- A new book about The Office revealed that Steve Carrell didn't originally plan to leave during season 7.
- He initially wanted to stay longer, but his contract was not renewed, despite fans believing that it was his decision to leave
In the new book, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s by Andy Greene, crew members from the show reveal that Steve really wanted to stay on the show and was ready to sign another contract to stay.
"He didn’t want to leave the show. He had told the network that he was going to sign for another couple of years. He was willing to and his agent was willing to. But for some reason, they didn’t contact him," hairstylist Kim Ferry revealed in an excerpt that was posted on Collider. "I don’t know if it was a game of chicken or what… He planned on staying on the show. He told his manager and his manager contacted them and said he’s willing to sign another contract for a couple years. So all of that was willing and ready and, on their side, honest. And the deadline came for when they were supposed to give him an offer and it passed and they didn’t make him an offer. So his agent was like, 'Well, I guess they don’t want to renew you for some reason.' Which was insane to me. And to him, I think."
Kim continued by saying that Steve was surprised that they didn't call him back about a contract renewal and that she noticed how upset fans were at him for thinking that it was his decision to leave.
"[Carell] was like, 'Look, I told them I want to do it. I don’t want to leave. I don’t understand.' It just is mind-boggling how that happened. And I feel bad because I think a lot of people think he did leave the show on his own merit and it’s absolutely not true," she continued. "I’m telling you. I was there. I was there. He really wanted to stay. And it devastated all of us because he was the heart of our show."
Boom operator/sound mixer Brian Wittle revealed that it all started when Steve gave an interview with the BBC where he mentioned that it might be his last season. While his decision wasn't final, no one ended up calling him about the interview, which caused him to believe that they wanted him gone.
"I sat with him one time and he told me the story. He was doing a radio interview and he haphazardly mentioned, almost unconsciously, that it might be his last season. He didn’t plan on saying it out loud and he hadn’t decided anything. He was kind of thinking out loud, but he did it in an interview in public and it created news. Then what he said was the people connected to the show had no reaction to it," Brian revealed Andy in the book. "They didn’t call and say, 'What? You wanna leave?' He said he didn’t get any kind of response from them."
"When he realized he didn’t get any kind of response from them, he thought, 'Oh, maybe they don’t really care if I leave. Maybe I should go do other things.' So I think that made it easier, because when the news broke that he was considering it, the people that are in charge of keeping him there didn’t make a big effort to do so until afterward," Brian continued.
The Office ended up running for another two seasons after Steve Carell's big exit. At least fans can still relive all of Steve's biggest seasons on Netflix and pretend it just never happened.
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