Rainn Wilson

October 15, 2012

IAM Rainn WILSON - Dwight from the Office and the founder of SoulPancake - AMA!

Hey Reddit! I'm here to answer your questions from 2pm to 4pm EST.

I play Dwight on The Office and The Farm. I was also in a bunch of movies like Super, Hesher, and Juno. Have you read my book SoulPancake? It'll blow your mind. Literally. Watch me in my sweaty van on the SP Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/soulpancake


Out of all the characters you've played, which is your favorite and why?

Arthur Martin from 6 feet under


It was the first role where I got to really show what I can do both comedically and dramatically. He was 'out there' but a 3 dimensional human being - that's the kind of role I like best. Taking a role that could be a cartoon and humanizing it - finding the soul underneath the absurdity.

You made him so awesomely creepy, I loved it!

The thing was I didnt think of him as creepy at all. I thought of him as completely guile-less and open-hearted which, of course, comes off creepy!

What do you believe are the reasons for The Office having lower ratings this season? (As indicated by your co-star Jenna Fischer)

Most all TV shows have lower ratings this season. Also NBC didn't promote us one bit.

[No question]

HI. I don't know how this works exactly

You're doing perfectenschlag.


Who is your dream guest for Metaphysical Mondays?

Bob Dylan. Can you hook that up?

Hi! Big fan! I love Soul Pancake. How were you approached with the idea and what sparked your interest on the project?

It was my idea. Along with Josh Homick and Devon Gundry. I wanted a safe, fun, cool place on the web to explore what it means to be a human being. I mean there's a billion pages to discuss world of warcraft but no place to discuss what happens when you die.

Do you ever worry about being typecast? If so, do you plan on taking roles that go against that type in the future?

I will always be known for Dwight and I'm fine with that. I'm so fucking grateful for the role! I have always been an actor and i'll just keep acting and people will see my range BUT they'll still say "hey, there's Dwight from The Office!"

I loved your movie Super, do you have a plan to make more movies like this? Please respond.

Most of my movies have bombed. People have loved Super and The Rocker after the fact but not enough to go pay money for them when they were at the theatre.

Did you feel like a stand-in for Jack Black in The Rocker?

No. I think the movie was unfairly compared to School of Rock. They were SUCH different films. A down and out rocker who joins a teen age band which becomes a sensation is a very different film than a rock wanna be slacker who teaches elementary school kids.

That being said "School of Rock" is WAY better but I still think the Rocker is a sweet little family film with some great performances and music. It really hurt when it was received so terribly. But people love it and come up to me all the time talking about how much it affected them.

I want this answered.

I learned how to drum for the rocker and played along with a drum track with all the songs. so, yes. it was a blast!

  1. Was it hard reaching such emotional depth in Hesher?
  2. Any fun or interesting stories from House of 1000 Corpses?
  3. What was Tim Allen like during filming of Galaxy Quest?

It was very challenging doing the deep emotional work for Hesher. I didn't talk to people for most of the shoot and stayed inside myself for the most part, listening to Bon Iver and trying to access grief. It was a workout! But I'm very proud of that movie and of my work in it.

What do you think about the English version of the Office?

I fucking love the english office. Some of the greatest TV OF ALL TIME.

I think you look the best with a short beard and no glasses. When do you think you look the best?

Long beard. Eye patch. Crotchless panties.

How does Nick Offerman smell in real life?

Like fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.

What is your favorite hot sauce?


[No question]

So many questions! I don't know what to answer!!!!

Answer the ones about my favorite movie, Baadassss.

I love the film, Baadassss. We shot that in 17 days for 1 million dollars with 60 speaking roles. Mario Van Peebles is a genius. Somebody let him direct more! GO SEE THIS FILM. It's about American history, brothers!


eat my shorts

Are you paralyzed with existential angst?

no, you?


I think they're great. I think this idea that somehow the first 3 seasons were amazing and then it got sucky is just wrong. The first 3-4 seasons it was new and fresh and no one had seen anything like the Office. Then we need to start doing different stuff to mix it up. That's how TV works. Season 2 and 3 had some really average eps in them. So did season 7and 8.

What is your favorite opening scene from The Office?

