Category: Steve Carell

James Spader is hired full time at 'The Office'

James Spader James Spader has signed on at "The Office" to fill Steve Carell's shoes -- or perhaps a much shinier, upwardly mobile pair.

Spader will reprise his season-finale role as Robert California, coming in as the new chief exec of Dunder-Mifflin parent company Sabre, Show Tracker reported Wednesday.

The character is an "uber-salesman that has a power to convince and manipulate, like a high-class weirdo Jedi warrior," Paul Lieberstein, one of the series’ executive producers and a series regular, said in a statement.

California will be on the fastest of fast tracks, Lieberstein said, having been hired over the summer as a new manager, getting promoted hours later and taking over the company within days. He replaces the chief exec played previously by Kathy Bates.

"James has an energy that is completely his own, and 'The Office' has no tools for dealing with this guy," Lieberstein said. "We're thrilled he's joining our cast."

(Full disclosure: The Ministry has a little fantasy where "Boston Legal" buddy William Shatner gets hired on as a temp. Sounds like Robert California is the type of guy who could pull that off, even in this economy.)


Steve Carell sends an 'Out of the Office' message [Poll]

Steve Carell cast in 'Seeking a Friend for the End of the World'

Ricky Gervais, Will Arnett to stop by 'The Office,' post-Steve Carell

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: James Spader at a LACMA gala in 2008. Credit: Dan Steinberg / Associated Press

Steve Carell cast in 'Seeking a Friend for the End of the World'

Stevecarell2story Steve Carell quit his job at "The Office," and it looks as though the big movie offers are already pouring in.

First up, the comedian will star in writer-director Lorene Scafaria's apocalyptic love story "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World," set to start filming in May, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The premise has Carell's character searching for his high school sweetheart as the end of the world is approaching, and in this road trip movie, he's not going at it alone. A neighbor joins him for the ride, with Keira Knightley rumored to be in negotiations to play the part.

Next, Carell will begin filming "Great Hope Springs" with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, a story about couples who try to save their marriage through a weekend of intense counseling.


John Travolta to play Mafioso John Gotti in biopic

Bryan Cranston cast as villain in 'Total Recall' reboot

Amy Adams cast as Lois Lane in Zack Snyder's 'Superman' revival

-- Emily Christianson

 Photo: Steve Carell. Credit: Universal Pictures.


Ricky Gervais, Will Arnett to stop by 'The Office,' post-Steve Carell

Will Arnett, Ricky Gervais to appear on 'The Office'

Viewers of "The Office" who got really excited when Steve Carell's Michael Scott crossed paths with Ricky Gervais' David Brent at the Dunder Mifflin elevator can prepare to get even more excited: Gervais has been tapped to make another sales call on the U.S. incarnation of the show.

Gervais, who is a co-creator of the "cash cow" and played the boss Brent on the British version of the show, will make his second appearance on the U.S. edition May 19, soon after Steve Carell's final episode airs in April. Details about his story line are unclear.

Will Arnett ("Arrested Development," "30 Rock") will also have a guest spot in the one-hour season finale, appearing on the NBC show for the first time. Will Ferrell has already been cast for a multi-episode arc in the show, which has been renewed for an eighth season.

Dunder Mifflin Sabre hasn't been this exciting since Jim and Pam tied the knot! Let us know your thoughts in comments.


Will Ferrell gets a job at 'The Office' with Steve Carell

Steve Carell sends an "Out of the Office" message [poll]

Ricky Gervais: Planning for the Oscars, with Ellen's help? [poll]

-- Nardine Saad

Reuters contributed to this report.

Photo: Will Arnett, left, and Ricky Gervais, right. Credits: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images, left; Mike Nelson / European Pressphoto Agency, right.

Will Ferrell gets a job at 'The Office' with Steve Carell

Will Ferrell joins Steve Carell at The Office After spending most of his career doing comedy, Will Ferrell is finally getting an office job: He's been hired for a small-screen story arc in the final Steve Carell season of "The Office."

Ferrell, who rose to fame via improv and "Saturday Night Live" before hitting the big screen, will play a fellow Dunder Mifflin/Sabre branch manager with a, well, let's call it a "skill set" similar to that of Carell's clueless Michael Scott, according to NBC.

"We found Steve Carell when he was nothing but a movie star, and we turned him into a television star," executive producer Paul Lieberstein said. "We are proud to continue 'The Office's' tradition of discovering famous talent, and we hope that once America gets a good look at Will, they'll see what we see: tremendous raw sexuality."

