had to eat on every take because they never knew when the camera was specifically on them or not. And I remember when they would yell, “Cut”, immediately, like the prop guys would run over with buckets and these guys would all start spitting in the buckets because they couldn’t have the buckets on the ground. There was nowhere to hide them. Right?
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:17] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:41:17] And so the prop guys would run over with the buckets. And Ed said this thing in the DVD commentary. He said, first of all, spitting out food that I’ve been chewing and holding in my mouth, the, the, the action of spitting out this chewed food would activate my gag reflex. So I’d start gagging. And he said, but then on top of that, this bucket that they would bring around, several other people had spit their food out into, he said, just all of it, all of it, he said like they were all getting so grossed out.
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:50] Well, this scene really reminded me of that birthday cake scene from Meredith’s birthday. Where we all ate cake.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:41:59] Mint chocolate chip ice cream cake. I can’t eat it to this day. I can’t eat it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:04] Same. We ate so much of it because we never knew when we were on camera. And then like that, I feel like there’s barely any footage in this episode of these guys eating the hot dogs. It does not accurately reflect how much hot dog eating happened.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:25] Not at all. These poor guys. And Jim isn’t eating the hot dogs. There’s a deleted scene where he brought a tuna salad and he is not even participating. So John did not have to do this.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:38] And neither did I. And neither did Steve.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:41] Oh, God. Well, Jenna. So Andy wins with 13 hot dogs, right?
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:49] Mmhmm.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:49] I just looked up this year, the hot dog eating contest, the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest for 2020.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:56] Oh, lady.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:57] Did you too? Did you too?
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:59] Because I’ve been to the hot dog eating contest.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:02] What?
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:03] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:05] When?
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:06] In 2011.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:08] What? How? Why?
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:08] I went to Coney Island. Lee and I were in New York. We were looking for something to do over July 4th weekend. And -.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:17] And you went to it?
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:19] We saw that the Coney Island hot dog eating, we got on the subway and we rode it out there. I was very pregnant. I was like seven months pregnant.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:32] Oh, my gosh. I did not know any of this. See? You think you know your best friend. And then all of a sudden she’s going to hot dog eating contest and she knows how to play basketball.
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:43] Yeah, exactly. And I, here’s my memory. It was super exciting. We only saw the men’s contest. I saw Joey Chestnut win the hot dog eating contest.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:53] He won again this year.
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:56] Yeah. And he broke his world record this year.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:59] His nickname is Jaws. Joey “Jaws” Chestnut.
JENNA FISCHER [00:44:03] Yeah. This year, because we both looked it up. Joey Chestnut ate 75 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:44:12] And Jenna, in the female category, Miki Sudo ate 48 and a half hot dogs in 10 minutes and now has the new world record.
JENNA FISCHER [00:44:19] Yeah. Joey Chestnut has won every year since 2007 with the exception of one year. In 2015, Matt Stonie won, but Joey has won every year since. And Miki has won every year since 2014. I will say one thing. When I went to the hot dog eating contest, I mentioned I was very pregnant. I had to pee and there were no restrooms. And all of the businesses, because they’re such a giant influx of people that come down, they all have signs that say no public restroom, no public restroom, no public restroom. You can’t just go in and use their bathroom. But I found an employee at the Dunkin’ Donuts who sneaked me in and let me use the bathroom there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:04] Bless them.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:04] And I am still to this day, want to say thank you so much for helping me relieve my pregnant bladder that day.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:12] Thank you, nice person at Dunkin’ Donuts.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:15] On Coney Island in 2011.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:17] You know, if you were Meredith, like the deleted scene, you would have just gone and squat in the bushes right by the bus.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:25] Oh, no.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:26] Poor Kate. Kate in this episode. Oh, my God.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:29] Well, maybe. Angela, on that note, we should take a break here. And both use the restroom and then we’ll come back.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:36] With some sabotage.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:39] Sandwich.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:40] No, I said “sandwich” earlier this time. I’m saying “sabotage”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:48] OK, we are back and oh, Angela, I love this scene so much. I rewound it and watched it twice.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:56] I do love this scene. It’s one of my favorites.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:00] So this is the scene where Dwight and Angela have tiptoed away from the group and they’re having a private conversation about sabotage. Dwight would like Angela to sabotage her team.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:14] Yes. The ancient art, like Dutch sabotage. I was like, what? This scene was so fun to film. First of all, I remember Jen and Harold and Rainn and I trying to figure out where Dwight and I would be, where it would really look like we were away from everyone. And also that we would think that we got away with it, right?
