‘We were all being slowly poisoned. Or not so slowly, actually’
Two former stars of the American edition of The Office have revealed that they almost died twice while filming an episode of the hit comedy series.
Jenna Fischer, who portrayed Pam Beesly, and Angela Kinsey, who played Angela Martin, have dished all in their new book, The Office BFFs: Tales of ‘The Office’ from Two Best Friends Who Were There.
In one portion of the book released by Mashable, the two actors recall working with Bryan Cranston on season nine, episode four entitled “Work bus” – which the Breaking Bad star guest directed.
After the office staff are forced to work in a mobile workstation for the day, 14 actors, four crew members, several desks, chairs, lamps, printers, a water cooler, a microwave, a TV and a coffeemaker were all cramped inside with them.
“What could go wrong? Who could have predicted that Ellie Kemper would pee her pants, or that the entire cast would almost be killed — twice?” Fischer, 48, wrote.
She continued to explain: “It was a very hot day and whenever we started filming, the air conditioning on the bus had to be turned off because it was too noisy.
“We were basically in a moving hot tin can with no air. I thought Brian [Baumgartner] and Creed [Bratton] were going to melt. Oscar [Nunez] looked dead inside.
“Plus, it was a very curvy road. Jenna was getting a little carsick even though she had a forward-facing chair,” Kinsey, 50, wrote. “At that point, the heat and the nausea seemed like our worst obstacles.”
When the script required Dwight, played by Rainn Wilson, to “drive like a maniac”, a stunt driver was bought in.
“There were no stunt actors, however. We stayed on and were told to keep doing what we’d been doing. And off we went,” Fischer explained.
Kinsey, 50, described the “sudden” moment the assistant director yelled “swerve” and the stunt driver did just that, sending all the cast and the various furniture pieces flying around the container.
After cast members were rescued from beneath the clutter, they were dismissed for lunch – but it doesn’t stop there.
Luckily, the crew had rigged an air conditioner to the mobile unit, allowing the actors to “nail” their shots. That was until Fischer noticed a funny smell and a camera operator felt nauseous.
“Guess what?” Fischer wrote. “The portable air-conditioning unit’s INTAKE hose was right next to the EXHAUST pipe on the bus. So that hose was sucking in exhaust and blowing it straight into the sunroof of the bus. We were all being slowly poisoned. Or not so slowly, actually.”
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