August 17, 2021
EP. 88 — The Duel
This week we’re breaking down The Duel! When Michael tells Andy that Angela and Dwight are having an affair, Andy and Dwight challenge each other to a duel for Angela’s hand! Jenna does a deep dive on duels, Office writer Ryan Koh calls in to share a behind-the-scenes racing accident, and Angela breaks down all the fakey items used to create the duel scene. There’s also talk of a casting sheet filled with cat headshots! And Jenna may have worn something in real life that Meredith wore in this episode… So enjoy The Duel! And remember, always keep an eye out for a Prius slowly trying to crush you.
88 — The Duel
OFFICE- 088 – The Duel
[00:00:03] Jenna I’m Jenna Fischer.
[00:00:04] Angela And I’m Angela Kinsey.
[00:00:06] Jenna We were on The Office together.
[00:00:07] Angela And we’re best friends.
[00:00:08] Jenna And now we’re doing the ultimate Office re-watch podcast just for you.
[00:00:12] Angela 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.
[00:00:19] Jenna We’re the Office Ladies. Lady, it’s The Duel.
[00:00:26] Angela I mean, two men are going to fight over me today, me a.k.a. Angela Martin.
[00:00:33] Jenna I have to say, like Andy’s Prius, this episode sneaked up on me, but in a great way. Oh, my gosh. Hidden gem.
[00:00:41] Angela It’s so good. It’s one of my favorite episodes. I loved watching it. I loved filming it. And I’m excited to talk about it today.
[00:00:48] Jenna Well, it is Season five, Episode 12, written by Jen Celotta and directed by Dean Holland. Here’s your summary. Michael takes it upon himself to expose Angela and Dwight’s affair to Andy. The two men then challenge one another to a duel in the parking lot. Meanwhile, Michael is summoned to corporate to speak with David Wallace. He thinks it’s going to be bad news, but he gets some unexpected praise.
[00:01:15] Angela Oh, those scenes. We’ll get to it. But, man, those are good, too.
[00:01:19] Jenna Fast fact number one, this episode was written by the always amazing Jen Celotta.
[00:01:26] Angela Applause for Jen!
[00:01:28] Jenna Oh, Jen. My goodness.
[00:01:29] Angela Jen! So many good lines in this.
[00:01:33] Jenna I reached out to Jen and she sent in an audio clip explaining the inspiration behind this episode.
[00:01:40] Angela Let’s hear it.
[00:01:42] Jen Celotta My biggest memory about writing The Duel was how little I had when I was sent off to write the script. It was mid season five. It was a really busy patch for the writers, for all of us. And I remember this episode had to be written really, really quickly. And I knew it was about Andy finding out about Angela and Dwight’s affair, but where we’d usually spend time as a group fleshing out the story, I went off on the script with a sentence: Andy runs over Dwight in his Prius, keeping it under five miles an hour so Dwight doesn’t hear him coming. I mean, it was a good sentence. But there was a lot to fill in.
[00:02:13] Jenna That was it. She had a sentence.
[00:02:16] Angela And she crafted this amazing story.
[00:02:18] Jenna Yes. Why Andy was going to run over Dwight slowly with a Prius. She didn’t know. She just knew that was going to happen in the episode. And this is what she came up with.
[00:02:28] Angela She had to build to that moment.
[00:02:30] Jenna Because usually they would get whole outlines. They would have an A plot, a B plot, all of it. No, amazing. Jen Celotta, again, again.
[00:02:41] Angela Amazing. Applause, Jen. Amazing.
[00:02:43] Jenna Fast fact number two. This episode was directed by Dean Holland. Dean was our other editor alongside Dave Rodgers. We love Dean.
[00:02:52] Angela Yes. We love Dean. And he knew the show so well, much like Dave. They knew every moment.
[00:02:59] Jenna Oh, yeah. Dean told me that he had directed something for MTV, but that this was his first time directing an episode of television. He was so nervous that he threw up in the bathroom at crew call.
[00:03:11] Angela Aww, Dean.
[00:03:14] Jenna When he texted me that, I was like, Are you joking? He said, no, I’m I’m being serious. I vomited in the bathroom.
[00:03:19] Angela Oh.
[00:03:20] Jenna He said that it was really daunting because he had come from editing and he hadn’t spent a lot of time on set. You know the editor’s life is very isolating. They’re just in their editing room. And while we would pop over and say hello, it’s very different than how a set works. And he said he felt a little bit like a stranger in a strange land. Those were his words. But he also said he’d consulted a little bit with Paul Feig. But more than anything, he did a ton of prep work for this episode. He said he knew the script inside and out. And listen to this. He said it changed very little from our table read. So that was good because he had been prepping and prepping on that table read draft. And a lot of times, you know, after the table read, they’ll come back and whole scenes are gone and new plots. But no.
[00:04:08] Angela Oh, yeah.
[00:04:09] Jenna He said he was really happy that not a lot changed. But I think, again, Jen Celotta. Clearly nailed this one from the beginning.
[00:04:17] Angela She nailed it.
[00:04:19] Jenna So here’s a little secret that Randy Cordray told me, Angela, you know, he’s our line producer and he’s in charge of setting the schedule for the directors.
[00:04:27] Angela Yes. So he must have known when Dean was directing.
[00:04:31] Jenna He manipulated the schedule so that Dean would get this episode because when he read it, he thought Dean would be perfect to direct it.
[00:04:40] Angela Oh, my gosh, Randy, look at you working it.
[00:04:44] Jenna Yeah, he said he really wanted Dean to get this one for his directorial debut. I mean, what a gift.
[00:04:51] Angela Wow. Well, this was a really big episode, you know, for the whole love triangle. The Dwight and Angela was all coming to a head. And I was nervous actually about this episode. I just knew that I wanted to play these moments right. And it was a tricky kind of scenario Jenna, because, like, Angela is worried about both of them and feeling guilt. But also, I don’t know, is she turned on? I don’t know. There’s a lot happening. And I felt very safe knowing Dean was directing me this week because, like, we knew him, you know what I mean? And I could go up to him and be like, Dean, did I do that right? What do you think? Should I try something else? So I felt very happy to have Dean there for The Duel.
[00:05:33] Jenna Well, shortly after this, he went over to do Parks and Rec. He was the editor over there. He directed a bunch of episodes there. But then years later, I got to be reunited with him because he was the executive producer and director of my show over at ABC, Splitting Up Together.
[00:05:49] Angela Yes. And then I got to come and do a guest spot on your show and I got to see Dean and our sound department. It was like a mini Office reunion.
[00:05:57] Jenna I loved that day.
[00:05:58] Angela It was a fun day.
[00:05:59] Jenna It was. All right. Fast fact number three, the history of dueling.
[00:06:06] Angela What? What? Oh, no. What is your search history on your computer? Oh, no.
[00:06:13] Jenna First of all, I would just like to say I am not a historian. I’m just a lady with Google.
[00:06:18] Angela You’re just a delightful lady that loves to Google.
[00:06:21] Jenna That’s right. But I did read about four to five what seemed like reputable websites on the subject of dueling and here is what I have pulled together. Dueling seems to have originated in medieval Europe. Nobles would defend their honor in man to man battles.
[00:06:40] Angela Well, listen, if you watch Outlander, you know that’s true. Come on, come on, Sassenach, come on.
[00:06:43] Jenna I don’t. But I. Well, in 1777, a group of Irishmen codified the dueling practices. They wrote a document of rules and listen to what they called it. They called it code duelo. Code duelo.
[00:07:05] Angela I’m pretty sure that’s the type of dessert you can get. I’ll have the code duelo. Thanks. I love the lemon flavor.
[00:07:16] Jenna It consisted of twenty six very specific rules outlining all aspects of the duel, including the time of day during which challenges could be received, the number of shots or wounds required in order to win.
[00:07:31] Angela I feel like Dwight would have known these twenty six rules of dueling because he had the forty rules all Schrute boys have to learn before they’re five. He loves rules. I feel like Dwight knows about these dueling rules.
[00:07:43] Jenna He must.
[00:07:44] Angela Right? He suggested the duel.
[00:07:46] Jenna Oh, I’m sure he knew. I’m sure that some of these rules have made their way into the Schrute life.
[00:07:52] Angela Into the Schrute forty rules.
