Why Rainn Wilson Said ‘The Office’ Had to End

With The Office now available for streaming on Peacock, old and new fans can’t get enough of the dysfunctional staff of Dunder Mifflin. But the character who raises the most eyebrows while also generating the most laughs is arguably Dwight Schrute.

Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute in 'The Office'
Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute in ‘The Office’ | Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Rainn Wilson starred as Schrute for the series’ entirety. Amid the series finale, Wilson explained why it was time for the show to come to an end.

Rainn Wilson played Dwight Schrute on ‘The Office’ for nine seasons

Wilson starred the unofficial “assistant to the Regional Manager” of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Schrute’s loyalty to his boss Michael Scott, and his desire to be in charge, provided much comedic relief.

Schrute is known for being a kiss-up to Scott. He’s also socially awkward, lacks common sense, and has an ongoing rivalry with his colleague Jim Halpert. 

The character is based on Gareth Keenan of the original British version of the show of the same title. In the British version, Mackenzie Crook played Schrute.

Source: YouTube

Related: ‘The Office’: What Rainn Wilson ‘Stole’ From the British Version to Play Dwight Schrute

Much of his time on the show documents his journey to finally becoming the regional manager. He’s initially promoted to the position but is demoted following an incident with a loaded weapon.

In addition to his work as the top salesman in the region, he is also the manager of his family’s bed-and-breakfast at Schrute Farms – as well as a beet plantation owner. 

Schrute is one of the most popular characters on the show. His portrayal is critically acclaimed. Wilson received three nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role.

Rainn Wilson on why ‘The Office’ had to end

In August 2012, it was announced that The Office’s ninth season would be it’s final. Schrute’s storyline chronicled him finally becoming manager and jumping the broom with his longtime on-again-off-again love, Angela Kinsey.

At the time, executive producer Gregg Daniels told The Hollywood Reporter, “At some point you have a choice: to always tell the beginnings of stories and the middles or to allow a story to end, and I think endings can be very powerful and meaningful pieces of the story,” he said. “If we didn’t let it end this year, I don’t know if we would have been able to tell the endings for so many characters that I really want to know the endings for.”

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Wilson agreed with Daniels’ observation. In a 2013 interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Wilson revealed that it was the cast’s decision to end the show on a high note.

“The Office” ending really came from us going to the producers and going, ‘You know what, it’s time to end this thing,’” Wilson explained. “‘Let’s do one final season, let’s make it great, let’s have a big finale, and let’s do it right.’”

The decision was not without heartbreak. Wilson noted the cast became family and ending the series was “bittersweet.”

“It was time for it to go away…maybe I’ll always be known as Dwight and that’s great,” he said.

Wilson credits the show as being the “most awesome” project he’s over been part of, noting that the show was also the highlight of his career.