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Tony Soprano almost joined The Office

Dunder Mifflin very nearly swapped out Michael Scott for Tony Soprano. 

The Sopranos stars Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa revealed on a recent podcast that James Gandolfini was in talks to replace Steve Carell on The Office after Carell left the show, but according to Schirripa, HBO "paid him $3 million not to do it." 

This would have been after The Sopranos ended, but before The Office brought in ​​James Spader. Gandolfini came this close to taking the gig, but the $3 million payday was apparently related to the fact that he had a deal with HBO to develop The Night Of at the time. Now that's the life: getting paid $3 million to not do a job.