Rainn Wilson

Rainn Wilson

Wilson attending the premiere of The Union at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.
Born Rainn Dietrich Wilson
(1966-01-20) January 20, 1966
Seattle, Washington, United States
Alma mater New York University (MFA)
Occupation Actor, director, screenwriter, producer, art collector, farmer
Years active 1997–present
Religion Bahá'í
Spouse(s) Holiday Reinhorn (1995–present)
Children 1

Rainn Dietrich Wilson (/rn ˈdtrɪk ˈwɪlsən/;[1] born January 20, 1966) is an American actor. He is best known for his role as egomaniac Dwight Schrute on the American version of the television comedy The Office. Other television roles include Lieutenant Backstrom in the FOX drama Backstrom. In film, Wilson has had numerous parts in such movies as Super, Juno, The Rocker, Sahara, Almost Famous as well as voicing an alien villain in 2009's Monsters vs. Aliens. He published an autobiography, The Bassoon King, in November 2015. He co-founded the digital media company SoulPancake in 2008.

Early life

Wilson was born in Seattle, Washington, the son of Shay Cooper, a yoga teacher and actress, and Robert G. Wilson, a novelist, artist, and business consultant who wrote the science fiction novel Tentacles of Dawn.[2] Wilson has Norwegian ancestry.[3] He attended Kellogg Middle School and Shorecrest High School in Shoreline, Washington, where he played the clarinet and bassoon in the band.[4] He transferred to and graduated from New Trier High School after his family moved to Wilmette, Illinois, to serve at the Bahá'í National Center.[5] Wilson has a theatre background from Tufts University and the University of Washington, and he has taught acting classes.

Wilson holds an MFA from New York University's Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch School of the Arts[6] and was a member of The Acting Company.[7] While acting in theatrical productions in New York City, he drove a moving van to make ends meet.[8]

Wilson worked extensively in the theater for his first ten years after graduating from N.Y.U. He was an actor at the Public Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, Playwrights Horizons, The Roundabout and The Guthrie Theater, among others. He was nominated for three Helen Hayes Awards for Best Supporting Actor for his work at the Arena Stage.


Wilson at the Heroes for Autism event, Hollywood, California

Wilson played Arthur Martin, the intern at Fisher & Diaz Funeral Home in HBO's Six Feet Under and Dwight Schrute in The Office, on which he directed three episodes: the Season 6 "The Cover-Up", the Season 7 "Classy Christmas", and the Season 8 "Get the Girl", and guest-starred in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Entourage,[9] Monk, NUMB3RS, Charmed, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job, Reno 911 and Roadies.

On February 24, 2007, Wilson hosted Saturday Night Live, becoming the second cast member from The Office to host (after Steve Carell). During the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, Wilson appeared in ads for the 2007 United States women's national soccer team as public relations manager "Jim Mike." In August 2010, Wilson appeared in the music video for Ferraby Lionheart's "Harry and Bess" and Andy Grammer's "Keep Your Head Up" as the "creepy elevator guy", and made the final cut for the role of Gob in Arrested Development, but was replaced by Will Arnett.

He was nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor three different times for his role as Dwight Schrute in 2007, 2008, and 2009. He won two SAG awards for best comedy ensemble for a television show for The Office and one for best drama ensemble for Six Feet Under.[10]

He also starred in films, including Almost Famous, America's Sweethearts, BAADASSSSS!, Galaxy Quest, House of 1000 Corpses, Sahara, The Last Mimzy, Juno (as the convenience store clerk Rollo), The Rocker and My Super Ex-Girlfriend. Wilson starred in the Fox Atomic comedy The Rocker, released on August 20, 2008.[11] In 2009 he lent his voice to DreamWorks Animation film Monsters vs. Aliens, as the villainous alien overlord Gallaxhar,[12] and was featured inTransformers: Revenge of the Fallen, in which he played a university professor. In 2011, he played the lead role as the unhinged protagonist in Super and the black sheep brother in Peep World.

More recently he played in the independent horror comedy, Cooties and the thriller The Boy for Elijah Wood’s production company,[13] SpectreVision. He recently finished shooting Shimmer Lake, a Netflix original movie, Permanent, an independent comedy and Meg for Warner Brothers.[14]

Rainn is voicing the character of Gargamel in the 2017 animated reboot of The Smurfs: The Lost Village for Sony Pictures Animation.

