Actor Who Played Dwight Schrute On ‘The Office’ Spent Several Years “Mostly Unhappy” During Show’s Huge Run

It might be easy to assume that a TV star on a successful series that is Emmy nominated year after year would feel some level of success, happiness and even pride at what he had accomplished. We hope that is the case for many actors, but it was not the case for Rainn Wilson.

Wilson is best known for playing Dwight Schrute on the NBC series “The Office” which also starred Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski. Looking back at his time on the show, he can put it in perspective and appreciate it as an amazing experience and a wonderful opportunity for him as an actor; however, when he first started acting on the show, he felt quite differently about it.

Recently, Bill Maher interviewed Wilson on Maher’s “Club Random” podcast, and during the interview, Wilson opened up about why he took the job on the show, and why he wasn’t satisfied with his role as a star on a hit TV show. Wilson explained that the only reason he agreed to play the part of Dwight was because of money. He explained, “When I signed up for ‘The Office,’ it’s like, I want to buy a house, Bill Maher, I want to buy a house.” Now, he realizes that he was given an amazing opportunity to be part of something that really made people laugh, but he wasn’t thinking about that at all at the time.

I spent several years, really, mostly unhappy because it wasn’t enough.

At a time when he should have been appreciating his success, Wilson was wondering why he wasn’t more successful. He wasn’t satisfied with being a TV star. He wanted to be a movie star. Wilson explained, “I wasn’t enjoying it. I was thinking about, ‘Why am I not a movie star? Why am I not the next Jack Black or the next Will Ferrell? How come I can’t have a movie career? Why don’t I have this development deal.'” 

Originally, Wilson took the job for the money, but even though he was making 100s of 1000s of dollars, he still wasn’t satisfied. He said, “I was clutching and grasping at okay, I was making hundreds of thousands. I wanted millions, and I was a TV star, but I wanted to be a movie star. It was never enough. Humans have lived for hundreds of thousands of years, and never enough has helped us as a species.”

You can listen to his interview here:

Now, Wilson appreciates the opportunity he was given on the show, and time has put it in perspective for him. He also enjoys interacting with fans of the show, as he explained in a video he posted to Instagram. There was one time he was on an airplane and sat right next to a man who was watching episode after episode of “The Office.” Wilson was wearing a face mask, and it took a hilariously long amount of time for the passenger to recognize him.


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Does it surprise you that Wilson didn’t appreciate his role on “The Office”?