For fans of The Sopranos, the podcast Talking Sopranos has unveiled a number of interesting details about one of the country’s most beloved crime dramas. A recent episode alleges that HBO paid Tony Soprano himself, James Gandolfini, a cool $3 million so that he would turn down a role on the US version of The Office.
The topic came up during a chat with co-hosts Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa and their guest, Ricky Gervais, who created the UK Office. Evidently, after Steve Carell departed The Office, NBC was scouring for their next regional manager of Dunder Mifflin. “You know, they talked about having Gandolfini at one point replace him,” Imperioli said.
Schirripa explained that a few years after The Sopranos ended, NBC had offered Gandolfini $4 million for one season of The Office, which led to HBO countering with $3 million for him to not take the role replacing Carell. “Jim was going to do it because he hadn’t worked, and it was a number of years removed from when the show ended,” Schirripa added.
It’s still unclear why exactly HBO pulled the move, but Gervais had an idea: “So they paid him that to keep the legacy of The Sopranos pure?” See the whole episode of Talking Sopranos below.