‘The Office’ Stars On James Spader’s ‘New Energy’ & Hopes For A Tom Hanks Cameo

When Steve Carell was wrapping up his stint as boss Michael Scott on “The Office” earlier this year, there was plenty of worry over who would take over. But according to the show’s stars, his replacement, James Spader, is already hitting home runs.

“He’s just a heavyweight,” Ed Helms, who plays bumbling but well-meaning Dunder Mifflin salesman Andy Bernard, told Access Hollywood as NBC hosted a party at the SLS in Los Angeles on Monday night to celebrate the network’s fall line up. “He’s a powerhouse.”

John Krasinski, who plays the lovable Jim Halpert on the sitcom, said James’ character – the persuasive Robert California, has breathed a new life into the program.

“He’s the perfect new energy to have on the show,” John told Access. “We haven’t had a character like him, ever. I don’t think anybody’s had a character like him.”

“Our characters are so not confident, and his character is so confident,” Ed added, marveling at James’ character, who joins the franchise first in Michael’s old position before taking over as parent company Sabre’s CEO. “It’s a great energy.”

Brain Baumgartner, who plays go-along-wth-the-crowd accountant Kevin Malone, said the cast is energized and eager for the comedy’s return.

“Obviously there’s a lot of anticipation about what’s going to happen in terms of the dynamic… We’re excited for America to see it,” he added.

Beyond talk of James joining the show, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt revealed on Monday morning that guest stars would be coming to “The Office” as the actor’s character will create ripples among the paper pushers. While the cast seemed surprised by the news on the NBC party red carpet, they did have a few names on their wish list.

“Tom Hanks,” Ed said of the star he’d like to see in a cameo.

“I always say Ricky Gervais, because he’s the Godfather, right?” Kate Flannery, who plays the morally-loose Meredith Palmer, said.

“Balloon boy,” John joked. “Balloon boy needs to be on there… The boy needs to step in the spotlight, the dad needs to cool it.”

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