While the show went on to become a massive success over its nine seasons, there were several stars who were considered for the role before Steve ultimately landed it. In fact, according to Andy Greene‘s book The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, at least 35 actors were considered and two even declined the role.
Imagine how different the show might have been if someone else had played Michael Scott!
The Office continues to be a beloved and highly influential show in modern television history, thanks in no small part to Steve Carell‘s iconic portrayal of Michael Scott.
Find out who almost played Michael Scott in The Office…
Keep reading to find out more…
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Phillip Seymour Hoffman was another actor who was offered the role, and declined.
Louis C.K. read for the part, but had a holding deal with CBS.
Bob Odenkirk delivered a “tougher and meaner” Michael Scott according to producer Ben Silverman in the book, and casting director Allison Jones added that his take was as funny as Steve, but “darker.”
“We were circling Bob Odenkirk. He was available. He had a great reputation in the comedy world, and he hadn’t yet become famous. He wasn’t really well known,” the producer said. Bob ended up making a cameo as Pam’s possible employer in the final season, resembling Michael Scott.
“Greg and I really liked Patton Oswalt for Michael Scott. He gave, of course, a fantastic reading and was a stand-up at the time,” the producer said in Brian Baumgartner‘s Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History of The Office.