Bob Odenkirk Reflects on Missing 'The Office' Lead to Steve Carell

Bob Odenkirk discusses his unique role in 'The Office'

by Zain ul Abedin
Bob Odenkirk Reflects on Missing 'The Office' Lead to Steve Carell
© Araya Doheny/Getty Images

Bob Odenkirk, the star of 'Better Call Saul,' may have initially bypassed the opportunity to play Michael Scott in the crucial TV sitcom 'The Office' - a role that Steve Carell took instead. In a lively discussion on the "Office Ladies" podcast hosted by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, who played Pam Beesly and Angela Martin, respectively on the show, Odenkirk talked about his career as an actor and why he switched to acting in dramas.

"I am, in a strange way, a very earnest person for a person in comedy," Odenkirk observed. He conjectured his acting decisions might be at least partly responsible for his missing out on the role of Michael Scott - "or it’s one reason that Steve Carell got it." Odenkirk elaborated on his acting style and its mix of comedy and drama.

"There were other parts that I think I was up for that Steve got," he noted. "It’s because he’s better at being genuinely fun. I think I bring with me a little bit too much earnest seriousness, and it’s just kinda there."

Odenkirk's Office Cameo

Though he didn’t get a leading role, Odenkirk did have a chance to stand out on "The Office" in its ninth and final year.

He appeared in the episode "Moving On," playing a manager resembling Carell’s Michael at a Philadelphia real estate company. In this episode, he saw Pam interviewing for a job. "The idea was, Pam’s gonna go in for an interview at this real estate office" Fischer recalled.

"And they thought it would be really funny if it was like her life was gonna repeat itself now in Philadelphia. And her boss is basically Michael Scott." Odenkirk’s guest role showed how he would have portrayed Michael Scott in the sitcom, even if only in homage form.

"Although, I do think that what I was doing was more a tribute to Steve," he remembered. "because that’s what I was supposed to be doing. My character was meant to be very much a version of what Steve had invented when he played the character."