Steve Carell made The Office a hit after Paul Rudd tried to warn him off show

Darcy Rafter August 16, 2022
Steve Carell made The Office a hit after Paul Rudd tried to warn him off show
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Comedy Central

Among Steve Carell’s wealth of credits is arguably his most iconic role as Michael Scott in The Office US. The story behind how he got warned off from auditioning for the NBC series is an ironic one…

The inside scoop was revealed in Brian Baumgartner’s book which he wrote alongside executive producer Ben Silverman, entitled Welcome To Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History Of The Office.

In the book, it explains Carell and Rudd were working together on 2004 comedy Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy. Carell confided in his fellow co-star he might do an audition for The Office US but his friend quickly shot down the idea.

Today, August 16 2022, is Carell’s 60th birthday, so let’s take a look back on his lengthy career. Read on to discover why Rudd warned him away from the American version of The Office and what made Steve stick to his guns despite what everyone was saying.

Photo by Jonathan Alcorn/WireImage

Paul Rudd tried to warn Steve Carell off The Office

The Office debuted in 2005 and Carell played Michael Scott in Greg Daniels’ US reboot of Ricky Gervais’ and Stephen Merchant’s beloved sitcom.

However, Paul Rudd discouraged him from auditioning for the part because the British version of the show was such a huge hit. He didn’t think Carell auditioning for the American version was a good career move. 

Carell recalls the moment he was talking to Rudd about auditioning for The Office US. “He goes, ‘Don’t do it,’” Carell told Brian Baumgartner on The Office Deep Dive. “Bad, bad move, dude. It’s never going to be as good [as the UK version].” 

Steve Carell made The Office US a hit

In the end, Carell decided to press ahead with the audition and found himself up against Bob Odenkirk. Casting director Allison Jones picked Carell and it is now one of his most famed roles. The Office US was one of the most-streamed shows in 2020 and remains a cult-classic series to this day.

Ultimately, it’s a good job Carell ignored everyone and auditioned for the show as he went on to receive a Golden Globe Award, a TCA Award, and six Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for his performances.

Photo by Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

Even the cast was apprehensive

However, Rudd wasn’t the only person apprehensive about The Office US. John Krasinski, who played Jim Halpert on the show, revealed his concerns while auditioning. “I’m terrified for the person creating this show because, I mean, I just feel like Americans have such a track record of taking brilliant shows and ruining them,” he told who he thought was the casting person. Little did he know he was expressing his doubts to the creator of the show, Greg Daniels.

In an interview with Rainn Wilson, who played Krasinski’s nemesis Dwight Schrute, it was revealed The Office has become a hit among the younger generations too. Singer Billie Eilish, 20, explained she has watched the hit show at least 15 times:

it’s a good job Steve Carell did that audition!

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Darcy is an experienced journalist passionate about celebrity culture and entertainment. After gaining a degree in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths University she has also become a social media specialist, always keeping informed on the latest trends. With almost five years of experience in media, her expertise is analysing platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. When she's not tracking the latest trending content, she’s watching films and eating lots of chocolate.