Office Cast Members Reminisce About That Time They Almost Died Filming An Episode With Bryan Cranston

The Office is the source of some of television's funniest and most outrageous moments, and apparently, the Dunder Mifflin chaos wasn't just on screen. According to The Office alums Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, one episode almost cost the entire cast their lives. The two actresses reminisced about what happened while filming an episode with Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston.

The BFFs recalled the harrowing on-set moment in their behind-the-scenes book The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There (via Mashable). The on-set crisis occurred while shooting the Season 9 episode “Work Bus,” which Cranston was directing. The episode was centered on a trick that Jim played on Dwight backfiring, leading the overzealous manager to buy a mobile office. Things took a more bizarre turn when Jim convinced Andy to take the Dunder Mifflin staff for pie at Laverne's Pies Tires Fixed Also. Of course, the irony wasn’t lost on the stars as Kinsey understood it was Walter White filming the mobile Office episode, similar to his mobile meth van in the Emmy-winning drama.

But even diehard Office fans may have had no idea of the behind-the-scenes chaos. Fischer revealed that “the mobile office” was packed with the cast and crew along with a cavalcade of office items, including desks, a watercooler, and a big-screen television. The overwhelming situation was compounded when the producers felt The Office’s Rainn Wilson’s fake steering wasn’t “authentic” enough for driving on a curvy road. The Splitting Up Together actress recalled their solution was to detach the vehicle from its rig and have a stunt driver at the steering wheel. That’s when things changed, according to the actress.

There were no stunt actors, however. We stayed on and were told to keep doing what we'd been doing. And off we went.

Upon taking off on the road, things went from zero to 100. Kinsey relived the dangerous and disordered shoot as she broke down what happened within the vehicle.

We were all bouncing down the road, blissfully unaware of what was about to happen. We were saying our lines, and everything was going smoothly when all of a sudden, we heard the assistant director yell, 'Swerve!' The stunt driver swerved HARD. I mean he cranked that wheel like Cole Trickle in Days of Thunder. As a result, the entire cast and contents of the bus went flying into the side of the party bus! What no one had considered when they told this stunt driver to swerve as hard as he could without flipping the bus over was that none of our office furniture, props, or set decorations were securely tied down.

If the Deliciousness host’s account wasn’t scary enough, Fischer’s recount sounded even more horrific. The over-the-top driving led to the actress being pinned by co-star Leslie David Baker. She recalled co-star Phyllis Smith was posted up against a wall by multiple objects, including John Krasinski. Kinsey was immune from being trapped as she recalled co-stars Ellie Kemper and Jake Lacy ramping into her. She mentioned cast members falling on the floor and being trapped under multiple items.

Thankfully, the cast survived the erratic driving incident. After a much-needed lunch break, they got back on the bus again. But things only got worse as Fischer recalled the cast almost dying from another threat.

They had somehow gotten a portable air-conditioning unit! 'We can pull it behind the bus with a hose that goes through the sunroof. It's totally quiet. So, this afternoon, the bus won't be so hot.' We were thrilled, and as we loaded back onto the cool, reorganized bus, everyone relaxed and decided to put the morning behind us. Off we went. No more laughing fits. No more peeing. We were nailing our shots. That's when I noticed a funny smell. We began debating whether the bus smelled funny. Then our camera operator spoke up. She didn't feel well. She stumbled and set down her camera.

Upon the cast and crew leaving the vehicle, It was revealed the AC unit’s intake hose and shuttle’s exhaust pipe were next to each other. This led to the hose blowing car exhaust through the sunroof. Fischer put the incident into perspective by saying the cast was being poisoned “not so slowly.”

But this overwhelming dangerous day started on the wrong foot, according to Kinsey. She remembered what it was like being on the bus on an extremely muggy day.

It was a very hot day and whenever we started filming, the air-conditioning on the bus had to be turned off because it was too noisy. We were basically in a moving hot tin can with no air. I thought Brian [Baumgartner] and Creed [Bratton] were going to melt. Oscar [Nunez] looked dead inside. Plus, it was a very curvy road. Jenna was getting a little carsick even though she had a forward-facing chair. At that point, the heat and the nausea seemed like our worst obstacles.

At the end of the shoot, Kinsey mentioned Cranston being “so calm and kind” despite the disorderly day. She even hugged the Oscar nominee. Sharing moments like this seemingly brought the cast together as they have reunited multiple times since the show ended. Hopefully, the cast will officially come back together for a reunion special or new episode someday, as Krasinski was down for it. Secrets from the NBC sitcom have been spilling for some time, including Craig Robinson sharing why Patrice O’Neal’s Lonny stopped appearing.

You can rewatch all nine seasons of The Office, including this episode, by getting a Peacock subscription. Of course, you can keep track of what the entire cast is doing now.

Adreon Patterson
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