He could have been the “boss of all bosses,” but “Sopranos” mob boss James Gandolfini has reportedly refused an offer to join “The Office” in an unspecified role.
The story, reported in Variety, didn’t say what role Gandolfini was up for, but it could have been the role of the paper company boss – the part played so colorfully last season by Kathy Bates, who is said to be too busy now with her other NBC series, the David E. Kelley legal drama “Harry’s Law,” to continue on “The Office.”
The story said Gandolfini – best known for playing New Jersey Mafia chieftain Tony Soprano in “The Sopranos” on HBO – had a sitdown with the producers of “The Office,” but he decided he wasn’t interested.
The Bates role is one of two high-profile parts still vacant on the NBC comedy. The other is the office’s regional manager – the part that became available when series star Steve Carell exited in April.
James Spader, one of the guest-stars who appeared in the season finale of “The Office” as a candidate for the manager’s job, is reportedly negotiating for a recurring role on the show – possibly the role vacated by Bates.