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    HBO Paid James Gandolfini $3 Million Not To Star In "The Office" And Now I'm Reconsidering My Career Choice

    "That's a fact."

    Fun fact: HBO actually paid The Sopranos star James Gandolfini to not take a role in NBC's hit show The Office.

    James Gandolfini poses for a portrait
    Getty Images

    Gandolfini’s former Sopranos co-stars Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa talked all about it to guest Ricky Gervais during a recent episode of their podcast, Talking Sopranos.

    James Gandolfini at the premiere of "Zero Dark Thirty"
    Jason Laveris / FilmMagic / Getty Images

    Imperioli explained that Gandolfini was supposed to star as the new boss of Dunder Mifflin after Steve Carell’s character, Michael Scott, decided to leave.

    Steve Carell as Michael Scott
    Nbc / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

    “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,” Imperioli recalled. “That’s a fact.”

    (clockwise from top) Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly, B.J. Novak as Ryan Howard, Steve Carell as Michael Scott, John Krasinski as Jim Halpert, Rainn Wilson as Dwight Shrute
    Nbc / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

    Gervais couldn’t believe it. “So they paid him that to keep the legacy of The Sopranos pure?” he asked. “Well, that’s a good decision.”

    James Gandolfini in a tux at a red carpet event
    George Pimentel / WireImage / Via Getty Images

    Since The Sopranos wrapped in 2007, which is four years before Carell left the show, it gave Gandolfini enough time to take over as the “world’s best boss.”

    (L to R) Steven Van Zandt as Silvio Dante, James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, and Tony Sirico as Paulie Walnuts in "The Sopranos"
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    “Jim [Gandolfini] was going do it because he hadn’t worked, and it was a number of years removed from when the show ended,” Schirripa explained.

    James Gandolfini at the premiere of the HBO series "The Sopranos"
    Evan Agostini / Getty Images

    But when it all came down to it, Gandolfini had a “deal” with HBO that needed all of his attention.

    James Gandolfini during The 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
    Mark Sullivan / WireImage / Getty Images

    The late actor was “developing” HBO’s show The Night Of, which debuted three years after his death in 2016.

    James Gandolfini poses in a cafe
    Anthony Neste / Getty Images

    Passing on The Office gig appeared to have been the best decision for him at the time, but I can’t help but wonder how the show would have been different if Gandolfini would have accepted.