Rainn Wilson: Enjoys ‘twists and turns’ of ‘The Office’ minus Steve Carell
“It was a challenging year. It was really a year of dynamics. It was how does the show work without the engine that has driven the show for so many year,” admitted Rainn Wilson, co-star of the long-running NBC comedy “The Office.”
After Steve Carell departed the program in the final episodes of 2011, many wondered what would happen next with the ratings and the quality of the show. That included the people working both in front of the cameras and behind the scenes.
In a video interview with Gold Derby, Wilson recalled, “It was a lot of twists and turns. We knew that we would get a lot of hate over the last season, but I thought it was a really successful season. Sure, there’s a couple of episodes that could have been stronger. But, you know what? There were a couple of episodes last season that were as funny or as good as anything we’ve done in the preceding eight years.”
Wilson has been in the cast since the beginning as Dwight Schrute, assistant to regional manager Michael Scott (Carell). During this season, his character watched co-worker Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) get promoted to the management job, took over a special project with the corporate office in Florida and ended the season by claiming he was the father of the baby his former girlfriend Angela (Angela Kinsey) had this year.
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Wilson was nominated at the Emmy Awards as Best Comedy Supporting Actor from 2007 to 2009. He continues on the ballot in that category this year but is also eligible as a director for the episode “Get the Girl.” He is one of the few people to have Screen Actors Guild ensemble trophies for both comedy (“The Office,” 2007 and 2008) and drama (“Six Feet Under,” 2004).
While the actor will return for the ninth season, he has a development deal with NBC to shoot a pilot episode for a spin-off series for Dwight called “The Farm.” As he explained, “It would be Dwight living on his beet farm and running the bed and breakfast that we’ve already established exists there. We’ve got a great outline done. Paul Lieberstein, who plays Toby on the show and has been the showrunner for the last four years on ‘The Office,’ is going to be heading it up and writing it… We’ll be shooting the episode at some point this summer or fall. We hope that NBC likes it and that the fans like it.”