A Single Mistake Turned The Office's Best Cold Open Into a Blooper
It's one of the most famous cold opens from The Office – but the scene in which Jim (John Krasinski) pops Dwight's (Rainn Wilson) fitness orb was, in fact, a blooper.
From the outset of the scene, it was clear that Dwight bobbing about in his new piece of fitness equipment was annoying Jim. And the fact that he went on to explain the benefits while clearly disrupting Jim's work led to the fan favourite popping the orb with a pair of scissors.
What eventually made the edit was a great moment that sees Dwight disappear below the desk. But the fitness orb was never meant to pop.
Jenna Fischer, who played Pam Beesly, confirmed that, according to the script, Jim would force the scissors into the orb causing it to slowly deflate. You can even visualise what the producers wanted; the look on Dwight's face as he gradually sinks to the floor confused and annoyed.
There were actually 17 fitness orbs bought for the scene – 3 of which were used by Krasinski to practise. And on each occasion, he got it spot on. So, there was no reason to expect the orb to pop in the way it did.
In fact, Krasinski was told there was only a one-in-a-million chance that he could burst it as that would only happen if he hit the seam of the orb.
Clearly, he did just that.
But it turns out he hit the seam on the 14th and last take. And they didn't even need it. The first 13 had gone exactly as planned. But, hey they bought 17 orbs for the scene so why not use the last one?
If you look closely at the characters in the background of the shot, you'll see the genuine shock on their faces. And fortunately, Krasinski got out of the shot straight away so his reaction wasn't caught on camera.
The way the scene was originally written, Jim was supposed to stay and look in smugly as Dwight slowly slipped to the floor.
With 13 'perfect' takes and one blooper, the idea was to go ahead and include one of the 13 that included the slowly deflating orb in the final edit. But Larry Wilmore was convinced the right call was to include the one in which the orb popped and sent Dwight crashing to the floor.
You'll be hard-pushed to find anyone who thinks he made the wrong call.