Can you imagine The Piv as Michael Scott on "The Office"?

It almost happened. And the reason it didn't happen is actually a credit to Jeremy Piven, and a rare sign of humility in Hollywood.

Piven talked to Cigar Aficionado for the April issue and they covered a lot of issues, including his own cigar company, his British period drama Mr. Selfridge, his "Entourage" alter ego Ari Gold, and the U.S. adaptation of "The Office."

Here's why he turned down the NBC role that ultimately went to Steve Carell:

"They came to me initially for the American version of 'The Office.' I was such a huge Ricky Gervais fan from the British version. I thought, 'How could anyone possibly play that character better than he did?' It was this perfect blend of nerdy cockiness in the way he navigated the space. So I turned it down."

You know what? Good for him. Because he's right, no one could ever play David Brent better than Ricky Gervais. But Steve Carell didn't even try, his Michael Scott is warmer and more sweetly naive than the U.K. boss, and the U.S. show's humor is much broader than the dry, witty, painfully awkward genius of the original.

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The Office TV Show Poster
The Office
NBCTV14March 24, 2005
Based on 6 critics

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