[00:07:54] Jenna Yes. The first recorded duel in America took place in 1621 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and then America created their own set of dueling rules. They were written by South Carolina Governor John Wilson in eighteen thirty eight. So in a typical American duel, each party has to act through a second. I know this from the musical Hamilton, everyone.
[00:08:27] Angela Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh. Like you have your partner that goes with you. Like your buddy.
[00:08:31] Jenna Yes. You have a second. That’s right.
[00:08:33] Angela Yeah, yeah, yeah. And don’t you get to bring like a medic. Like a doctor. Oh that’s in Outlander. Never mind.
[00:08:39] Jenna That. That wasn’t in-.
[00:08:40] Angela Jamie. Jamie would bring Sassenach with him. OK, never mind. Go.
[00:08:44] Jenna I don’t know about that. I only read four to five websites. If we have a historian perhaps they would know.
[00:08:52] Angela you should watch Outlander but don’t watch it with your children around.
[00:08:55] Jenna OK, so listen, if a man felt like his honor had been insulted, he would tell his second to challenge the offender to a duel. You do not do it yourself. You send your second. The main duty of the second is to try to create a reconciliation, to avoid violence.
[00:09:13] Angela Oh, so that person is like the mediator.
[00:09:15] Jenna Yeah. I mean, they’re literally doing what all therapists tell us not to do, which is to triangulate communication in order to solve conflicts. But whatever this is dueling.
[00:09:26] Angela I’m the second in my family. I’m often the person sent in to smooth over the other stuff.
[00:09:33] Jenna I think a lot of people have that position in their family. I get it. But if the second goes and said, hey, my guy is offended by you and wants to duel and the person says, great, we’re dueling, the recipient of the duel challenge gets to pick the weapons and the time and the place of the duel. So, for example, James Shields, an Illinois attorney general, challenged future President Abraham Lincoln to a duel.
[00:10:04] Angela Oh, my gosh.
[00:10:06] Jenna Lincoln accepted the duel and he chose the broad sword as their weapon. James Shields was like, what the F? That’s insane. Never mind. Forget it. And he called off the duel. So like, bold move by Lincoln. Lincoln’s like, I’ll show up and I’m bringing my sword to the duel. Do you want it?
[00:10:30] Angela Lincoln was like, I’m tall and I’m a swordsman.
[00:10:32] Jenna Yeah. James Shields was like, never mind. You know what? I’m good.
[00:10:37] Angela You know what I thought about it. And I’m OK.
[00:10:41] Jenna Here’s one. This one really got me. I guess Andrew Jackson was very famous for dueling. Lots of duels this guy. Experts placed his number of duels, maybe as many as a hundred. A hundred!
[00:10:53] Angela Was Andrew just pissing everyone off? He was just pissing everyone off. Everyone wanted to fight him.
[00:10:59] Jenna His most famous duel was with Charles Dickinson. Not to be confused with Charles Dickens. The writer.
[00:11:05] Angela Oh, I was going to say, did you see that my look on my face? I was like, wait, what?
[00:11:08] Jenna Yeah, no, Charles Dickinson, he was a horse breeder. And I guess these two guys hated each other. Dickinson accused Jackson of cheating on a horse bet and he challenged Jackson to a duel. Jackson was like, I’ll be there. The weapon is pistols. But here’s the thing. Dickinson was like known to be one of the best shots in the nation. So I don’t know why Andrew Jackson picked pistols, but he did. I think maybe it was just, I don’t know, some swagger or something. Right? So they show up, they duel. Dickinson got off the first shot. It hit Andrew Jackson in the chest. He’s bleeding from the chest. OK? All accounts are that he, like, held one hand to the wound, lifted his pistol, fired at Dickinson. His pistol misfired. It didn’t shoot. So Andrew Jackson re-cocked his pistol, fired again and killed Dickinson. This was very controversial, Angela. In the rules of dueling, you only get to fire once.
[00:12:10] Angela That’s what I was going to say. Aren’t you one and done. And I know nothing about dueling, but I was pretty sure that’s the case. Thank you, Hamilton.
[00:12:20] Jenna Yeah. I don’t know, Andrew Jackson lived, he got away with it and was later elected president of the United States.
[00:12:28] Angela I have a question.
[00:12:29] Jenna What is it?
[00:12:31] Angela If you’re Charles Dickenson. You see Andrew Jackson pointing his gun at you to fire… do you run a zigzag? Can you step out of the way or do you just have to stand there, fingers crossed it doesn’t hit you? Is there no movement allowed? Can I not jump around?
[00:12:48] Jenna I don’t know. I don’t know.
[00:12:51] Angela Because I’m not going to stand in one place. If you’re pointing a pistol at me, I’m going to get moving.
[00:12:56] Jenna Yeah, I think you’re not allowed, Ange. The last stool of record in the United States was in 1859. Here’s who it involved.
[00:13:07] Angela Was it more white men shooting at each other?
[00:13:09] Jenna It sure was, lady. Not only that, it was a United States senator and a retired chief justice of the California Supreme Court. Way to go, guys. No one died in this duel because listen to this madness. One guy’s gun jammed, and then the other guy fired his gun, but it hit the other guy in his gold pocket watch and they called a truce.
[00:13:33] Angela There you go.
[00:13:34] Jenna That was the last duel in America.
[00:13:36] Angela All right. Now, if Andrew Jackson was there, he would have unjammed his gun and shot at you again.
[00:13:43] Jenna Right.
[00:13:44] Angela Yeah. I would like to say I don’t know who Andrew Jackson’s second was, but I think they did a real shitty job.
[00:13:50] Jenna What about Dickinson’s second? Dickinson’s second tried to make a case that, you know, Andrew Jackson, I think should be tried for murder, but no one wanted to hear about it.
[00:14:01] Angela That was very interesting. I liked all your duel trivia.
[00:14:04] Jenna Thank you. I enjoyed researching my duel trivia.
[00:14:07] Angela I mean, there is just a part of me that would do a history podcast with you, but we’d get everything slightly wrong.
[00:14:15] Jenna Well, we’re already doing that. I’m sure there are at least 12 things I did wrong in this fast fact number three. You know what it’s like our version of Drunk History, but we’re not drunk. We’re just well-meaning ladies who Google and tell you history.
[00:14:34] Angela All right. Should we take a break?
[00:14:37] Jenna I think we should. There’s a lot to say about this episode, and I can’t wait.
[00:14:41] Angela All right.
[00:14:45] Jenna This episode opens with an amazing cold open. It was so much fun to shoot. I loved watching it again.
[00:14:52] Angela Me too.
[00:14:53] Jenna The phone rings, Pam answers the phone, someone for Michael, but Michael’s not there. Where is Michael? Oh, Michael is down on the street. He’s running. He’s screaming. There is a speed radar sign. And he keeps running past it, trying to see how fast he can go. That’s what Michael’s doing this morning.
[00:15:13] Angela That’s what Michael’s doing. And we’re all wondering why. Well, Pam shares that Angela has apparently called 911 several times to report cars going too fast outside on the road. And so the police came and put up this sort of like that radar screen right? That tells you your speed.
[00:15:32] Jenna Yes. Well, I guess, though, this was a really hard scene to shoot.
[00:15:37] Angela Really?
[00:15:38] Jenna Yeah. Dean told me that we had to shoot this in two different places. So anything that you see out the window of Michael running, we had to shoot that from Paul Lieberstein’s office because that was the window that looked outside onto our parking lot and onto our street. But of course, everything else that was indoors, we had to shoot inside Dunder Mifflin. And by the way, this is going to come up again later. So Dean told me that for that opening moment where Pam is on the phone and then the camera pulls back into Michael’s empty office and then it whips over to the window and you see Michael running.
[00:16:18] Angela Yeah.
[00:16:18] Jenna He had to use one of those whip cuts. So he shot Pam, pull back into Michael’s office, and then he whipped to a window that just had like a scrim behind it. Right. Because that’s what Michael’s office really has.
[00:16:32] Angela Yeah. Yeah. On our set. There’s nothing behind his window.
[00:16:36] Jenna Yeah. Then he went up to Paul Lieberstein office. He did another whip and then had Steve run by outside and he did that thing where he cut in the whip and put it together.
[00:16:46] Angela That’s movie magic guys.
[00:16:47] Jenna Movie magic.