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:35] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:36] And that the spy shot would have to be far enough away. So we did sort of climb, there were these little sand dunes, Jenna. Do you remember? They were sort of small and they had, like, big sort of like tall kind of grass growing out of them.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:47] Yeah. Like, reedy grass.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:49] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:49] Coming out of them.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:50] Itchy. Itchy, reedy grass. Like it kind of like-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:53] I remember it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:53] It kind of cut you a little, if it touched your skin. But we, we sort of tucked back in there for this scene and there are some great bloopers and it’s mostly just me laughing because I could not get through it when he said “sabotage”. And I said “sandwich” every single time. The absurdity of these two. Not to mention I could hear Jen Celotta laughing from her little group of bushes, where her and Harold were hiding. And I would be like, “Jen, stop laughing”. I just got it together. And now Jen is laughing. And you couldn’t see her. It was just like this little clump of bushes that was like hehehehe.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:35] Oh, my gosh. I love it so much. I love the end when Dwight says, “If Michael organizes a group hug, stand next to me”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:45] Jen told me she loved writing for Dwight and Angela. That she loved their sort of suppressed love for one another.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:53] Yeah. Oh, it’s such a good scene. Such a good scene.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:57] One thing about the scene that made it tricky that you might not think of is that this is one of the few times where Dwight and I have to be standing facing one another and you really see our height difference.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:09] I knew it was a wide shot because it was a spy shot. But now it makes me think it was also that wide to fit you both in frame.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:17] Yes. And the other thing, the other thing to point out, which I thought was really great, is you can really see that Dwight is wearing a Coopers seafood t-shirt.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:28] Hey.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:28] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:28] A little local Scranton reference there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:30] I know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:33] Well, next up is the sumo competition.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:36] Oh, my goodness, Jenna.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:38] Where to begin?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:40] Where to begin? Where to begin? I’ll tell you, I did one of those like a guffaw. Is that the word?
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:47] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:48] Where you laugh out loud like it just, like it takes over your body and you can’t even suppress it. When I saw John in his little toothpick legs walk out in that sumo suit. Look at his legs. If you have it, look at his tiny little legs sticking out of that sumo suit and his little head popping up. It made me laugh so hard.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:13] Now I know that those guys were just so hot in those suits.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:18] Oh, yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:18] They were dying. And we had these little fans that they would try to, like, cool them off with. But I’m sure that they were just so sweaty. But they also had the best time in those. They were like, they all turned into children and they were loving it. I have to say.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:40] They couldn’t wait to run at each other and, like, throw themselves at each other and all of it. They were having so much fun. But I do remember between takes, they could not sit down.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:52] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:52] They could not sit down and people would run over with, like, little umbrellas and these fans to try to cool them off. And Jenna, I was hanging out with Rainn. And I have this great photo that one of the things I loved is that I could lean on Rainn’s belly. Like I had something to prop myself up on. So I have this photo. And it’s him and I casually talking, but I’m resting myself on his sumo belly.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:17] That’s incredible. Well, we had a fan question from Freya McKenzie and Jessie Madjison. “Is it true that Rainn Wilson actually put Leslie David Baker in the hospital while shooting ‘Beach Games’”? Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:34] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:34] What happened was that during all this sumo wrestling, Leslie got sand in his eyes and they tried to flush it out, but they couldn’t. And I remember he had to leave set. And I don’t know if he went to the hospital or to an eye doctor, but he had a scratched cornea.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:54] Yeah, I thought, I thought they took him to a local, like the clinic, the nearest hospital. Every single day when you’re filming, whether it’s onset or location. They put in the call sheet the location where you’re filming and the nearest hospital’s location.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:10] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:10] So-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:10] They research that ahead of time.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:12] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:12] For this reason.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:13] So I think they took him to the nearest, whatever that was, clinic. Right?
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:18] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:18] And he was in quite a bit of pain and he was like, no, it’s still in there. There’s something wrong. You know that moment in your body where you’re like, “It’s not right. Something’s not right”. And it had, in fact, scratched his cornea and they treated him, and then he came back and finished filming because he’s such a trooper.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:37] Well, I’ve had this happen to me, Angela. I got a piece of sand in my eye by using a face scrub.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:44] Oh, Lord.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:46] With sand in it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:46] Jenna.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:48] And I got a piece in my eye and I was like, it feels like something’s in your eye when you scratch your cornea. But I couldn’t find it. So I went to an eye doctor and I had scratched my cornea. So I, I feel for Leslie. It is a very, it is a not fun feeling.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:52:06] I have never scratched my cornea, but one time I was eating jalapeño potato chips because I love them so much. And I bit into it kind of aggressively in the jalapeño dust off the chip went into my eyes and it was very painful. Why are you laughing? This really happened. I bit into the chip and that I was like, “Oh God! Uh!”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:35] Why am I laughing? How could you listen to that story and not laugh at it?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:52:38] I don’t know. I don’t know. OK. We should probably get back on topic.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:42] Yeah. Well, here’s the thing. I remember Leslie leaving set, but I don’t remember when exactly it happened or how it happened. I just know he got sand in his eye.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:52:53] All right. This is what I think happened. I watched the deleted scenes and there is a moment. It’s not in the episode where Dwight is wrestling with Stanley and knocks him to the ground and is like, “Take that old man” and he kind of kicks at the sand. Right? And I guess-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:09] Oh yes, I’m remembering that.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:10] Yes. And I think then Rainn felt really bad because he realized in that moment, he, that’s when he, that’s when we thought it happened.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:17] Yes, that’s right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:20] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:20] That’s right. Well, this was not the only injury from this episode. Ed hurt his finger during the sumo wrestling. Do you remember that? I think he lost a fingernail or something.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:34] He was like, sorry, it makes me laugh so hard. I should laugh, but it’s when, that moment, if you guys watch it, when Andy and Dwight really start going at each other like Dwight walks over and he’s eating a sandwich, even though he’s eaten all these hot dogs. He walks over and then they just start going at each other. And Ed is like kind of flailing his arms at him, somehow in this tussle, Ed broke his fingernail, but he said he broke it really bad, like it ripped. I think it, like, ripped below the-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:01] That’s what, I remember like-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:03] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:04] It was gruesome looking.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:04] It was gruesome, but Ed was like yelling, in his sumo suit, he was yelling, “Stop, stop”. And all he could get out was, “I broke my nail” and people were like, “Oh, OK. Did you break your fingernail”? And he was like, “No, guys. I broke my nail”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:20] Oh, no. Oh, no. But he didn’t leave set.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:25] No, he didn’t leave set. They came over and they, but there was that moment when someone was like, what happened? Ed broke his nail. And he’s like, no, it’s more than just a broken nail. And then they, they wrapped it up.
