The Office is widely known as one of the best comedy series of all time, but it turns out that things got slightly terrifying behind the scenes of one episode.
In fact, Bryan Cranston unwittingly nearly poisoned the Dunder Mifflin gang when he stepped in to direct the Work Bus episode from season nine – which isn’t quite the impact you want to have…
Rainn Wilson, who played the iconic Dwight Schrute in the sitcom, couldn’t help but make light of the near-death experience while promoting their new film, Jerry And Marge Go Large.
Appearing on the red carpet at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of the flick, talk turned to the time he previously worked with the Breaking Bad actor.
‘Bryan directed the work bus episode,’ he told Metro.co.uk and other press in New York. ‘It was 110 degrees in the San Fernando Valley and they hooked an air conditioner to the back of the bus to give us extra cooling.
‘But they didn’t think about the fact that the exhaust would recycle and potentially poison us…’
‘It knocked Phyllis [Smith] out, Jenna Fischer threw up on my shoes. Ellie Kemper fell into a coma…,’ he jokingly continued.
‘I don’t remember what actual injuries were sustained. But we completely, 100% blame Bryan Cranston.’
Bryan spilled the beans on the episode during an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert earlier this week, and revealing that Jenna – aka Pam Beesley – actually ‘saved everyone’s life’ during the incident.
In the instalment, the Dunder Mifflin gang famously transferred their office onto a work bus while Dwight fumigated the office, following a prank from Jim Halpert (John Krasinski).
Bryan, who guest directed the scenes, explained that the actors actually filmed in a trailer, which was attached to an AC system.
‘They didn’t think that where the intake for the refrigeration system was was exactly lined up to where the tailpipe of the bus was,’ he casually told the host.
‘So, the exhaust of the bus was going right to the intake, cooling it…’
Jenna was the one who alerted the cast and crew to the issue, telling everyone that she could ‘smell exhaust’ from inside the bus.
‘I got a chair and I stood up on the thing and I stuck my nose up in there and sure enough it was billowing down,’ Bryan continued. ‘It was carbon monoxide.
‘I wasn’t quite sure so I got a second wind. I got some more, I got nice and dizzy and then realized “Oh my God, we could’ve all been dead”.’
Thankfully, there were no death-defying moments while filming Jerry And Marge Go Large, which follows the story of lost retiree Jerry (Bryan) as he finds a legal loophole in the lottery system, and sets about continuously winning the jackpot with wife Marge (Annette Bening) and their friends, using the money to help their town.
However, when a college student (Uly Schlesinger) stumbles upon the same trick, their luck and good nature is put to the ultimate test.
Rainn, who joins the cast as the staff worker at a convenience store, had a blast while filming – with no risk of being poisoned in any scenes.
‘Behind the scenes it was great, we got to improvise a lot, we laughed a lot,’ he added.
‘I don’t know what didn’t make the final cut. I think they kept a lot of improvisation in, so I was happy with that.
‘The director was very able to let us continue to improvise and do our own thing.’
Jerry And Marge Go Large is available to stream on Paramount + now.