After a three-year hiatus from Reddit AMAs, Rainn Wilson, a.k.a. the Actor Formerly Known As Dwight K. Schrute, logged on Thursday night to share his contagious positivity and plug his new show, Backstrom. It’s a big, busy year for him away from Dunder Mifflin: He has two movies (Cooties, The Boy) coming out, a new TV show vying for viewers’ hearts, a potential book bound for publication, and … a zonkey basking in the glory of being his zonkey. (If you don’t know what a zonkey is, this is going to be a life-changing internet event for you.) Wilson was at turns flippant, sincere, and passionate — in other words: a little bit Everett, Rainn, and Dwight. Here are some of his best responses, in which he wields sexual advice like a scimitar and indulges in some sage, Yoda-esque moments.
On his favorite comparison, that of Backstrom to House:
That’s total bullshit. Here’s the similarities to House: A self-destructive, difficult and brilliant man at the center of the show. How many HUNDREDS of shows have there been like that before?
Differences: Backstrom is falling apart. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s not sly or charming. He doesn’t give a fuck if anyone likes him. He unravels as the season goes along. He’s able to use his affinity for the dark side of humanity to see into a criminals mind and heart.
Running out of ideas? There are hundreds of ideas in hundreds of pilots that are made each year - a few dozen make it on the air and only a handful stay on.
I wanted a break from TRUE comedy for awhile. There’s a lot of funny in Backstroke. Check it out.
Remember James Spader’s weird Office role and the show’s last couple of seasons? He does, too:
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.
What was the best movie he’s seen this 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.
Someone basically asked, “Where do you see yourself five years from now?”
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.
On guilty pleasures:
I play Destiny on Xbox. And Wolfenstein.
Don’t forget Wilson founded SoulPancake. A Redditor asked how he practices gratitude (the two are related):
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.
Someone back-handed-complimented him and then asked him: 1) What did Mose smell like? and 2) Would Wilson do a phone interview?
Manure and tears. No chance, loser.
Favorite pre-1980s movie:
Wilson revealed he’s not good at picking favorites or understanding superlatives. Best current TV show:
TIE: Game of Thrones. Mad Men. Also: Black Mirror and Peaky Blinders.
He really wants you to know that Backstrom is not just House again:
The episodes keep getting better and better. A lot of the shitty, snarky reviews just said “OH ITS HOUSE WITH A BADGE” but that’s really not the show. It has a lot of nuance, feeling and subltely. You just wouldnt know it from the marketing campaign.
you go on a journey over these 13 episode with Backstrom and get to delve deeper and deeper into his past and psyche. Plus its F***ing funny.
I snore. I wipe standing up, in a kind of feral crouch.
Wilson is an art enthusiast, and this is his favorite artist:
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!
On Tom Brady:
He’s got soft balls.
Favorite Office prank?
My desk in the bathroom with kevin taking a dump.
If you’re wondering about an Office reunion already …
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.
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…
What does Dwight have in common with Wilson?
We are both proud owners of a zonkey.
Somebody asked if Wilson could help locate a clitoris because Reddit is the new Yahoo! Answers for coital queries:
Its somewhere near “the female vagine”