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:36] Well, now, Angela, we’re gonna get in to a big moment.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:41] This was huge for our show. This is a huge stunt. You, you have to remember our show never left a little tiny office. So we’ve got to breakdown. We’ve got two big things coming up. We’ve got this Andy floating away and then the coals. So Jenna, let’s start with Andy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:59] OK. Andy walks over to the water. And we had a fan question about this from Ali Jo Higginbotham, who said, “When Andy walks to the lake, he has something yellow in his hand. What is the holding and what is he planning to do with it at the shore”? Well, he’s holding a-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:18] Bandanna. He’s holding a yellow bandanna. Michael had handed these out in the egg race. And that’s what everyone had used to, to cover their eyes. And Andy is holding his yellow bandanna from the egg race. And he’s going to, he hopes to dip it in the water to then maybe wrap it around his neck to cool himself off. This was the idea.
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:37] Yes. But instead, he falls in the water and starts floating away.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:42] When he fell in the water, you know, I wasn’t too far off because my character witnesses this.
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:47] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:47] And there is a take that didn’t make it that he literally went, he like rolled, Jenna. He like rolled into the water. But they used this take because it was more clear why he was going down there. He’s trying to, trying to hang that bandanna in the water, trying to balance.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:07] Well, let me say, Ang, we got another frequently asked question from Candice Kelso, Michael Loon, Olive Taylor and Phoebe Bano. “Was that really Ed in the water or was that a stunt double”? Guys, that was Ed in the water. Ed did it all.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:26] I don’t know that they offered him a stunt double. I don’t know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:29] Kent told me they offered him a stunt double, but Ed insisted on doing all of the floating in the water himself. He was out there floating for over 45 minutes. And I’m thinking maybe when he was like, oh, no, I’ll fall in the water. Like, maybe he didn’t realize what that all entailed.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:52] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:53] And perhaps having a stunt double on the side to complete some of the very far away floating, but guys, that is Ed the whole time floating out there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:04] Not only in the day, but then he had to do it again at night.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:09] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:09] This was two different shoots for him in the water, a day scene and a night scene.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:15] Now, when he was out there at night, he did have a thin, wet suit on underneath all that sumo gear to keep him warm. So they did think of that. But before we get too far into this stunt, Angela, we also had fan questions from Rebecca Gonzalez, Connor N., and Maura Anderson, who said, “Angela, how did you make it through the scene of Andy floating away”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:40] It was so hard. It was, that’s what she said.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:44] Oh, boy.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:45] I’m sorry. It was really, I’m sorry, it was really difficult. Difficult not to laugh. Really difficult, especially because Ed was improvising a little bit as he floated away, some of that dialog was not scripted. So, you know, when I’m like, “I don’t really understand what it is you’re saying to me”, that was scripted. But then Ed, Ed was physically floating away. And he was dealing with the elements and he improvised this line, “Look at what I’m doing and go tell somebody it”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:18] I love that line so much.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:21] That was Ed improvising.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:23] That is awesome.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:25] I know, so it was really hard. And I didn’t want to laugh because poor Ed is floating out in that water. You know what I mean? Like-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:32] Yes, if you laugh, you ruin that moment.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:35] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:36] And he has to float longer. Oh, the pressure of that.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:37] I was working hard, I was working hard not to laugh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:41] Well, we asked Jen about Ed in the water, and here’s what she had to say.
