James Gandolfini wanted to play a “blue collar” boss on The Office

Earlier this year, it was reported that James Gandolfini had rejected the role of new boss in Office, following the departure of Michael Scott from Steve Carell in the seventh season. Now American sitcom actor and producer BJ Novak has confirmed that the soprano The star was in the running to replace Carell.

“I was at the meeting with James Gandolfini where we tried to convince him to join the show,” Novak said in a recent interview with Watch what is happening live. “He was shy and intrigued. He’s my all-time favorite actor, in anything, so I just thought that would be awesome.

The actor also explains that Gandolfini had his own ideas for the role of office manager. “We suggested him a white collar character to kind of play against the guy,” he says. “And he said something that I’ll never forget, namely,” I feel like an actor, the one that comes out at 3 in the morning, he’s the one you should be playing. And at 3 a.m., what comes out of me is a blue collar. I thought it was really interesting.

Of course, we never really got to see Gandolfini’s blue collar manager on Office (the closest we get is Michael Scott trying to order gabagool in season six). According to a The sopranos who speak Podcast episode aired in July, that’s because it was offered $ 3 million by HBO to turn down the deal, ensuring that The Sopranos‘the legacy has remained intact.

Novak adds, however, that the crime series was partly responsible for how Office proved. “Tome, The Sopranos was in fact the biggest influence on Office, “he says.” Because of how the comedy, the drama, and the character were completely indistinguishable. “

“In fact, the way that Michael Scott will say something very serious but mispronounce a word that I think is a direct descendant of Tony Soprano’s sense of humor. I thought he (Gandolfini) would have been an incredible replacement. I really wanted to work with him.

More recently, James Gandolfini’s son, Michael Gandolfini, reprized the role of his late father in a prequel to The Sopranos, entitled The Many Saints of Newark. Read Dazed’s interview with Michael Gandolfini on becoming a young Tony Soprano, and the “intense experience” of returning to the series, here.

Elizabeth J. Harless