Talking to Entertainment Weekly recently, new Office addition James Spader touched on the character he’ll be playing, executive Robert California, and the NBC sitcom’s plans for replacing departed star Steve Carrell.
“They didn’t just want to bring in a new Michael Scott,” Spader said, referring to Carrell’s regional manager role, which he vacated this spring, after six years on The Office. “There’s not an attempt to fill those shoes. That is something that I think they’re allowing a certain amount of flexibility on, not unlike the end of last season. The show is very balanced right now and they want to utilize the ensemble cast.” As for new Dunder Mifflin CEO Robert California, the former star of The Practice explained, “He’s a sort of strange guy, and his enigmatic qualities are a good thing. Everybody is trying to get to know who he is and what his juxtaposition is to the rest of the office. The characters are and the writers and cast members as well. And I’m hoping that’s going to be the fun of the season.”
Spader is slated to appear in 15 episodes during The Office’s eight season, which kicks off Thursday, September 22 on NBC.