[00:16:49] Angela Now I guess everyone has decided they want to know how fast they can run.
[00:16:54] Jenna It feels like Michael has forced us all outside to run past the sign. Dwight is very enthusiastic. He’s happy to run past it. He runs past and he gets a speed of 13 miles per hour.
[00:17:06] Angela Yes. Well, Jenna, do you notice how we’re all just like we’re so cold and we’re like shivering. But truly, the guys are like sweating their butts off.
[00:17:14] Jenna Oh, yeah.
[00:17:15] Angela I, I went to because I’m just an old lady who loves to know what the weather was- I’ve clearly become my parents because at my parents house the TV is always on and it’s always on the Weather Channel. If you need to know what the weather is anywhere, just call my mom, she’ll tell you. So I dug into my digital clutter and found out. We shot this episode the week of October 13th in 2008, and the average temperature was in the 90s for this week.
[00:17:42] Jenna Randy told me that, yeah, not only was it over ninety degrees that day, but we had to schedule this scene to shoot right after lunch.
[00:17:51] Angela Oh, gross. So we all had these full bellies and the like the sun was right directly over us.
[00:17:58] Jenna Yeah. But he said luckily it only took a couple of hours to shoot.
[00:18:03] Angela A couple of hours. Lucky for us. Oh I always felt bad. This is the one moment I felt bad for the guys because we froze our butts off on the stage. The ladies did, we were always in less clothing. But then when we were in these parking lot scenes and they’re in full suits and they are sweating their butts off.
[00:18:23] Jenna And running with full stomachs of food.
[00:18:25] Angela Ugh.
[00:18:26] Jenna I have to imagine we were pretty comfortable out there in that ninety degree parking lot.
[00:18:30] Angela I was probably fine.
[00:18:31] Jenna We were great.
[00:18:32] Angela So it is hot and they’re running past this radar gun. You know, Dwight scored a thirteen and Michael wants to beat it. And so he starts running again and a car goes by and all of a sudden, Michael clock’s thirty one and he’s like, yes. And everyone kind of calls B.S. on that.
[00:18:49] Jenna Yes. Well, we got a lot of questions about how did we technically pull this off. Right. With these speed numbers. Randy shared with us that the machine just worked. It was actually clocking people’s real running speeds and the real car speed. But then he shared with us the reason we did this cold open was inspired by one of our writers’ real life experience.
[00:19:13] Angela Yes, Aaron Schur you guys, Aaron Schur’s, like always coming up with these great cold opens. And I talked with him. He’s so hilarious to me, Jenna, because he’s like, I guess my real life is just weird enough that it translates into a great cold open. Prior to working on The Office, Aaron had been working on The New Adventures of Old Christine. It was a show on CBS.
[00:19:37] Jenna Yeah, with Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
[00:19:39] Angela Exactly. They filmed on the Warner Brothers lot and he said on the Warner Brothers lot there was this radar gun and he was walking back from lunch from the commissary with some of the other writers, and as he walked past the radar gun, it said zero. So he was like, oh, yeah? So he set his lunch down, backed up, and he ran as fast as he could by it. Surprisingly, it clocked 20 miles per hour.
[00:20:08] Jenna What? No!
[00:20:08] Angela That’s his memory. That is his memory. He said other writers were like, wait, I want to try this. They backed up and they started running past it as well. And he said it was a very sweaty writer’s room that afternoon.
[00:20:25] Jenna That is incredible.
[00:20:26] Angela So he told this story when he came to the office and they were like, oh, my gosh. Like, this is something Dwight and Michael would do.
[00:20:34] Jenna For sure. After we were done filming this, they moved that speed meter onto the parking lot near catering, and it sat there for the whole week of production. Well, I guess it was too tempting to ignore.
[00:20:48] Angela Oh, no.
[00:20:49] Jenna Randy said that one day during lunch, a bunch of the writers went down and they started sprinting past it.
[00:20:57] Angela Here we go again.
[00:20:59] Jenna But then I guess there was an accident, lady.
[00:21:03] Angela What?
[00:21:03] Jenna Remember our writer, Ryan Koh?
[00:21:06] Angela Yeah, I don’t remember an accident.
[00:21:09] Jenna Yeah. Randy shared that Ryan ran past the speed meter and it didn’t go well.
[00:21:17] Angela Oh no.
[00:21:18] Jenna So I reached out to Ryan to get the story. And lady, I did not tell you this because I think you need to hear it from him directly. When he emailed me I literally shouted, Oh no! As I was reading his email, he’s calling in, lady, to tell us the story.
[00:21:39] Angela Oh, my gosh. Ryan.
[00:21:40] Jenna All right. Here he is. So, Ryan, you were a member of the writing staff in season five, you wrote Business Ethics, you wrote Heavy Competition, but the reason you’re calling is because you have a story to tell.
[00:21:58] Speaker 3 Yeah, I guess so. So the cold open of this episode is Michael and Dwight running at a “your speed is” like one of those signs that gets you to slow down on streets.
[00:22:10] Angela Yeah, right. Right. We had spoke to Aaron Schur about this, so we remember it well and we did not know you were also part of the speed racing.
[00:22:21] Jenna Oh, yeah. So I should say, Randy Cordray said that after we finished shooting this scene, he put the speed tracker in the parking lot and a bunch of people, writers and crew all decided to go down and do this thing where you run past it. And you were one of the people who wanted to run past it.
[00:22:40] Speaker 3 Absolutely. Yeah, I was like a staff writer in season four and still felt insecure about being there in season five, and this is my chance to prove everyone that I was at least the fastest.
[00:22:55] Angela You are the fastest writer. This was your moment.
[00:22:58] Speaker 3 Yes.
[00:22:58] Jenna But you ran track in high school, right?
[00:23:01] Speaker 3 I was sixth in New England in the hundred in sort of our very small school division.
[00:23:07] Angela Oh, my God. Ryan, sixth in all of New England?
[00:23:11] Speaker 3 In the very small schools, but yes, so I was like, I’m I’m going to beat stupid, the stupid old writers.
[00:23:20] Jenna So tell us what happened.
[00:23:22] Speaker 3 I re-watched the cold open this morning, and so like both Steve and Rainn ran like 12 and 13 miles an hour.
[00:23:30] Angela Yeah, yeah.
[00:23:31] Speaker 3 And then a couple a couple of writers ran and they all got like 12 miles an hour. And then I was like, oh, I can beat that. So I had on corduroys and Chuck Taylors.
[00:23:42] Angela You were just in your work clothes. You weren’t like dressed to run. You were just in what you wore to work that day.
[00:23:47] Speaker 3 Well, Randy just poked his head up and said, like, who wants to run at a speedometer? And I was like, Yeah. So, yeah, I like, really laced up. I mean, they’re they’re sort of loose fitting chucks and that’s sort of like a slip on shoe. But anyway I laced them up really tight. And then I started running and I, I have this memory, like it was yesterday, of I don’t know if you ever had this experience where you’re running fast and then there’s no ground beneath your feet and you’re just sort of windmilling your feet with no ground underneath it. And then I very clearly remember seeing, well, not clearly because I don’t remember exactly, but it like 17 or 18 miles an hour before I, like, sort of flew into the air. Which for reference is like getting thrown out of a golf cart. So it’s not too bad. And then so like my my corduroys totally shredded, shredded off my legs. So I landed on my elbows and forearms. And Dan Gore, who was one of the people watching, said you could tell I was really hurt because I immediately popped off the ground and said, like, I’m fine, I’m fine, which is what people do when they’re really hurt.
[00:24:55] Jenna But you were pretty hurt. Like the medic did have to come over, right?
[00:24:59] Speaker 3 I did get really mummified. I had to go to my cousin’s wedding like an hour afterwards.
[00:25:04] Angela Oh, no.
[00:25:06] Speaker 3 They used, you know, like that gauze, not even like bandage, but, you know, like gauze that you can see through. And they wrapped it all around my arms and legs, which were pretty skinned. And then I got on the plane. And then when I arrived in Portland, I went into the drugstore and bought a ton of like nonstick gauze and stuff. And then I had seen that all the scabs had formed, like in the bandage. Anyway, that’s gross. So I I stood in the shower for like an hour just unwrapping my mummified arms and sort of like yelling in pain.
[00:25:37] Jenna Oh my God.
