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The Office's Kate Flannery Went The Extra Mile And Did All Of Meredith's Stunts

Kate Flannery didn't quite know what she was getting herself into when she auditioned for the American reboot of "The Office." On one hand, there's the whole cultural phenomenon aspect of it all; "The Office" launched Flannery and her co-stars to icon status, and nary a day goes by that the actress isn't recognized for her role as Meredith Palmer.

But before "The Office" became a bona fide hit — first on NBC, then in its resuscitated form on Netflix in 2020 – Flannery wasn't sure exactly what her role on the series would look like. She initially auditioned for the role of Jan, and when that part went to Melora Hardin, she made her first appearance after the pilot as the show was still gathering its bearings. "They were trying to figure out who everybody was," Flannery told Seth Meyers on "Late Night" in 2021. "I had no idea [Meredith] was going to become a drunk or a floozy." Nor was Flannery aware that Meredith would become in part defined by her physical comedy. Luckily, Flannery was more than willing to perform that comedy herself.

Flannery did everything short of setting herself on fire

For a show about a wholesale paper company, "The Office" was unexpectedly rife with stunt work, and Flannery was frequently at the center of those stunts, whether it was getting hit by a car by Michael or tangoing with a rabid bat in "Business School." "I did most of my own stunts on the show," the actress revealed to Meyers in the 2021 chat. "I actually kind of loved it ... I was up for almost anything." The actress only turned down a few physical feats. "I did not set my hair on fire in the Christmas episode, 'Moroccan Christmas,' and I didn't shave my head in the lice episode. But other than that, I've done [everything]."

Flannery then recalled her experience prepping for the car stunt in the Season 4 episode, "Fun Run." "Well, there was a safety meeting, and [writer and director] Greg Daniels was trying to get me all loose. We were doing jumping jacks. I just had to kind of roll onto the grass and then roll off the car onto a giant mat. That was it." Flannery may have been the victim, but she insists the entire "Office" brain trust came together to make sure the stunt was up to snuff. "I literally think the editor, Dave Rogers, pushed me a little bit right before we started just to give me the momentum," she added. "So it was a team effort. I cannot take credit by myself."