Brian Baumgartner and Mindy Kaling conference call

Mindy: My favorite episode that I’ve written is probably from the second season called The Injury. It’s probably our broadest episode, so people critique it for that but it’s also just one of the — just one of the goofiest and most fun.

Press: Brian what about you? What is your favorite episode that you’ve been in?

Brian: Oh man, I would say two but they’re really for nostalgia sake. I don’t know if they’re actually still the best but the first I would say is actually the first episode that we produced after the pilot which was Diversity Day. And it was doing that that I was like okay we have a really cool special show here if people give it a chance. Just because I felt like we were doing something really bold and different and talking about race in a way that people hadn’t in so long.

And the second one again was sort of a launching for us, was in the second season, the Christmas episode. I felt like that was sort of where the show in terms of everybody had something to do in terms of the ensemble and really the show from that place on a practicality level. It really took off in terms of audience size and acclaim and so forth. So those two were certainly special to me.

Press: Brian, I was wondering your opinion, do these webisodes present any additional challenges for actors as compared to full length episodes?

Brian: Well that’s interesting. I mean I think that the challenge in — I mean obviously as I understand, we were sort of the first primetime show anyway to sort of do these extra episodes, so that was a couple of years ago when we did the accountant series and this just being our second one as well.

I think that there’s a particular rhythm that you have to find that’s different. I mean you have to sort of — the idea anyway is to sort of wrap up a sort of at least semi satisfying story within two, two and a half minutes. But also make it connect to sort of the whole series as a whole, if you look at sort of the whole thing as an episode or a mini episode or whatever.

So I would say that would be the challenge. You know, practically, we’re dealing with just a much smaller crew and fewer people which in some ways because Mindy isn’t around it makes things much easier but it’s also more people are having to do more things which I think is cool. It’s sort of an old school like create a theater piece kind of guerilla, you know, filmmaking.

But the crew is still the same and so, we all have a short hand of working together and so it doesn’t present too much of a challenge in that way. And I think most of the challenge actually is sort of in with the writers and having to sort of wrap up some sort of satisfying morsel in two and a half minutes and also connect it to something larger.

Press: Right. And Mindy I know that you and BJ have both written on the show and I was curious as to what made you decide to also step in front of the camera and do additional events like The Office game?

Mindy: Well initially, it wasn’t our decision, it was Greg Daniels the show owner. BJ had been cast from the very beginning before the pilot as an actor and a writer, but I and Paul Lieberstein, who plays Toby, we came aboard later during the pilot when Greg said our look was — and I guess this is slightly insulting, but I think he meant it in a good way — sort of like average and ordinary enough that we would fit into the world of the office.

So that’s sort of how that happened. And then as obviously Toby is now a really popular character so that sort of took off. I’m sorry, what was the second half of your question?

Press: How did you get involved in The Office games, what made you decide to want to take part?

10 comments

  1. That was awesome! Great job Brian and Mindy – that interview was both hilarious and informative :) Thanks for getting that transcript together, Tanster! Just a question: Were there a bunch of people at the interview? Because there is “Moderator”, “NBC”, and “Press”.

    [from tanster: yes, “Press” represents the eight or so press people that listened in on the call. each got a turn to ask questions.]

  2. “Mindy: I was actually in Cambridge with B.J. Novak three days ago and we had Vietnamese food at Sylvester in Harvard Square. So yeah I did it.”

    Cool, someone posted on June 30th on the IMDb forums that they saw Mindy and B.J. eat dinner in Cambridge, but at East Coast Grill in Inman Square in Cambridge, not at Sylvester in Harvard Square.

    Link

  3. What a fun conference call! I wish there was a video, though. I can just imagine how they said the transcript…

  4. Thanks for clarifying, Tanster! No joke, we would all be lost without you!

    [from tanster: no problem. when i heard about this transcript, i knew i had to get it for you guys! :) ]

  5. I love that the press person called Brian “Kevin” in that first question. Haha, oops!

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