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The Truth About Dwight's Wig Scene In The Office Isn't What You Think

Fans of NBC's The Office know Dwight K. Shrute (Rainn Wilson) is prepared for any situation. Whether that's an intruder or an invasion of personal privacy, Dwight always has something hidden away to keep him safe. Most of the time, it makes sense.

However, when it doesn't, these make up some of the funniest moments involving the assistant to the regional manager. There's no better example than the season 7 episode "Classy Christmas," when Dwight reveals he has a wig for each of his coworkers. To him, this is perfectly rational because "you never know when you need to bear a passing resemblance to someone." To everyone else, this is another ridiculous way Dwight tries to prepare himself for whatever Scranton will throw at him. Toward the end of the two-part episode, viewers were delighted to see Dwight in a few of these wigs, including Angela, Kevin, and even Stanley.

The wigs made things more complicated than a typical episode of The Office, and some fans may be surprised to find out exactly how much went into filming this scene.

The wigs were a team effort on The Office

You might assume this idea came from the show's writers and not any of the cast members. Believe it or not, many of the cast members of The Office are also writers, including Mindy Kaling (Kelly), Paul Lieberstein (Toby), and B.J. Novak (Ryan). This scene was the brilliant idea of Kaling, who was inspired when she saw Dwight dress up as Pam (Jenna Fischer) to trick Jim (John Krasinski) and attack him with snowballs.

"When I was writing the episode, I just thought how funny Rainn would look in the Meredith wig," Kaling revealed in a 2010 interview with Office Tally. "The stage direction was 'he whips around like a dramatic hamster.' I think Rainn and Matt Sohn, our DP really captured that detail. Stanley is probably my favorite, the way Rainn held up that crossword puzzle with all that seriousness. Also, Matt made the perfect suggestion that we stuff the back of the blazer with a pillow, to give Rainn some more Stanley-like heft."

Once the idea was born, hair and makeup immediately went to work. Hairstylists Kim M. Ferry and Sari Perry were significant contributors to this scene, and even helped with filming before the episode's deadline.

The scene was shot at warp speed

What many fans of The Office don't realize about this scene is how quickly they shot it. The inspiration came to Kaling following the end of the episode, so she had to rush to make it in the final cut. Overall, the crew had only a few minutes between each wig change.

"We just moved to Meredith's desk, put the wig on Rainn, did the reveal a few times... off with the wig!" said Ferry. "Next desk... next wig. Each was quickly reset if we went again, but it was a team effort between Mindy, Rainn, Shari, and me. We had to move fast, we were under the gun to get the montage done. It was really fun as most of the crew present were laughing after each take. And Rainn was so good at each reveal, he really gave it his all. It is great to work with Mindy, she always appreciates the efforts of the crew."