The Office ‘Sabre’ Q&A

Q. How tall is that Gabe guy?! He looks taller than John and Rainn, who are 6’3″. | FlonkertonChamp

John: I think Zach is 9 ft. 2 in. tall technically!

Q. How many episodes is Kathy Bates signed on for? She’s amazing! | Roger

Jen: Yeah, she’s crazy good and we’re all really excited to be working with her. I think she’s signed on for four or five more.

Q. Can you provide more detail on what went into Jo Bennett’s look? | tanster

LaVerne (The Office makeup department head): Her character is from the South. We worked within the guidelines that were given to us, which was she is sophisticated and should be simple and pretty, but not too flashy. She is confident and knows how to take care of herself in a Southern way in which women are taught to always look presentable.

Q. Back in the episode “Money”, Dwight reads “Harry Potter” to Jim, Pam, and Mose and I couldn’t help but notice some similarities between Jo and Professor Umbridge – seemingly really sweet but rules with an iron fist. Could be purely coincidental of course, but are the writers Harry Potter fans? | Anthony C.

Jen: Hmmm … Well, the writers in general are Harry Potter fans and I’m guessing that was part of why “Harry Potter” was chosen in “Money” — but more because that seems like a good choice for Dwight.

As for the similarities between Jo and Professor Umbridge, that was more coincidental. We liked the idea of a tough woman who was strong and driven, but was also a sweet Southern lady.

But since you brought up Harry Potter — there was a time, way back in Season 2 or 3, where the room was taken over by a love of Harry Potter. I think Greg was mostly the driving force, but I believe Mike was a big fan, too.

At its high point (or low point), we each had chopsticks, ornately decorated as magic wands and we would cast joke spells on each other. And it didn’t stop there — we each had Wand Stands — each rudimentarily fashioned from tacks sticking into our writers room wall, where our magic wands rested when we weren’t using them.

It was fun. And I’m not kidding.

Q. John: It seems like there were a lot of on-locations spots for this episode. As it was your Office directorial debut, how was it working on each location? Any difficulties in any, such as dealing with the kids in the background at the daycare? | sorano916

John: There were a ton of locations! And oh man, I was nervous! Moving the whole show to a new location is such a huge event that it adds a lot of pressure on the day.

The best location story was at the Sabre location. When we arrived early in the morning, there were about 30 ducks swimming in the little pond. I was psyched! — I thought it would add so much to the tone of Christian’s opening shot, so we set up everything to get them in the shot.

Then about five minutes before we were ready to shoot, some guy from the location got in the pond to try and move the ducks closer to where we were shooting and … every single one of them flew away! And yeah, I may have teared up … a little.

Q. Was the Christian Slater video done ahead of time or did JKras direct that as well? | BrokenBrain

John: I was lucky enough to get to direct that Sabre video! And Christian Slater? — come on! That was so awesome. He was so game to play around with all of it and just the best guy to work with!

Q. Who came up with the line “have you ever tasted a rainbow?” It’s such a hilariously nonsensical sentence. Were there any alternate lines that were pitched or used in different takes? | robm

Jen: That line came from Greg Daniels. He pitched it when we were going over the outline and I thought it was great. We did throw in some alts on set — like “have you ever tasted a smile” but the rainbow line was definitely the winner.

Christian Slater was fun to work with and game to try things a bunch of different ways so John experimented with what he was doing during that line – although taking a bite of the sandwich was our favorite. Christian was also carrying a giant basket of fruit for some takes.

46 comments

  1. I thought when I heard it that “Taste a Rainbow” was a shout out to Chris Kattan’s Mango character, who always said crazy stuff like that. Love these Q&A’s.

  2. You are all so talented. The show is just so great. I am 55 and worked in banking for 32 years, I can’t tell you how many scenes from all the shows I could relate to over the years. I envy all of you for getting to do what you love and are all so great at.
    The Q & A’s are great. Hoping the show will be on for many more years. Thanks for keeping me entertained.

  3. This was definitely one of the best episode Q&A’s ever! I loved all the surprise guests, especially Andy Buckley, that was fantastic. And I’m super excited for Rainn’s directorial debut, who knows what crazy things he might come up with? JKras did an incredible job and I hope he can do more episodes in the future! Thank you so much to the cast & writers, you’re the BEST :) Tanster, you rock for being in such close contact with all of them!

    [from tanster: my pleasure! i love these Q&As. and it was fantastic to get so many Office members involved this time around!]

