rainn wilson

I am Rainn Wilson, star of Backstrom on FOX, actor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, ass-kicker. AMA.

It feels like my last AMA was 8 months ago, or something. But it’s been 3 years.
SoulPancake has erupted as a very popular YouTube channel in the last several years and as a very popular respected media company. We have 1.5 million subscribers. There’s a Kid President TV show, a Kid President book coming out, and many other creative works in the pipeline…
I have 2 movies coming out this next year – one is called “Cooties” and the other is called “The Boy,” which is premiering at SXSW…
My new show BACKSTROM has an episode airing tonight on FOX at 9 o’clock, 8 o’clock central…
And my wife and I are now proud owners of a Zonkey, named “Derrick.” A Zonkey is half-zebra, half-donkey. He comes from ZebrasRUs.com. I’m not kidding.
I’ve already uploaded proof: https://twitter.com/rainnwilson/status/563498330315976704
Victoria’s helping me get started, for no good reason. AMA!

Which do you prefer Asian Jim or regular Jim?

Asian Jim isnt a Patriots fan.

What’s your most bizarre interaction with a fan?


What are you most proud of in your life?

I’m most proud of fathering my son with my beautiful wife. He’s amazing and I love being a dad more than anything. I would give up all this Hollywood crap to have a family. It’s so rich and difficult and satisfying to the soul. Also, I’m proud of hosting SNL. And of my dragon kick.

What’s the weirdest thing about you?

I snore. I wipe standing up, in a kind of feral crouch.

What is the best current tv show in your opinion?

TIE: Game of Thrones. Mad Men.
Also: Black Mirror and Peaky Blinders.

Are you planning to do anymore films like Super?

SUPER is the best and most fantastic movie I’ve ever done. Now that people are seeing it and loving it, it lives on as a cult classic (not to mention the incredible career of James Gunn) – I would love to do more cool, edgy indies that really try and go for something original. Hesher was another great indie i did. ANd Cooties and The Boy are coming out this year. They’re both super cool and really GO FOR IT.

“You said we could ask you anything… Where is the clitorous?”

Its somewhere near “the female vagine”

What is the funniest blooper you witnessed on the set of The Office? You’re the best!


What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

I play Destiny on Xbox. And Wolfenstein.

Who would win in a fight to the death, Dwight or Backstrom?

Backstrom would shoot Dwight in the face when no one was looking and frame a bad guy for doing it.

Since you are a long time Seahawks fan, How was the emotional roller coaster from the circus catch to interception in the Superbowl?

That was one of the most tragic few minutes of my life!!! Such a bad call. I don’t care what you say. When you’ve got Lynch and Wilson’s legs, you run it at their pussy little linebackers. (except Wilfork)

What kind of bear is best?

The Reddit bear

What do you have in common with Dwight? Other than looks.

We are both proud owners of a zonkey.

What was it like working with Elijah Wood in “Cooties”?

Elijah is literally the nicest person I’ve ever worked with. He is so kind its kind of weird. Smart and cool and tiny.
The movie is SUPER DUPER FUN. you Redditors are going to totally dig it.
It’s like Sean of the Dead. It scares you occasionally through the laughter.
I play a gym coach with a big truck and handlebar moustache.

What was the best movie you saw last year?

Boyhood. It’s long and slow. (thats what she said) but MAN does it pay off at the end. What a journey. I think being a parent makes you appreciate it more. Loved the performances. I’m a HUGE Ethan Hawke fan. He’s so watchable and interesting. I was left thinking some really deep shit at the end of it. And feeling deep shit too.

I’m a massive fan of The Office – it’s the greatest comedy to ever air. What was it like to finally step away from that project and your castmates/co-workers after 9 seasons of filming? Do you still keep in touch?

WE all really loved each other on The Office and still keep in touch. I mainly talk to Jenna Angela Brian and Oscar but I love them all. I text Creed occasionally as well as Steve and John. Someday I hope for a reunion. Would be so fun.

Does your penis look like an acorn glued to the bottom of a torso?

I will meet you at Grubbs tavern.

How fun is it being the lead role on BACKSTROM?

