When Michael Scott left The Office, it was just as emotional for the cast as it was for fans. Find out what Jenna Fischer actually said to Steve Carell in that pivotal moment.
Steve Carell planned Michael Scott’s goodbyes to the employees of Dunder Mifflin
“Goodbye Michael” is one of the most emotional episode of The Office. To capture how much Michael Scott had grown over the years, Carell knew he had to do something special. So, he sat down with Greg Daniels six months before shooting “Goodbye Michael” to flesh out how the “world’s best boss” would leave.
“The idea that I pitched was obviously he and Holly would be together,” Carell explained to co-star Brian Baumgartner on his podcast, An Oral History of The Office. “But I said specifically on his last day I thought there should be a party being planned, but that he should basically trick people into [thinking he was] leaving the next day.”
Carell thought that by saying goodbye to each employee individually instead of leaning in to the goodbye party, he would be able to showcase Michael’s growth.
“The fact that he’d walk away from his tribute — his big send-off and be able to, in a very personal way, say goodbye to each character,” Carell said. “That, to me, felt like it would resonate.”
Jim Halpert’s goodbye with Michael Scott was actually filmed first
“Sometimes, goodbyes are a b*tch,” Jim said to Michael during their goodbye on The Office. Truer words have never been spoken.
Krasinski remembered he and Carell crying while they filmed that scene. “The energy in that room was so thick and palpable, when they called action, I remember Steve teared up right away,” Krasinski said. “That was so unlike him — not that he was emotionless, [but] it was so unlike him to let real life bleed into the moment.”
Krasinski said it took 17 takes because he and Carell were crying so much.
But Jim Halpert’s (John Krasinski) goodbye with Michael was actually filmed before Pam’s goodbye — the last one fans get to see.
What Pam Beesly really said to Michael Scott during their emotional goodbye on ‘The Office’
Thinking she still had more time, Pam went MIA the day Michael planned to leave The Office. When she finally caught on to what was happening, she followed Michael to the airport to say her goodbyes.
Just as Michael removed his microphone, Pam caught up with him. Fans wanted desperately to hear what they were saying to each other, but the moment was meant to be personal.
“Paul Feig directed that episode,” Fischer explained to Baumgartner. In filming that scene, he asked her to “say goodbye to Steve.” Because they weren’t going to use the sound, Fischer was able to speak freely.
Then, Fischer shared what she said to her co-star.
“I ran up to Steve, and I just told him all the ways I was going to miss him, and how grateful I was for his friendship and the privilege of working with him,” Fischer said, recalling how the two both sobbed in each other’s arms.
Feig thought the moment was beautiful, but it had to be shot again because the take was too long!
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