I have a ton of great favorite pranks. I loved when Jim moved my desk to the bathroom and Kevin was in there. I love the paper mache' desk. I love the fax from future dwight.

Huge fan Rainn! Thanks for doing this.

Have you been asked to star in the prequel to "The Last Mimzy"?

very funny!

How'd you get involved with Tim and Eric?

P.s. when you're yelling at Kevin Bacon at the end of Super, I cry like a bitch every time.

I saw their first season stuff courtesy of Emma Stone and Teddy Geiger on the set of the Rocker and I called them and said I was a big fan and asked to do something with them. Love those guys. Excited for Tim's dark new indie comedy "The Comedy".

Hey Rainn! This is the first AMA I've actively waited for, so hopefully my question gets noticed.

Out of the many cast members on The Office, who do you think you're most likely to keep in touch with after the show is over? You seem to have great chemistry with the whole cast, so it's tough to tell from a viewing perspective.

Also, are you still in touch with Steve Carrell?

I truly love the whole cast. I suppose I'll stay bestest friends with Angela and Jenna. Oscar just had a baby girl! Named August. I'm going to kidnap her and sell her in Venezuela. I still see and talk to Steve occasionally too.

I assume Oscar's child is adopted

OScar Nunez the actor, funny guy.

How do you feel about "the Office" post-Steve Carell?

I think some mistakes were made in the Office last season creatively. That being said I think some of the best, most interesting and funniest stuff we've ever done was last season. The Talahassee stuff was pretty sublime I thought. The Episode when I had an appendectamy was brilliant.

Do you believe that these mistakes were made because of the absence of Michael Scott, or because of the change in main writers?

Paul Lieberstein (Toby) had been running the show the two seasons before Steve left and was doing a great job. There was something about the energy of the ensemble that was off. James Spader is one of the greatest actors known to man but the chemistry with him and Ed running the office was a bit dark and needed to be brighter and more energized. IMHO.

If I may, what led you to the Baha'i faith?

Also, do you have a favourite season of the Office?

Big fan :)

Edit: Baha'i not Bahai'i. I'm an idiot.

I grew up a Baha'i. Most of my family is Baha'i. I know it has a weird name but it is a beautiful religion. I left it for a LONG time but have come back. My Faith is very important to me and gives me purpose and connection.



Fellow Trevian here, is that why you guys lived in the area?

My parents worked at the Baha'i National Center in Evanston, Il. I worked as a badass 17 year old security guard at the Temple in Wilmette. I'm grateful for New Trier, its where I got started in Acting! Great teachers!

My advice to starting in the business is to TRAIN! STUDY! APPRENTICE! There's this myth that "I have talent" so I'm going to show up to LA and be famous. It's a craft that takes years (if not decades) to hone. I went to a 3 year acting school and then did 3 years of theatre touring, regional theatre and off and on broadway before I did any film or TV. And I studied the whole time. FInd the best teachers/programs and work your ass off LEARNING for 10 years. Don't worry about fame. Worry about your art, your craft, your soul. That will lead to a rich, full life.

After watching the office bloopers/extras you tend to see a good chemistry within the cast. Is it as fun to work on the set as it looks?

Yes. Its crazy fun. Its too much fun, really. The hours are tough. Its hard being funny at 7 am - then shooting throughout the whole day and having to be just as funny at 6 PM. But we get paid well for it, so SUCK IT UP, WILSON!

What do you say to a guy (me) on Reddit who has never seen a single episode of The Office?

Get a life.

[No question]

I think I was supposed to add this... proof: http://imgur.com/1S8y6

[No question]

I'm going to talk about The Farm, appropos of nothing. We shot the 5th Office episode as a pilot for The Farm. Because of a death in the family we meet Dwight's brother and Sister and uncle as well as Mose's brother, Zeke. It will air as a stand alone Office episode this winter. NBC has it right now, is going to test it with audiences and will decide whether or not to pick it up.

PErsonally, i think its just terrific. IT's weird and yet accessible. it's a rural family comedy! Geese and goats and Schrutes and hijinx at the Bed and Breakfast.

Will there be any cameos from people in The Office?


