The Office remains one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time and a big reason for that had to do with Steve Carell’s portrayal of Michael, as it captured the hearts and minds of fans all over the world.
However, Steve Carell would leave the show after the seventh season in 2011 and for many fans, the show truly never recovered after his departure.
While speaking “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, B.J. Novak, who was an actor and also a writer and executive producer on the show, revealed that he wanted ‘Sopranos’ star James Gandolfini to replace Steve Carell.
“I was at the meeting with James Gandolfini where we tried to convince him to join the show,” the Novak told the caller. “And he was a big comedy fan — his favorite movie was ‘The Rocker’ starring Rainn Wilson, so he was shy and intrigued.”
“He’s my favorite actor of all time in anything, so I just thought it would [have been] great because, to me, ‘The Sopranos’ was actually the biggest influence on ‘The Office’ because of the way that comedy and drama and character were all completely indistinguishable.
In fact, the way [Carell’s character Michael Scott] will say something very serious but mispronounce a word, I feel, is a direct descendent of the Tony Soprano sense of humor. So I thought he would have been an incredible replacement. I really, really wanted to work with him.”
James Spader would replace Steve Carell from season 8 onwards until the show ended. We certainly wonder how James Gandolfini would have fared as part of the show.
What’s your take on this story? Sound off in the comments!