Office Christmas Party is no ordinary holiday movie.And Jennifer Aniston, who plays a joyless CEO, knows a thing or two about unconventional holidays. “When I was a kid, they used to make me belly dance. On Christmas Eve. My dad’s side of the family is Greek, so I would dress up as a little Greek girl and then on Christmas, after taking belly-dancing classes, I would do that. It had nothing to do with Christmas, even,” she recalled in Entertainment Weekly’s Dec. 9 issue. “It was just, ‘Let’s humiliate Jen on Christmas.'”
Aniston—who joined her co-stars T.J. Miller, Olivia Munn and Courtney B. Vance for the Q&A—had similarly odd experiences on the set of the bawdy R-rated comedy. During her first day on set, for example, she was surrounded by 350 extras—many of whom were totally naked.
“They loved it,” Aniston says. The actress…not so much. “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.”
Munn was similarly thrown off while shooting the pivotal party scene. “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,” the actress says. “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…'””‘That’s your dick, sir!'” Miller joked. “They’re very committed. The extras made the movie.”
Office Christmas Party has its lewd moments to be sure, but the comedy is not trying to outdo the raucous humor from similarly raucous hits like The Hangover or Deadpool. “The pressure is not to out fart-joke each other, or out-dick-joke each other…because to me that’s sort of gratuitous and sophomoric. It’s, ‘How do you match up with the quality of those others?” Aniston explained. “I know that there’s an elegance that you can still reach and a high quality with an R. I mean, you have to have your level of penises on a Xerox machine, I imagine, but…””You don’t have to click enlarge on the copy machine,” Miller says.