Will The Farm be the next The Tortellis or the next The Jeffersons?

Joanie Loves Chachi.

Is Matt Jones everything you'd hope he would be?

I love Matt Jones. HE's a comedy genius.

[No question]

VOTE MORE - I can't pick the best questions, idiots!!!!



Do you laugh at your own jokes or bits in The Office?

all the time. see the blooper reels.

whose is your favorite character in ASOIAF/Game of Thrones?

also what kind of bear is best?

Jamie the Kingslayer.

What was it like to host SNL?

A highlight of my friggin life. Doesn't get better than that. Hope I get another shot at it, but my fame boat has kind of sailed.

What your favorite funny scene/joke/line that never made it to the final cut of the show.

Dude. i did a shirtless talking head monologue in Dothraki for the last episode and it was hysterical. Didn't make the cut. No idea why.

Do you have any favorite actors? Are there any that you look to for inspiration and admire?

I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Phil Seymour Hoffman. Chris Cooper. Orson Welles. Screech.


I was at comiccon two years ago dressed as kenny powers from eastbound and down and saw you walking nonchalantly with your wife and child. I said hey Rainn loved you in Galaxy Quest, could I get a picture and you said no not today and kept walking. Why come to comiccon and not take a picture with a fan. I mean comiccon is your job to get people to follow you more just like your AMA right now. I bet the old Dwight before he was famous would have enjoyed the attention. Were you playing poor me celebrity having take pictures at comiccon?

When I'm with my family, I don't take pics. That's family time. When I'm on my own I'm happy to oblige. It's not a good example for my son to see the 'famous' dad, but to be with the 'real' dad. It's my choice whether or not to take pics with people or not. I'm not being a dick, I have my reasons.

Please acknowledge me , Mr. Wilson



Not even with a big knife. Not even with a gun.

You were in both "Super" and "Super ex girlfriend". Which one was harder to sit through the premeire?

There is a cut of "Super Ex Girlfriend" that is actually really really funny. We shot a bunch of REALLY funny stuff. Its just not the cut that's out there. SUPER i believe is one of the greatest films ever made. But that's just me.

[No question]

I have to pee. Be right back!



[No question]

How am I doing compared to Obama and Zach Braff.

[No question]

will you guys please go subscribe to the soulpancake youtube channel? its really cool.

here is the link



you're mean.

What is your favorite small town you've been to in the US?

John Day, Oregon

Hi Rainn,

I recently saw a youtube video of you explaining the necessity for a spiritual revolution. I completely agree with you, but I was wondering if you had any ideas of what would/could spark this type of revolution. Do you see something happening anytime soon and is there something that you'd suggest indivuduals do to do their part in the revolution?


Politics is merely re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. For the 8 billion of us to truly get along as brothers and sisters of one big planet-earth-shaped country we need a spiritual revolution. A revolution built on LOVE SERVICE COMPASSION and JUSTICE. Humanity will go through the ringer in the next couple decades but eventually we'll outgrow our current selfish adolescence and become responsible grown ups, caring for each other, regardless of race or class and caring for our precious planet too. Call me old-fashioned.

If you could be an elephant every saturday for the rest of your life or a tangerine every sunday evening for the rest of your life, which would you be?

Hardware store.

Do you perform your own stunts on the office? loved the tight-rope-bike bit.

There was a stunt guy who was actually suspended above the parking lot on that bike (while wired to the cable) He also did a bunch of those amazingly great flips and stunts on the slack line. Forget his name unfortunately. He was amazing and made me look great!

What is your relationship with Mindy Kaling like? I read her book and she makes it sound like you're frenemies

I adore Mindy. She is a force of nature and a sweet sweet heart. We also give each other shit mercilessly.

I adore Mindy. She is a force of nature and a sweet sweet heart. We also give each other shit mercilessly.

Also, I hate her.

when was the moment you realized "I'm going to love being Dwight Schrute"

Were you auditioned for that role ?? how was that experience ????

I was THE VERY FIRST PERSON TO AUDITION FOR THE AMERICAN OFFICE. I did a terrible ricky gervais immitation for the part of Michael but nailed "Dwight". I knew the part would be mine. I just knew exactly how he needed to be! It was an instinct thing.

