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What Stanley Really Did Behind His Computer On The Office

In a workplace full of confrontational characters, The Office's Stanley Hudson (Leslie David Baker) preferred to spend as much time out of the spotlight as possible. A fan of crosswords, pretzels and naps, he avoided office drama that might interfere with any of the above, or with leaving right on time.

Unfortunately for Baker, playing Stanley often meant extra work. His desk was in view of the conference room windows, as well as many scenes between Jim (John Krasinski) and Dwight (Rainn Wilson), so like many of his castmates, he was often filmed "working" in the background, to make the set feel more like a real office.

For Baker and the cast of The Office, this was, of course, technically work, but what were they doing in those scenes when they had no dialogue but were still supposed to look busy? This is what Stanley really did behind his computer on The Office — and if you've ever worked in a real office, it might be more familiar than you expect.

Leslie David Baker did a lot on online shopping

If you've been missing the old Office crew, you'll be happy to know that Leslie David Baker is trying to make fans' dreams come true. On July 2, 2020, Baker started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a Stanley spin-off, Uncle Stan (Just in case you've been wondering whatever happened to Stanley from The Office). He recently did a Reddit AMA in which he answered questions about his time on The Office and his plans for Stanley's post-retirement life.

In the AMA, Baker revealed that he really was using his computer in the background of scenes, although not for work (or Kickstarter campaigns). He wrote that he kept busy with, "Lots of shopping at my computer, talking to friends, talking to cast members, talking to crew online." As for what he was shopping for, it varied. "I was looking for a house, and furniture, and helping Phyllis find a gown for the Emmys and myself some shoes," he wrote to another user, adding, "We shopped a lot... ."

Leslie David Baker filled out a lot of crosswords

One of Stanley's main hobbies is filling out crosswords, especially during meetings, and Baker went method with this particular aspect of the character. Asked in the Reddit AMA whether he actually filled out the crosswords on which Stanley was always working, he answered, "Yes I did. Lot's of them!" Stanley — and Baker — weren't fussy about which ones. He explained the character was, "Open to all brands and types of crosswords. Newspaper, books, wherever he can find them."

This analog form of entertainment probably came in extra-handy during the first season. Although the show was shot in a real office in Culver City, CA (not Scranton, PA), none of the computers had internet service (That's just one of the things you never noticed in the pilot episode of The Office). The cast was asked to bring paperwork with them for the background scenes, and they would also pass notes. In 2016, Angela Kinsey (who played Angela) posted a photo on Instagram of a couple of the notes she and Oscar Nuñez (who played Oscar) had passed each other. In the caption, she explained, "We would sit and pass notes while we were in the background of scenes and for the accounting department ... there was a lot of time in the background."

Another authentic Office moment: Stanley's naps. In the AMA, Baker admitted that when he was pretending to sleep, he sometimes actually nodded off. "When I had a mask on for a Halloween episode I fell asleep, and also once after a Christmas party I also fell asleep on the couch," he wrote. Stanley would approve.