Diane: Is that really Michael Schur screaming into the phone in the cold open? His name appears in the closing credits.
Rainn: Yes. The great Mike Schur, co-creator and show runner of Parks and Recreation, voiced Mose. He is only available to shoot one to two mornings a week from 7-9 am. That’s why we’ve seen so little of Mose these last couple years.
He’s a silly, silly man and I love him. As does his wife.
Mike: Classic Rainn. No respect for the craft of acting. The reason I don’t play Mose more often is not that I am running another TV show, which admittedly requires nearly all of my available time, attention, and energy.
The reason is that playing Mose Schrute — quasi-Amish, beet-farming, wool-clothes-wearing, trampoline-loving, cloistered simpleton Mose Schrute — is an artistic challenge that exhausts me. After just one minute of inhabiting Mose, it takes me weeks to recover.
Mentally drained and spiritually bereft, I travel to a retreat high in the Rocky Mountains, where in the 1800’s doctors would send women suffering from consumption. There I stare blankly at a wall for seven days, unable to move, eating only fibrous nuts and berries that are picked for me by my Polish assistant, Piotr, as well as several local farmers, and Mindy Kaling, who comes along because of all the great shopping in nearby Aspen.
Only after several months am I able to return to society, and it’s only a matter of days until the phone rings, and, terrified but simultaneously thrilled, I hear Paul Lieberstein say: “We need you. Episode 14. Mose gets his testicles caught in an outhouse door.” And off I go, living every actor’s dream…and nightmare.
Also, watch the hour-long season finale of Parks and Recreation, tonight from 10-11 after The Office!
StephP: How many takes did it take to get through trying to lead the conference room meeting like Michael would have?
Rainn: A lot of takes. There was a great series of lines at the end of the scene where I said stuff to the effect of “I love you but don’t cross me, you guys are my best friends but I will burn this place to the ground, etc…”
This series was hard for me to get the tone and timing down. I did a ton of takes of that last section and I still don’t really think I nailed it as funny as it was written.
Justin: That was an incredibly difficult monologue to get through, because Dwight is supposed to keep switching 180 degrees, between flattery to threatening and back again, with nothing external to prompt those shifts in tactics.
Rainn’s being modest –- he did it perfectly. It was one of the many great moments we had to cut down for time in the end.
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 :(