HBO reportedly paid James Gandolfini $3 million to NOT replace Steve Carrell in The Office
It was revealed during a recent interview with Ricky Gervais.
Fans of the American version of The Office will remember that when Steve Carrell bowed out as the office manager in the seventh season, he was replaced by new heads of the department, played by the likes of Will Ferrell and James Spader.
Another name that was reportedly in the mix was Tony Soprano himself James Gandolfini, but the offer for the role resulted in the actor's easiest pay day ever.
In a recent episode of Talking Sopranos (via Deadline), co-hosts Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa, who played Christopher Moltisanti and Bobby Baccalieri on The Sopranos, invited special guest Ricky Gervais on, and it didn't take long for the conversation to turn to the hit sitcom.
During their chat, Imperioli asked Gervais the following: "You know, they talked about having Gandolfini at one point replace him [Steve Carell], did you know that?"
Schirripa added: "Jim was going to do it because he hadn’t worked and it was a number of years removed from when the show ended," and he claims that the producers behind The Office had offered Gandolfini $4 million to star as the new boss for one season in the show, but then HBO offered him $3 million to NOT do it.
Upon hearing this, Gervais joked: "So they paid him that to keep the legacy of The Sopranos pure?"
Nearly 15 years later, we will finally be returning to the world of The Sopranos, with the prequel movie coming later this year, headed by James' own son, Michael Gandolfini.
The Many Saints of Newark will be released in Irish cinemas on 22 October 2021.
Clip via Warner Bros. UK & Ireland