‘The Office’: These Actors Hurled Insults at Each Other for 40 Minutes Straight While Filming a Tense Scene

The Office fans know and love a scene in one season 5 episode that finds Dwight and Andy fighting in the parking lot to win Angela’s affection. Andy pins Dwight against a hedge with his car and the two get in a verbal spar. It turns out Ed Helms and Rainn Wilson improvised insulting each other for 40 minutes during filming.

The Office cast poses for Benihana Christmas episode
‘The Office’ cast | Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Dwight and Andy faced off on ‘The Office’

During the Aug. 18 Office Ladies podcast episode, hosts Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey talked about The Office season 5 episode “The Duel.” Andy and Dwight decide to a duel in the parking lot to see who can win Angela. They agree to bring “the weapon of your choice” and Dwight arrives on the scene with a chain.

As everyone else in the office watches from the conference room window, Dwight spots a note on the bushes and begins to read it as Andy slowly approaches him with his Prius and pins Dwight.

“He is going to pin Dwight up against the bushes, he’s going to crush him,” Fischer explained. “Dwight can’t move. Dwight can’t hit him with his bike chain anymore, so he starts slamming it on the hood of the car. They’re screaming at each other.”

The actors had a 40 minute run of improvised insults

Kinsey revealed that Rainn Wilson and Ed Helms went on a run of improvised insults that went on for 40 minutes during filming. “Rainn shared on the DVD [commentary] that during this whole screaming match between the two of them, they improvised for about 40 minutes,” Kinsey said.

The director, “Dean [Holland] said at least 40 minutes,” she added. “Just insults and banter back and forth at each other, Dean said there was so much good stuff.”

Fischer said, “Oh, I wish we could see that. I would watch it. They’re probably amazing.”

Jenna Fischer shared how ‘The Duel’ stunt was pulled off

Fischer went on to say that a lot of fans wanted to know more details about filming the stunt. “Well, I talked to Dean and he said this was really complicated because we had to shoot this scene over two different days from three different locations,” she shared. “First, we shot in the parking lot with Rainn and Ed. They performed the whole thing. We shot it and the rest of us were upstairs in Paul [Lieberstein]’s office looking out that window. And the camera could whip up to us.”

She continued, “Then they moved the cameras up to Paul’s office to get really tight shots out of the window onto the action below and Rainn and Ed had to do it all over again just to get a few little shots through the window.”

There was another day of filming that they shot from the conference room, “and this time we had to be careful to not shoot out the window because there was nothing there, it was just a backdrop,” Fischer explained. The actors had to react to the director shouting out what Wilson and Helms had already filmed.

As for Wilson getting pinned, Helms did drive into his co-star. “Ed actually drove into Rainn — very slowly — and that it totally worked and those takes of those guys actually doing it were their favorite so those were the ones they used,” Fischer explained. “And they did not use takes with the stunt people.”

Wilson confirmed that the hedge “had a lot of give” so “it was actually very soft and comfortable” to be in that position.

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