JEN CELOTTA [00:58:46] Oh, shooting the Andy floating away scenes was really fun. I love that part of the script. I love when Angela pretends that she doesn’t understand what he’s saying. That was so much fun to write. I remembered that Ed was like in the sumo suit. And then there was a rope attached to him and he was being pulled by a boat. And then at a certain point, the boat would leave him and then he would just drift. But there was also a current. I believe the water was also cold and he had to keep his head up. And I remember that it was a challenging thing because his head would sort of get lost and it would just like go under unless he helped-, he put his neck up and just try to hold it up. So I think it was a difficult thing. Also, the timing of the boat and the timing of us trying to get it on camera with Michael’s talking head was difficult. So I remember that Ed was like a real trooper. And there are a lot of discussions about like how far out he should be at sea because you wanted to see him. We didn’t want to be too obvious that it was him and that Michael might see him, but we didn’t want him to be so far away that he was this tiny little dot. So Ed was in the water for quite a while while we tried to work this out. And the other thing I remember, which is crazy to say now, but there was a safety meeting right before it. And I, I feel like the very beginning of the safety meeting like Ed was, Ed was there, but like, he was just getting there because everything was so rush. And I think the safety person said one thing, like as Ed was approaching that I wasn’t sure Ed clocked and I had this moment of should I tell him or not? And I remember the safety guy talking about water snakes. And I was like, oh, my God, oh, my God. Do I repeat this to Ed? Do I not repeat this to Ed? I don’t think I repeated it to Ed, because he’s going to be in this water. It was going to be very cold. I thought, would I want to know about water snakes before I got into the water in a sumo suit or not? So, yeah, I think I made that decision. Tell me if you think that was the correct decision to make. Anyways, there were a lot of challenges of shooting that. There were no snake events during the shooting of that sequence. And I thought Ed did a phenomenal job and so did Angela. And I’m just in love with that sequence of events. But it was challenging to shoot.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:13] Wow.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:01:14] Ed. Ed performed with the possibility of water snakes. Oh, my God.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:21] Oh, boy. Oh, boy.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:01:25] Jen Celotta.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:25] Well, now, Jen mentioned in her clip that they would have to pull Ed behind a boat to get him in place. So Kent told me that powerboats were not allowed on the lake, so they had to have a stunt coordinator in a rowboat.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:01:40] I remember, Jenna. I remember the rowboat.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:43] Rowing him. So.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:01:43] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:44] Can you imagine if you’re somewhere else at this park and you’re just hiking, or maybe you’re riding a horse from the equestrian center and you look out onto the lake and you see a man in a rowboat rowing another man by a rope who’s in a sumo suit? What are you thinking when you see that?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:03] I don’t know.
JENNA FISCHER [01:02:03] What goes through your head?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:03] I don’t know. I don’t know.
JENNA FISCHER [01:02:05] Are you worried? What are you thinking?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:07] So I watched this play out because we would have to reset Ed to that spot where we would have dialog.
JENNA FISCHER [01:02:15] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:15] And inevitably he’d float away. Right?
JENNA FISCHER [01:02:18] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:18] And then I would, the guy, there he was he and I had to make sure I didn’t look at the rowboat guy. Right? You know, like I couldn’t have my, my eyes dart away. But off at, in the periphery of my vision, was this guy in a boat and he would row and pull Ed. Ed had a harness suit on under the sumo suit, and they put through the arm of this, of the sumo suit, a fishing line.
JENNA FISCHER [01:02:48] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:48] And this guy would pull Ed. And as he did, Jenna, I would see water break around his body, you know, like if you pull something in the water.
JENNA FISCHER [01:02:59] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:59] And Ed said that a majority of that water as he was being pulled would flush through the suit and out his neck.
JENNA FISCHER [01:03:09] Oh, my God. Well, Kent told me, if you look carefully in the Michael talking head where Ed is floating in the background, you will see that there is a pretty strong current in the water. But Ed is not moving. That is because at that point, the only way to keep him in the shot was to just keep him attached to the boat. And so he said, if you look for it, he is very oddly staying in one place while a pretty heavy current is going underneath him. So, so insane. Angela, I also got the story about these sumo suits from Carey Bennett, our wardrobe designer.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:03:51] Oh, let’s hear it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:03:53] So she said that this was one of the most difficult costume challenges she had for our show. She had to create these inflatable sumo suits, but because she knew Andy would end up floating away in it, whatever she put them in had to be safe for him to float on water. So she said as soon as she read the script, she immediately went to Greg and said, I cannot design a costume that will allow someone to float on water. I need a stunt person to help me. So she got together with the stunt person and they realized that kind of like what Jen said, the biggest challenge was keeping his head from going under water because she was like his body would float, but the head would go under. So that is why the guys are wearing those crazy head pieces in the episode.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:04:47] Those were custom made, right?
JENNA FISCHER [01:04:50] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:04:50] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:04:50] She said, what if I made a floaty helmet in the shape of like a sumo wrestlers bun and the bun is actually a floating device?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:05:02] Brilliant.
JENNA FISCHER [01:05:05] So she designed this extra bit of safety for Ed with this floaty bun. And before we shot, they went over to Kent Zbornak’s pool and they put a stunt guy in the suit and they tested it out and it worked.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:05:21] Oh, my gosh. You’re talking about what happens when, like, someone’s riding a horse by and Ed’s floating and there’s a guy with a rowboat. What about Kent’s family? Hey, Dad, what’s? Who’s in the pool? Don’t worry about it. It’s a little thing for work.
JENNA FISCHER [01:05:37] Totally. Totally. Also, when these guys in the writers’ room wrote this sequence, they had no idea the paces that they would put people through to make it realized on screen. It was just a funny idea.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:05:56] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:05:56] Oh, you know what would be funny? They wrestle in these sumo suits and then Ed falls in the water and floats away. I mean, the amount of effort that went into making that happen.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:06:06] I know, I think about this all the time with our scripts, like, oh, it’ll be funny, we’ll have a funeral for a bird, but we need a specialized tiny coffin made.
