Even in his wildest daydreams, it's doubtful that Seattle native Rainn Wilson imagined he'd spend nine years playing a dweeby paper salesman–slash–beet farmer on TV. Or that people would tattoo his face onto their bodies.
“Here I am playing this nerdy character [Dwight Schrute on NBC's The Office] and he’s become an icon,” Wilson told The New York Times recently. “I turn on college sports events and the fans are waving giant Dwight heads in the stands. People have gotten tattoos of my face. I’m just so happy to have done this.”
Wilson's career-making run as Dwight Schrute ends May 16 with the series finale of The Office. And despite talk of a spinoff show for Dwight—dubbed The Farm, naturally—it looks like the next step for Wilson could be the lead on CBS drama pilot Backstrom, playing the "offensive, irascible Detective Everett Backstrom as he tries, and fails, to change his self-destructive behavior." (But first, CBS has to pick up the show. Find out where other Office cast members could be headed.)
Offensive? Irascible? Sounds like a role Wilson can pull off. In honor of the series finale, we pulled a couple of our favorite Wilson quotes from interviews over the years.
"I was born and raised here in Seattle, and I went to Shorecrest High School. It’s a sucky high school. Trust me, it sucks. But while there, I did some very serious research for the character of Dwight Schrute by participating avidly in Model United Nations, the chess club, marching band (where we wore kilts), and I was in the computer club and played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons." (Nerd for Life, November 2009)
"What is the profit margin of beet farms? Most sugar comes from beets—sugar beets. They’re extremely profitable. One beet seed? How much does a beet seed run ya? A penny? How much does a beet cost you at the store? Like, 79 cents? You do the math. Literally, you do the math right now." (Rainn Wilson and Craig Robinson Respond to Reader Questions, November 2010; as told during Backstage at the Paramount with Dwight and Darryl)
The Office series finale
May 16 at 8, NBC