‘The Office:’ This Emmy Award-Winning ‘Tough Guy’ Actor Almost Played Michael Scott’s Replacement

by Jeremy Spirogis
Steve Carell of

Steve Carell’s exit from The Office left followers devastated and producers on the hook for locating a alternative. Portraying Michael Scott because the sitcom’s debut, Carell created an iconic character that left a serious void when he exited the present to pursue different initiatives.

Several actors had been in rivalry for awhile to deal with the monumental problem of taking on Carell’s spot on the present. One actor recognized for his tough-guy persona and a totally totally different function was about to signal on earlier than plans fell aside.

Steve Carell of 'The Office'
Steve Carell of ‘The Office’ | Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Replacing Steve Carell

The manufacturing crew had fairly a job on their arms when it got here to deciding on who would observe in Carell’s footsteps. The actor’s presence on the present was legendary and his absence utterly modified the tone.

“How are you possibly going to fill these gigantic shoes?” author Brent Forrester recalled to Andy Greene, writer of The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s. “There’s just no easy answer.”

Coming up with an answer introduced on differing opinions. “There were a ton of debates,” author Amelie Gillette shared. “‘Should it be an outsider? Should it be someone internal?’”

Danny Chun, one other author on the present, remembered the change in casting as a serious shift within the sitcom. “I don’t recall anybody particularly having one opinion that they held to the entire time,” he advised Greene. “I feel like everybody kept changing their minds, everyone was arguing, debating, and really it just was like an exciting but scary conversation to be having.”

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James Spader turns into an choice

Plenty of actors had been thought-about to grow to be the brand new boss of Dunder Mifflin. “A lot of names were tossed around and I won’t list them all, but the sky was the limit,” author Peter Ocko recalled. “Because it was such a well-regarded show, I don’t think there were names that came up that we would think, ‘Oh no, they’ll definitely say no.’”

Well-known actor James Spader grew to become a powerful contender for the function. With a number of movie and tv credit to his identify, Spader already had a fan base and stable status as a performer.

“James Spader was more of a surprise during the process, but he just really popped,” author Halsted Sullivan stated. “It was like, ‘Wow, he’s a huge star, he’s really funny, and he has a different energy.’”

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Producer Terri Weinberg felt his deadpan wit may work on the present. “We just were big fans of his,” she advised Greene. “He had such an incredible dry sense of humor. He’s such a super-talented guy, and we’d just fallen in love with him.”

Spader grew to become a finalist with one other prime actor. “I remember at one point it came down to James Spader and James Gandolfini,” author Brent Forrester recalled.

‘Sopranos’ star virtually indicators on

Gandolfini was greatest recognized for his iconic function as mobster Tony Soprano from the HBO sequence The Sopranos. Renowned within the business as a category act, the Emmy Award-winner was a welcomed choice to switch Carell.

“[Director] Paul [Feig] went and met James Gandolfini, who was really the one that we were super excited about,” Forrester revealed. “It was like, ‘Wow, that would be crazy having him as the boss.’”

Critic Alan Sepinwall was in favor of Gandolfini taking on the function, and knew the actor wished to shed his persona because the notorious mob boss.

“Jim was really funny and he would’ve been menacing as hell because he’s James Gandolfini,” he stated. “They could’ve done a lot with him and it would’ve been great for him too, because he was really desperate to not be Tony Soprano anymore.”

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When additional discussions befell, Gandolfini started to hesitate. “I remember him being really, really complimentary, but he wasn’t super familiar with the show,” Chun stated. “He had watched a few episodes and he was really unsure about comedy. He was like, ‘I don’t one hundred percent know how to play this.’”

Gandolfini, who died from a coronary heart assault in 2013, was near taking the function however moved on as a result of different alternatives and figuring out what a troublesome act Carell was to observe on the present.

“Boy, I miss that actor,” Weinberg advised Greene of Gandolfini. “That conversation went on for some time, but he also had some shows that he was developing for himself and that was just part of what his focus was, so I don’t think that he was necessarily ready to just jump into this role… to take on something that Steve [Carell] had essentially stepped out of, to try and step into.”

Spader received the function of CEO of Sabre Robert California, although he solely appeared for one season on The Office.

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