Why The Office's Jenna Fischer and B.J. Novak Got Drunk to Prepare for a Scene
The Office co-stars and best friends Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey have delighted fans with behind-the-scenes secrets and facts about the iconic series during their podcast Office Ladies, but they're not the only ones spilling some serious TV show tea. In a new book titled The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s by Andy Greene, the cast and crew dish on all things Dunder Mifflin, gifting fans with more fodder for any future The Office-themed trivia nights.
One particularly entertaining tidbit has to do with "The Dundies" episode, which fans will remember is when Michael Scott hosts his annual award show, and Jim and Pam share a very quick (and intoxicated) kiss. In Greene's book, as Showbiz Cheat Sheet reports, Fischer explained her thought process when filming, saying, "I was very nervous. I couldn’t remember what it was like to be drunk and I didn’t want to do a caricature of a drunk person."
To help alleviate her tension, her co-star and series writer B.J. Novak suggested getting in some practice on being intoxicated. "B.J. Novak suggested I go out and get drunk one night for research," Fischer told Greene. "I laughed him off at first, but then decided it was a pretty good idea." After each drink, Novak had Fischer described what she was feeling. The actress credits Novak's idea with helping her create a successful drunk persona. "I totally drew on my experience of that night when we shot this episode," she added. "I realized that when you are drunk, you laugh at stupid things, talk closer to people, get touchy, and basically act like a more obnoxious and unbalanced version of yourself. You lose control a little. So that’s what I did with Pam."
Fischer previously talked about the episode's almost-accidental smooth on Office Ladies back in December 2019, saying, "The intention was that Pam was going for his cheek, and it was one of those moments where he moved his head in a way that I wasn’t expecting and I just followed through. That was what was in my head as Pam, so I wasn’t thinking that I was intending to kiss his lips...Pam kind of doesn’t register it."
Whether or not you believe that was Jim and Pam's official first kiss, at least it's pretty clear that Fischer was seriously prepared for the scene. For more from Greene's behind-the-scenes book, you can buy it here.
[h/t Showbiz Cheat Sheet]