Did Kate Flannery shave her head to play a bald Meredith Palmer?
Meredith Palmer isn’t just the face of rage, the reason Michael Scott Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rage Awareness Fun Run Pro Am Race for the Cure, or a drunkard on Office. She is also the colleague ready to shave her bald head in front of her colleagues. Office fans will recall an episode from the show’s final season involving a bald Meredith Palmer. But to this day, many fans still don’t know how this look came to be. Did Kate Flannery shave her head for this episode of Office?
Kate Flannery’s character was briefly bald in “The Office”
Meredith shaved her head in the episode “Lice” of Office Season 9. In one scene, Meredith is accused of bringing lice to the office. In reality, it’s Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) ‘s fault.
Flannery and his former co-star Brian Baumgartner discussed his bald look on his podcast Office Deep dive. Really, shaving his head was one of the few “stunts” Flannery didn’t do for the show. It was really his board in the men’s bathroom!
Instead of shaving his head, Flannery worked with Kim Ferry to achieve a bald look. “Our producer actually wanted Kate to shave her head, but that wasn’t going to happen,” Ferry writes on his site. Ferry choreographed how Flannery would shave his head for the show and Meredith’s “shaved hair” look.
Kate Flannery didn’t shave her bald head for ‘The Office’
Instead of shaving his head entirely, Flannery worked with a talented team that made his character appear to be bald. “I started to look like she shaved her hair,” Ferry continues in his article.
Working with makeup artist Ed French, Ferry created a bald cap that would “squish” all of Flannery’s existing hair underneath. “The challenge was that there were many stages of his ‘baldness’,” says Ferry.
On camera, Meredith shaves her hair in a band. To get this scene under control, Ferry had to find a way to show Meredith that she was physically shaving her head. It was another gag that required the use of a bald cap. “We had to prepare for each result and how the camera could be tricked,” says Ferry.
After filming the scenes where Meredith shaves her head, Flannery donned a bald beanie to film the rest of the episode. French used latex and paint to achieve a skin-like texture with hair follicles.
The episode “The Office” required some “special effects”
According to Ferry, several wigs were needed to make the scene possible. Additionally, Ferry used a special pair of rigged clippers so Flannery could mimic the act of shaving his head.
“I gave [the clippers] to special effects and they removed the jagged edges for me and then replaced it with a smooth, curved silver piece that wouldn’t tear or snag on the very delicate bald latex beanie she would wear, ” explains Ferry.
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Meredith’s shaving gag required 14 takes in total. But Ferry couldn’t be prouder of the work she and her team have produced. “It worked on camera and the producers, writers and crew all loved it,” Ferry concludes. “We got the take, and it was a success. ”