I am a big fan of those “what could’ve been” stories, specifically about the actors and actresses who auditioned for roles that have since become iconic, or at least very well known. Like the fact that Django Unchained was originally written for Will Smith, or that Brad Pitt was Ben Affleck’s first choice for the lead in Argo, or that Emma Stone was originally cast in the Brie Larson role in 21 Jump Street but had to bail for The Amazing Spider-Man.
Yesterday, Rainn Wilson posted to his Facebook wall the original sign-in sheet for The Office auditions, and besides finding out that Wilson was the first to sign in, and that he tried out for the roles of both Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute, we also found out several other people who auditioned for various roles in the series. Not all the names are familiar, but many of the faces are. Check out the list, with images, and try to picture these people in the roles made famous by Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Rain Wilson, and Jenna Fischer.
Those Auditioning for Michael Scott
Ben Falcone (Bridesmaids, although his best known as Melissa McCarthy’s husband)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Suburgatory)
Jim Zulevic (A stand-up comedian and television writer, now deceased)
Bill Chott (The announcer on “SNL’s” Ambiguously Gay Duo Segments, Wizards of Waverly Place)
Those Auditioning for Jim Halpert
Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation, Generally Awesome Stuff)
Hamish Linklater (The New Adventures of the Old Christine)
Those Auditioning for Dwight Schrute
Matt Besser (Reno 911, Crazy Ira in Parks and Recreation)
Matt Price (Men of a Certain Age)
Jarret Grode (Perry in Undeclared)
Those Auditioning for Pam Beasley
Mary Lynn Rajskub (24)
Ever Carradine (Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back, tons of television shows)
Anne Dudek (Mad Men, Covert Affairs)
Here’s the sign up sheet via Rainn Wilsons’ FB page.