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The Office Finale: The True Story Behind Dakota Johnson’s Cameo

Before becoming a film star actress Dakota Johnson made an oft forgotten cameo on the finale episode of The Office. The last episode of The Office season 9 featured a much larger cast than usual as the series had to say goodbye to the beloved original characters while also shuffling in a new generation of Dunder Mifflin employees to replace them. Along with Bill Hader Seth Meyers and a return cameo of Steve Carell as Michael Scott The Offices finale briefly featured Dakota Johnson as a character that nearly changed the course of her career.The Offices early days notably had a rule about its cameos in that they refused to engage in stunt casting which is why the appearances by Jack Black Cloris Leachman and Jessica Alba in season 5 were cleverly inserted as part of a fictional movie rather than interacting with the characters. However as the show went on The Office would see actors like Kathy Bates Idris Elba James Spader Stephen Colbert and even Will Ferrell fill some notable roles. While this was most likely due to the series needing big names after Steve Carells exit after The Office season 7 later seasons also included cameos by actors who were still up and coming.

Dakota Johnson appears in The Offices finale episode as Dakota which aptly continues the shows trend of using many of the actors real names for their characters. Dakota joins Dunder Mifflin as a new accountant in the timeline after the documentary has aired as the company needed to fill in for the many Scranton branch employees who were fired or resigned. Dakota Johnsons The Office character specifically replaced Kevin Malone who was fired by Dwight with her cameo likely being used as a juxtaposition with the employee who formerly held her title. However Dakota Johnson only appears in two scenes of The Offices finale which feature her asking Oscar about strange marks on Kevins old files and Clark flirting with her at the PBS afterparty. With such little screen time in an episode far more concerned about The Offices original character endings its not surprising that Johnsons cameo is often forgotten.

Additionally Dakota Johnson wasnt the big name she is today when appearing on The Office as the episode aired two years before her breakout role in Fifty Shades of Grey. Before The Office Johnson had small roles in The Social Network 21 Jump Street and The Five Year Engagement with her TV series Ben and Kate having been canceled shortly before her cameo bit. As such The Office was still a relatively significant role for Johnson and could have changed the course of her career had the original true plans for her character come to fruition.In an interview last year Johnson revealed that the true circumstances of her cameo were meant to set up a future The Office spinoff which would have followed her and a new generation of employees at Dunder Mifflin via THR. In the subtle moments of The Offices finale at Dunder Mifflin its clear how the groundwork for a future series had been laid out as the ending featured a relative overhaul of the senior employees with a younger crowd. Along with Clark and Pete staying at Dunder Mifflin The Offices ending saw Johnsons and Malcolm Barretts self named characters revitalizing the workplace. However her The Office spinoff never panned out with Johnson also mentioning it wouldnt have worked out for her creatively anyway. Had Dakota Johnsons The Office cameo turned into a full toplining role she may never have become the movie star she is today.

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