‘The Office’: Jenna Fischer Said a Tricky Cold Open Scene Was 1 of Her Favorite to Shoot

Jenna Fischer has a lot of favorite memories from The Office, but shared how a tricky cold open scene was one of her favorites. The scene with Steve Carell and B.J. Novak was demanding in an interesting way but, according to the actor, it was an absolute joy to film.

The Office cast poses in character in the Dunder Mifflin warehouse during season 5
‘The Office’ cast | NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth

During the Nov. 17 episode of the Office Ladies podcast, Fischer and Angela Kinsey discussed the season 5 episode “Heavy Competition.” The show opened with the employees of the Michael Scott Paper Company — Michael, Pam, and Ryan – throwing cheese puffs at each other and successfully catching the snack. There were some trick shots in the mix, including a moment where they were all throwing cheese balls at each other.

Fischer revealed that the scene was one of her favorites from the whole series. “This episode begins with a very famous cold open,” she said. “The cheese puff cold open! I loved doing this cold open so much.”

Simply put, she said, “It’s Pam, Michael, and Ryan tossing cheese puffs into one another’s mouths in various ways.” There was a lot of skill involved but Fischer was up for the challenge.

The actor was well trained for the task

Fischer explained that she was able to nail the trick shots because she had training from her teen years. “When I was in high school, I did not have a vibrant social life,” she said, explaining that she would watch movies and toss popcorn in the air and catch it.

“It paid off later in my life, OK? So don’t feel sorry for me,” she added.

“So I am really good at catching food in my mouth,” Fischer explained. There were no special effects involved with the scene and the trio of actors had a great time filming it.

“I want everyone to know those are real cheese balls. We had the best time shooting this,” she said.

Jenna Fischer said the cheese puff cold open was challenging but a definite favorite

Fischer admitted that it took an afternoon to shoot The Office cold open, with the moment the three actors had to throw cheese balls at each other taking the longest. “That was the hardest one,” she said. “You know that reaction that you see at the end when we finally make it? That was real.”

The actor continued, “I think you can see the look on my face. I knew I caught mine and then I had to look and see if they really caught theirs and then we were genuinely excited. That was the only time we ever got that toss correct. They got it on camera.”

As for the cheese ball that lands in Pam’s hair, that wasn’t planned. “That was pure luck. It was just supposed to be that each of those guys throw a cheese ball at me when I yawn. I didn’t even know it was stuck in my hair.”

The scene is definitely a favorite for Fischer. “Without a doubt, this was one of my favorite sequences to shoot ever on The Office,” she said. “And I feel like it bonded me and Steve and B.J. in a real way. It was a very, very fun day at work.”

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