What better way to kill time waiting for a flight at LAX than by finishing off the rest of the items I meant to file from Sunday's SAG Awards.
B.J. Novak made my night at the SAG afterparty by telling me that he is an On the Air reader. (I'm always surprised to hear it.). He's just now coming back to "The Office" after wrapping his work on Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds."
"Basterds," Novak assures, is going be to be incredible – an intense, bad-ass war pic but his character does have some dark humor to play too. And as for Ryan's return to the Scranton branch, Novak (flanked by "Office" compatriots Leslie David Baker and Mindy Kaling at the awards) says to expect Ryan to make a big entrance (I think he said in March) after his sojourn in Thailand.
Just like at the Golden Globes, it seemed like everytime I turned around on SAG's red carpet, there was another "Office" player. Kate Flannery took the time to share her insights into what SAG needs to do to right its ship (her prescription: merge with AFTRA) and we also chatted about the recent Meredith-centric seg "The Intervention." Flannery (pictured left) said she and Steve Carell mostly improvised the scene in the parking lot where Carell's Michael Scott tries to drag Meredith into a rehab facility.
"It was the most fun I've ever had in front of a camera," Flannery said.
Ed Helms, aka the "Office's" clueless Andy Bernard, reported having a blast in shooting the "Duel" seg with Rainn Wilson as Andy and Wlison's Dwight battled for Angela's hand. It was an opportunity to show Andy's sensitive side. "It had some real drama and pathos to it, which is rarely part of Andy's world," Helms said.
"The opportunity to show those kind of visceral emotions was different" for the character, Helms said. There seemed to be as many "Mad Men" troupers out there on Sunday as "Office" workers. And those worlds collided when Rich Sommer ("Mad Men's" Harry Crane) walked by. Sommer had a brief role in "Office" earlier this season as a student in the art school that Jenna Fischer's Pam attended (and his character was very attentive to Pam.)
Is there a chance that he comes back to "Office" to complicate things for Pam? Not that Sommer knows, but you never know. Sommer also wasn't shy about sharing his feelings about the state of SAG (get off the strike idea, already), and I so appreciated his candor.
Vincent Kartheiser (pictured right) was in full beard and fine spirits as he made the rounds with John Slattery. We talked about the great final scene in season two for his Pete Campbell character, which found him sitting in his office with a shotgun in his lap as the Cuban Missile Crisis unfolds.
Kartheiser said "Mad Men" boss Matthew Weiner freaked him out a bit by telling him that he could easily run that long pan shot backwards "and add a gun shot."
Oh, say it aint so, Matt Weiner! Thanks in no small measure to Kartheiser's skills (and great writing), Pete Campbell was the "Mad Men" character that grew on me the most last season.