Bryan Cranston is used to filming in confined spaces. Whether it’s the masterful basement-framed moment of ‘Crawl Space’ or the many meth cookouts in a camper van, the star spent much of Breaking Bad embracing chemicals in claustrophobic settings. However, when it came to his involvement in The Office US he nearly failed to separate the fact from the fiction to a deadly extent. This is how Heisenberg almost killed Dwight Schrute.
When The Office US was set to take a camper van out on the road, they figure that Bryan Cranston would be the perfect guest director. The star was hoping to get some directorial experience under his belt, and he was familiar with filming life on the road. They shook hands on a strange but ultimately very suitable match, after all, before he started killing crackheads with the biggest display of clever cojones in the South, he was the affable dad from Malcolm in the Middle.
As Rainn Wilson told The Big Issue: “Bryan almost killed the cast of The Office,” which is quite an opening gambit, before continuing with the comical tale: “He directed an episode called Work Bus where we decided we’re all going to work on a bus and travel around during the day.” It’s a cracking episode that offers a change of pace and lives long in the memory of fans, but lord knows it could’ve been the last.
To jog the memory of those who may have forgotten, the episode comes with the synopsis: “In the episode, Jim (John Krasinski) convinces Dwight (Rainn Wilson) that the building is unsafe, leading to Dwight renting a bus and setting up the office inside. Meanwhile, Nellie (Catherine Tate) asks for Andy’s (Ed Helms) help in adopting a baby. Jim tries to make Pam (Jenna Fischer) happy with some pie.” The slapstick gags were flying and the ensemble magic was heightened, but it had its difficulties, to say the least.
“It was really hot so they hooked up an air conditioner, but they didn’t think about the exhaust coming out of the bus, going into the air conditioner, being blown into the bus.” This cooling device was tantamount to a hosepipe and it almost provided Scranton’s last laugh.
“All of a sudden everyone was getting dizzy and passing out. It was an exhaust-filled trip through hell, thanks to Bryan Cranston.” The killer director’s attempted crime was avoided through some quick thinking. As Wilson concludes: “It was very funny and difficult and weird.” I suppose all is well that just about ends well. And my money was always on Creed being the killer anyway.