[00:25:38] Speaker 3 Right after I fell I remember Randy immediately was like, alright, let’s put this away. No one else. No one else. You know, they didn’t want another idiot filing a lawsuit against the Office. That’s it. I hurt myself. I still have scars on all four of my limbs.
[00:25:53] Angela Oh, my gosh.
[00:25:55] Speaker 3 Sort of a decent story.
[00:25:56] Angela But you won. You won. You got the fastest speed. So there’s that.
[00:26:00] Speaker 3 I don’t think anyone would call me the winner, but I do believe- I will definitely vouch for the fact that I got the fastest speed. I mean, I helped by disqualifying everyone, by getting it removed. Maybe that was my strategy. Get a high speed and then mangle myself so they get rid of the speedometer.
[00:26:18] Jenna Ryan, thank you for coming on Office Ladies and telling your story.
[00:26:20] Speaker 3 You’re welcome.
[00:26:23] Jenna We’re going to hit you up for some trivia about Heavy Competition when we get to it, if you don’t mind.
[00:26:29] Angela OK, sounds great.
[00:26:30] Speaker 3 All right.
[00:26:31] Jenna Love you. Ryan.
[00:26:32] Angela So great talking to you. Take care.
[00:26:34] Speaker 3 Okay, thanks.
[00:26:35] Angela Bye.
[00:26:35] Jenna Bye.
[00:26:39] Angela Oh, my gosh, this is like it’s art imitating life, life imitating art and art back to life, is that it? This is crazy.
[00:26:48] Jenna Do you remember early in the podcast when you said life intimidating art?
[00:26:51] Angela I do Jenna. I do.
[00:26:53] Jenna It feels like life said to Ryan Koh, I’m going to intimidate you by throwing you to the asphalt.
[00:27:00] Angela Life is intimidating art.
[00:27:02] Jenna I think so. Life threw Ryan to the asphalt in a very intimidating way based on his art.
[00:27:09] Angela Oh man. Well, that is the cold open you guys. And we haven’t even gotten to the episode yet.
[00:27:14] Jenna Let’s get into it, because this is a big day, big day for Michael, because David Wallace wants to meet him and talk to him about big picture stuff. Michael doesn’t really know what that means. It’s probably bad.
[00:27:27] Angela Oh, it’s also a big day because Pam makes an announcement. New Year, New Candy, Hot Tamales. But did you notice at one minute, 50 seconds that Pam has dark nail polish?
[00:27:43] Jenna I did not.
[00:27:45] Angela Oh, yeah. I took a picture to show you, and then I did a weird mini dive. All right. I want you to see I’ll put this in stories, but you got to see. Look at your nails.
[00:27:56] Jenna How did I get away with that? Why did they let me do that?
[00:28:01] Angela I don’t know.
[00:28:03] Jenna Because I will just say that if I ever came in with a nail polish that wasn’t a natural looking nail polish, they would make me take it off in the trailer in the morning.
[00:28:13] Angela I don’t know how this fell through the cracks, but I remember this nail polish on you. Is this so weird?
[00:28:20] Jenna What is it?
[00:28:21] Angela I looked up on the Internet and it said in the fall of 2008, one of the big trends in nail polish was gray nail polish. In fact, college candy Dotcom said the OPI Sephora had a very popular color called Metro Chic, which was a matte purplish gray.
[00:28:41] Jenna Well, I think we all know, if anything, I’m on trend.
[00:28:46] Angela Hey, you know the fashions.
[00:28:47] Jenna I do. I really do.
[00:28:50] Angela I think you got some Metro Chic and put it on your nails for the weekend. And someone didn’t catch it.
[00:28:54] Jenna I have no doubt. I love OPI nail polish. I wear it all the time. I am certain that’s what it was. I just can’t believe I got away with it. You know, they would let Amy Ryan and Melora Hardin as their characters they could have a darker nail polish. But they wanted Pam to always like, either have no nail polish or just some clear nail polish. I sneaked it in I guess. Maybe I sat on my hands while I got my hair and makeup done that day. Well, listen, Andy’s going to come in and he’s clearly upset about something. He would like to address the elephant in the room. I love how Rainn Wilson, as Dwight chose to kind of stand up and get in a power stance, he’s ready to fight because, of course, we all think that he knows about this affair that Angela is having with Dwight. But that’s not what he says, he says, None of you have RSVP’d to our wedding.
[00:29:47] Angela How awkward. In the deleted scenes this scene goes on where he goes to every single person and is like, hey, Phyllis, you haven’t RSVP’d. Jim. Like and everyone, like, pretends to be on the phone.
[00:30:00] Jenna Oh, no.
[00:30:00] Angela You have this hilarious talking head where you’re like you say you’ve been avoiding him and you can’t look him in the eye, so you only look at his nose. And so then Andy comes up to you and asks you and you’re just awkwardly looking at his nose and then he thinks he has something on his nose. It was really funny. The deleted scenes for this episode, I feel like every single one of them should have been in because they were all awesome.
[00:30:22] Jenna Oh, Jim says it’s been 17 days. It’s been 17 days since the Christmas party when Phyllis spilled the beans. Everyone meets in the break room except Andy. And Michael says he’s going to tell him. He has to tell him.
[00:30:39] Angela Mm hmm.
[00:30:40] Jenna And of course, everyone’s like, you can’t. It’s really Angela’s responsibility. And then I loved the exchange between Oscar and Dwight.
[00:30:48] Angela Oh, I know. I was anticipating it as you were about to say it. And just the fact that the whole group starts learning where all Angela and Dwight have shagged in the office.
[00:31:02] Jenna We had a fan question from Jess R who said, who wrote the moment in the break room when Dwight implies he’s been doing it with Angela in Oscar’s desk and was any of that scene improvised? No, none of it was improvised. It was all scripted by Jen Celotta. So good.
[00:31:22] Angela Oh, this scene takes us into accounting. And Angela is kind of giving it to Kevin that he screwed up again. And then there’s some real Kevin Sass.
[00:31:31] Jenna Oh, it’s great.
[00:31:32] Angela Oh, my gosh. He’s like, I didn’t realize I was doing something wrong. If I had, I would have admitted it and stopped right away. He really leans in hard on this moment.
[00:31:42] Jenna And Oscar gives him props. He’s like, no, that was really good. You did a great job. Congratulations.
[00:31:46] Angela Yeah. Jenna, immediately after this scene in the script, there’s a very angry Angela talking head. And it’s pretty amazing because Angela is so furious that she breaks the fourth wall and berates the camera documentary crew and then flashes them some of her shoulder.
[00:32:07] Jenna Really?
[00:32:08] Angela Yes. Sam, will you play it?
[00:32:11] Angela Martin It’s just so important for you to get your big story, isn’t it? To edit everything together, to make it look like there’s a villain? Well, there’s not always a villain. Sometimes there’s just a hard working, petite woman trying to make a conscientious decision about the rest of her life. Too boring? Did I lose you? Here. Is this what you want?
[00:32:37] Jenna OK, that was amazing, but I have to say, I think it was right to cut it out because I don’t know if we’ve ever had that much direct conversation with the documentary crew before, if we’ve ever referred so much to what they’re doing.
[00:32:52] Angela I was shocked when I watched it Jenna because she’s like, is that what you want? You’re going to edit this together. You’re going to make a villain. And also, it was a little bit too sophisticated for Angela Martin to understand the whole process of a documentary and how they tell it through narration in these moments. So I think it was the right move to cut it. But I was shocked when I saw it. I had to share.
[00:33:13] Jenna So, Angela, I love this episode because there’s just so much tension and it plays out so slowly over when or whether or not Andy is going to figure out that Angela is having an affair. So he has this exclamation on the phone and everyone’s like, gasp- but it’s really just about the cake, he’s just having an issue with the cake. But this leads to that Dwight talking head because Dwight is on guard this whole time. He’s, like, constantly leaping out of his chair. And he kind of explains that there are these 40 rules that all Schrute boys must learn by the age of five. And one of these rules is like, don’t put your back to a man who you’ve wronged. That’s just one of the 40 rules.
[00:33:59] Angela Mm hmm. Don’t turn your back on a bear or a dominant turkey during mating season.
[00:34:04] Jenna Yeah, there’s a lot of things you shouldn’t turn your back on.
