Fans of The Office know that even though the show hasn’t been on the air since 2013, cast members still regularly reunite and spend time together offscreen. We’ve seen the gang get together and post photos from dinners, and show up to one another’s TV show appearances. Back in November the cast even showed up during Steve Carell’s SNL monologue, teasing a possible reboot.
Angela Kinsey and Brian Baumgartner, who played Angela and Kevin on the show, said in a joint interview on Wednesday that the cast grew close while filming because they “were literally all in an office bullpen … in the same space.”
“We were all in this room all the time trying our darndest to make each other laugh, and I think pretty quickly we bonded,” Baumgartner said on BuzzFeed News’ Twitter morning show AM to DM.
Kinsey then shared a behind-the-scenes story about the moment she and Jenna Fischer, who played Pam, bonded.
“We were sitting next to each other during the basketball episode, and we just talked all day for, like, three days straight,” Kinsey told BuzzFeed News.
“And then we were walking through the parking lot — we had just finished, it was nighttime — and we locked arm and arm and we started doing Laverne & Shirley.”
According to Kinsey, after a long day of filming, she and Fischer started skipping through the parking lot while linking arms and singing “Schlemiel! Schlimazel!,” based on the famous Laverne & Shirley opening.
“We’re doing this whole dance, and we didn’t know Steve Carrell was quietly walking behind us,” Kinsey said.
“And we were like, ‘Hey!’ and then he looked at us and was like, ‘You two, this is what you’ll have,’” Kinsey continued. “‘No matter what happens to the show, this is what you got.’ And he was right!”
While Baumgartner and Kinsey played a role in making The Office one of the most beloved shows of all time, the actors said they’re also fans themselves, and rewatch old episodes from time to time.
Baumgartner reminisced about one of his favorite episode moments: in Season 5 when Kevin drops the mammoth pot of his famous chili he brought into the office for “Casual Friday” (also the episode title) and then tries to clean up the mess but ends up completely covered in it.
“When we read it I was like, this is amazing,” Baumgartner said. “When we were filming it, it was truly very technical because it was a humongous pot of chili that was going to make a gigantic mess.”
The actor explained there were three layers of carpet, since the chili was going to leave a mark, and he was told he couldn’t “screw it up more than that.”
Luckily for everyone involved, Baumgartner said he accomplished the task of spilling the huge pot of chili in just one take.
“They call me ‘One-Take Wonder’! That’s all I can say,” he joked.
After filming the now-famous scene, Baumgartner said he was out to dinner at a “very fancy steakhouse in Beverly Hills” with Kinsey and Oscar Nunez, who played Oscar on the show, and despite his best attempts he couldn’t get rid of the chili smell.
“[I] shower, scrub, wash, scrub, [use] baby wipes, everything,” Baumgartner said. “I sat down to dinner and we’re sitting there, and I was just like, ‘I can’t get it off me!’”
“I was so filthy,” he said.