LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Throw another name in the hat of rumored replacements for Steve Carell on “The Office” — Harvey Keitel.
Paul Lieberstein, who plays Toby on the show and serves as one of its executive producers, tells E! News that Keitel “is probably the only guy who can do it, and he’s doing TV now ... That’s what a very smart/eager man once called a ‘win-win-win.’” (Keitel recently starred on ABC’s “Life on Mars.”)
Lieberstein says he has not yet approached the 71-year-old veteran of “Taxi Driver” and “Reservoir Dogs.”
“I haven’t started any talks with his people, but Harvey would do a great job — a very different energy,” Lieberstein says. “And we don’t want to bring in another Michael, having someone play a very similar character because we have such a high regard for Steve.”
Carell has announced that the show’s upcoming seventh season will be his last as branch manager Michael Scott, and Lieberstein insists he’s serious about Keitel taking over.
“Yes, absolutely,” he says. “He’s a real tough guy, but I saw him in ‘Life on Mars’ and I saw a lot more comedy in his work, just little slivers of it, little things he would do that made me think he’s capable of a lot more than what (he’s done).”
So what’s his back story on the show?
“He’s an old salesman who thought he could retire and the stock market went down, and he has to come out of retirement to work for a few years,” Lieberstein explains.
Ellie Kemper, who plays receptionist Erin on the show, told The Hollywood Reporter at the Emmy Governors’ Ball on Sunday that she had somebody else entirely in mind.
“I would choose Daryl,” she said, referring to the warehouse worker played by Craig Robinson (whose character recently entered management training on the show). “He’s come so far.”