“I think we're just in the process of handling it,” Krasisnki tells PopcornBiz. I'm quite sure that none of us are going to know what to do when Steve actually leaves. I think it will be an incredibly emotional day. And the truth is there's absolutely nobody who could bring the same ingredients that he brings to the show and there's no way we could replace the person. It's a really big deal for us.”
“On the flipside, it's really, really exciting,” he adds, “because over all these years we've been developing these amazing characters and background. I'm really excited to get back to some of the more mundane office life that we all know and love. But also, it will be really interesting to see how the characters themselves react to who's the ‘new’ Michael Scott.”
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Krasinski says the sitcom won’t just move on, in the way some TV shows have simply plugged in a new star and kept plugging forward: the characters will feel the absence of Michael Scott as keenly as the cast will miss Carell.
“The general idea is people think that we're going to replace him and keep going,” he says, “but there's definitely going to be that sense of loss for the characters, too, which is really, really cool and honest, and that's always been the best part of our show in a way.”
“The relationships that you love will be exercised even more, like pranks between Dwight and I and things like that, and just seeing how this family works,” Krasinksi adds. “The terrible thing would be if Steve left and we hadn't developed all these people. But instead we have the most talented group of people around. And it's so much fun to pass the ball and see everybody run with it.”
Krasinski says that Carell’s role as the cast’s leader has been the polar opposite of Michael Scott’s ill-conceived style.
“I think what a lot of people don't know is the duality that Steve lives in, which is he's incredibly funny, but he's not like a jokester,” he says. “He's a very reserved, very gentleman-like guy. He leads by example: when days are long, if it's going to get to one person, it's going to get to him and he never lets anybody see him sweat, so because of that we all band together. And at the same time when he turns it on for the show, he's truly, deadly funny. I think he's got some of the sharpest wit I've ever known.”
“As a fan and as a friend, it's been the most wonderful experience working with him.”