James Gandolfini Was Once Paid $3 Million to Not Become the New Boss in The Office After Michael Scott’s Departure


James Gandolfini, a.k.a Tony Soprano, was reportedly paid $3 million to not become the new boss in The Office after Steve Carrell departed the show.

Carrell played Michael Scott, a beloved character in The Office, and his departure left fans sad and anxious about who the new office boss would be. The Office introduced several potential replacements including Deangelo Jeremitrius Vickers, played by Will Ferrell.


However, it almost went to Gandolfini, according to Gandolfini’s Sopranos co-star Steve Schirripa on Talking Sopranos, as reported by Dark Horizons.

“I think before James Spader and after [Steve] Carell, they offered it to Jim — I want to say $4 million — to play him for the season, and HBO paid him $3 million not to do it,” Schirripa said. “That’s a fact. Jim was going to do it because he hadn’t worked and it was a number of years removed from when the show ended.”

Podcast guest Ricky Gervais then joked that Gandolfini was essentially paid to keep the legacy of The Sopranos pure, according to Dark Horizons.


We’ve heard of massive paydays to play a role, but a massive payday to not take a role seems a lot rarer. Three million will get you a lot of gabagool, though, so fair play. Maybe Gandolfini used this money in his attempt to recruit Lebron James to the Knicks.

For more Sopranos, check out IGN’s list of the 20 best Sopranos moments and then read this story about how Gandolfini’s son has been cast as young Tony Soprano in the upcoming Sopranos prequel movie. Watch this video to see who’s who in the Sopranos prequel after that and then read what the director of the Sopranos prequel says the movie is really about.


Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer and guide maker for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes.


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