Australian version of The Office casts female LGBT star in David Brent’s role


Among the Australian favorites voted to play the Ricky Gervais style boss is 60-year-old sketch comedy actress and LGBT activist Magda Szubanski

Magda Szubanski is the favorite to play
Magda Szubanski is the favorite to play “Brent”

It’s a promotion that would probably leave even The Office boss David Brent speechless.

Australia is to do a version of the show – with a woman at the helm.

The hit BBC comedy of the noughties, starring Ricky Gervais, has been reinvented by several countries from America to India, but always with a man in the big chair.

Now the latest offering, expected to stream on Amazon Prime Video, is breaking the mold.

Among the Australian favorites voted for the lead role is 60-year-old sketch comedy actress and LGBT activist Magda Szubanski, best known Down Under for hit sketch show Fast Forward and sitcom Kath and Kim is.

Ricky Gervais as David Brent

Wedding Crashers star Isla Fisher, married to Sacha Baron Cohen, is also in the running, as are Australian drama Wentworth’s Katrina Milosevic and Muriel’s Wedding actress Rachel Griffiths.

Dan Stalcup, host of The Goods: A Film Podcast, who researched the differences between the original US and UK versions of The Office, thinks a female lead would work well.

He said: “The British Office has redesigned television comedy. Now the Australian reboot promises us a chance to see a familiar setup with a new flavor.

“The key will be mastering the casting and finding another comic voice. Having a woman as boss is a chance to explore some interesting dynamics.”

Brent was basically a laid back entertainer…



Other countries that have their own versions of the Gervais classic include Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Poland and Sweden. La Job, the Canadian version, is set in Montreal with his boss named David Gervais in homage to the original, which was co-created by Ricky’s pal Stephen Merchant.

In an interview last year, Stephen said it was “a testament to Ricky that he so fully inhabited David Brent.”

He added, “That made it easier to write him because we could improvise with him in the role.”

The show was based on a paper company in an industrial park in Slough – with ailing boss Brent regularly making inadvertently inappropriate comments.

Merchant added, “Jimmy Carr, who’s from Slough, drove us around and we looked at where Brent might have worked and lived and got a feel for him.” The Australian version is reportedly set to start filming this summer begin.

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