Anyone who works in an office these days knows that everybody is replaceable -- so Carell's early retirement doesn't necessarily mean Dunder Mifflin/Sabre is shutting down. "I think it's just a dynamic change to the show," he told E! in June, when he broke the news of his plans, "which could be a good thing, actually."

Ferrell's character will transfer into "The Office" in Scranton, Pa., for four episodes near the end of the season.

USC grad Ferrell and Carell worked together in "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy." (See Carell's "Anchorman" audition below.)

Which Ferrell character do you hope to be reminded of when he shows up at "The Office"? President Bush? Ron Burgundy? The guy from "Old School" who takes his shirt off? Remember -- comedy comes from pain.


Steve Carell sends an "Out of the Office" message [poll]

"Megamind" premiere: Justin Bieber is Will Ferrell's minion (in big glasses)

"40-Year-Old Virgin" actor admits stabbing his girlfriend by mistake (20-plus times)


-- Christie D'Zurilla

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Will Ferrell at the "Megamind" premiere in Hollywood on Oct. 30, 2010. Credit: Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images


Shelley Malil, '40-Year-Old Virgin' actor, gets 12 years to life for stabbing ex-girlfriend

Shelley Malil sentenced

 "40-Year-Old Virgin" actor Shelley Malil was sentenced Thursday in San Diego County to 12 years to life in prison for stabbing his ex-girlfriend 23 times, L.A. Now reports.

Kendra Beebe, ex girlfriend of 40-Year-Old Virgin actor Shelley Malil On the stand in September, Malil admitted he had stabbed Kendra Beebe in August 2008 but said he didn't know it was her he was stabbing. Earlier in the trial, a former employee at Beebe's insurance company told of naked pictures of a couple having sex that were e-mailed by Malil to workers in three of the company's offices the night before the attack.

Malil, who had a small part in the Steve Carell comedy "40-Year-Old Virgin," also appeared in the "How Are You Doing" Budweiser commercial that aired during a Super Bowl.

"For what I did to Kendra, I don't have words to express my remorse," Malil said before sentencing. He may be eligible for parole in 10 years.


'40-Year-Old Virgin' actor guilty of attempted murder

'40-Year-Old Virgin' actor admits stabbing his girlfriend by mistake (20-plus times)

— Christie D'Zurilla

Top: Actor Shelley Malil is sentenced to 12 years to life in prison on Dec. 16 for the attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend in 2008. Credit: Jerod Harris / Getty Images.

Above: Kendra Beebe speaks at a press conference after ex-boyfriend Shelley Malil was sentenced on Dec. 16. Credit: Jerod Harris / Getty Images.


'40-Year-Old Virgin' actor admits stabbing his girlfriend by mistake (20-plus times)

Shelley Malil, an actor who played one of Steve Carell's co-workers in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," took the stand Thursday in Vista and admitted he'd stabbed his on-again, off-again girlfriend repeatedly -- but said he didn't realize immediately that it was her he was stabbing, E! Online reported.

Malil, whose 16-year acting career also includes a turn as Chad in Budweiser's "What Are You Doing" Super Bowl commercial, above, is charged with premeditated attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and residential burglary for the Aug. 10 incident in which Kendra Beebe was stabbed more than 20 times in her San Marcos home, near San Diego. He has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Malil said he arrived at Beebe's house to find her sipping wine with a friend, David Maldonado. In "chaos" that ensued, the actor said he thought Maldonado was coming after him, grabbed ...

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Steve Carell sends an 'Out of the Office' message [poll]


Steve Carell's not quite done with "The Office," but he could see the Dunder Mifflin finish line from the "Despicable Me" red carpet Sunday when he told BBC Radio he wouldn't be back after the show's current season.

"I want to fulfill my contract. ... I just thought it was time for my character to go," he confirmed to E! Online on Monday.

Carell, who is super-villain Gru in "Despicable Me," added: "It doesn't certainly mean the end of the show. I think it's just a dynamic change to the show, which could be a good thing, actually.

On a completely shallow level, we like Carell's look better out of "The Office," on the red carpet -- thoughts?

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photos: Steve Carell in an episode of "The Office," left, and on the "Despicable Me" world premiere red carpet June 27, 2010, at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Credits: Bryon Cohen / NBC, left; Katy Winn / Associated Press, right.

Related dispatch from the Ministry of Gossip:

Steve Carell, Jason Segel lead a 'Despicable' gang on the red carpet

When it gets dull around the office, there's nothing quite like a nonscientific online poll to liven things up -- so click that link, and then vote yourself silly on poll after poll until it's close enough to quitting time that you can call it a day.

