“The Office” nearly put several members of the cast and crew permanently out of work.
Two stars from the comedy series recently revealed that they almost died twice while filming a particular episode.
Jenna Fischer, who starred as Pam on the hit NBC show, and Angela Kinsey, who played Angela, shared all the behind-the-scenes drama in their new book, The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There .
In excerpts from the book published by Mashable, the two former co-stars reveal that actor Bryan Cranston, 66, directed Season 9 Episode 4 entitled “Work Bus”.
As a result, employees are forced out of their office building into a “mobile workplace” for the day.
The 48-year-old fisherman noted that the “little airport shuttle” was packed with 14 actors, four crew members, several desks, chairs, lamps, printers, a water cooler, a microwave, a big-screen TV and a coffee maker.
“What could go wrong? Who could have predicted that Ellie Kemper would pee her pants or that the entire cast was almost killed — twice?” she wrote.
“It was a very hot day and every time we started filming, the air conditioning on the bus had to be turned off because it was too loud. We were basically in a moving hot tin can with no air. I thought Brian [Baumgartner] and creed [Bratton] would melt. Oscar [Nunez] looked dead inside It was also a very winding road. Jenna got a little nauseous despite having a forward-facing chair,” Kinsey, 50, wrote. “At this point, the heat and the nausea seemed to be our worst obstacles.”
Once on the open road, the script called for a scene with “Dwight drives like a madman”. The bus was hooked up to a rig when Rainn Wilson was recorded at the wheel. But the reactions didn’t look real enough as the performers pretended to be thrown around, so a stunt driver was brought in.
“However, there were no stunt performers. We stayed and were told to do what we had been doing. And off we went,” Fischer mentioned in the book.
“We all skipped down the street not knowing what was going to happen. We were saying our lines and everything was going smoothly when suddenly we heard the assistant director yell, ‘Dodge!’” Kinsey explained.
The stunt driver dodged “HARD” and the cast and all of their office furniture, props and stage decorations flew through the bus.
“We were all smashed against the side of the bus. Ellie’s chair crashed into Jake [Lacy]’s. Jake drove into mine and I got bumped into the glass window. Papers were everywhere. I caught our desk lamp as it slipped into my lap. A few people fell on the bus floor and we could barely see them because so many things had fallen on them,” Kinsey explained.
The cast were discharged for lunch after being stuffed into the crammed, scorching set and were happy to learn the crew had acquired a portable air conditioner that would blow air through the sunroof.
“Let’s go. No more fits of laughter. No more peeing. We nailed our shots. That’s when I noticed a funny smell,” Fischer said, she continued to raise the concern but was ignored until others began to agree with her. “We started discussing whether the bus smelled funny. Then our cameraman spoke up. She was not comfortable. She tripped and put down her camera.”
“Guess what?” Fisher wrote. “The INLET hose of the portable air conditioner was right next to the EXHAUST pipe of the bus. So this hose sucked in exhaust fumes and blew them straight into the sunroof of the bus. We were all slowly being poisoned. Or actually not that slow.”
The cast and crew survived the harrowing day of filming and went on to wrap up the final season of the popular sitcom. The ninth and final season ended on May 16, 2013,