  4. Thanks to everyone and Tanster! It is so amazing and unusual to be able to learn more details like this. Fantastic!

  5. Wow, what an amazing Q&A! Thanks to everyone – we really do appreciate you putting the time and effort into doing this and doing such a thoughtful job answering the questions.

  6. That was GREAT! Thanks to everyone for participating.
    I still want to know.. “John.. how did you become so awesome?”

  7. That was SO much fun to read. Hearing the fun behind the scenes stories make the episode even better, in my opinion. Thanks Tanster! :)

  8. Thanks everyone for answering the questions. It is amazing the information that you share with us fans!

  9. W00t! This made my day! Thank you so much, Office Cast and Staff! (And a special thank you to Tanster. You’re the best!)

  10. Best Q&A ever! …but that was with John Krasinski so I might be biased… ;) Creed: perfect answer!
    Thank you so much everybody: Jen, John, Andy, tanster… :)

  11. To echo others – that was amazing! I always love the Q&A’s, but this one very well may be the best one yet. Many, many thanks to everyone involved!

    And Creed’s answer nearly caused me to spit water all over my computer monitor. Classic!

  12. Loved Creed’s answer,spot on. And I loved the insight into the shenanigans of the writer’s room! Making magic wands out of chopsticks is a fantastic idea…I know what I’ll be doing this weekend!

  13. Woo! One of my questions was answered! Thanks Jen! And thanks Tanster for setting this up! :-)

    Awesome Q&A! One of the best! I love all the behind the scenes stuff. Any chance we may be getting one for the birth? Please?

  14. Hooray! Andy answered a question from me. So fun. Thanks to everyone! What a fun Q&A!

    Oh, and I love the Harry Potter stuff! Too funny. I had to read that out loud to my coworker.

  15. Seriously, how can you not love these people? Cast, crew, and of course, Tanster, all totally awesome.

    We are not worthy.

  16. john answered my question… i can die happy!

    the answer was great too… 9ft. 2in… heeeeeee. oh john how i love you.

  17. Thank you so much! This was the best Q&A — it made me laugh and smile and made my day! All this insight and funny stuff was such a great added bonus to yet another truly great episode. There is no other cast, crew, writing team in the business that gives so much to their devoted fans! What a truly functional, happy, crazy-talented bunch. Thanks again to Tanster and The Office!

  18. Thank you Andy for answering my question. In my opinion your David Wallace and Amy Ryan’s Holly are the only ones who have managed to bring out the most tenderful and precious side of a man who has a tendency to create havoc for himself and others. Michael Scott of course.

  19. Yay! My question was answered. Thanks again Tanster for putting this together. I love all the behind the scenes info!

  20. “Which one’s John?” – Classic.

    Loved this Q & A! Best one yet! Thank you Tanster for making this happen! it certainly helped my Office withdrawals (1 more week!)

  21. This was great! And John answered my question!! *dies a little* Thanks again for having this Q&A, reading all these answers and the behind the scenes tidbits was so much fun. :)

  22. So great. I loved the Harry Potter story, the true story behind the awkward interview, learning that it was John’s idea to have Wallace be so creepy, and of course, Creed’s statement. Thanks so much to EVERYONE for chipping in and answering our questions! (And thanks, Jen, for answering mine!) This Q & A just reminds me why I love you guys so much– thanks for loving us back!

  23. Wow, so so fun. THANKS again, Tanster and amazing Office peeps who make us fans love you and your show so much!

    As far as Office Withdrawal goes, I can only be thankful that these two weeks at work have been crazy! (plus, this Q&A allowed me to spend Office Time – which would start roughly 20 minutes from now if it were a good Thursday – doing some Officey-thing : ) Woot.

  24. Thank you so much for this. Great Q&A. Special thanks to everyone for taking the time to give interesting and funny answers. :)

    I noticed that John mentioned making a Director’s Cut of this episode. Is that why we never saw any deleted scenes on NBC.com? And does this mean the cut will be shown at some point on the website and/or included on the DVDs?

  25. Awesome Q and A for an awesome episode. The cast and crew are some of the most likable and naturally funny people around, and it’s always interesting to hear how much thought goes into even the minor details. Thanks to everybody involved!

  26. Great Q&A! Huge thanks to everyone involved, especially John, Jen and Tanster :D

    It was an honour to have one of my question answered… It’s not very often that fans get this kind of opportunity to interact with the cast and crew like this!

    Also, did anybody else think of Skittles for the “Taste a rainbow” quote? Maybe it was just in Canada, but a couple years ago, Skittles had a promotion called “Taste THE rainbow” =P

  27. Thank you so much for this tanster, you never fail!

    Michael Scott with a sixpack would’ve looked weird, indeed.

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