JENNA FISCHER [01:06:14] Yeah. And several dead birds to choose from.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:06:18] And then Jim and Karen sneak off and they’re sneaking off to call David. But Pam doesn’t know that. But, you know, she saw them walk away. You know, she did. She’s aware.
JENNA FISCHER [01:06:27] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:06:28] And they have this moment where they, you know, call David. Jim says he wants to be considered, and then Karen does. And then Jim is like teasing her because she, she sort of fumbles her words, right? When she calls David.
JENNA FISCHER [01:06:41] Yeah, I didn’t think that was cool boyfriend behavior. I have to say.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:06:44] Oh, right. Because she’s, she’s trying to leave a professional message. Right?
JENNA FISCHER [01:06:49] She’s speaking to David Wallace and she’s saying she’d like to be considered for this job. And he’s kind of heckling her during this phone call and I, and he’s distracting her. And I know, I think, it was meant to be kind of like cute and playful, but I don’t know. If I’m, if I’m making a professional phone call, I don’t appreciate being heckled.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:07:16] Don’t mess with me.
JENNA FISCHER [01:07:17] Don’t mess with me when I’m making an important boss lady call.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:07:21] Or is he trying to sabotage?
JENNA FISCHER [01:07:24] He might be trying to sandwich this moment.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:07:27] He tried to sandwich it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:07:29] Well, we also mentioned earlier that this was an added scene. Originally, these phone calls happened in the office before we went to Beach Day. But they made a change and they decided it was better to reveal this information later. But this led to problems like we already had such a packed day and here we were trying to add little moments and add little scenes. And Jen actually talked about this as one of the challenges, just trying to get everything shot on these days because, you know, you have so many things you have to shoot in daylight. And then the sun goes down. You can’t make it stay out.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:08:05] Also, these were such big, ambitious days. And if we would go past the allotted of time, we would get into overtime, which was incredibly expensive for the show, because they would have to pay the crew overtime, the actors overtime. And so Kent Zbornak, our line producer, was trying to keep us on our day. And he was having to check in with Jen and Harold quite a bit about it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:08:28] Yeah. Here’s what she had to say about that.
JEN CELOTTA [01:08:30] And I remember Kent being very patient with us and giving us extra time and adding in cushions. But it was still really difficult to get everything that we needed to get done. I mean, we were going very fast and working incredibly efficiently. It was just hard. And I remember there was one moment where Kent had already given us a cushion and maybe even a second cushion. And then we were about to go over it, by, we were almost done, we were so close to being done. But Kent called and I got the call and we were about ready to say, you know, Harold’s is about ready to call “Action”. And Kent is like frustrated because he wants this to be done, because he’s given us extra time and he wants it to be done and completely understandable. But I knew that if I kept talking to Kent, we were going to be slowed down by 10 seconds at that point and that 10 seconds would allow us to finish the shot. So Kent is talking to me and I very gently and gingerly just put the phone down on a chair, and we got the last shot. And we were done. It was definitely this weird moment of like this is the producer of your show telling you that you need to stop shooting. And I realized I can either talk to him about the fact that we’re going to stop shooting or get the shot. So we got the shot. It was definitely one of those moments of like her, hah, hope that was cool.
JENNA FISCHER [01:09:57] Angela, I think that what Jen is talking about is a little bit of sabotage.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:10:04] She’s sabotaging? Is she?
JENNA FISCHER [01:10:06] She’s not sabotaging. She’s sabotaging her phone call.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:10:10] Right.
JENNA FISCHER [01:10:11] So that they could get these shots.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:10:13] I think it’s pretty amazing. Like, I can sort of just visualize Kent going on and on. Like Jen, you can’t keep adding scenes and da, da, da. And she just set the phone down and was like-.
JENNA FISCHER [01:10:22] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:10:22] Do it one more time. One more time while he’s venting.
JENNA FISCHER [01:10:26] Yes, exactly. Well, you guys, part of Kent’s job, he has such a hard job because he answers to both Greg, who is the creative voice of the show. And, you know, his job is to make all of Greg’s dreams come true creatively. But he also answers to the network who has given him a budget and a timetable. And you can’t spend more money than this. And everything that you said earlier, Angela, about staying on time because Kent will look at a script and he will try to estimate based on conversations with the director and the writer and the crew, how long each scene will take. So he’ll say, all right, we need three hours to film Ed at sea, but we, I’m only going to give 45 minutes to Jim and Karen in the sand.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:11:11] That’s right.
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:12] And if any of these things go over even 10 minutes, they have to steal 10 minutes from another scene. And it is, becomes just this logistical nightmare. And Kent has to keep an eye on all of it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:11:23] And it is a vicious domino effect too. Once you get off, it just spirals your whole day. I feel like this is like a great metaphor for partnerships, because I feel like in every family there’s one person that’s a little bit of the big thinker dreamer. On vacation, we’ll do all of this. And then there’s the person in the relationship that’s like I’ve allotted 80 dollars for things at the gift shop.
