The stars of the upcoming yuletide comedy Office Christmas Party debuted an exclusive first look at scenes from the film at EW PopFest on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.
Jennifer Aniston plays the visiting CEO of a massive company, who demands the Chicago branch (run by her brother, played by T.J. Miller) shut down its annual holiday celebration. Instead, a wild and raucous evening ensues. The stacked cast also includes Olivia Munn and Courtney B. Vance, who joined filmmakers Josh Gordon and Will Speck in a panel moderated by EW’s Dan Snierson.
One thing everyone made clear: The film’s scope was surprisingly massive, requiring a cast of 350 extras to play the employees during the downward-spiraling fiesta. “Dancing in the background, with no music, for 12 hours, a day, for weeks and weeks,” said Miller. Apparently, Speck and Gordon encouraged the background actors to improvise general debauchery — including a pair of extras who mimicked oral sex, much to the surprise of Munn and her costars. (Watch the cast discuss that below.)
Some other key moments from the Office Christmas Party panel at EW PopFest:
— Recent Emmy winner Courtney B. Vance hasn’t worked much in comedy before, but as the clips made clear, he’s going all the way with Office Christmas Party. His character unexpectedly consumes what appears to be a truly massive amount of cocaine — resulting in some very physical comedy. “Whatever they asked me to do, I did,” said Vance. “You are damn funny,” said Aniston.
— Munn and Bateman share a dance number dressed in sumo snowman suits, which Munn claimed required quite a bit of choreography. The party also includes a slip and slide, which Miller hopes will become a part of actual office holiday parties. “I can’t wait for that to catch on,” he said, “And then someone dies because they slip into a filing cabinet.”
— Asked by Snierson to tease their favorite scene in six words or less, the cast mostly opted for brevity. Miller: “Christmas.” Aniston: “Party.” Munn: “T.J.’s nude.” Vance: “I’m on top of the woooooorld.”
— How did Miller and Aniston create their sibling chemistry? “The second I met Jen, if I can call you Jen, she immediately put me in a headlock,” Miller said. “And then did a very strange pile-driver move, and my ribcage was broken. So it was sort of an immediately chemistry, I thought.” (Check out an exclusive image of that brawl — plus a new shot of Bateman and Vance — below.)
Office Christmas Party is out in theaters on Dec. 9.