‘The Office’: Peter Dinklage Was Considered for a Role in the Series Before the Character Was Scrapped

Peter Dinklage is best known for his work on Game of Thrones. The HBO smash hit wasn’t his breakout part, though. Dinklage was well-known before HBO cast him in the wildly popular series, and he was considered for roles in several hit shows. Casting directors considered Dinklage for a role in The Office

Peter Dinklage was considered for a role in The Office

Crafting an American version of the famed series,The Office, was a tall order. Everyone, including several key cast members, was concerned that the series was a bad idea. The original show, starring Ricky Gervias, was so beloved that most fans didn’t think an American version would stand up against it. In the end, it did, but the process, from concept to pilot, wasn’t simple. 

Peter Dinklage in a promotional photo for 'The Station Agent'
Peter Dinklage | Vera Anderson/WireImage

The creator later developed several small parts into larger roles. A few roles that appeared in the original casting call were tossed from the pilot, as well. Casting agents scrapped the role of Anton, an office worker with dwarfism, before the pilot. The production team considered bringing Dinklage in to read for the part, but ultimately, no one auditioned for it. They cut it from the pilot episode. A character matching the description was mentioned in the original version of The Office, but was never seen. 

Several initial characters never made it into the series

The part of Anton never made it into the series. The character wasn’t fully developed, and, in the end, the production team decided the show didn’t need it. The part that Dinklage was considered for wasn’t the only one that was axed from the series, though. 

According to The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, a character named Kristin was included in a prompt sent out to agents. The prompt described the character as “irritatingly bland with no depth.” They also had a character named Bennett in the casting call. The prompt described Bennet as the “statistical average in everything.” While Bennet did not appear in the show, it is assumed that the description was an early version of Oscar. 

The Office ended up being a breakout role for several cast members 

The Office, a series that had even the most seasoned network executives nervous, turned into a massive success. The project remains one of the most streamed shows of all time and has seemingly infinite rewatch value. While you can argue that the show’s mockumentary style made it unique, others say that the casting is what turned it into an overnight success. 

Ed Helms as Andy Bernard, Phyllis Smith as Phyllis Lapin, Kate Flannery as Meredith Palmer, Craig Robinson as Darryl Philbin, Paul Lieberstein as Toby Flenderson, Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly, Steve Carell as Michael Scott, Creed Bratton as Creed Bratton, John Krasinski as Jim Halpert, Oscar Nunez as Oscar Martinez, B.J. Novak as Ryan Howard, Brian Baumgartner as Kevin Malone, Leslie David Baker as Stanley Hudson, Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor, and Angela Kinsey as Angela Martin pose for a promotinoal photo for 'The Office'
The cast of ‘The Office’ | Mitchell Haaseth/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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The show’s creator and production team weren’t looking to cast huge stars. Sure, a celebrity or two to carry the series would have been nice, but mostly, they wanted unknown actors to help push the documentary narrative. They had to look like your average office worker, and the team behind the series didn’t want viewers to recognize them easily. The team cast several new actors in major roles as a result, and the show helped develop more than a few breakout stars. 

The Office is considered the breakout role for John Krasinski as well as Jenna Fischer. Krasinski landed the role of the loveable prankster, Jim Halpert, after initially being asked to read for the part of Dwight. Fischer took on the role of Pam Beesly. The Office was B.J. Novak’s first major role, too. Novak, who happened to attend high school with Krasinski, was hired to portray Ryan Howard. Novak also wrote for the series and served as a director and executive producer.