Rainn Wilson Said His 1st Big Movie Role Was Like ‘Living in a Nightmare’

Rainn Wilson is most known for his roles in The Office and Star Trek: Discovery, however, that wasn’t always the case. His “first big movie role” was in a polarizing and strange movie. Here’s what he hopes to accomplish through his appearance in the film.

Rainn Wilson in a suit
Rainn Wilson | Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Rainn Wilson’s first big role was in a movie directed by a celebrity musician

Lots of major actors appear in low-budget horror films early in their careers. For example, Jennifer Lawrence was in House at the End of the Street, Jamie Lee Curtis was in Halloween, Johnny Depp was in A Nightmare on Elm Street. In addition, Wilson appeared in a horror movie early in his career — a horror movie with a strange pedigree.

Rob Zombie is a musician who first became famous through his band White Zombie. Afterward, he started a solo career. After years of success as a musician, he became a movie director. His directorial debut was a little film called House of 1000 Corpses.

“Dragula” by Rob Zombie

RELATED: How a Cat Inspired Freddy Krueger From ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’

The film is loaded with references to previous horror films. Many 1970s and 1980s horror films focused on a group of young people who face a serial killer or killers and House of 1000 Corpses is no different. Wilson played one of the young people in the film. His death is bizarre — his torso is attached to that of a fish, making him a grotesque mermaid.

What Rainn Wilson felt during the making of ‘House of 1000 Corpses’

So what did Wilson have to say about House of 1000 Corpses? “Well, that was the first big movie role that I ever did,” Wilson told Entertainment Weekly. “It was incredible. It was really weird. We worked with Matthew [McGrory], who was a famous giant. I was hacked in half by a scarecrow monster. My torso was attached to a fish’s tale and revealed to my screaming girlfriend.” 

The trailer for House of 1000 Corpses

RELATED: Did the Joker Inspire Pennywise From Stephen King’s ‘It?’

In addition, Wilson said “It was truly like living in a nightmare. It kind of is a horror classic. It was fun to be a part of. I love horror since I was growing up and watched all these Vincent Price movies like The Fly and I certainly loved Alien.”

The legacy of ‘House of 1000 Corpses’

Wilson’s statement that House of 1000 Corpses is a horror classic feels odd. After all, the film only has a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. House of 1000 Corpses has certainly garnered a cult following over the years, however, it’s hard to call it a bona fide classic. According to JoBlo, even Zombie said the film is filled with flaws.

Rob Zombie’s song “House of 1000 Corpses”

RELATED: Jason Vorhees Wasn’t the Killer in ‘Friday the 13th’ – Here’s Who Was

Regardless, Wilson told Entertainment Weekly that House of 1000 Corpses would make for a great triple feature with his other horror films. “After these movies all come out, they can have a Rainn Wilson horror festival on Halloween. House of 1000 Corpses, Cooties, and The Boy. My entire goal is to be able to go to one of those horror conventions and sign headshots for $25 a pop.” House of 1000 Corpses was not a critical darling, however, Wilson enjoyed making it.