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BJ Novak Weighs In on Which Actor He Wanted to Replace Steve Carell on 'The Office'

BJ Novak Weighs In on Which Actor He Wanted to Replace Steve Carell on 'The Office'

A very famous actor could have replaced Steve Carell in his absence on The Office!

If you don’t know, Steve left the show, and his iconic role of Michael Scott, with a few seasons left in the hit NBC sitcom. At the time, James Spader ended up landing the role.

Now, BJ Novak, who played Ryan on the series, explained who they wanted.

Click inside to read more…

“I was at the meeting with James Gandolfini where we tried to convince him to join the show,” BJ said on Watch What Happens Live. “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,” he added. “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.”

BJ was asked if James seemed interested.

“He did. It was interesting, we suggested sort of a white-collar character for him to sort of play against type, and he said something I’ll never forget … He said, ‘I feel as an actor, whoever comes out at 3 a.m., that’s who you should be playing. And at 3 a.m. what comes out of me is a blue-collar guy.’ I thought that was so interesting,” BJ added.

Find out why James ended up passing on the role.

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: James Gandolfini, Steve Carell

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