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:47] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:11:47] That’s all we’re spending at the gift shop. OK? Because if we spend more than 80 dollars at the gift shop, we can’t do that extra bungee cord thing that you all want to do.
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:56] Yes, that is exactly Kent.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:12:00] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [01:12:00] He is that person. Keep us on budget. Keep us on time.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:12:04] Yep.
JENNA FISCHER [01:12:05] Well, now, Angela, it is time for the coal walk.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:12:09] Talk about a big scene. This was a big evening for us. It was a very ambitious shoot. We had a lot to cover. We had, we could not start till it got dark.
JENNA FISCHER [01:12:19] Yep.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:12:20] And there was a lot of prep. I don’t know if you remember, Jenna, how they made those coals. Do you remember?
JENNA FISCHER [01:12:26] I do. It was multilayered. And we had a lot of people ask this question about how did you make the coals? We got mail from Ellie Trautmann, Shondra M., Jamie S., Heather Donnally, Rene R., and many others. They wanted to know, “How did the props department create the hot coals? They looked so real”. Because guys, these were not real coals.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:12:50] Yes. So we could not have a huge fire here, you guys. We were allowed to have the tiki torches and little small flames. For example, when the, when the pile of wood burst into flames. That’s all special effects. That was not at all a fire. They put that in in post because there were fire regulations at this particular park. Right? So.
JENNA FISCHER [01:13:11] Well, there are fire regulations in California in general.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:13:15] Yes. Yes, absolutely. So Harold Ramis talked a little bit about this coal fire pit on the DVD commentary. He said they started, first of all, by digging a big hole in the ground and then they buried in the ground a light box, just a big box that lit up. And then they put on top of the light box these little yellow and orange gels to make it look like a flame. And then on top of those light gels, on top of the light box, they put little lava rocks and then running on either side of this hole in the ground. They had put two gas lines with very small little flickers of real fire that popped out of the ground.
JENNA FISCHER [01:14:04] Yes, and because there was real fire as part of the coal walk, we had a very big safety meeting about that.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:14:11] One of our biggest.
JENNA FISCHER [01:14:13] Yeah, for sure. It’s particularly important because as you know, Rainn as Dwight is going to walk on to these hot coals, stand there and then fall to the ground. And that was real fire next to him.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:14:28] On either side of him. Yes. And I remember when Rainn did that, one of the most painful things for Rainn was being barefoot on the lava rocks. It hurt. It’s like, it’s like stepping on a Lego. You know how that feels?
JENNA FISCHER [01:14:40] I do know how it feels because I did it as well.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:14:43] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:14:44] In fact, I’ll say that people have mentioned that I look like my feet really hurt after I walk across the hot coals and they’ve wondered if I really walked on hot coals. No, my feet were sore and bruised from having to run across lava rocks over and over again.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:00] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:00] Like my feet did kind of hurt.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:02] Throw a bunch of, like, hard Legos on the ground and run back and forth over them.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:07] That’s as good as a coal walk right there. A Lego walk. If you want that experience, you can do it at home.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:14] Michael wanted everyone to walk over the hot coals. We said he has to go first and Steve’s hesitation as Michael to go over those coals, Jenna, was so brilliant. His whole body posture, the expression on his face, and he improvised the line, “The mind has to wrap around the foot”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:38] I love that that was an improvisation. And I did not look that up. I love knowing that.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:41] And we have a callback to this whole runner of Angela being grossed out by Kevin’s feet.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:48] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:48] She’s like-.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:49] That’s right.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:49] “I’m not gonna go after you and your gross feet”. And he’s like, “Angela, it’s like a thousand degrees”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:57] One of my favorite moments in this whole sequence is when Michael says to the group, he’s so disappointed that no one has walked across the coals, except sort of Dwight. And he says, “You know what? It’s clear to me that if I had to name my replacement today, it would be Mr. Outside Hire”. And then Angela says, “Or Mrs. Outside Hire”. And Michael is like, “Yes, or that”. He’s so condescending. It made me laugh so hard.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:32] I know, but a little bit of Angela sass there, like I pointed my finger.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:37] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:38] Wait. Jenna, we, we do have a background catch, we can’t pass up. It’s too good.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:43] Say it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:44] While Michael’s going on and on about who won’t walk across the coals. And he’s like an Andy is never here today. It pans past us to the water, Andy has floated into the marsh. He’s stuck.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:56] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:56] On his back. Poor Ed, in the dark, in the lake. And at 19 minutes, 55 seconds, you can see his wet suit on his arm.
JENNA FISCHER [01:17:06] Oh.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:17:06] Yeah. On his arm. His arm is like extended out of his sumo suit. And you can see the beige wet suit that he had to put on because it was so cold.
JENNA FISCHER [01:17:16] And then people wrote in, Angela, and they said, “How come in Season 9 when Pam is crying, the documentary crew helps her. But when Andy is floating away at night, they just turn off the camera lights and walk away”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:17:36] I know. I know. That’s one of the questions Jack had, my stepson, he was like, “Why didn’t the camera crew not help him”?
JENNA FISCHER [01:17:44] I know.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:17:44] And I was like-.
