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The Office Actually Sank A Car For Their Biggest Stunt With Steve Carell And Rainn Wilson

It is probably one of the most classic moments in "The Office," and given the abundance of classic moments that show has to its name, that is saying something. It comes in Season 4, with the episode "Dunder Mifflin Infinity." This is when Michael Scott (Steve Carell) attempts to prove Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak) wrong regarding technology and to show that a human touch is always preferred in sales. But after leaving a client's office dejected, he and Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) end up driving his car into a lake, guided by his –- very technological -– GPS system.

As Angela Kinsey (who played Angela on "The Office") and Jenna Fischer (who played Pam Beesly) discuss in an episode of "Office Ladies," this was a moment that provoked a bit of backlash from some fans, simply because the idea of someone following a GPS system right into a lake seemed too silly. Fischer, however, recounted a conversation with Carell in which he pointed out that yes, indeed, people have been known to follow their GPS or directional apps into ponds, off cliffs, even into other people's houses (via The Week).

Though Michael may not realize it, his declaration just before he and Dwight hit the lake –- "The machine knows where it's going!" –- proves his point to Ryan better than any gift basket. And if the moments referenced in "Dunder Mifflin Infinity" were real, it begs a question about how real the crash itself was.

It was a real, though not functioning, car

As luck would have it, Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer cover that, too, in the aforementioned "Office Ladies" episode. Fischer, again recounting a conversation she had with Carell, said that a real car was driven into a lake for that scene, with both he and Rainn Wilson in the front and a camera operator in the backseat. That said, the car did not have an engine. Both that and the gas tank were removed for safety purposes, and the car was pulled into the lake by a rig specially designed to do so. So though it was technically a real car, it actually was not a functioning car.

Fischer also reached out to the camera operator who shot that scene, Randall Einhorn, who has his own impressive resume directing television too, including for shows like "Fargo," "Parks and Recreation," "Abbott Elementary" and many others (via IMDb). Most relevant here, however, is that Einhorn had worked as a cinematographer on "Survivor" for two years. This meant that he knew exactly what kind of camera was going to be needed to get the best shot of Michael and Dwight hitting the lake from inside the car.

Fischer also recalled that when she called him to confirm the details, Einhorn was, ironically, just getting out of a lake during a winter trip to Idaho; Kinsey also remembered him being a bit of an adventurer. In any event, that was him in the back of the –- real, engineless -– car watching as Michael plowed it straight into the water and Dwight panicked. In the end, it was the biggest stunt that "The Office" had pulled up to that point.