[00:34:07] Angela And then he has this little jingle that he sings.
[00:34:10] Jenna Now, Angela, is it true that Rainn improvised that song?
[00:34:16] Angela Oh, no. That was in the script. That was 100 percent written. They shared in the DVD commentary that Rainn was singing the jingle a few different ways. And then Dean asked Jen, Jen, how did you hear it when you wrote it? She sort of sang it her way and they found it in the moment.
[00:34:30] Jenna So they found the melody. But the words were written.
[00:34:33] Angela The words are totally written. They’re in the script. This is like fabulous Jen Celotta writing. They just improvised the melody.
[00:34:40] Jenna Got it. Well, now Dwight is going to signal Angela to meet him in the hallway. He does this by moving his little bobblehead to the other side of his desk.
[00:34:51] Angela Yes.
[00:34:52] Jenna He’s going to confront her. He wants her to tell Andy the truth.
[00:34:57] Angela And Angela has a line, Jenna, that really made me laugh. She’s like, this is a terrible idea, one of your worst. And then he’s like, just get it over with. And then Angela says, you’re expanding on your worst idea? That just really made me laugh.
[00:35:12] Jenna Well, Michael is leaving now, and he asked Andy to walk with him.
[00:35:16] Angela Yeah, he’s gonna tell him.
[00:35:17] Jenna He’s going to do it. He’s going to do it.
[00:35:19] Angela He can’t not do it. This is like true Michael. Like he can’t not.
[00:35:23] Jenna This scene is so funny.
[00:35:25] Angela It’s so funny.
[00:35:26] Jenna I mean, it’s so perfect. You know, I believe Angela originally in the scene, he is supposed to tell Andy before he got in his car.
[00:35:38] Angela Yes. It’s scripted that he tells him outside of the car.
[00:35:41] Jenna But on the day they came up with the idea that it would be really funny if Michael was in the car and then he sort of says it through the window as he’s driving away. And that is so good.
[00:35:52] Angela Yes. So in the commentary, Dean said he had the idea in the moment that the scene takes place with Michael in the car and then Steve sort of built on that and was like, what if Michael really doesn’t want to tell him so it’s kind of like as he’s pulling away. And then Dean said that Steve really peeled out of the parking lot. They did not add that sound in in post. That’s actually the car peeling away.
[00:36:14] Jenna That’s amazing. What we had a fan question from Maria M about this scene. She said, Is there a production related reason why the vehicles in this episode all appear so dusty and dirty? And when I went back and looked at it, yes, they’re all covered in grime.
[00:36:31] Angela Yeah, they’re filthy.
[00:36:32] Jenna I asked Randy Cordray about it and he said, yes, Maria, great eye to detail. All of the cars were purposely dirtied by the scenic painting crew using flour and water. And this was meant to simulate what cars might look like during a typical Scranton winter from just road grime and salt.
[00:36:55] Angela And snow.
[00:36:56] Jenna Yes.
[00:36:56] Angela When snow gets dirty looking, right? And it’s on your car.
[00:37:00] Jenna Yes. And that the cars in the parking lot belonged to our crew members and any crew member who volunteered to park their car in the lot got a free car wash every Friday.
[00:37:10] Angela Oh, how about that?
[00:37:12] Jenna So during the week they’d have to drive around with a grimy car, but on the weekends you got a fresh, clean car. Well, I think this is a good place to take a break because Andy knows the truth. And when we come back, we’ll talk about what he does.
[00:37:26] Angela Oh, man.
[00:37:27] Jenna It’s a lot.
[00:37:28] Angela This was some cringey stuff to watch.
[00:37:31] Jenna We’ll be right back. All right, we are back and guys, Meredith knew something big was going to happen today. Now, she said that yesterday, but she was also right yesterday because her neighbor was murdered.
[00:37:46] Angela Oh, my Gosh.
[00:37:47] Jenna What is her life?
[00:37:48] Angela I don’t know. But Meredith has the best, like, throwaway lines. It’s like her and Creed, like, what the heck is their life?
[00:37:54] Jenna It must have been so fun to write for them.
[00:37:56] Angela I know.
[00:37:57] Jenna At eight minutes forty two seconds, we get a really good shot of Meredith in this episode and she is wearing a sweater vest.
[00:38:06] Angela Yes.
[00:38:07] Jenna Lady. I wore that same sweater vest to a press event with John Krasinski in New York.
[00:38:14] Angela What?
[00:38:15] Jenna Yeah, I walked on set this week we were shooting The Duel and I looked at Kate dressed as Meredith and I thought, oh my God, oh my God, did I make a terrible mistake? I thought it was fashionable. I wore that same vest over this like big poofy white blouse with big puffy shoulders. This was the style. It was actually a it was a really expensive vest. It was like Betsey Johnson or something.
[00:38:45] Angela Can we do a side by side of you and Meredith?
[00:38:48] Jenna We must.
[00:38:49] Angela Jenna in real life has the same fashion choices as Meredith.
[00:38:55] Jenna Lady, look, here’s a picture. Look at it. See? Look at it.
[00:39:03] Angela Oh, my God, first of all, you and John look 14 years old, we have to put this photo in Office Ladies stories. You are wearing Meredith’s sweater vest and John looks like he could host Blue’s Clues.
[00:39:17] Jenna He does.
[00:39:17] Angela He’s in like a stripey polo.Oh, my God. You guys look 14 years old.
[00:39:21] Jenna We were doing press at this NBC experience store showing off all the new Office merchandise.
[00:39:29] Angela Meredith called. She wants her sweater vest back.
[00:39:32] Jenna Oh gosh.
[00:39:33] Jenna And like, I’d already done the event, you know.
[00:39:38] Angela Well, you could have heard a pin drop when Andy walked back into that bullpen and he goes over to Angela and says, we need to talk. And she’s like, we can talk right here. He’s like, no, no. Ed played it so real. I was sweating. I was sweating it. I like I felt it. We went to that conference room and he shut the door and we were in there a long time. And Ed broke my heart.
[00:40:07] Jenna Mm hmm.
[00:40:09] Angela As Andy, when he was like, Do you love him? And I was really feeling all of this emotion. And then Angela has to make this plea, this plea to him, don’t give up on us. And Jenna, it was all going great until we got to two words, formal chrysanthemums. I couldn’t say it. (NONSENSE) Formal chrysanthemums. I really had to break it down to be able to say it. But you need to say it like it’s effortless. But I literally was like going formal chrysanthemums.
[00:40:51] Jenna You know what, lady? That is not anything having to do with your accent or you. I challenge anyone to say that word. I can’t. Chrysanthemums.
[00:40:59] Angela say it quickly, guys. And here’s the thing-
[00:41:01] Jenna Formal Chrystanthemums. Yeah, that was my best effort, by the way.
[00:41:05] Angela I mean, literally Jen Celotta had to come in the room and help me break it down, but try saying it quickly while you’re like throwing it away. Like you have no problem saying it in a speech where you’re pleading to save your relationship.
[00:41:21] Jenna And you know what? It wouldn’t have worked any other flower. That’s the funniest flower it had to be that.
[00:41:26] Angela I know. Well, while this whole Andy and Angela scene is going on in the conference room, there’s a flip side to what’s happening. It’s everyone in the bullpen watching. It was deleted for time. It’s so great. And I really feel like Phyllis summed up the whole moment perfectly.
[00:41:44] Dwight Phyllis, why is it taking so long?
[00:41:46] Phyllis He found out as little Angel’s been screwing the beet farming weirdo, he’s trying to make it make sense in his brain and then he’s going to come out here and kill you.
[00:41:56] Jim Thank you, Phyllis.
[00:41:57] Phyllis You’re welcome.
[00:41:58] Jenna Oh, yes, she got it.
[00:42:00] Angela I mean, that made me laugh really hard. I wish it had stayed in.
[00:42:06] Jenna Well, this takes us to corporate. Andy and Angela are going to stay in the conference room. They’re not done. But meanwhile, we cut over to corporate and we see the reason why David Wallace has called Michael in. He says to Michael, Scranton is outperforming the other branches. Everyone else is struggling. And we want to know, what are you doing right? What is Michael doing so right?
[00:42:31] Angela I mean, everything in Michael lit up like a Christmas tree. He’s like, David Wallace wants advice from me?
[00:42:40] Jenna Yeah. And then he starts talking.
