Ricky Gervais' Guest Appearance Was a Surprise, Says 'Office' Secretary

1:39 PM PST 01/31/2011 by Merle Ginsberg, Lindsay Powers
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"I think they filmed it secretly," Ellie Kemper told THR at the SAG Awards Sunday.

The Office's Ellie Kemper was surprised to hear Ricky Gervais was guest starring on her show.

"I did not know it was going to happen," Kemper, who plays Michael Scott's secretary, told The Hollywood Reporter at the SAG Awards Sunday. "I read about it online, and then I watched the episode Thursday! I thought it was cute and fun."

"I didn't even meet him," added Kemper. "Unless I'm really out of it, I think they filmed it secretly. It wasn't in the script."

Kate Flannery, who plays Meredith Palmer, told THR that having Gervais on the show was "a dream come true."

"Him and Michael Scott meeting... it's insane! The fact that it actually happened in real time on our show is amazing. It's so great," she said.

Flannery hopes that Gervais replaces Steve Carell on The Office. Gervais, an executive producer on the NBC comedy, originated the role of the goofy office boss, David Brent, in the U.K.

"But I don't think it's gonna happen," she concedes.

As for Will Ferrell guest starring, Flannery jokes, "I'm very sad about Steve leaving, but I feel like Will Ferrell is the shiny object they put in our face to distract us."

Flannery also defended Gervais' hosting of the Golden Globes.

"He's a controversial person. You get what you pay for. That's who he is," she said. "He doesn't claim to be a clergyman."

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