HBO Allegedly Paid James Gandolfini $3 Million To Turn Down A Major Role In 'The Office'
Ahh, The Office. Known for its infinite quotability, its status as the one thing keeping NBC streaming service, Peacock, afloat, and for singlehandedly catalyzing a $3 million payday for late Sopranos icon, James Gandolfini, according to two of his former co-stars"?
Yep, during a recent episode of their Talking Sopranos podcast, actors Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa, a.k.a Christopher Moltisanti and Bobby Baccalieri on the beloved HBO crime drama, revealed that Gandolfini almost took on a new role following his iconic run as Tony Soprano – starring in The Office after Steve Carell's departure from the sitcom in 2011.
“You know, they talked about having Gandolfini at one point replace him [Steve Carell], did you know that?” Imperioli asked podcast guest Ricky Gervais, who despite starring in the original UK version of The Office said he had never heard that the later actor was once in the running to appear on the American sitcom.
“I think before James Spader and after [Steve] Carell, they offered Jim — I want to say $4 million — to play him for the season, and HBO paid him $3 million not to do it. That’s a fact," added Schirripa. “Jim was gonna do it because he hadn’t worked and it was a number of years removed from when the show ended,” he continued.
However, this revelation evidently raised questions for Gervais. “They paid him that to keep the legacy of The Sopranos pure?” he asked.
“I guess that and also he had a deal with them,” Schirripa replied, referencing a deal the late actor had with the studio, per The Hollywood Reporter. "He was doing The Night Of, developing that,” he added.
So folks, if you ever want to make a quick three mill, take it from Gandolfini – turn down a role to serve as the boss of Dunder Mifflin paper company to appease the HBO overlords.
Top Image: NBC