‘The Office’: Dwight’s Wig Montage Was Shot at Warp Speed
The cast of The Office certainly delivered quite a few laugh-out-loud moments during the show’s nine seasons. One particular scene that stands out in the hit comedy is when Dwight shows off the many wigs that he has to impersonate everyone in the office. According to the beet farmer, he never knew when he’d have the need to bear a passing resemblance to one of his coworkers.
Fans will recall that during the “Classy Christmas” episode of The Office, Dwight utilizes his Pam wig to play a prank on Jim. The two are engaged in a snowball war and Dwight tricks Jim into thinking Pam gave him a Christmas gift. In reality, the gift is just a snowball that launches into Jim’s face. Soon thereafter Dwight reveals that he has many wigs which makes him resemble his coworkers.
Mindy Kaling is to thank for Dwight’s wig montage
But how did the idea for Dwight’s many wigs come about? The Office fans actually have Mindy Kaling to thank for the beloved montage. Kaling, of course, was a part of the cast but she was also a writer for the show. When the actor was writing the “Classy Christmas” episode, she couldn’t stop thinking about how Rainn Wilson (who played Dwight) would look in a wig, thus she hilariously wrote it into the show.
“When I was writing the episode, I just thought how funny Rainn would look in the Meredith wig,” Kaling revealed in a 2010 interview with Office Tally. “The stage direction was ‘he whips around like a dramatic hamster.’ I think Rainn and Matt Sohn, our DP really captured that detail. Stanley is probably my favorite, the way Rainn held up that crossword puzzle with all that seriousness. Also, Matt made the perfect suggestion that we stuff the back of the blazer with a pillow, to give Rainn some more Stanley-like heft.”
‘The Office’ hairstylist recalls creating each wig
Though Kaling had the idea for the wig montage, creating it on screen was truly a group effort. In the same interview, Kim M. Ferry, who was a key member of the hair and makeup crew on The Office, recalled making each one of the wigs. “That bit was so fun to do!” Ferry exclaimed. “I love it when they write in wig gags. I was given the direction that these wigs should not be ‘perfect’ as Dwight would have done them himself on the farm. So they are a little off, but a close match so you clearly get who he is pretending to be.”
Once the wigs were made, it was a mad dash to make sure that everything could be filmed in time to make the deadline for The Office episode. Ferry recalled that there were only minutes between each wig change and that she, Kaling, and another hairstylist, Shari Perry, had to work at warp speed to get the wigs on and off Wilson’s head.
Dwight’s wig montage was shot at warp speed
“We just moved to Meredith’s desk, put the wig on Rainn, did the reveal a few times… off with the wig!” The Office hairstylist revealed. “Next desk… next wig. Each was quickly reset if we went again, but it was a team effort between Mindy, Rainn, Shari, and I. We had to move fast, we were under the gun to get the montage done. It was really fun as most of the crew present were laughing after each take. And Rainn was SO good at each reveal, he really gave it his all. It is great to work with Mindy, she always appreciates the efforts of the crew.”
It’s so easy to think about how much work the cast of The Office put in to make the show great. But moments like this can remind viewers that creating a TV show is truly a collaborative effort and takes many different types of talent to make even the shortest scenes memorable and hilarious.