‘The Office’: Why Rainn Wilson Wanted John Krasinski to Really Hit Him for This Iconic Jim and Dwight Scene
One iconic Jim and Dwight moment from The Office involved the two teaming up on a sales call, where fans got to see a bit of their history together — and an epic moment when Jim smacked Dwight across the face. Rainn Wilson, who played Dwight, seemed genuinely stunned by the slap, for a very good reason.
Inside the ‘Traveling Salesmen’ episode of ‘The Office’
During the August 19 episode of the Office Ladies podcast, hosts Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey reviewed season 3 episode 13 “Traveling Salesmen,” in which Dunder Mifflin employees are paired up to go on sales calls.
Dwight and Jim are paired up — and viewers find out they used to do sales calls together in the past. Their approaches are very different, with Dwight needing to psych himself up by blasting the song “Kickstart My Heart by Motley Crue” ahead of meeting a client.
“Leave the keys,” he tells Jim when they get to the client’s office. Jim asks, “You still do that thing?”
Dwight starts the car, blasts the music, and rocks out… while Jim waits.
Jim slaps Dwight in a memorable scene
As the two enter the office building, Jim holds the door for Dwight to go first, then Dwight goes on a rant about why he won’t enter first.
Mid-rant, Jim slaps Dwight across the face and he looks completely startled as Jim then lets the door close on him, smirking as he walks in.
Dwight’s rant includes the statistic that “Seven out of ten attacks are from the rear,” while Jim reasons, “Okay, well that still leaves a 30% chance that I’ll attack you from the front.”
“Uh, yeah but it’ll be easier to stop. I can always block the blow, I can counter it…,” Dwight says, then Jim slaps him across the face.
There’s a story behind this Dwight and Jim moment
Dwight looks pretty shocked to be on the receiving end of Jim’s smack and, while it might appear that the slap was improvised, Fischer confirmed that it was a scripted moment.
“Then, in like mid-sentence, Jim just hauls off and smacks Dwight,” Fischer explained during the podcast. “And he is shocked… he can’t believe he’s been attacked from the front.”
Kinsey revealed, “Also, he’s about to break. Rainn is about to laugh, you can totally see it.”
“Oh, 100%,” Fischer added.
Fischer said a fan asked if Jim was supposed to smack Dwight “because Rainn looked truly shocked.”
“Well guys, this was a scripted moment but there’s a reason why Rainn was surprised, even though it was scripted.”
Kinsey further noted that on the DVD commentary, Wilson and Krasinski talked about the scene. “And Rainn asked John to hit him harder. He was like, ‘I want you to hit me hard.’ And here’s the thing about Rainn — he’s very method, you guys.” She recalled when she slapped him in the “Casino Night” episode that he told her to hit him harder.
“You can totally tell that he was taken aback,” Fischer noted. “And it ends up making a scripted moment look unscripted.”