James Gandolfini would be “amazing” on “The Office,” according to B.J. Novak.


James Gandolfini would be “amazing” on “The Office,” according to B.J. Novak.

B.J. Novak claims he tried to persuade James Gandolfini, the late actor of The Sopranos, to join The Office.

On Thursday’s broadcast of Watch What Happens Live, the 42-year-old actor said he felt Gandolfini would be “great” on The Office.

Alums of the Sopranos In July, Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa revealed on their Talking Sopranos podcast that HBO paid Gandolfini $3 million to not participate on The Office. Gandolfini died in 2013 at the age of 51.

Novak revealed on WWHL that he was present at a meeting with Gandolfini to discuss the actor’s replacement for Steve Carell, who plays Michael Scott on the program. Gandolfini, according to Novak, enjoyed comedies, notably Rainn Wilson’s picture The Rocker.

Novak described Gandolfini as “shy and inquisitive.” “I just thought it would be wonderful because he’s my favorite actor of all time in anything.”

“The Sopranos was actually the largest impact on The Office,” he noted, “because of the way humor, drama, and character were all utterly indistinguishable.” “I think he would have been a fantastic stand-in. I was desperate to collaborate with him.”

Novak said he had the impression Gandolfini wanted to be a part of The Office. He further said that the actor turned down the offer to play a white-collar role on the show.

“He said something to me that I’ll never forget: ‘I feel like as an actor, whomever comes out at 3 a.m., that’s who you should be playing.’ What comes out of me at 3 a.m. is a blue-collar guy,’” Novak recounted.

From 2005 until 2013, The Office aired on NBC for nine seasons. Novak also participated in a game on WWHL in which he had to pick between two pairs of his Office co-stars, including who had the most threatening aura.

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