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.