JENNA FISCHER [01:17:45] You know what? At that moment, they were like, we can’t disturb-.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:17:48] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:17:48] The natural course of the story.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:17:51] Right.
JENNA FISCHER [01:17:52] We must just document it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:17:54] Well, we’re coming up to this big moment. There is a huge moment about to happen for Pam.
JENNA FISCHER [01:18:00] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:18:00] She wants to run across the coals and Michael says no. No.
JENNA FISCHER [01:18:04] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:18:05] And then he moves them on and he wants them all to speak. Dwight is doing his version of “The Aristocrats” very badly. And in the background, Pam runs across the coals.
JENNA FISCHER [01:18:18] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:18:19] And this just feeds her soul. She feels so alive in this moment. She did this one thing for herself. And she runs over to the group and she wants to share.
JENNA FISCHER [01:18:33] Yeah, and she gives this speech and everything just comes pouring out. Her disappointment that people didn’t come to the art show. But more than that, her feelings for Jim and how much she misses him and the truth, the big truth, which is that while there were many reasons to call off her wedding to Roy, the reason she did it was because of how she feels about Jim.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:19:02] Yeah. And, oof, first of all, I sat next to John in the scene. Angela and Jim are side by side. I don’t know if you noticed that.
JENNA FISCHER [01:19:13] I did.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:19:14] And so when you were talking to Jim, I was right in your eye line. You know, I couldn’t believe my luck, honestly, because this is such a beautiful performance by you, Jenna, you do such a great job. It’s so moving to watch you as Pam transition through all of those beats. And I had this out of body experience as your friend, watching you in awe, give this fantastic performance, wanting to tear up and cry because my friend was crushing it and then having to be Angela Martin, who would never react to you that way. And then at the same time, just being in awe of this moment, it was, it was just a beautiful thing to watch. Jenna, you did such a great job and you had to do it over and over. We did several takes because they had to get people’s reactions. And every time you crushed it, every single time.
JENNA FISCHER [01:20:19] Well, a lot of people ask if that speech was improvised or partially improvised. And it was not. That was all written. And as Jen shared with us, written by Greg Daniels. And I memorized it and delivered it word for word. I worked on it for a very long time, and I remember, I remember trying to think about those times in my life where you’ve done something that give you a burst of adrenaline. And. That’s what I wanted her to come into the speech with. She’s just done this coal walk and she has this burst of adrenaline and she doesn’t even think about, that she’s going to share. It’s, it’s completely different. This is very impulsive. And that was, that was kind of what I put behind the speech. But I knew that speech backwards and forwards. I could have delivered it for days because I also know as an actor, at least for me, especially, the more I know the material, the less I have to think of the words.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:21:29] Exactly.
JENNA FISCHER [01:21:30] And it can just be about the performance. I was, I never had to search for it. I had it. It was like on a little tape in my head.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:21:38] That’s exactly right. You don’t have to worry about what you’re saying and you can just really experience the moment and feel it because the words are all there. And I just thought it was brilliant and I thought everyone’s reactions were great because there’s, there’s, um. There is a dance that you do, on a show like “The Office”, there is the person who is driving the scene who’s putting out all this information, and then the other side of the story is the people reacting to it. And the two parts are very important. And I thought that John as Jim. His reactions were great. Everyone in the crowd, they cut to. Rashida. Oh, my God. Her look as Karen was amazing. It was like, I can’t believe this is happening. Oh, my God. It was everything.
JENNA FISCHER [01:22:26] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:22:26] And also heartbreak. It was all of it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:22:29] Yeah. Well, and you mention about what it’s like to be the person driving a scene. This was kind of my first experience with that. And it was this huge speech. And that’s another reason why I made sure I knew every single word. And I got a real glimpse at what Steve does every single day, every single week. Wow. Delivering these big speeches to the group. I mean, all your eyeballs were on me. I was so nervous.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:22:56] Yeah, it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of work. And not just the cast watching you, the whole crew. It’s everything.
JENNA FISCHER [01:23:04] Yeah. Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:23:05] Well, I thought it was so great. I just loved it so much.
JENNA FISCHER [01:23:09] Well, thank you. You know, I hadn’t seen it since it first aired. And when I watched it, I was really proud of myself.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:23:16] You should be.
JENNA FISCHER [01:23:16] I was like, oh, my gosh, I love that that performance is on tape and I can watch it later because it really made me feel like a good actress. I was like, oh, look at me go.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:23:27] You are a good actress.
JENNA FISCHER [01:23:27] I was so proud of myself.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:23:27] You should feel that way. You should.
JENNA FISCHER [01:23:33] Well, you know.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:23:33] Well, I’ve always, I was always curious why they sat me next to Jim and didn’t have Karen next to him. And then that moment ends with Jim looking straight ahead and me, kind of looking off to the side like, oh, my God.
JENNA FISCHER [01:23:48] Yeah, I think you are there to be the audience reflected. Right? You’re what everyone at home is like, whoa.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:23:57] Mmhmm.
JENNA FISCHER [01:23:57] So I think it was good to have you there being that other piece of the conversation.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:24:02] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:24:03] But, you know, the episode was supposed to end there. In the script, that’s the end of the episode. But we added a little tag back on the bus, singing on the bus. And this tag confused a lot of people, Ang.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:24:18] Well, it’s day time. We’re clearly happy. None of this has happened. It doesn’t make any time sequential sense, right?