[00:42:43] Angela Oh, Jenna. I have to read it. Can I please read it?
[00:42:46] Jenna Please read it.
[00:42:47] Angela The minute he said, David, here it is. My philosophy is basically this. And this is something that I live by and I always have and I always will. Don’t ever for any reason do anything to anyone for any reason ever, no matter what, no matter where or who or who you are with or or where you are going or where you’ve been ever for any reason whatsoever. What is he saying? What is he saying? I went to the script. This was not scripted.
[00:43:23] Jenna What?
[00:43:23] Angela There was a different moment. There was the same thing where he sort of started to talk nonsense. I think Steve was also improvising here. I think he went off what Jen had and then I think they let Steve do his thing and now his talking head, where he says, sometimes I start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just find it along the way. That was 100 percent scripted.
[00:43:46] Jenna The improversation?
[00:43:47] Angela Yes, that was all exactly scripted. But this answer to David, I think was a little bit on the page. And then they just let Steve play.
[00:43:57] Jenna I love it. This little scene between Michael and David Wallace was important story wise, because it’s really starting to set up the economic struggles decline of Dunder Mifflin, which is going to play out in future seasons as branches start closing, as we get bought out by Saber. Spoiler alerts. I guess you’re supposed to say that first.
[00:44:21] Angela Yeah, that’s supposed to come first. And also you start to learn that David Wallace might be in a precarious position.
[00:44:28] Jenna Yeah. So we made it a comedy moment with Michael suddenly giving advice to David Wallace. But this was also setting up a broader story that we will play out.
[00:44:41] Angela In the DVD commentary, Dean said one of his notes for all of the Michael/ David scenes in this episode was, No matter what, Michael won’t leave the office. No matter what.
[00:44:51] Jenna Well, that makes sense because he suggests they order some pasta. And then my favorite thing is like after that pasta eating scene where Michael’s still just going on and on and on, David Wallace kind of gets up and then Michael keeps eating his pasta and David is like, yes, go. I guess just finish you finish your meal there.
[00:45:11] Angela And yeah, he like pats him on the shoulder, shuts the door and sits back down.
[00:45:16] Jenna Well, when we get back to the office, Angela and Andy are still in the conference room. She needs him to know that her and Dwight did not do anything fancy sexually.
[00:45:28] Angela Well, Dwight tells Michael something very differently about their sex life earlier.
[00:45:32] Jenna Oh, my gosh. I can’t believe we didn’t bring that up. That made me laugh so hard, Angela.
[00:45:37] Angela I know.
[00:45:37] Jenna Yes. Michael is all asking Dwight, like, if she’s crazy and crazy in the sack, is she crazy? And Dwight’s like, yes. And then Michael is like, how is she crazy? And Jim is just standing there.
[00:45:50] Angela Yeah Jim is like, oh, God, no, no. And then Dwight says, eager and flexible.
[00:45:55] Jenna Lady. Is that in the script? Was that an improv?
[00:45:58] Angela It’s 100 percent scripted.
[00:46:00] Jenna It was so good.
[00:46:01] Angela All of those beats.
[00:46:02] Jenna That made me laugh out loud.
[00:46:03] Angela Some of John’s reactions as Jim are improvised, but everything else is scripted.
[00:46:08] Jenna Oh, well, Angela doesn’t tell Andy any of that stuff. She just says she loves him. And when he leaves the conference room, he tells Dwight it’s over, it’s over. And he means over between you and Angela, not me and Angela. He’s still going to marry Angela.
[00:46:27] Angela Well, Angela made a big case. She was like, listen, we’re at a crossroads here. Let’s prove all these people wrong. Dwight makes a big declaration that Bernard will never be her last name. They are going to stay together. He is not going to give up. Jenna this was a much longer scene. And when Dwight says a duel, we’ll have a duel over Angela. The winner gets Angela. Stanley can’t take it anymore. He’s going to call B.S. and he has this great moment.
[00:46:57] Pam OK, we’re not doing that.
[00:46:58] Stanley Now hang on, Pam. Andy, do you fully understand that the prize is Angela?
[00:47:04] Andy So help me God, I do.
[00:47:05] Stanley And Dwight, do you fully understand that the prize is Angela?
[00:47:09] Dwight I do.
[00:47:11] Stanley I say give them both guns.
[00:47:13] Angela Martin Stanley.
[00:47:14] Stanley Darwin, baby. Darwin.
[00:47:18] Angela Darwin, baby Darwin. I just love that moment.
[00:47:24] Jenna Even Pam turns to Angela and is like, you have to stop this. But Angela says, I will respect the results of the duel.
[00:47:34] Angela So yeah, I remember us shooting this moment, Jenna. But in my mind there was more to the scene. I went to the script and there was an alt of this moment where Pam confronts Angela. It didn’t make it in. And you have a whole speech and I called it Preach, Pam! This takes place in the break room.
[00:47:56] Pam OK, Angela.
[00:47:57] Angela Martin What?
[00:47:59] Pam You have to put a stop to this. I admit at first I was blaming you for being selfish and dishonest, but then I decided to put myself in your shoes.
[00:48:10] Angela Martin I didn’t ask you to do that.
[00:48:14] Pam I get it, you’re having a hard time choosing between Dwight and Andy for reasons that you must have about that. We have to make a decision, Angela. Who would you rather go home to at night? Who would you rather wake up with in the morning? Marriage is a big deal, Angela. Who do you see as the father of your children? Who are you most proud of? Who’s most accepting of your… quirkiness?
[00:48:48] Angela Martin I don’t see how any of that matters now.
[00:48:50] Pam Why not?
[00:48:51] Angela Martin Two men are about to fight for my hand. When it’s over, I will respect one of them and pity the other. Decision made.
[00:49:04] Pam Angela.
[00:49:05] Angela Yeah, I mean, Pam, like really tried to show up for Angela in this moment, tried to empathize with her and what you know, you guys are hearing it, but if you watch it, if you go to the deleted scenes on the DVD, you see all of this emotion go across my face. I’m clearly torn. And it just really showed something you don’t get to see that much in this. You only see little moments that Angela is really struggling.
[00:49:36] Jenna Yeah, well, Angela, when I was trading messages with Jen Celotta about this episode, she was very complimentary of your performance. She said that this episode was tricky and a lot rested on how your character would react to these two men dueling over her. She said she was really worried, like, how do you convince people that you would accept the results of a duel? It’s so crazy.
[00:50:05] Angela Yeah.
[00:50:06] Jenna And she said, you know, there was this scene that really shows you stuffing down your real feelings. But she said that you were able to play it so perfectly in just your one line in the bullpen, we so believed that your character would accept the results of a duel that it grounds the whole episode. And she was so grateful for your performance.
[00:50:33] Angela Oh, my gosh, that’s so nice. Thank you, Jen. Well, you know, what I thought about Angela is that she really loves Dwight. She really thinks Andy is a better partner for her, like socially sort of acceptable and all of that. And she’s really struggling about what’s the right thing to do in her life. And the duel for her is actually a relief because now she doesn’t have to decide. To her this is like an institution that will decide for her and she’s off the hook. And I think that’s why she was so willing to accept it.
[00:51:07] Jenna We had some people write in wondering, were you secretly rooting for one man over the other? Do you think Angela Martin was secretly rooting for one person?
[00:51:18] Angela I think she was hoping Dwight would win. For her I just have this feeling that on paper, Andy Bernard is more presentable to her family. Right. And makes more sense to Angela Martin’s family and that they would be more accepting and more willing to embrace Andy Bernard than Dwight Schrute. And so I feel like she could go to her family and be like, well, Dwight bested him in a duel. So, you know, clearly Dwight is the dominant man. And I have no-.
[00:51:46] Jenna And your whole family would accept the results of the duel.
[00:51:48] Angela Yes, and I have to go with that. So, you know, I mean, I know we all thought Andy was the one, but I don’t think Angela ever thought Andy was the one. And so I think she thinks her family would accept it, too. Is that crazy? But that’s what I was thinking.
[00:52:02] Jenna Yeah. So she’s rooting for Dwight to win this duel because she loves him more and because it would help gain acceptance with her family.
[00:52:10] Angela Exactly.
[00:52:11] Jenna Well, this duel is happening. It is happening in the parking lot at 4:00 p.m. Bring the weapon of your choice.
