Classy Christmas Q&A with Mindy Kaling

Randy (producer): We created the snow effects out of 100 tons of chipped ice.

Our special effects team built metal molds and hand-packed the dozens of snowmen needed for the day. And, of course, we shot these scenes on one of the hottest days of the fall. It was in the high-90’s and blindingly sunny that day, so the entire crew was outfitted with UV-protectant sunglasses since snow-blindness was a real possibility.

Our set medic monitored the working crew all day to make sure they were well-hydrated and slathered in sunscreen. The actors, wearing heavy winter clothes, were kept indoors in an air-conditioned holding area until moments before each shot.

GKCfan: Could you please describe the mechanism used to project the snowball into Jim’s face in the booby-trapped gift? Did it take multiple takes to get it to work properly?

Mindy: I cannot describe the mechanism because it came from the wonderful mysterious world of Phil Shea from Props, who is like Batman with his gadgets.

He did the same for last Christmas with Michael’s Secret Santa gift to Dwight, the mysterious metal pieces that became a nutcracker.

Janine P.: Dwight’s Wigs of the Office bit was one of the funniest I’ve seen in a long time! How did the idea come to fruition?

Mindy: When I was writing the episode, I just thought how funny Rainn would look in the Meredith wig. The stage direction was “he whips around like a dramatic hamster.”

I think Rainn and Matt Sohn, our DP really captured that detail. Stanley is probably my favorite, the way Rainn held up that crossword puzzle with all that seriousness.

Also, Matt made the perfect suggestion that we stuff the back of the blazer with a pillow, to give Rainn some more Stanley-like heft.

Kim (hair): That it was so fun to do! I love it when they write in wig gags.

I was given the direction that these wigs should not be “perfect” as Dwight would have done them himself on the farm. So they are a little off, but a close match so you clearly get who he is pretending to be.

Shari (another talented hairstylist I work with) and I had literally minutes in between each wig change on set to put them all on, one after the other.

We just moved to Meredith’s desk, put the wig on Rainn, did the reveal a few times… off with the wig! Next desk… next wig. Each was quickly reset if we went again, but it was a team effort between Mindy, Rainn, Shari and I.

We had to move fast, we were under the gun to get the montage done. It was really fun as most of the crew present were laughing after each take. And Rainn was SO good at each reveal, he really gave it his all. It is great to work with Mindy, she always appreciates the efforts of the crew.

Tiffany: Did Rainn love or hate the many wigs?

Mindy: Rainn loved the wigs. Rainn loved the snowballs. It was his idea to drag the Christmas tree out in the background of frame when Michael cancels Christmas.

Rainn loves physical and visual comedy and is excellent at it.

Bren: Totally girly question, but where did you get the black/white skirt you were wearing? So cute!

Mindy: Thanks! Alysia, our costume designer, has been getting Kelly fancier separates these days since Kelly’s more corporate now. It’s from Nordstrom, a brand called Lafayette 148. Here’s the link!

14 comments

  1. Awesome. Thanks Mindy & Team! Great to have a question answered.

    “I like streaks of blood on the young good-looking actors.” Hilarious as always!

  2. ‘The stage direction was “he whips around like a dramatic hamster.”‘

    I was actually hearing the music in my head when Dwight did that montage! Mindy Kaling is so funny, it’s actually ridiculous.

  3. This was great! Thanks Mindy! Really hoping that this is not your last season. Love your acting and Kelly, but your writing is superb.

  4. Thanks so much for the Q & A, Mindy and peeps! And thanks, Tanster, for asking about the reindeer sweater, which I forgot to do. So sad it can’t be mine! :(

    [from tanster: i know, i was so bummed to hear that answer, too. :( ]

  5. Of course she’s right Jim and Dwight aren’t friends, and i would never want them to become friends. But there has been many subtle hints of something, maybe not friendship, just a strange kind of bond that’s developed over time between them, throughout the show.

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