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Steve Carell, Jason Segel lead a 'Despicable' gang on the red carpet

Steve Carell at the Despicable Me world premiere

Despicable Me premiere pictures In "Despicable Me," Steve Carell's character, Gru, is particularly sensitive to the fact that he's the No. 2 super villain in the world. So out of respect, we won't mention the other premiere that happened in recent days at L.A. Live's Nokia Theatre -- something involving vampires, maybe?

Carell and fellow voice actors Jason Segel (the No. 1 super villain in the world), Miranda Cosgrove, Kristen Wiig, Julie Andrews and Jack McBrayer were among those stepping out in broad daylight Sunday for the world premiere of "Despicable Me," which opens July 9. The animated flick closed the Los Angeles Film Festival, which is sponsored by The Times.

And no, Russell Brand didn't make the celebrity parade -- perhaps the voice of Dr. Nefario was off on his honeymoon? Juuuuuuust kidding. 

Click on the picture of Segel with his little yellow friend, above right, to launch a gallery of red-carpet arrivals.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photos: Steve Carell, top, arrives at the world premiere of "Despicable Me" on Sunday at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. At right, Jason Segel hits the red carpet with a few characters from the film. Credits: Katy Winn / Associated Pres, top; Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images, right

Sometimes it's hard to walk around Los Angeles without tripping over a red carpet. Want the headlines? Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter (we're @LATcelebs).  Or become our fan on Facebook.

Simon Cowell is prime time's best-paid guy -- but who invited David Caruso?

SimonSimon Cowell we understand. David Caruso? Not so much. 

Forbes has released its list of the 10 men who bring home the most prime-time bacon, and we must say the results are intriguing as well as bothersome.

The surly "American Idol" judge leads the list, and this makes sense, because who among us wouldn't pay a pretty penny (think $75 million) to a guy who isn't afraid to say out loud all the things we've been thinking?

Donald Trump at No. 2? He's a businessman, so that's almost cheating -- but it makes sense. Ryan Seacrest at No. 3? Sleeps maybe three hours a week and spends the rest of the time working -- makes sense. Sticking with the "guys who say things we only wish we could" metric, Hugh Laurie, Kiefer Sutherland and Steve Carell seem to make sense as well.

But Charlie Sheen batting cleanup? And not one but two comics who now host game shows?

And -- David Caruso?

Click here for a photo gallery of the entire Top 10 list, which actually goes to 11, and includes salaries. And click onward in this post for a classic video, especially if you're wondering what David Caruso ever did to us.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Simon Cowell's job is like no other -- and that may be why he gets paid the big bucks. Miami auditioners Brittany Westcott and Corliss Smith flirted with Simon and sang their way to Hollywood in Season 7. Credit: Michael Becker / Fox.

Continue reading »

'Zombieland's' Abigail Breslin beats 'Little Miss Sunshine' to Broadway

AbbyzombieAbigail Breslin is headed to Broadway, where she'll play Helen Keller in a revival of "The Miracle Worker," Culture Monster reports.

Guess the Oscar nominee couldn't wait for the next incarnation of "Little Miss Sunshine," which the Sundance Institute is adapting for the stage. (The Academy Award-winning "Sunshine" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006.) No worries -- at 13, Abigail's clearly way too mature to reprise the role of adorable, fashion-forward Olive.

The role is a big departure from her recent turn in the box-office hit "Zombieland."

From Michael Ordona's L.A. Times' review (emphasis mine):

"Clearly, the horror-comedy 'Zombieland' is not your average gore-nucopia. There are plenty of exploding heads, sure, but while there are a number of gross-outs and jolts in it, 'Zombieland' is mostly about character-based laughs. ... Emma Stone ( 'The House Bunny') is saucy as a hard-bitten survivor, and Abigail Breslin ('Little Miss Sunshine') is killer-cute as her rifle-toting little sister."

From where we sit, we think anyone who can tote a rifle and pull off this scene from the finale of "Little Miss Sunshine" has a dang good chance of rocking Broadway's house as well. (Please don't click that link, however, if a doctor, or your conscience, has cautioned you to avoid videos containing Rick James' funk-a-licious "Super Freak," or one tiny little f-bomb from Steve Carell.)

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photos: Abigail Breslin, above left, with Emma Stone in "Zombieland." Below, the future Helen Keller in the finale of "Little Miss Sunshine." Credits: Columbia Pictures, above; Fox Searchlight, below.



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