‘The Office’: Why James Spader Didn’t Fit in With the Rest of the Cast in Season 8

by Jeremy Spirogis
Ed Helms as Andy Bernard and James Spader as Robert California

James Spader changed the one and solely Steve Carell on The OfficeWhile Spader is a proficient actor, Rainn Wilson, who performed the devoted Dunder Mifflin worker Dwight Schrute, says Spader didn’t essentially slot in with the remainder of the solid on The Office. Here’s why. 

Ed Helms as Andy Bernard and James Spader as Robert California
Ed Helms & James Spader | Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Steve Carell left after season 7 of ‘The Office’ 

Writer Greg Daniels noticed Carell’s exit from the present earlier than it occurred in 2011. When the opposite Office solid members had been renewing their contracts for the present’s ultimate two seasons, Carell didn’t. 

“At that point, it was pretty clear [Steve wouldn’t be coming back],” Daniels defined on Office actor Brian Baumgartner’s podcast, An Oral History of The Office

Paul Lieberstein, who performed Toby Flenderson, additionally noticed Carell’s exit coming. “He could have made a lot of money [renewing his contract],” he stated. Sadly, the panorama of tv was altering. When streaming was rising in recognition, main networks had been centered about maintaining. Keeping Carell round for the conclusion of The Office wasn’t a precedence on the time.

“It made me so depressed how [the network] had blown something that they could have saved,” producer Ben Silverman stated. “Steve said he would have come back, but [the network] didn’t even try,” added editor Claire Scanlon. 

James Spader grew to become the brand new regional supervisor of Dunder Mifflin Scranton 

Many followers weren’t positive the present may go on with out Carell’s Michael Scott. During the season 7 finale, viewers met a number of candidates within the operating for Michael Scott’s place. Spader and comedians like Jim Carrey, Ray Romano, Will Arnett, and Will Ferrel had been interviewed for the place on the present.

Ultimately, the “Search Committee,” which consisted of Jim Halpert (John Krasinski), Toby Flenderson (Lieberstein), and Gabe Lewis (Zach Woods), determined Spader’s eccentric Robert California was the appropriate match for the job.

Robert California spent all of a day because the Scranton department supervisor. As Jim defined in a speaking head: “[Robert] took one look around and left. He drove down to Florida and convinced Jo to make him CEO. CEO. Her own job. He talked her out of her own job and I don’t really know how someone does that.”

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James Spader has admitted his ‘energy didn’t match’ with the remainder of ‘The Office’ solid 

On the floor, Robert California match into the narrative of The Office. But behind the scenes, Spader’s method to appearing didn’t match with the remainder of the solid. According to Wilson, Spader couldn’t improvise effectively. 

“If you threw [a joke] in [while filming], it would completely throw [James],” Wilson stated to Baumgartner. “He had no idea what would come next or how to get back to his line.” 

Jenna Fischer, who performed receptionist Pam Beesly, added how Spader would wish to rehearse his traces earlier than taking pictures. He was becoming a member of a solid who labored collectively for over seven years, so nobody rehearsed anymore. 

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“‘Yeah, we stopped doing that season 3, James,’” Fischer joked on the podcast. 

Like Wilson, Baumgartner additionally stated Spader’s appearing type was drastically totally different from The Office solid.

“Spader is a great actor,” Wilson conceded. “He’s one of the great character actors — he’s so present and interesting and odd and deep-feeling, but just a very different skillset. His energy just didn’t — and he’s admitted that after the show — it just didn’t fit.” 

Despite becoming a member of a solid who possessed a sure rapport, Spader did his greatest to make followers of The Office chortle by his function as Robert California. 

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