[00:52:19] Angela Yeah. So it’s four o’clock. The duel is beginning. Dwight’s outside in the parking lot. He’s yelling, Andy, where are you? You know, he’s like, are you a coward? Everyone else is upstairs watching from the conference room. Angela’s saying, I can’t believe two men are fighting over me. And then Kelly, like, has a dig. She’s like, well, I guess when you’re old, you run out of options or something like that.
[00:52:43] Jenna That is really funny.
[00:52:44] Angela Yeah, Oscar doesn’t think Andy is going to show and they’re actually kind of placing bets. And Kevin’s like, come on.
[00:52:51] Jenna But then Dwight sees a note on some bushes. He goes over to read it. What is this?
[00:52:57] Angela Yeah. What’s this note about?
[00:52:59] Jenna While he’s reading it, Andy does show up very slowly. Very quietly. In his Prius.
[00:53:07] Angela Well, you know, Jenna, Jen had that one sentence that she had to write this whole episode off of. Right. About the duel. This was Paul Lieberstein’s idea about the Prius. He said if you go under five miles an hour, it’s totally silent. And so this is the weapon Andy chooses.
[00:53:26] Jenna Yes, he is going to pin Dwight up against the bushes. He’s going to crush him.
[00:53:33] Angela But really, he’s only crushing, like, from his kneecaps down.
[00:53:37] Jenna Yeah, but he’s pinned. I mean, Dwight can’t move. Dwight can’t hit him with his bike chain anymore. So he starts slamming it on the hood of the car. They’re screaming at each other.
[00:53:49] Angela At eighteen minutes, 16 seconds, Rainn shared on the DVD that during this whole screaming match between the two of them, they improvised for about 40 minutes. Dean said at least 40 minutes. Just insults and banter back and forth at each other, Dean said there was so much good stuff.
[00:54:09] Jenna Oh, I wish we could see that.
[00:54:11] Angela The 40 minutes of them yelling, at each other.
[00:54:13] Jenna I would watch it. Sure.
[00:54:14] Angela I would too, actually.
[00:54:16] Jenna They’re probably amazing. Well we got a lot of questions about how did we do this scene? How did we do this stunt? Who was driving, yadda, yadda? Well, I talked to Dean and he said this was really complicated because we had to shoot this scene over two different days from three different locations. First, we shot in the parking lot with Rainn and Ed. They performed the whole thing. We shot it and the rest of us were upstairs in Paul’s office looking out that window. And the camera could whip up to us.
[00:54:59] Angela In real time.
[00:55:00] Jenna In real time. We watched all of it. Then they moved the cameras up to Paul’s office to get really tight shots out of the window onto the action below. And Rainn and Ed had to do it all over again just to get a few little shots through the window. But then on a different day, we shot inside the actual Dunder Mifflin conference room. And this time we had to be careful to not shoot out the window because there was nothing there. It was just a backdrop. And that we were basically looking at nothing but Dean was shouting out all the action that had happened the day before.
[00:55:38] Angela Right.
[00:55:39] Jenna He said this was the moment when being an editor on the show really helped him. He had kind of cut this whole thing together with a shot list inside his head. And he just kept telling people, trust me, trust me, trust me, trust me.
[00:55:52] Angela He could see it. Right. He could see it.
[00:55:54] Jenna He could see the whole thing. He said he planned all of these whip pan cuts between the window, between us, all of it. And when he got in the editing room because he edited this episode as well, it actually did all come together and it looked really, really seamless.
[00:56:12] Angela Well, you have to think that Randy Cordray was like, I knew it. I knew it.
[00:56:16] Jenna Yes.
[00:56:16] Angela That Dean’s editing was going to come into play here.
[00:56:19] Jenna This is why Dean has to direct this episode. But he did say it was a little grueling for the actors because we had to play these same moments over and over and over again, more so than we normally do. And we had to make it seem like we were doing it for the first time every time. Now, as for the stunt… Randy told us that Ed actually drove the Prius silently through the parking lot. He said they had stunt doubles standing by for the actual moment of impact. They thought that they would have a stunt driver actually drive into a stunt Dwight. And then after they were kind of squished, they would place Rainn into the bushes.
[00:57:02] Angela And Ed into the car.
[00:57:03] Jenna Yes. But then on the commentary, didn’t Rainn say they just kind of ended up doing it themselves?
[00:57:10] Angela Actually, the commentary was Rainn Wilson, Jen Celotta, Dean Holland, and Rusty Mahmood, who was our first assistant director, and they discussed that Ed actually drove into Rainn very slowly and that it totally worked. And those takes of those guys actually doing it were their favorite. So those were the ones they used and they did not use takes with the stunt people.
[00:57:35] Jenna Well we also got a question from Samantha T, who wanted to know what was up with the fence, like what was on the other side of it? Was it padding? Was that an actual fence? Was the bumper of the car padded? Was Rainn really being squashed? Well, it was the real bumper of the car. And then Rainn sent in an audio clip to tell us a little bit about the bushes.
[00:58:01] Rainn WIlson Oh, I’m so glad you guys are doing The Duel. Fantastic. One of my very favorite episodes. And I always loved those episodes where Dwight and Andy got to go head to head. I just loved that that subplot of that that tension. And Ed Helms is so funny in this episode. But, you know what it reminded me of is in college, we studied clowning and commedia dell’arte, and it really is classic old old comedy like back from Commedia Dell’arte and the Greeks and ancient clowning of two idiots going at it over absurd (BLEEP). And in this case, love and a Prius. It was so much fun to shoot. I don’t remember a lot of specifics about it, but I remember the hedge had a lot of give in it so you could really pretend like you were pinned. But it was just a big mass of vines and it was actually very soft and comfortable. And I love that line about the bears in Scranton. So fantastic.
[00:59:07] Jenna So I guess Rainn was quite comfortable being pinned against the Bushes. No complaints.
[00:59:11] Angela Well, I can tell you about those big giant hedges. One time, Brian, in a scene as Kevin nudged me, he thought it was a nudge. I went flying into them. I don’t know if you remember that. I can’t remember what episode, but I can attest to the fact that it’s a very deep, dense, very sort of a hedge you could fall into without getting to the other side.
[00:59:35] Jenna Aha. Aha.
[00:59:36] Angela So, well, the hedges might have been a good thing for Rainn and they were a nice soft place to land, but they actually caused a little bit of a headache for our production. So Rusty Mahmood, our first assistant director, shared on the DVD commentary that we had about six hours a day to film these parking lot scenes. That’s what they had allotted for the time. And by the time we got to the parking lot scenes on the first day of filming, those big hedges had cast a shadow over half of the parking lot. If you go and watch Jenna, you’ll see, there’s a huge shadow. Well, now guess what? We needed to match that shadow exactly the second day we filmed. Right. So in order to do that, they had to create this fake shadow. We have fakey shadow.
[01:00:26] Jenna Fakey shadow.
[01:00:28] Angela Fakey shadow. They used giant 20 by 20 bounce cards and positioned them behind the hedges on the street so that the shadow would cast and match each day we filmed in the parking lot.
[01:00:40] Jenna Gosh, those are things you just don’t think about.
[01:00:43] Angela I know, but this is the amazing thing about your crew. Someone was like, hold up. That shadow is not going to match. We’ve got to recreate a shadow.
[01:00:52] Jenna Amazing.
[01:00:53] Angela Well, Fakey Shadow wasn’t the only fakey thing we had in the scene. We also had fakey bicycle chain.
[01:00:59] Jenna Fakey bicycle chain.
[01:01:01] Angela That’s right. Clearly Rainn could not whip around a real bicycle chain. So Phil Shea had a rubber bicycle chain made and that’s what Rainn used as Dwight to hit the Prius and wave around. So obviously a rubber bicycle chain is not going to make the same sound as a real bicycle chain on metal. So all the sounds you hear are put in post that whopping sound.
[01:01:26] Jenna Except for the car horn.
[01:01:29] Angela Oh yeah.
[01:01:29] Jenna Ed was really blaring the horn.
[01:01:32] Angela I know.
[01:01:33] Jenna Poor Rainn.
[01:01:35] Angela I know, and he was really having fun with it too because he’d wait and blare it right when Rainn started to talk.
