‘The Office:’ Why John Krasinski Wore a Wig in Season Three

Fans of the iconic sitcom The Office are still holding out hope for a reboot of the show that aired its final episode in 2013. While loyal followers of the NBC comedy know plenty of behind-the-scenes secrets that started spilling out after its nine-season run, few may realize that star John Krasinski was donning an extra accoutrement during Season 3.

'The Office:' Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly, John Krasinski as Jim Halpert
Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski of ‘The Office’ | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

‘The Office’ star lands ‘Leatherheads’

In 2008, Krasinski earned the role of football recruit Carter Rutherford for the film Leatherheads, alongside George Clooney and Renée Zellweger. Set in the 1920s, the film drew Krasinski as a sports fan.

“What I love about sports movies is when they’re able to capture the nostalgia that everybody experiences and wants to continue experiencing with sports, whether you’re playing or just watching,” The Office alum told the Los Angeles Times in 2008. “You never really remember the days where you had a mediocre game or when your team won by 30; you always remember the one that was down to the final tick of the clock.”

Krasinski appreciated the movie’s blend of vintage football and classic film. “It’s shot like an older-time movie,” he noted. “It’s from the golden era of film, so as much as it is a sports movie, football is the backdrop for all these characters to come together.”

Splitting hairs over Jim Halpert’s ‘do

Krasinski was already in the midst of Season 3 of The Office portraying the lovable paper salesman Jim Halpert when filming for Leatherheads began. With the movie being set in the 1920s, Krasinski needed to go with a more traditional, shorter haircut than what Jim sported each day at Dunder Mifflin. Since Jim’s shaggy ‘do had become part of his persona, show creator Greg Daniels was opposed to Krasinski getting a trim.

“Continuity-wise and contractually-wise, actors are obligated to keep their hair how it is for a series unless they get producer approval, of course,” The Office’s hairstylist Kim Ferry told Andy Greene for his book “The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s.” “But it would have been cutting his hair super short, which would mean getting rid of the wings on the side and his long hair.”

Ferry revealed that Daniels wasn’t crazy about the actor’s suggestion of a hairpiece. “He [Krasinski] came to me and said, ‘Could we do a wig?’ ” the stylist recalled. “He went to talk to them and said, ‘I really want to do this project.’ And they were like, ‘I think it would be obvious that it was a wig.’ Greg really felt like it won’t look like him.”

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John Krasinski, creative problem solver

Since Krasinski couldn’t take the Leatherheads role without getting the required haircut, he had to come up with a solution that would satisfy Daniels. Wanting to forego the expense of a wigmaker, the actor and the show’s stylist took matters into their own hands.

“We did the fitting in his trailer and when it was done it looked amazing. It looked exactly like him,” Ferry explained. “I put the wig on him, glue it down, take care of everything. And I go, ‘Okay, let’s do this, right?’ And he’s like, ‘Let’s do this.’”

According to Collider, their original plan was for Krasinski to shoot a scene with the wig on, hopefully proving to his boss that the false hair could pass for the real deal. Yet the actor changed his mind and instead went to speak with Daniels in person with the wig on to test it out.

“John told me later that Greg said to him, ‘John, I’ll know if it’s a wig. You can’t fake that kind of thing,’ ” Ferry shared. “As he’s staring at him with the wig on. And then John’s like, ‘Really? I don’t think you would,’ and he takes it off right in front of him. And then Greg said, ‘You win, I give you full permission to wear the wig.’ For a minute I really thought I was going to get fired.”

Though loyalists of The Office can tell Jim’s hair is a bit askew during the last six episodes of Season 3, Krasinski was able to get by with the synthetic coif thus allowing him to appear in the football film and remain on The Office, where he continued to make television history.

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