The Office wedding Q&A with Mindy Kaling

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 | 36 comments


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.

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  1. 36. Julie  

    I can’t believe the captain isn’t an actor. He was one of those small part/steals the scene people for me. I actually tried to look him up on the internet to see what else he’d been in, I was so amazed by him.

  2. 35. ChanChan  

    Mindy and BJ are so absolutely adorable. I wonder if it affects their friendship that they have to make out all the time… Because, they DO write the show, so they must plan it. Maybe they are secretly going out? I would love that. It would be the cutest relationship on the office right after JAM.

  3. 34. Lou  

    FYI – there are actually four Ephron sisters (Nora, Delia, Amy & Hallie) – all of whom write! I heard Hallie speak about mysteries and she’s great:


  4. 33. Sara Stricherz  

    I love Mindy Kaling, she is so amazing. I think she (and her character Kelly) are hilarious and I relate to so much that she says and her pop culture references.

    I loved the info as well, and her humor about Jenna being mean so they loved her instead, and Paul never reading this. Ha ha! Thanks Mindy!

  5. 32. TobyFan  

    I was so glad she talked about “the sprinkler” – it was my favourite of all the dances, so you can tell BJ he did a great job!

  6. 31. Jay  

    @ 27:

    No, I love Ryan and Kelly together too and loved the deleted scene with them flirting in the church. And when I saw them dancing in Andy’s room during his party I was like, “Yes! Another office hookup!” :)

    If (hypothetically) they were dating in real life, I would be so excited for them since they are a great team!

  7. 30. Missy  

    Awesome – Mindy answered my question . . . last! Thanks Mindy and Randy!! Great episode, looking forward to more . . .

  8. 29. JMJ  

    I love these Q&A’s especially Mindy’s.

  9. 28. Koos  

    Q&As are always special treat–thanks Mindy and tanster! How cool is it that Mindy casually texts Greg about things like his thoughts on a Jam wedding location?

  10. 27. Tina  

    I can’t be the only one who grins like an idiot whenever Mindy talks about her friendship with B.J….

  11. 26. receptionitis66  

    This is great! There hasn’t been a Q and A in a while and I’m glad it was for this episode. I never got to ask my question, though; I wonder if they asked the couple who did the original “forever” dance down the aisle if they could copy that?

  12. 25. Vidsub  

    Thanks for the Q and A Mindy, and also for answering my question, haha!

  13. 24. Brigette  

    Ahhh! I want more! I think this is probably one of the best Q & A’s EVER! Thanks Mindy!!!

  14. 23. HarveyTheComputer  

    Thanks Mindy for this Q&A and also for this WONDERFUL episode. My favorite ever! A classic, hilarious and sweet episode. Dwight kicking the bridemaid and the boat wedding were my favorite parts.
    Very niiiiiice. Borat.

  15. 22. Christy  

    AWESOME. Thank you so much tanster and Mindy! That was so much fun to read. How incredibly generous of Mindy to take out time to answer so many questions! I can’t wait to watch the episode again with all of that behind-the-scenes fun in mind. :)

  16. 21. Kalie  

    I watched the episode again just to catch all the little things Mindy was talking about. I tried to see if I could catch John Krasinski breaking when he was talking to Michael, but I didn’t have much luck. Did anyone else see it? On another note, I still love the episode as much as I did the first time. It’s truly wonderful :)

    Thank you Mindy and Tanster for being so delightfully good to us fans!

  17. 20. littlekidlover  

    Thanks tanster and Mindy! It was a great episode…thanks for answering some questions (:

  18. 19. VéroniQC  

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

  19. 18. PizzaByAlfredo  

    Mindy, I just adore the episodes that you write! A tip of the hat to your vomit jokes!

  20. 17. Claire  

    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!!

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