August 30, 2011 6:48pm PT by Kimberly Nordyke
'The Office' Season 8 Sneak Peek: James Spader 'Scares' Cast (Video)
It turns out The Office drones are a little nervous about their new boss.
James Spader joins the half-hour comedy as CEO Robert California of Sabre, the parent company of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Co., in its upcoming eighth season. The Emmy winner replaces Kathy Bates, who stars in another NBC series, Harry's Law.
But in a new sneak peek at the upcoming season released by NBC, the show's stars say they are actually nervous about their new castmate.
"I feel intimidated because it's easy to play Gabe, who I think is intimidated by Robert California," says Zach Woods. "But I'm intimidated by [Spader] because he's just a terrific actor -- he's so specific, engaged and mysterious."
Phyllis Smith, who plays Phyllis, put it more bluntly.
"He scares the s--- out of me," she says.
Meanwhile, Angela Kinsey, who plays Angela, praised Spader as an actor.
"He brings this great intensity, this energy," she says. "It's completely opposite of what Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell, who exited the show last season) was. He wanted everyone to like him, but we don't know what Rob's about."
For his part, Spader says there's one aspect of his character he's especially enthused about. The name: Robert California.
"That's a good name, isn't it?" he says. "I've never heard of anyone named that, have you?"
Meanwhile, Spader added the upcoming season will give the cast chances to shine as his character looks to hire a new office manager to replace Michael.
The cast also teases the announcement about which character lands the job.
"I think people are going to gasp and in some cases go into cardiac arrest," Woods says.
The new season of The Office premieres at 9 p.m. Sept. 22.