Rainn Wilson Doesn’t Want To Be Remembered For The Office

Rainn Wilson may always be known as Dwight from The Office, but he hopes you remember his role in James Gunn's Super above all the others.

By Vic Medina | Published

Actor Rainn Wilson may always be known for his role as “assistant to the regional manager” Dwight Schrute in the NBC classic sitcom The Office, but he really wishes that wasn’t so. Wilson is currently doing press for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (a Roku Channel movie premiering November 4), and inevitably, questions about The Office and his role as Dwight come up. While he doesn’t resent the role, he hopes people will think of him in more than just the 188 episodes and three Emmy nominations that Dwight gave him.

“Obviously most people know me from The Office, and they always will, and that’ll be on my tombstone,” Wilson admits in an interview with Collider. “But I did dozens and dozens of roles before I played Dwight. I’ve played dozens of roles after Dwight.”

Wilson then makes a surprising admission: his favorite role, and one he hopes fans remember him for, is Super, a low-budget superhero film directed by James Gunn filmed before Guardians of the Galaxy put him on the A-list. “We shot that super quick in Shreveport, scenic Shreveport, Louisiana. But I think the combination of humor, darkness, tragedy, insane imagination, my brain gets touched by the finger of God. I think it’s an extraordinary work, and I’m really proud to have been a part of it.”

In the film, Wilson played Frank Darbo, a regular guy with no skills who becomes the superhero the Crimson Bolt to fight crime. Eliot Page, Liv Tyler, and Kevin Bacon also starred in the film.

Rainn Wilson
Rainn Wilson as Harry Mudd in Star Trek: Discovery

Prior to The Office, Rainn Wilson appeared in Galaxy Quest, Almost Famous, House of 1000 Corpses, and the TV series Charmed, Dark Angel, Monk, and Six Feet Under. During his Office run, he earned raves for roles in The Rocker, Juno, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Monsters Vs. Aliens.

Out of all the Office cast members, Wilson has had the most diverse career after the series ended. He had a memorable guest-starring role as Henry Mudd on Star Trek: Discovery (a role he hopes to return to someday), and he had a memorable role in AMC’s summer hit Dark Winds, a crime drama from Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin.

In Weird, Rainn Wilson portrays the legendary Dr. Demento, who mentored a young Yankovic and helped craft his unusual sense of humor. The film is actually co-written by Yankovic, and directed by Eric Appel, who directed episodes of Silicon Valley and New Girl. Daniel Radcliffe plays Weird Al, in a role quite unlike his signature Harry Potter role, putting him in the same situation as Wilson, known for an iconic role and eager to strike out with something new.

Weird also stars Evan Rachel Wood as Madonna, Quinta Brunson as Oprah Winfrey, Toby Huss as Weird Al’s father, Julianne Nicholson as Weird Al’s mother, Jack Black, Will Forte, Conan O’Brien, David Dastmalchian and a number of actors in cameo roles.

As for the future, Wilson will appear in Home Delivery, the animated film HitPig, and Robodog. Wilson’s name has been circulated for years as part of a possible reboot of Ghostbusters, and with word of sequels to Ghostbusters: Afterlife, it may eventually happen.

Fans don’t seem opposed to Rainn Wilson playing different roles, even if he’s playing against type. Fan art that depicted Wilson as Marvel’s Wolverine recently went viral, with some insisting that he would be a much-needed change of pace for Marvel superhero casting.

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story can be watched for free with access to the Roku Channel app.