GKCfan: Could you please tell me if that was a real piranha in the tank, and if so, did it require special animal expert supervision? I’ve heard that all potentially dangerous animals require trained guardians, but I don’t know if that applies to fish.
Rainn: I forget the exact kind of fish it was but it was a piranha “look-alike” or “swim-alike.” There was an animal trainer there (Hollywood animal trainers are some of the strangest people you’ll ever meet!).
This guy obsessively checked the temperature of the water and fed and cared for that fish, as well as Jo’s dogs for the episode. Probably, after the episode was done, he fried it up for his family. Or fed it to the dogs.
Justin: Before shooting this episode, I didn’t know that piranhas aren’t legal to film with in California. (I think they’re also not even legal to own, buy, or sell.)
So when you see a piranha in any movie or TV show, it was either shot out of state or they’re using a look-alike, probably a “pacu,” which is what we used. They’re related to piranhas, but much less deadly.
Still, when Rainn decided to stick his whole hand in the tank (in a deleted scene), I thought he was nuts.
Jessi: What happened to Jo’s Great Danes? They weren’t the dogs shown in this episode. Is there a story behind that?
Justin: We decided that Jo has lots of pairs of dogs, like different accessories for different uses.
fontenot: Who painted the portrait of Dwight? Pam? Mose? Otto Mueller?
Justin: He had it done at a kiosk in the Steamtown Mall. But thanks to you, I’ve now wikipedia’d Otto Mueller and feel like I’ve learned as much as I’ve taught.
You Will Estimate Me: Tell us more about the Kevin massage scene, it was hilarious! Whose idea was it for Dwight to climb up the file cabinets? How did Brian withstand the pressure of Rainn pushing on his back? Did Oscar and Angela break?
Rainn: That was a classic scene. So funny. I heard it was Mindy’s idea. It’s ingenious when a writer comes up with so much specificity that involves exact details of the set and props and location.
It was definitely a big workout for my core to get up that high on those file cabinets! We had a blast.
Brian has a bad shoulder so it was hard for me to not put pressure on his left shoulder. I love it when I recoil and say “Ugh, it’s so moist!”
Justin: Yes, that was 100% Mindy Kaling. I couldn’t stop laughing –- each take, they committed to more than the last.
I did have one nervous moment when I heard something that sounded like a crack –- I think it’s the take they used, actually –- and for a moment, I thought Brian had broken his back.
Or rather, that Rainn had broken Brian’s back.
Awesome! Thanks tanster for doing this for us. Michael Schur is ridiculously funny! What a great Q&A cameo!
I love these! What a great start to an other wise monotonous day of work. PS-PRec does get funnier and funnier every week. I’ll definitely be watching 2 full hours of NBC comedy tonight!
Always amazing to get these Q&A’s right from the writers’ and actors’ mouths! Much appreciated!
Wow. Just, wow.
Thank you Rainn and Justin!
This is the best show on Earth, interacting with fans like this.
You guys just made my freaking day answering my question!
Thank you Rainn, Justin, and Mike!
Another terrific Q & A.
Thanks guys for answering my question as well as all the others. Great detailed answers. Can’t wait to see all the surprises tonight.
Who knew that you couldn’t film piranha in California?
I live for these behind the scenes factoids.
Thank you for answering questions!
I still miss Mike Schur.
Thanks for answering my question! Jo having accessory dogs is pretty funny.
These behind-the-scenes Q&As are my favorite feature here at OfficeTally, and this one was super. Thanks Justin, Rainn, Mike and tanster for providing all the great insights into our favorite show.
I concur with everyone else, thanks for answering my question, this is an awesome way for you guys to interact with us fans. I started telling everyone in my office that my question was answered, and everyone else ( who are The Office fans too), thought it was the coolest thing ever! Thanks again!!!
The first time I’ve ever asked a question on one of these interviews, and it actually got in! On the first page, too! That made my crappy day better. Great interview too, I just love this episode.
Wow – great Q&A! Thanks so much for this really generous interaction with us fans! This was a terrific episode and to get the behind-the-scenes details from a writer and actor is so much fun for an Office geek like me (and Mike Schur’s answer was hilarious). I love Rainn’s comments about the characters evolving year after year yet keep true to their original essence. I think that’s why I never get sick of the Office and for 7 seasons it has been my favorite TV show. (Parks and Rec a close second!)
I second that. I still miss Mike Schur :(