Though Rainn Wilson has an impressive acting resume, he is best known for his iconic role in The Office cast. For nine seasons and 201 episodes, Wilson expertly portrayed the infamous Dwight Schrute. A beet farmer and paper salesman of Dunder Mifflin, Dwight’s militant behavior and many eccentricities were a huge reason why the hit show was so hilarious and successful.
Another reason why The Office was such a smash success is because of the collaboration between the writers and the actors. Not only did many of the writers double as members of the cast, but the actors were allowed to give feedback about their characters. Furthermore, the actors were also given ample opportunities to improvise on set, which Wilson took full advantage of. Early on in the series, Greg Daniels (who created the American version of The Office) came up with an important rule. The showrunner declared that the funniest take would always be the one that would make the cut, regardless of who came up with it.
Rainn Wilson reflected on the nine years he spent filming ‘The Office’
Back in 2018, Wilson spoke with NPR about the unique environment that existed on the set of The Office. “I really miss collaborating with an awesome group of people — the writers were fantastic — and taking a scene and trying to bring it to comedic life,” Wilson recalled about the show. “We always made sure that the scene kind of tickled us in some way. It’s digging into the dough and kneading the dough and being in the kitchen and cooking that stuff up. I don’t know that I’ll ever have that experience again the way that we had it on The Office.“
Wilson continued on to share that even during the early days of filming The Office, the cast was aware that they were filming something really special. In fact, Wilson recalled that when they first shot the pilot, Steve Carell (who played Michael Scott) had the foresight of knowing that they were all stepping into what would become extremely iconic roles.
Steve Carell knew early on that being cast in ‘The Office’ would be life-changing
“I remember early on, when we shot the pilot, we had lunch, and Steve Carell did a little toast,” Wilson recalled about some of his earliest memories onset of The Office. “He said, ‘You know, guys, this is probably going to be the job that we’re known for for the rest of our lives.’ And this was 2004.”
It seems that Carell’s instincts were completely spot on. Years after the show went off the air, The Office remains more popular than ever. Thanks to streaming services, the fan base for the show continues to grow with every passing year. To date, Wilson is still bombarded by fans who recognize him from the hit show. However, the SoulPancake founder sometimes likes to mess with fans of The Office when they approach him.
How Wilson pranks fans of ‘The Office’
Wilson admits that his favorite thing to do when fans come up to him and tell him that he looks like the guy who played Dwight is to pretend that he is not, in fact, himself. Instead, he’ll tell fans of The Office “Yeah, I get that a lot. It’s not me.” When they inquire again, he doubles down on the lie and says that it leaves fans feeling “very perturbed.” It’s pretty hilarious that Wilson is able to mess with his fans in this way. Though we’re sure many of them are likely on to him at this point.