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.