“It really does a disservice”: Before Dakota Johnson, Hilary Swank Too Declared War Against The Office – Here’s Why

Some stars like Dakota Johnson didn't love being on The Office set

"It really does a disservice": Before Dakota Johnson, Hilary Swank Too Declared War Against The Office - Here's Why


  • Hilary Swank felt reducing women to looks "does a disservice".
  • Dakota Johnson was barely in the Office finale despite being a big fan.
  • Other celebrity guests like Idris Elba also had unpleasant experiences.
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The Office is one of the most beloved comedy series of all time, known for its cringe-worthy humor and relatable characters. However, two famous guest stars, Hilary Swank and Dakota Johnson didn’t have the best time being on the iconic show.


Swank was referenced in a Season 5 episode titled Prince Family Paper in which the Dunder Mifflin staff debated whether the Oscar-winning actress was hot or not. The debate itself was portrayed as silly and ridiculous. 

Did Hilary Swank find The Office episode offensive?

Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry
Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry

According to Entertainment Weekly, when later asked about the episode, 


Swank said “It’s flattering anytime someone mentions you. But I don’t think of myself in terms of that. It really does a disservice. There’s so much more to life than looking a certain way.”

While Hilary Swank didn’t explicitly state the episode was offensive, she clearly didn’t appreciate reducing her to just her looks. Her comments indicate she found the debate absurd and perhaps even harmful by putting too much emphasis on women’s appearance in Hollywood. However, Swank didn’t seem to hold a personal grudge over the episode.

Why was Dakota Johnson barely in The Office finale?

Dakota Johnson is open to returning for a Madame Web sequel
Dakota Johnson

In contrast, Dakota Johnson was excited to get a small part in The Office finale in 2013. As a big fan of the show, she hoped her guest role would be a fun experience on set. Instead, she ended up feeling unwelcome and ignored by the long-time cast.

According to Comingsoon.net, as Johnson tells it: “They were sad and also there were weird dynamics that had been going on for the last 10 years. And I’m coming in like, ‘So excited to be here!’ No one wanted to talk to me.” 

She spent most of her time faxing papers in the background of scenes. Clearly, not the thrilling Office experience she had envisioned.


While Swank and Johnson had very different encounters with The Office, both left with somewhat negative impressions. The show was groundbreaking in many ways, but perhaps not the friendliest set for celebrity cameos. After so many seasons, it seems the cast and crew were too focused on wrapping up their own storylines to give the guest stars a warm welcome. 

What Other Celebrities Were on The Office?

The Office
The Office

Additional high-profile guest stars also reported unpleasant experiences behind the scenes of The Office over the years. For example, acclaimed actor Idris Elba, who had a Season 5 arc as Charles Miner, later stated that the extensive hours on set were “miserable” and that he would never do television again. Around the same time, comedian Jim Carrey guest starred but was said to have kept to himself instead of interacting with the regular cast. And Jack Black revealed after his guest role that he did not find Rainn Wilson “that nice” to work with on set.

In any case, while fans at home adored The Office, for some visiting stars, the off-screen reality failed to match its on-air magic. Yet regardless of glowing experiences or otherwise, all these A-listers can still claim even short-lived guest roles on one of TV’s most legendary comedies. Still, being on The Office is an honor for any fan – even if the reality is less exciting than the fantasy.


Written by Nivedita Dubey

Articles Published: 82

Nivedita Dubey has 3 years of extensive experience in copywriting and content writing. She has written news articles for websites like, essentially sports, Comic Book Resources, Nerdstash etc.