It’s officially been 10 years since Pam and Jim got married on The Office.
In a new oral history in Entertainment Weekly, the cast and team behind the NBC comedy look back on Season 6's hourlong, music-heavy episode titled “Niagara,” where the lovebirds got hitched.
“We wanted it to be like the Office movie. One of the great things about it was seeing the characters outside,” executive producer and writer Greg Daniels said. “It really opened up a lot of fun story pitches for all the different characters. And a wedding is a classic comedy setting; like, all Shakespeare comedies end with a wedding.”
They went deep on the moment where the cast danced down the aisle to Chris Brown’s “Forever,” emulating a viral video of the moment. Frequent director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters) said, “This was right when that viral video came out. It was so popular that we went, ‘Let’s just re-create that.’ It was a real last-minute addition.”
The dance was a surprise to Jenna Fischer (Pam). “That was a rehearsal that happened without me being there,” she explained. “I hadn’t seen it, they’d all been rehearsing it, and then I was very frustrated that I was stuck in the back of the church. I went up to the front to watch it and I was actually crying during the first rehearsal. It’s so sweet and joyous. I think it was a stroke of genius.”
Feig added: “Honestly, that was a really tough shoot. We were in the church on a really tight schedule and I had like half an hour. So we threw that together and it turned out to be one of the most magical things we ever shot on the show. It just had this energy that was so raw, because it was all happening for the first time in the moment. I remember being so happy and in tears while it was going on. That was a real lightning-in-a-bottle moment that will always be one of my absolute favorite things I’ve ever directed.”
The team also revealed some secrets, like a bonkers horse plot they ultimately ditched. Pam’s ex, Roy (David Denman), was unhappy she was marrying Jim, so when they ask if someone objects to them getting married, Roy would have rode in on a horse to try sweeping Pam off her feet. She'd reject him, and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) would end up with the horse and nearly ride it into Niagara Falls, based on a theory that you can survive on a horse because it instinctively knows how to swim.
Daniels described the scene is greater detail: “Dwight gets on and goes into the river above the falls, but panics and jumps off the horse at the last second, while the horse goes over in the background of the wedding.” He added, “Then we got to the table read and I was the last defender of the horse. The entire staff and actors were yelling at me: ‘Don’t ruin Jim and Pam’s wedding with a horse!’”
On top of it all, John Krasinski (Jim) was sick with the flu when the episode was being shot. “One of the most romantic kisses in the show…is actually just me giving her a huge kiss on the cheek because I didn’t want to get her sick,” he explained.
At the end of the interview, Fischer summed up Jim and Pam’s relationship perfectly: “I’m really proud that we created this healthy version of a relationship and didn’t wait until the last episode to see them get together. There’s no cheating, there’s no crazy weird breakups and makeups. They just gently weather the storm.”
The Office star Tug Coker also shared the following tidbit about the famous dance scene: