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“The Sopranos” James Gandolfini was Paid $3M to Turn Down “The Office”

Getting paid to work is normal, but getting paid not to work is enviable!

Diariocritico de Venezuela/ Flikr.com

Getting paid to work is normal, but getting paid not to work is enviable!

The Sopranos star James Gandolfini was allegedly paid $3 million by HBO to turn down a role in NBC’s The Office. The role in question was as Dunder Mifflin’s new boss, following Steve Carrel’s departure. 

The pay-out was discussed in the Talking Sopranos podcast, hosted by Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa. The podcast featured Ricky Gervais, co-creator and lead of the original UK version of The Office.

Imperioli, who played Gandolfini’s nephew, shared: 

“You know, they talked about having Gandolfini at one point replace him [Carell]—did you know that?” 

Shirripa, who played Gandolfini’s brother-in-law, added: 

“I think before James Spader and after Carell, they offered Jim [Gandolfini], 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.”

“I want people to be afraid of how much they love me”

The Sopranos ran for six seasons and revolved around the life of Tony Soprano, a New Jersey gangster. The show sits as one of HBO’s greatest classics, immortalized by Gandolfini’s acting as its protagonist. 

Like The Sopranos, The Office is a TV classic. Its humor earned the show various accolades and launched the careers of various actors and writers. 

Gandolfini was approached by The Office four years after The Sopranos ended.

Shirripa explained: 

“Jim was going to do it because he hadn’t worked, and it was a number of years removed from when the show ended.” 

Gervais joked whether HBO had paid Gandolfini “to keep the legacy of The Sopranos pure.” In response, Schirripa spoke of a pre-existing contract Gabdolfini had with the studio for The Night Of. Gandolfini would star in the miniseries; however, he soon after passed in 2013.

To think, in some parallel universe Tony Soprano would be working as Dunder Mifflin’s new boss…

Written By

Dharma is a writer and creator based in San Diego.

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