It’s HARD being the lead role. Have a new respect for Steve Carell. So much pressure – so many more lines. Long long hours and the intenstiy of having to drive all the scenes. But BACKSTROM is a truly great role. Very complex. Hard to define. SO many colors and textures – from self-hatred to addiction to traumatic wounds to a Sherlock-esque brilliance. ITs a role any actor would jump at.

What is your favorite place to eat in L.A? And do you smoke weed?

I like Asenabo Sushi. And no. I quit weed in 1990 after I smoked some laced with PCP or something and had a paranoid trip and saw the face of God and swore to God that I would never smoke it again.
I actually think weed dulls every single sense, and the heart and the brain and the libido and the… etc…

Have you ever been offered a movie role that you turned down?

Is that a slam on the movies I’ve done??? jk
I just turned down a big role in a big comedy because it was so grossly crass and disgustingly pornagraphic it actually made the world a worse place. With some big actors too!

My roommate and I saw you speak last year at UNT promoting Soul Pancake and it was honestly one of the best “inspirational” speeches I have ever been apart of. How did you get started with the Soul Pancake movement and what motivated it?

My Faith urges me to try and serve humanity and make the world a better place. Faith shouldn’t just be a once a week thing but reflected in action. Soulpancake was one of those actions. I’ve made a ton of dumb selfish mistakes in my life but I try and get better. What can we do to make the world more awesome? That’s truly what God wants from us.

How would you describe your experience shooting Seasons 8 & 9 of The Office? Was going without Steve Carrell something that allowed you to develop more of your character or was not having him on a real challenge?

We struggled to find our footing for awhile and I don’t think Spader was the right fit for our show but there are some HYSTERICAL episodes in the final two seasons and I TRULY think that the last 6 episodes we shot are some of the best stuff in TV history. If you didn’t see those last episodes you really need to check them out.

How do you personally practice gratitude every day (i.e. journal, call a loved one, something more creative)?

Every time I feel a negative or resentful thought pass between my ears I try and counter it with something I’m grateful for. It can be simple. LIke the breeze. Or popcorn. Living in gratitude is the simplest, fastest, easiest way to transform your life into a positive force. The next step is to make oneself something that other people are grateful for.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next few years?

Hopefully Backstrom gets enough viewers to continue for several more years. I’m also writing a book that will come out this fall or next spring. Very excited for people to read a comedic take on my life’s story. I look forward to raising my son through his difficult teenage years. And to challenge myself to seek an ever deeper spiritual evolution. Also, my wife and I have an educational initiative non-profit in Haiti called LIDE that is super cool. We go down there a ton. We want to reach even more girls with our arts and literacy programs.

Is it weird going from the office to this new show? Do you think the fans will only see you as dwight?

I will always be known as Dwight first and foremost. I have no problem with that. He’s the best. So grateful for that role.
Buuuuut, I know as an actor I’m capable of transforming to a lot of different kinds of roles and I think if you check out Backstrom you’ll really dig the show and the guy.

What’s your favorite pre-1980 movie?

Animal Crackers.

How does it feel to work with Page Kennedy and the rest of the excellent cast of Backstrom?

Honestly, Page Kennedy is one of the best and funnest actors to work with. He can do outlandish comedy and really dark drama. He’s the real deal. A great heart and super smart. What an assett to the show he is.
The whole cast is amazing. Truly. Dennis Haysbert is one of America’s finest actors and this ensemble is one you’ll (hopefully) fall in love with.
Backstrom is on in 40 minutes on the east coast!!! Hit it guys! (or at least hit your DVRs.

Any plans to release Backstrom in the UK?

Its in Canada and India of all places. It has to do well in the States first before it airs in other countries.
Took a LONG time for the Office to air overseas. At first the British HATED it (of course) and it was even cancelled in Australia. Then they brought it back by popular demand a year later.

I’ve read you and your father are both art enthusiasts and like to collect pieces, what’s your favorite piece in your collection?

Theres a Haitian artist that my wife and I collect named Franz Zepherin. Google his ass. INCREDIBLE stuff. Like the dream of Haiti. The art is Haiti is incredible. My favorite stuff in the world. Voodoo fever dreams!