Office Christmas Party invites you to witness all sorts of merry mayhem at a corporate holiday bash that will end all corporate holiday bashes — and maybe even civilization as we know it.
Out Dec. 9, the film stars Jennifer Aniston as a chilly interim CEO who tells her brother (T.J. Miller), president of the Chicago branch, to brace for layoffs — and to cancel the office Christmas party. To say that he doesn’t follow orders is to traffic in understatement: In hopes of wooing a client (Courtney B. Vance) that could save their bottom line, he and the company’s CTO (Jason Bateman) wind up hosting an over-the-top bacchanal complete with flaming trees, water coolers repurposed as gin and vodka dispensers, people hooking up left, right, and center, and a Santa made of ice who dispenses eggnog from his nether regions.
This week’s EW cover story features a Q&A with cast members Aniston, Miller, Vance, and Olivia Munn, who revealed, among other things, what it was like to act in the party environment, which was teeming with hordes of extras — some of them forgoing clothes. Directors Will Speck and Josh Gordon decided that the best way to capture the feel of a holiday bash was to actually throw one.
“Much to the dismay of our sound editors and department, when there was music that people were dancing to, we played that music,” says Speck. “It was definitely a chaotic environment, but to us it felt like we were catching the essence of throwing a real party.” And it sounds like they got it. “People were hooking up; civility was breaking down,” quips Gordon, adding: “The good news is that Will and I have figured out what it would be like to run a night club.” What did the stars of the movie come to realize? Read on.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Josh Gordon said one day he showed up to set and everybody was missing, and he was told that they had to have another HR session with the extras because of all the people hooking up. Jen, you don’t look like you’re acting when you walk into the party — the shock looks real.
COURTNEY B. VANCE: Was that the first day?
JENNIFER ANISTON: Yeah, that was kind of intense. It’s a lot, walking into a lot of extras. And they’re naked. And they’re walking toward you in the scene, and they’re directed to sort of, oops, lunge toward you, onto you. Yeah, it’s overwhelming. I don’t like crowds to begin with. I’m not great at concerts. Never have been since I was a kid.
OLIVIA MUNN: Me neither… I was there a long time with these people, to the point where I looked over to the left and there was this guy who literally was just birth-naked, everything out, legs spread open—
VANCE: I’ve never heard that before! Birth-naked. I like that!
MUNN: By this point, I was desensitized, and he goes, “Hey, Olivia,” and I looked down and there he is, just waiting for an invitation from somebody. I go “Yeah?” and he was like, “What was it like working on The Daily Show? Because I just really love Jon Stewart. What’s he really like?” And I‘m like, “Um—”
T.J. MILLER: “That’s your dick, sir!” They’re very committed. The extras made the movie… The only thing that was uncomfortable for me was that you could feel so many conversations happening among the extras, with guys trying to figure out a way to be like, “You know, if we’re making out, we’ll probably be on camera a lot more, so do you think maybe would you like to make out during this part of the scene?” And there were a lot of girls that were like, “Okayyyy… I guess…” And then three days later they’re making out for hours and hours and both of them are like, “This was a terrible decision.”