[01:01:41] Jenna Well, all of this mayhem is going on and Jim has a talking head where he’s just kind of standing there and you can hear it all in the background.
[01:01:51] Angela Oh, yeah. So good.
[01:01:53] Jenna Dean told me that they came up with that idea on the day. He said that as he and Jen Celotta were standing there just listening to these two guys go on, he thought it would be really funny to add that. So he and Jen came up with that and they positioned John and they just kind of added that in the moment.
[01:02:12] Angela It’s so perfect because it’s the voice of reason. It’s this totally normal, rational person reacting to this moment of chaos. And I feel like it lets the audience take a breath and be like, oh, yeah, this is crazy.
[01:02:25] Jenna Well, in this argument Andy ends up revealing that he and Angela have had sex, which is something that Dwight did not know.
[01:02:34] Angela Well, yeah. He says I can’t believe she’s been sleeping with you this whole time and she’s only slept with me twice.
[01:02:40] Jenna I made a sex tracker.
[01:02:42] Angela Oh, my God.
[01:02:43] Jenna I did.
[01:02:45] Angela Oh, no.
[01:02:47] Jenna Here’s what I’m going to say, Angela. In the Business Trip episode, Andy told Oscar he had never had sex with Angela. In The Surplus, Andy says he has seen Angela naked zero times. So we have to imagine that either they’ve had sex twice since The Surplus or they’ve had sex twice since Business Trip, but that while having sex, he never saw Angela naked. Which one do you think it is? Fully clothed sex or naked sex recently?
[01:03:26] Angela You know what I believe both. I believe that he could possibly have had sex with her, but she wouldn’t let him see her naked, like she’d have some kind of, like, long gown on. But I also can believe that after Dwight hoodwinked her into this fake wedding, that she was furious and she went and had some revenge sex.
[01:03:48] Jenna Mm hmm. I think that’s most likely that’s when they had their sex. Well, Andy is going to return to his desk. Dwight returns to his desk.
[01:04:00] Angela They’re both crestfallen. I mean, Dwight feels betrayed and Andy feels betrayed.
[01:04:05] Jenna But who won the duel? Angela’s standing there. She hears Andy make a phone call. He cancels the wedding cake.
[01:04:13] Angela Yeah, it’s the one that was in the shape of a sailboat.
[01:04:16] Jenna Yeah, that one.
[01:04:17] Angela That wedding cake. Jen said they did have an alt cake line where he would say it was the one in the shape of the letter C for Cornell.
[01:04:26] Jenna Oh, I was like, for cat?
[01:04:29] Angela I know, but they went with sailboat.
[01:04:34] Jenna Then Angela looks to Dwight. Did he win?
[01:04:39] Angela He puts his bobblehead in the trash. Jenna there was a deleted scene that comes after this where Angela goes up to Pam and she’s teary eyed like her voice is wavering. And she says, can you give me a ride home from work today? Because I no longer have a ride home.
[01:05:01] Jenna Yeah.
[01:05:02] Angela And Pam says yes.
[01:05:04] Jenna And then her and Jim give Angela a ride home.
[01:05:09] Angela Oh, my God, this car ride, we did shoot this scene. It’s in the deleted scenes. Angela just barks directions angrily at Jim, and then she starts sobbing in the backseat and then she’s angry again.
[01:05:23] Jenna Well, I’ll never forget shooting this scene, Angela, because, I mean, this was a whole location day for us. You know, we had this location that was your house and we just dropped you off outside. But they have this really funny joke that there would be like a dozen cats in your window staring out the window at you expectantly as we drop you off. And it was so funny.
[01:05:47] Angela It was so funny. I remember they you know, they had to get a house with, like, sort of a big front window, like a bay window that all the cats could be in so that we could see them from the street.
[01:05:58] Jenna But then you guys, as we were trading messages with Randy Cordray about this episode, he sent us the casting sheet of the cats and all their headshots. It’s a sheet of like cat headshots.
[01:06:13] Angela Yes, you guys. And here are the names of the 12 cats that played Angela’s cats: Potato, Prada, Echo, Flame, Prophet, Whisper, Milkman, Sushi, Roswell, Harvey, Hannah and Milton.
[01:06:33] Jenna And Roswell looks just like Sonny Cat.
[01:06:36] Angela He does.
[01:06:37] Jenna My cat.
[01:06:38] Angela Yeah, we have to put that photo in stories. And also, Randy sent us the photo of Angela Martin’s house.
[01:06:44] Jenna Yes. So unfortunately, the scene was deleted, but the cats can get their moment of fame.
[01:06:50] Angela And we got to do a driving scene together.
[01:06:52] Jenna We did. It’s very cute because at the end, after we drop you off, Pam turns to Jim and she says, you know what? I’ll call her later to check up on her. And Jim says she’ll hang up on you. And Pam says, I know.
[01:07:11] Angela Well, that would have been our alt tag, right? The car ride. Instead of Jim collecting Dwight’s weapons. But also right at the end, Michael had a great talking head.
[01:07:20] Jenna Yeah. He’s standing on the streets of New York and he just sort of says, you know, exciting things can happen when you leave Scranton. Just kind of sums up the storyline for him. Well, got a little tidbit from Randy. I didn’t notice it the first time I watched it, but in hindsight, it was obvious to me.
[01:07:40] Angela Oh, yeah.
[01:07:41] Jenna This scene was a cheat. Steve was not in New York. Steve was shot on a green screen and we digitally added the office building scene behind him. Randy said, we hired this New York based cinematographer named Alan Pierce to go out and shoot the exterior of a New York office building with people walking by. Randy said it was this awesome shot, but we ran into a problem with the cameras on our end. So for all you techies out there, we would shoot our show on a Sony 900 digital camera. It was a very early generation digital camcorder. And I guess these cameras had very poor color latitude.
[01:08:24] Angela Oh, sure. Jenna, you know, color latitude.
[01:08:25] Jenna I know. I know.
[01:08:27] Angela You know.
[01:08:27] Jenna And when it’s not good, it’s it can be tough.
[01:08:31] Angela I mean.
[01:08:32] Jenna We know.
[01:08:33] Speaker 3 Oh, yeah.
[01:08:34] Jenna How many times have I struggled with my color lattitude?
[01:08:37] Angela So many.
[01:08:38] Jenna It does not do well shooting on green screen. And Randy said that’s why we did it so infrequently. Now normally we would just find someplace in downtown L.A. to double for New York. But I noticed on the call sheets that we only had Steve for two and a half days this week. He worked Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday. And the whole rest of our shoot was really dedicated to that complicated parking lot scene. I asked Randy about it. He said he doesn’t know exactly why we chose to go green screen, but he has to imagine that we just simply did not have time to go downtown and get that shot because it was a complicated shoot week.
[01:09:19] Angela Well, I didn’t catch it on my first watch, but I really did on the second one.
[01:09:22] Jenna Me too.
[01:09:22] Angela I was like, oh, that’s fakey backdrop. There you have it. Fakey building, fakey shadow, fakey bicycle chain, real feelings, guys. That’s The Duel.
[01:09:34] Jenna That pretty much sums up The Duel. All right. Well, thank you to everyone who contributed to this episode. Thank you, Ryan Koh, for calling in and giving us a story of your tragic fall.
[01:09:48] Angela Yes, thank you, Ryan. And we’re going to be back here next week, guys. We have Prince Family Paper.
[01:09:54] Jenna I’m going to be honest, I do not remember the plot of that one.
[01:09:57] Angela Who’s Prince? Who are they?
[01:09:59] Jenna We’re going to find out next week.
[01:10:00] Angela We’re going to find out.
[01:10:01] Jenna I feel like a real audience member. I don’t know what’s coming. I’m sure I’ll remember after I watch the episode, but I can’t wait.
[01:10:08] Angela Hopefully. I hope so. See you guys! Have a great one.
[01:10:12] Jenna Bye. Thank you for listening to Office Ladies. Office Ladies is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer, and Angela Kinsey. Our show is executive produced by Codi Fischer. Our producer is Cassi Jerkins. Our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer, and our associate producer is Aynsley Bubbico.
[01:10:32] Angela Our theme song is Rubber Tree by Creed Bratton.
[01:10:35] Jenna For Ad free versions of Office Ladies, go to Stitcher premium dot com. For a free one month trial of Stitcher premium, use code: office.
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