JENNA FISCHER [01:24:26] Yes. Everyone wanted to know, did you sleep at the beach? You’re all in the same clothes. How does everyone look like they’ve bathed? If they spent the night at the beach, they just threw this tag on the end. It was an extra little bit of fun from the episode. It was not meant to be sequential.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:24:43] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:24:43] We did not spend the night at the beach. Story wise.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:24:46] Yeah. They just in editing, they liked it. They like to end on this sort of upbeat, you know, there’s this huge emotional moment has just happened and then it’s us all as a group. And Ed said in the DVD commentary that he started the song, “The Flintstones”, on the bus. And for him, it was a nod to “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”. Which I love.
JENNA FISCHER [01:25:09] Yes. I love that, too. You know, they do something similar in the “Valentine’s Day” episode. They had that little bit of extra footage of Steve improvising in front of the theater and they threw that bit on the end as a tag for “Valentine’s Day”. So it’s just something we did sometimes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:25:25] Yeah. And I think you can get away with that in a, a cold open and a tag, they sort of can be their little standalone moments. But Jenna, before we wrap this up, I wrote about some of my memories of filming this episode in my journal, and I said one of the things I loved is that Rashida and I had our trailers side by side in the parking lot and we weren’t very far away. We were just really close to the catering truck. And so in the morning, Harold Ramis would get his coffee and Jen, and they would have to walk past Rashida and I and we would sit on like the front steps of my trailer like it was our front stoop, right?
JENNA FISCHER [01:26:05] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:26:06] And we would visit in the mornings with Harold and Jen. And I have a photo of us and, you know, having our coffee in the morning. I just love it. I love that-.
JENNA FISCHER [01:26:16] I love that.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:26:17] I love that memory so much.
JENNA FISCHER [01:26:19] I don’t know if we can say enough what an honor and pleasure it was to work with him. But Jen also mentioned this in one of her audio clips.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:26:30] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:26:30] What it meant to her to have the opportunity to work with him. I’m so glad he was the person in charge of this crazy, crazy episode.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:26:39] Yes. Because he was such a delight. Jenna, I remembered as I was going through photos, do you remember? Because him and Jen had to be kind of far away where we were filming, that he had a microphone and he would give sort of big general notes on this microphone.
JENNA FISCHER [01:26:55] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:26:55] And then we would yell at him to tell us jokes and he would tell us jokes. And in the DVD Rainn, they said that Rainn would say, “Tell us more about ‘Groundhog Day’”. He would share little bits of trivia on this microphone to us, you know, as we were way far away on the beach. And he just made it all so fun.
JENNA FISCHER [01:27:16] Well, Jen mentioned that he was really instrumental in mentoring her. And actually, Sam, why don’t you play that clip?
JEN CELOTTA [01:27:24] One moment, another thing that happened on that episode was there was a, there was a, it was a challenging episode because we had a lot to get. And, and the elements were tricky too. I remember it was like incredibly cold and they were heat lamps and it was also scorching hot sometimes, and, within the course of one day. So there were a lot of additional challenges that episode. And there was one day where it was like we were not going to make our day by sunset. We had just way more to shoot than was actually possible to shoot in that day with our challenges. And he said to me at one point, Jen, let’s like divide up. You work with the actors and I’ll do the tech stuff. And it was only for a brief amount of time, but it was, one of, just a thrill of mine that I was able to do that and kind of start talking to the actors in a slightly different way and start thinking about the course of being a director. And it all started with that episode on him giving me a little bit of that responsibility because there was just too much to get done. I am so grateful for Harold and it’s one of the biggest thrills of my career that I got to work with him.
JENNA FISCHER [01:28:42] And guys, Jen ended up directing two episodes of “The Office”. She directed “Crime Aid” and “The Promotion”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:28:50] It just fit so perfectly that he extended that to her and shared that with her. And how lucky were we?
JENNA FISCHER [01:28:59] Yeah, well, guys, that’s “Beach Games”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:02] That is “Beach Games”. Thank you so much for listening. This was so wonderful to rewatch. I loved it. I loved it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:12] This was one of my favorite weeks to prepare.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:14] Me too.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:15] For sure.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:15] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:16] And to shoot. We got to live it and relive it. What a gift.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:19] Well, next week we have a really big week. It’s “The Job” and we’re wrapping up Season 3.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:26] Now we’re gonna divide “The Job” into two parts because it’s an hour long episode. We’re gonna have “The Job: Part One”, and “The Job: Part Two”. But it’s all going to be good.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:35] All right, guys, we’ll see you next week. Have a good one. We love ya.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:38] Bye.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:42] Thank you for listening to “Office Ladies”. “Office Ladies” is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:48] Our producer is Codi Fischer, our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer, and our associate producer is Aynsely Bubbico.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:54] Our theme song is “Rubber Tree” by Creed Bratton.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:57] For ad free versions of “Office Ladies”, go to StitcherPremium.com. For a free one month trial of Stitcher Premium, use code “office”.
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