The character Tony Soprano is in my opinion the greatest tv character of all time and left a legacy that is undeniable. His legacy is so important that HBO paid the late actor $3 million to keep it that way.
During Monday’s episode of “Talking Sopranos”, it was revealed that Gandolfini had been offered a role to replace the character Michael Scott as branch manager of Dunder Mifflin on “The Office,” following Steve Carell’s departure from the NBC show in 2011.
The co-hosts spoke to Ricky Gervais, the British actor and comedian who played David Brent in the original BBC series that inspired Carell’s Michael Scott in the American version.
“You know, they talked about having Gandolfini at one point replace him [Steve Carell] — did you know that?”
Then Schirripa added,
“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,” he said, concluding, “That’s a fact.”
“Jim [Gandolfini] was going do it because he hadn’t worked, and it was a number of years removed from when the show ended.”
“So they paid him that to keep the legacy of ‘The Sopranos’ pure?” Gervais asked.
“I guess that and also he had a deal with them,” Schirripa answered, adding, “ ’The Night Of,’ he was developing that”
As such a huge fan of both series, it would have been very interesting to see how Gandolfini would have done in the role.