The Real Reason Why The Office Changed Michael Scott’s Look

Something happened between the first and second seasons of The Office in 2005. When Steve Carell went off to film The 40-Year-Old Virgin, he came back to Dunder Mifflin looking a tad different. And thus Michael Scott’s never spoken about makeover happened.

“The summer that he was going to film The 40-Year-Old Virgin, he got in crazy amazing shape…and then he’s maintained that,” The Office star Angela Kinsey said on her podcast Office Ladies. “He’s very fit now, he sort of, like, made that part of his life. They just made gave him a whole new look too, they zhuzhed him up.”

Jenna Fischer, Pam on The Office and the co-host of Office Ladies, said the makeover was also part of the character’s evolution.

“Originally his character was based on the British show and the boss there, so they really mirrored his look after David Brent. And when Steve came back so much thinner and just looking amazing, they used it as an excuse…he looked great,” Fischer said.

Kinsey also touched on the hair gel used to slick back Carell’s hair in the first season to look like David Brent, so in the second season they decided to ditch it with his new look. The makeover also corresponded with the change in the character. Fischer said with the season two renewal, the show felt that it could “really make this for Steve.”

“They could really base it more on what Steve was going to bring to the character,” Fischer said, noting that the character got hazed in “The Dundies” in an effort to show new dimensions to the character.

In their podcast episode dedicated to the season two premiere, “The Dundies,” the duo also revealed the episode wasn’t actually shot at a Chili’s restaurant. In the episode, the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch goes to a Chili’s for Michael Scott’s annual awards ceremony. It would end with Pam getting banned from Chili’s (Fischer’s mock banning has since been lifted), but could she really have been banned if it wasn’t shot at a real Chili’s?!

The episode was shot with Chili’s permission, and the restaurant chain even sent props for the set decorator to use to make it appear to be a Chili’s, but, yes, it wasn’t a real restaurant. That’s why diehard fans have never been able to dine there.

“It was not a real Chili’s,” Fischer confirmed.

“In fact, it was an out of business restaurant,” Kinsey said.

The more you know.

The Office, now streaming on Netflix, will move to NBC’s Peacock streaming service in January 2021.

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