‘The Office’: Why John Krasinski ‘Cried So Hard’ During This Emotional Jim and Michael Scott Scene

Michael Scott was such a huge part of The Office that when the character moved on to his next chapter beyond Dunder Mifflin, his goodbye episode was one of the most emotional of the series. John Krasinski recalls that he “cried so hard” filming his goodbye scene with Steve Carell and was caught off guard because Carell broke down crying too.

John Krasinski as Jim Halpert, Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, and Steve Carell as Michael Scott on 'The Office'
John Krasinski as Jim Halpert, Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, and Steve Carell as Michael Scott on ‘The Office’ | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

‘The Office’ said goodbye to Michael Scott

The Office Season 7 Episode 22 “Goodbye, Michael” tugged at the heartstrings. Fans loved Carell’s cringey character with a heart so much they couldn’t imagine the series without him. The show had to have a proper sendoff, of course, and that was delivered in a sweet episode that saw Michael giving each of his co-workers a private goodbye moment.

Carell was the one who pitched the idea, he explained during the August 25 episode of An Oral History of The Office. Six months prior to his final episode, Carell said he talked to writer Greg Daniels about a final arc for Michael that would include his future with Holly Flax, but also the idea for how he would say goodbye to his office family.

A big party was planned for Michael’s last day but he decided to slyly say his goodbyes the day before, allowing him to leave without a lot of fanfare. “I just thought that would be the most elegant representation of his growth as a human being,” Carell explained. Michael left behind the big party and instead had a more personal moment with each person.

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Steve Carell’s last goodbye scene was with John Krasinski

In the episode, viewers see Michael and Pam have the last goodbye at the airport. The touching scene has no audio to capture their emotional moment as it plays out, so fans never know what they say. That scene was filmed three days before they wrapped the episode, however.

They actually shot Michael and Jim Halpert’s goodbye scene last, however. Krasinski, who played Jim, explained that the scene was so emotional they had to do 17 takes to get through it.

John Krasinski revealed why he cried so hard

The acting in the Jim and Michael scene was top notch, but there was a lot of real emotion behind the moment as well. The cast and crew were devastated to see Carell, their leader and all-around nicest guy in the business, leaving the show after seven seasons.

That sadness definitely made its way into the scene, as Krasinski recalled that one of the biggest surprises — and the reason he broke down sobbing — was because he wasn’t expecting Carell to start crying.

“I’m trying to figure out in real time why I cried so hard when we did that scene. I also remember him crying and I was not expecting that,” Krasinski said.

He continued, “The energy in that room was so thick and palpable, that when they called action, or ‘go ahead,’ I remember Steve teared up right away and that was so unlike him. Not that he was emotionless, but it was so unlike him to let real life bleed into the moment, right?”

“I think I actually remember the actual number was 17 takes of not even speaking, just dribbling crying,” Krasinski added.