HBO paid for James Gandolfini not to replace Steve Carell in The Office

james Gandolfini
HBO

Four years after the end of the mafia series, the American channel would have paid $ 3 million to the actor, so that he remains attached to the character.

Three million dollars. It is the money that James gandolfini reportedly received from HBO for … doing nothing. Or more exactly, for him to decline Dunder Mifflin and the post of office manager of The Office, left vacant by Steve carell. The year is 2011 and the comic actor has announced that he will be leaving the sitcom at the end of season 7. It has been four years since James gandolfini no longer embodies the boss of Soprano. He’s free so NBC is willing to write him a $ 4 million check for a season in The Office !

But fearing that this would tarnish the legacy and image of Soprano, HBO would therefore have decided to encourage him, financially, not to accept.

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It is in the podcast Talking Sopranos, hosted by Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa – who played Christopher Moltisanti and Bobby Baccalieri in the series – that we learned the info, even if we know since 2020 and the book by Andy Greene (The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History) than James gandolfini was approached for the role.

Taking advantage of the coming of Ricky Gervais, creator of the original British version of The Office, the two podcast hosts therefore revealed: “You know, they argued to have James gandolfini at some point to replace Steve carell. “ Ricky Gervais didn’t know, so they add:

I think before James Spader and after Carell they offered Jim – I think it’s $ 4 million – to make a season, and HBO gave him $ 3 million not to. . It’s a fact. Jim was going to do it because he hadn’t worked in a while and it had been several years since the end of the series. The Sopranos“. And Ricky Gervais to sum up hallucinated:”So they (HBO) paid him to keep the legacy of the Sopranos pure? “

For the story, it will be recalled that James gandolfini tragically died in June 2013 … just days after the conclusion of The Office on American TV. And the legacy of Soprano is still intact today, as evidenced by the film, The Many Saints of Newark, worn by his son Michael, which will be released in theaters next September.

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