Paul Feig interview with Austinist

Paul Feig has directed over a dozen episodes of The Office since Season 2, most recently the wedding episode, ‘Niagara.’

Austinist interviewed Paul this past weekend during the Austin Film Festival:

What’s coming up for you? You have more Office, we’re guessing.

Yeah, I’m probably going to do the season finale over there. Now I’m only kind of doing the big episodes. I just did the wedding episode.

Right. Did you get an insane amount of attention after that?

That was nice. That really did get a lot of…a lot of people saw it, which was really exciting for me. The Office runs really well now and there’s a lot of people, like a lot of the producers and the writers are directing now, which is great because they know the show. I was there last year as a producer/director, directing a bunch and then overseeing the transition of a lot of these people to directing, so I would kind of stand behind them and help them out. But now I feel like they’re kind of up and running. And it’s fun for me to change up styles. I love doing the fake documentary style and I have other projects in that similar genre, but it’s really fun for me now to be doing the Nurse Jackie’s and the Bored to Death’s, which are very stylized, more traditional filmmaking. I, again, love jumping around and all that. I don’t like to get too settled in one area because a) you’ll start to develop bad habits and b) you’ll just start to kind of forget how to do the other ones. So, for me, the perfect balance is to go from handheld documentary to very stylized with cranes and dollies and steady-cams and all of that.

Yeah, and you’ve also stopped by a number of other TV shows like Weeds and Mad Men.

Yeah, I’ve been lucky. I get to jump around to a lot of cool shows. I have to credit my agent. I have this amazing TV agent who I’ve been with–Renee Kurtz–for quite a while and she has always steered me to the best shows. She was the one that pushed me to do Arrested Development. She pushed me to do The Office; I didn’t want to do The Office ‘cause it was based on the British one, which I loved. I was like I don’t want to be involved with that. She was like, “You gotta do it. You gotta do it.” She pushed me to Weeds; she pushed me to literally every one of those shows. You know, given my own devices, I’ll sort of go into myself and work on my own projects. But directing for TV–other people’s shows–has been the third step of film school for me because I get to experiment. I get to work with amazing, talented people. Go into the writing rooms and work with these amazing actors: you know, Edie Falco, Steve Carrell, Tina Fey. It’s so mind-blowing and you never stop learning. You never stop learning. The juice I get from that…I love it.


  1. What a great interview! Paul is such a talented guy, and seems so classy. Plus he’s quite an entertaining “tweeter” (is that a word?). And I’m loving ‘Bored to Death’ – I got so excited when I saw his name in the credits the other night!

  2. Thanks so much for posting this, Tanster! Paul Feig is kind of my hero, as he has touched almost everything that I love, and he is from Michigan like me! Freaks and Geeks will always be my #1 all time favorite show. It never fails to amaze me how every time I watch F & G I’m enthralled, even though only 18 episodes were made and I’ve seen every one a million times. And I love that he spent so much time talking about Lindsay Weir in this interview– she and Pam are definitely my favorite female television characters of all time. Ahh! Too many good things to say. Yay Paul!

    [from tanster: you’re welcome! even though i’ve never watched f&g myself, i know that f&g fans have a deep affection for the show (and for paul). :) ]

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Tanster!

    For more insight from Paul Feig about how he approaches his work, (including F&G’s), I’m reading this really cool book about comedy writing called “And Here’s the Kicker” by Mike Sacks. It’s filled with interesting interviews. I just finished reading Paul’s chapter, and he’s remarkable. I so want to meet him one day. (The whole book is fun too!)

  4. (You’ve got to watch Freaks and Geeks, Tanster!) What a great interview–thanks so much for finding and posting this. He’s pretty incredible!

  5. Paul Feig went to my high school! That’s right, I went to the high school that Freak and Geeks is based on!!! Haha! I think it’s so cool that he has made it in Hollywood. He’s really an inspiration to all the kids at that school. I’m still trying to figure out how I can use that connection to score a visit to “The Office” set!

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