Who do you think is the funniest Office character besides yourself?? Kevin? Andy? Jimmy? Pam? Creed??

Craig Robinson.

[No question]

I'd like some more interesting questions, please.

[No question]

Yo Reddit I have a tasty Halloween treat for you: Chew on some sweet talk with me & Serj Tankian (System of a Down) in the new episode of Metaphysical Milkshake on SoulPancake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLoc3PjEVe8 (We aired it early just for you, reddit dudes.)

Hi Rainn. First, you're an excellent actor - anyone that gets recognized as their characters is doing something right. Ok, my question: Can you tell us about your time on Man Caves? You seemed like such a great family man, and I don't think America sees that side of actors enough. Alright, bonus question: What has Soul Pancake done that has absolutely blown your socks off - for instance: something you didn't think was possible or did believe was capable.

Ok, that's it. I hope you have a great day. Cheers!

I still have my 'man cave' as my office and it is awesome!

SoulPancake has a new show called "Last Days" that chronicles people who are going to die (spoiler alert: we all die) Find the episode on YouTube/SoulPancake with Ryan on it and watch it. It will change your life. Powerful stuff by the great film-maker and actor Justin Baldoni.

If you weren't an actor, what would you like to be doing right now?

My wife and I have been doing more and more work in Haiti. I believe in the power of education to uplift and empower children to change their lives and their countries. I would like to do even more work there when the Office is done.

Biggest accomplishment?

Working on my marriage for 17 years and raising an 8 year old who is filled with Joie de Vivre, creativity, joy and humanity.

What does the female vagina look like?

your face!

In-N-Out or Five Guys?



Steve Carell is one of the greatest comedy actors of all time. Like Peter Sellars great. It was an honor to work with him.

Can I have an awesome nickname??

Butt Butt.

[Words of praise and respect]

Of all the characters you've played, which would you say is the closest resemblance to your personality? How so?

The teacher I played in the Last Mimzy is actually very close to me.

Other than The Office, what is the funniest half hour on on tv right now?


Obama or Romney?

Robama. (see what I did there!?)


What is your relationship with Gabriel Lemmon? I was a student of his back when he used to be in California and he told me you guys were neighbors. How exactly did he help you out? Do you still regularly talk with him?

I love Gabe. Talk to him whenever he's in town. He's one of the wisest men I know.

I am a senior at Shorecrest Highschool this year. How were your experiences there and what classes did you take?

I hated Shorecrest for the most part. Except band and chess club.

How do you feel about becoming a popular meme as well as your popularity on the show?

I love that Dwight is a bobble-head, a graffiti, a meme and an icon of weirdness for a generation. So thankful to the fans for making Dwight a legend of TV.

How awkward was the sex scene with Ellen Page?

Not awkward! A W E S O M E!

What was it like working with Dreamworks for Monsters vs. Aliens? Did you like voice acting & would you consider it again for the future?

I loved doing that movie. Dreamworks loved it so much they took (literally, took) my voice and character and made MegaMind!

I sure hope it doesn't leek into the rest of the AMA.

I'm going to parsnip this conversation in the bud!

[No question]

I'm spending most of my time just reading through your comments and questions and not actually typing. That sucketh for thee. I've got to wind this up now. I'll do another one again sometime.

[No question]

I love you guys, I really do. Thanks for being such cool fans of the Office and SoulPancake and Super and LIFE! I'm going to a table read right now for the next episode. Wish me luck. see you soon.

[No question]

Buy my fucking book.

[No question]


[No question]

me & Serj Tankian (System of a Down) in the new episode of Metaphysical Milkshake on SoulPancake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLoc3PjEVe8 (We aired it early just for you, reddit dudes.)

[No question]

I gotta run. Going to pick up Elon Musk in my pimped out van. It's been real.

[No question]

Vote on November 7th!

[No question]

(that was a joke, it's the 6th)

[No question]

Devote your lives to making the world a better place, too please.

[No question]

And watch the Office on NBC! ;)----0

[No question]

I love you.

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Rainn Wilson conducted on Reddit on 2012-10-15. The Reddit AMA can be found here.