Paul Rudd might be People‘s 2021 Sexiest Man Alive, a long overdue honor, but apparently, the never-aging actor isn’t the best person to turn to for career advice. Sure, he’s a Marvel star thanks to his role in Ant-Man and can be currently seen next to Will Ferrell in Apple TV’s latest prestige series, The Shrink Next Door, but back in the early 2000s, Rudd warned Steve Carell against starring in a small little show called The Office.
According to fellow cast member Brian Baumgartner and executive producer Ben Silverman’s new book, Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History of The Office, Carell’s beloved stint as Michael Scott on the hit NBC sitcom would’ve never happened if he listened to Rudd. Via Mashable:
“I remember, before I auditioned, I was talking to Paul Rudd,” Steve Carell said. “I’d never seen the original one and he asked what I was up to. This was right after Anchorman. I told him I was going to audition for the American version of The Office and he said, ‘Ugh, don’t do it. Bad, bad move. I mean, it’s never going to be as good.’ Like what everybody was saying.”
In Rudd’s defense, the first season of The Office was unfavorably compared to its British counterpart, and the show didn’t fare well right out of the gate. Fortunately, it found its footing in the second season, and The Office went on to become such a massive hit that it spent years being the top-streamed show on Netflix. Granted, Carell leaving the show could’ve been handled better, but had he listened to Rudd, his portrayal of Michael Scott wouldn’t still be drawing in new fans today.