The Office actor John Krasinski discussed his favorite, and most difficult, scene of the sitcom to film in the fan-favorite episode “Dinner Party.”
John Krasinski, who played Jim Halpert in The Office (U.S.), opened up about one of the most difficult episodes to film. The U.S. version of the original UK sitcom ran on NBC from 2005–2013, and is forever cemented in the framework of American pop culture—lending its genius to dozens of well-known references, memorable jokes, and favorite quotes. The ensemble cast was led by Steve Carell, but also starred John Krasinski, Mindy Kaling, Ed Helms, Rainn Wilson, Melora Hardin, and many more recognizable faces.
The classic single-cam mockumentary comedy about the banality of the office experience—in this case, of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company—boasts many fan-favorite episodes. From “Diversity Day,” where the employees must endure diversity sensitivity training that is derailed fairly quickly, to “Casino Night,” in which the main will-they-or-won’t-they? couple finally seeks to answer that question, every fan of The Office has an episode they maintain is the best. However, most fans would agree that the episode, “Dinner Party,” in which Michael Scott (Carell), invites a few of his employees over for a couples-only dinner is the best. The hilarity ensues as Michael and his girlfriend’s previous tensions erupt in a passive aggressive display for all of their guests. However, the episode is, perhaps, most notably known for its jokes that pepper the tension.
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Reported by Cheatsheet, in a recent episode of the Office Ladies podcast (hosted by The Office stars Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer), John Krasinski opened up about filming “Dinner Party.” He admitted that he knew from the table read he was in for a difficult shoot, due to the laughter already caused from the script itself. Krasinski explained:
I was already quaking with laughter. It wouldn’t have taken much for me to laugh—and throw in maybe one of my favorite jokes in the entire show.
He also noted that this episode contains one of his favorite jokes of the whole series—the sight gag of Michael’s TV, which he was excited he could “hide” when he had company. He spoke further:
And I remember at the table read laughing. But then to see Steve [Carell] again with that beaming face of pride just turn to us and say, ‘You won’t believe what I have.’ And also, ‘Look what it can do. When company comes over I can just do this.’
…I’m pretty sure that the distance between the TV and the wall was like an inch and a half.
Krasinski went on to say that he was crying from laughter, and had to do multiple takes before he could even make it through the scene, let alone do a good take. Some of this is evidenced in the show’s blooper reel, which showcases all of the cast breaking, including Steve Carell. He added:
Jenna [Fischer] can tell you, but I think that it took probably 19 or 20 takes before I was even able to stand up vertically in that scene without doubling over…
And again, as I’ve always said, I’m a crier laugher. So when I laugh that hard, my entire face turns red with tears and the pressure that’s filling in my face for trying not to laugh and to no avail.
Krasinski has been vocal a few times about that being one of his favorite moments while filming the show. One such instance was during the first episode of Krasinski’s pandemic mood-lifting webseries, Some Good News, in which he interviewed Steve Carell about the 15th anniversary of The Office. Like Krasinski, Carell admitted that the episode was one of his absolute favorite moments. Since The Office, Krasinski has been most known for his role as the titular character in the series, Jack Ryan, and for his critically acclaimed horror film, A Quiet Place which he directed, starred in, and co-wrote. The sequel, A Quiet Place Part II, just recently received a release date of May 28 of this year.
When it comes to “Dinner Party,” fans and stars are in vast agreement. Everyone agrees that it is one of the best, if not the best, episodes of one of the most dominant sitcoms of its era. Although the show is over, it is great to see the cast still bonding, like fans do, over their favorite moments of The Office that have brought joy to all.
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