‘The Office’: Jenna Fischer’s Fondest Memory Was Shooting This Cringey Pam and Michael Scene

Jenna Fischer and Steve Carell shared many scenes together on The Office, but one particularly cringey scene between Pam and boss Michael Scott is one of Fischer’s fondest memories from the show. The scene had Michael and Pam nearly kissing… until she shut him down.

The cast of 'The Office'
The cast of ‘The Office’ | Mitchell Haaseth/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

The ‘Diwali’ episode

During the July 1 episode of the Office Ladies podcast, Fischer and her co-host Angela Kinsey explored The Office Season 3 Episode 6 “Diwali,” written by Mindy Kaling. The plot of the episode revolved around Kelly Kapoor (Kaling) inviting her office co-workers to a celebration of the Hindu Festival of Diwali.

“I feel really lucky that Greg [Daniels, showrunner for the series] wanted to do this episode,” Kaling explained during the podcast.

She continued, “One of the harder things when you write the ‘Diwali’ episode is that we couldn’t believe Greg said yes… I had to kind of confront the fact that I’m Indian-American, I don’t know very much about the holiday, and that experience of being Indian-American and talking about how you don’t know very much about the holiday kind of became a big part of the episode, which I loved.”

Kaling recalled the interesting spin on the episode

The fact that Kaling didn’t know that much about Diwali personally factored into the episode in a big way, she explained. “I liked that Greg thought that was just as interesting — if not more interesting — than me going and like pretending that my family and I were these experts at Hindu holidays.”

Kaling noted that approaching the episode in that way was true to her character. “I really like that Kelly has this defiant attitude about [Diwali,] that it’s really important, while also not knowing anything about it at all,” she shared.

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Fischer shared how memorable the near-kiss moment was with Carell

During the podcast, Fischer also shared that the awkward scene with Carell outside when they sit together and talk was memorable. “Michael tries to relate to her. He’s like ‘wow, they’re both victims of broken engagements’” and Pam points out that he was never engaged since his proposal to his girlfriend was rejected.

“She tries to bond with Michael and of course, he does that thing… where he just takes it one step too far and he starts to lean in like he’s going to kiss her.” The moment, Fischer explained, was scripted, including Pam’s line when she asks him what he’s doing and he responds, “What are you doing?” and she says, “I’m rejecting your… kiss.”

Fischer added, “I was so excited to do that scene because I remember staying late that evening and shooting outside… it was one of those warm summer evenings in Los Angeles, they’re the best. This was another one of those.”

She continued, “It’s one of my fondest memories from shooting the show because I got Steve all to myself. It was just us, doing the scene, getting it just perfect. It felt like we had all the time in the world, there was no rush. I just absolutely loved it.”

Kinsey added how it “felt so special” to have one on one scenes with Carell.