Rainn Wilson

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    • Discuss what it's like to work with such a strong and talented ensemble cast.

      This is a very different show than any I've worked on before. We work sixty-hour weeks. I work 6AM to 6PM because we are all in almost every scene. Even if there's a scene at the reception desk or there's a scene in Michael's office, we're in the background or passing through, walking through. We're creating that office environment; we're always around so it's very demanding. We also have very little lighting set-ups. They'll just shift a fluorescent light or two between scenes and we just do tons of takes. So the best thing about the show is that the writers are brilliant and the writing is very sharp and very smart. All you need to do is make the writing work but because you're doing so many takes and we have such a great ensemble, you can go anyway that you want to go with it. Once we've gotten it down, you can improvise and change it around and bring in stuff, and add stuff all you want. There is a lot of improvisation on the show. A lot of times we will have a scene and then just keep going. And we do it time and time again. We just keep going, and keep going and keep going and a lot of times that stuff at the end of the scene actually becomes the scene. I don't know if you saw the Halloween episode but there's a sequence where Michael has a fake head on his shoulder and Dwight is dressed as the evil emperor from Star Wars and the head on Michael's shoulder is threatening to fire Dwight and Dwight gets in a whole conversation with this whole other head, pleading with the other head, 'don't fire Dwight'. And Dwight basically becomes the evil emperor from Star Wars talking to one of his minions. Well, that was all completely improvised. That was not part of the scene at all and that became what the scene is. And so many people are like 'Oh my God, that's my favorite scene that's ever been in The Office, Dwight as the evil emperor talking to Michael's second head.'

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