The Office wedding Q&A with Mindy Kaling

Here are the answers to your questions about last week’s wedding episode, Niagara — courtesy of The Office’s writer/producer/actor Mindy Kaling.

Mindy wrote “I answered as many as I could while on set — we’re shooting the Christmas episode right now. I’ve loved reading all the feedback about the episode!”

Thank you so much, Mindy!

Q. Who wrote most of the romantic type of parts? Was that mostly you or Greg? | TheInjury’sBiggestFan

Mindy: Hi Injury’sBiggestFan. Love your name.

Given my personality, people usually think I’d probably gravitate towards the “romantic” part of romantic comedy. Actually, I tend to worry too much that things will get sappy and slow. We’re a comedy, after all. So I err on the side of LESS romance.

Interestingly, Greg (who is probably the funniest person I know) has a great love for pure romance. Five years ago, Greg directed The Dundies, which I wrote, and we had a long protracted battle over whether Jim and Pam should kiss.

Greg was for it, and I was against it! Can you believe the terribleness of my choice? And I, like, FOUGHT him about it. We still fight sometimes, but he mostly wins because he’s usually right, and also because he’s my boss.

Q. How did the responsibility of writing ‘Niagara’ come to you? Did you say you wanted to do it or did the other writers feel you would be the best at it? | Scott B.

Mindy: Paul Lieberstein, our showrunner, assigns episodes. He assigned it to me fairly early on, and then Greg said he was interested in writing it with me. Greg is so busy (directing and running Parks & Rec too) that he doesn’t get to write as much, and so that was pretty exciting.

This script had many, many dramatic changes in it from the initial writers draft, and our staff did an excellent job helping write it.

Q. I’m just curious as to why none of the typical wedding-y things were shown, i.e. the vows and reception and whatnot. | holly-gram

We shot vows on the Maid of the Mist while in Niagara. When Claire and Greg were editing it, they showed us an initial cut where you got to hear the vows. It somehow didn’t pop as much as just seeing them say their vows.

As for the reception, the original draft had quite a funny act that was purely the reception, and that is when Jim and Pam ran off to the Falls. I don’t miss it, because you got the joy of dancing and the cast interacting in the rehearsal dinner.

Q. Who wrote the cold open? | Jim

Mindy: Greg and I wrote the cold open in a diner together on a Sunday morning.

He came up with “three ounce fetus,” which makes me laugh in its weird specificity. It’s really fun writing with Greg, because he is impatient like me, and likes to work quickly like I do. Also, he gets the giggles sometimes which is just great.

Q. What are the production logistics of getting several people to “vomit” all over the place? How do you do it? How many takes? | JJ An

Mindy: What’s funny about vomiting on TV is that the actors have to hold “vomit” in their mouths before they spit it out. I wasn’t in the scene so I didn’t get to do it, and I was jealous!

I think it’s mostly soup and mushed up bread. I do like a good vomit joke, I put one in the cold open of The Injury many years ago.

Seeing Jenna vomit made me very proud of her. Here she is, an attractive young actress in her most anticipated wedding episode, and she has to barf right off the bat. Very cool.

Paul Feig wears like, a Prada suit every day to work, so it was funny seeing this classy guy direct vomit take after take.

We spent a long, long time on the cold open. Greg and I pictured it in different ways and there meetings about it. How much vomit? Should Ellie vomit on the floor or in a cup? How do we show Angela’s vomit coming through her fingers most convincingly? I love my job so much.

36 comments

  1. Thank you! That was such a treat to read! (And an “Office-themed wedding” — oh, how I wish I wasn’t already married! That would be too cool!) :-)

  2. The Q&As are always my favorites. Thanks, Mindy & tanster. I thought this episode was absolutely hilarious — classic Office! Cans bursting, Dwight, Andy, horrible Michael toasts…all perfect.

  3. Thanks so much Tanster! And Mindy! I love writer Q&A. Hopefully maybe they can put the actual wedding vows and other Niagara scenes that were shot on the DVD extras! A girl can dream LOL

  4. Heehee Dward! The sound of that makes Ed Helms seem even more adorable. John Krasinski breaking? Not surprising, but definitely always a treat; in fact, I hope it’s one of his man-squeal breaks cuz those are the best. :) Also, Greg Daniels giggling – ’nuff said.

    Very cool Q&A! Thank you muchly, tanster & Mindy Kaling for your time & just for being downright awesome!

  5. Thanks Mindy and Tanster!!! The episode was so great! It is fun to learn more about the “behind the scenes” aspects. Thanks again!

  6. It’s so nice of Mindy to do this, especially in her free time on set. I hope the actual vows are on the DVD extra too. It almost seems like too much of a good thing though. Thanks so much Mindy & Office Tally!

  7. It was so awesome of Mindy to answer the questions for us. And thanks for getting those extra answers from other crew members too, tanster!

  8. Thanks for answering my question, Mindy. Now I’ll have to go back and watch the scene with Jim and Michael and see how close John is to breaking in that scene.

  9. Man, I love these Q&As! I simply cannot get enough behind-the-scenes details about this show. Who knew Greg was such a romantic? ;) And how cool that the boat passengers were actual vacationers!

    Thank you so much, Mindy, for taking the time out of your busy shooting day to answer questions for us! And to tanster, as always, for arranging it!

  10. @13, i love her more! :) so clever. i’m a big fan of her shopping blog, “things that i bought that i love”, and have used it to buy some great presents for people. how fun to tell them where i got the idea! wish she’d write more often, though (come on mindy, the holidays are comin’ up!)

    i can’t get enough of these q&a’s, it’s SO neat to hear the stories behind the episodes. thanks to both of these awesome ladies! keep ’em comin’!

  11. This once again proves my theory that Mindy is one of the most awesome women in showbiz. Thank you so much for this, Mindy and Tanster! You both rock!

  12. This was amazing! Everyone associated with this show is AWESOME!

    Big thanks to Mindy, I really loved this behind the scenes info.

  13. Well, I guess I’ll have to watch the episode one more time. It’s hard being such a fan. :)
    Thanks so much for all the info!!

  14. I love Q&As! Now I have to go tell it all to my husband…! Thank you Mindy, you’re the best!

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