"The Office" Cast Weren't Speaking by the Series Finale, Guest Star Dakota Johnson Says
The actor said she had a terrible time filming a cameo in the sitcom.
While some cast members came and went, much of the ensemble of The Office were there for all or most of the sitcom's nine-season run. And according to one actor who guested in the series finale, not all of those co-stars were able to remain friends. When she appeared on the Feb. 7 episode of Late Night, Madame Web star Dakota Johnson opened up about her cameo on The Office, revealing that she had a terrible time, in part because some of the show's cast had stopped speaking to each other at that point.
In her Late Night interview, host Seth Meyers brought up the fact that both he and Johnson were part of The Office finale, which aired in May 2013. While Johnson's character—also named Dakota—was an employee at paper company Dunder Mifflin, Meyers appeared as himself during a fictional segment of Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update".
"That was honestly the worst time of my life," Johnson said of working on the sitcom, laughing. "I loved that show so much, and they were like, 'Do you want to be in the series finale?' And I was like, 'Of course,' thinking I'd show up for, like, half a day. And I was there for two weeks, and I'm barely in the [expletive] show."
Meyers said that he'd imagine everyone working on The Office was really sad at the time, because the series was ending after so long. "They were sad, and also there were weird dynamics that had been going on for the last 10 years," Johnson said. "Some people didn't speak to each other. And I'm coming in like 'Hahaha, so excited to be here!' And no one wanted to talk to me. No one gave a [expletive]." She added, "I was, like, in the background of all of these scenes, faxing things."
Johnson didn't look back on the cameo fondly in a 2022 video for Vanity Fair, either. "I'm in it for like three minutes, and I spent two weeks on that set. I was there every day, all day," the actor said of The Office. "I felt like I was crashing someone's birthday party when they actually didn't really mean to invite me. Like, they did it just to be like, 'Yeah, sure, come,' you know? And then I was stuck there."
A 2021 profile of Johnson in The Hollywood Reporter explains that her appearance on the show was potentially meant to set up a spinoff. "If everything else just falls away, maybe you'll find me in that Office spinoff that no one wants to watch," the Fifty Shades of Grey star told the publication. "I don't know in what world that would've worked for me creatively. I have found that when something is successful, even when there's nothing left, they just keep trying to wring out the towel of story. Sometimes things need to end when they're supposed to end."
Johnson was not specific on Late Night about which Office stars were not speaking to each other. However, some cast members still work together to this day. Stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey are particularly close and co-host the podcast Office Ladies. When they appeared on What What Happens Live in 2019 they reflected on the series finale, and Kinsey shared how important it was to the cast that they all got to wrap filming on the same day, rather than ending on different days as their individual storylines came to a close.
"We had this big group scene, and they said, 'That is a series wrap on the cast of The Office,'" Kinsey said. Asked who cried the most, Fischer said Ellie Kemper, and Kinsey added, "Rainn Wilson broke down, John [Krasinski], and Brian Baumgartner, who plays Kevin. We all disintegrated."