In the Fox crime-drama Backstrom, Wilson played Evert Backstrom, an offensive, self-destructive detective who is part of a team of eccentric criminologists. The series is based on Leif G. W. Persson's Swedish book series of the same name.[15] Wilson also served as the show's producer. It was cancelled by Fox after 13 episodes.[16]

Wilson co-wrote the New York Times Bestseller SoulPancake: Chew on Life’s Big Questions and wrote a humorous memoir about his personal life, career and faith called The Bassoon King that was published in November 2015.[17]


Wilson founded the website and YouTube channel SoulPancake. As of January 24, 2016, the channel has over 1.6 million subscribers, and over 225 million video views. SoulPancake has been featured on Oprah Winfrey's Satellite Radio Show and Super Soul Sunday.[18] The tagline of the brand is: "We make stuff that matters." They were named one of Fast Company's 10 Most Innovative Companies in Video for 2015.[1] More recently, SoulPancake was ranked #114 on the 2015 Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America List[19] It was recently purchased by Participant Media.[20]

Personal life

Wilson is married to writer Holiday Reinhorn. They met in an acting class in college and married on the Kalama River in Washington. The couple have a son, Walter Mckenzie, born in 2004, and reside in Agoura Hills, California. They have a home outside of Sisters, Oregon. They have two pit bulls, Oona and Pilot, two vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, Snorty and Amy, as well as a zonkey named Derek.[21] He and his family are members of the Baha'i Faith.[22][23][24] He hosts a podcast for Baha'i Blog called the Baha'i Blogcast, where he interviews notable people about the intersection of their faith and their work.[25]

On Bill Maher's Real Time, Wilson described himself as a diverse independent, voting for Republican, Green Party, and Democratic candidates.

Wilson's charitable works include fundraising for the Mona educational organization.[26] In 2013, along with his wife and Dr Kathryn Adams, he co-founded Lidè Haiti, an educational initiative that uses the arts and literacy to empower adolescent girls in rural Haiti. They currently work in 13 locations with over 500 girls, providing scholarships to many of them.[27]



Year Title Role Notes
1999 Galaxy Quest Lahnk
2000 Almost Famous David Felton
2001 America's Sweethearts Dave O'Hanlon
2002 Full Frontal Brian
2003 House of 1000 Corpses Bill Hudley
2003 BAADASSSSS! Bill Harris
2005 The Life Coach Dr. Watson Newmark
2005 Sahara Rudi Gunn
2006 My Super Ex-Girlfriend Vaughn Haige
2007 The Last Mimzy Larry White
2007 Juno Rollo
2008 The Rocker Robert 'Fish' Fishman
2009 Monsters vs. Aliens Gallaxhar (voice)
2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Professor Colan Cameo
2010 Super Frank D'Arbo / The Crimson Bolt
2010 Hesher Paul Forney
2010 Peep World Joel Meyerwitz
2013 Arcade Fire in Here Comes The Night Time Greeter; Stage crew member NBC Special
2013 The Stream Adult Ernest
2014 Cooties Wade Johnson
2015 Uncanny Castle
2015 The Boy William Colby Nominated- Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actor
2016 Army of One
2016 Shimmer Lake Andy Sikes
2017 Permanent Jim Dixon
2017 Smurfs: The Lost Village Gargamel (voice) Filming
2018 Meg Jack Morris Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1997 One Life to Live Casey Keegan
2000 The Expendables Newman Movie
2001 Charmed Kierkan Episode: "Coyote Piper"
2001 When Billie Beat Bobby Dennis Van De Meer Movie
2001 Dark Angel Phil Episode: "I and I Am a Camera"
2001 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Guy in Supermarket Episode: "The Strip Strangler"
2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Janitor Episode: "Waste"
2003 Monk Walker Browning Episode: "Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame"
2003–2005 Six Feet Under Arthur Martin 13 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2005 Numb3rs Martin Grolsch Episode: "Vector"
2005 Entourage R. J. Spencer Episode: "I Love You Too"
2005–2013 The Office Dwight Schrute 201 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2006−07)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (2007−09)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2008−12)
2007 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Rainn Wilson/Arcade Fire"
2008 Tim and Eric Nite Live! The Psychic Episode: "1.8"
2008; 2010 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Various 5 episodes
2009 Reno 911! Calvin Robin Tomlinson Episode: "Digging with the Murderer"
2010 Family Guy Dwight Schrute (voice) Episode: "Excellence in Broadcasting"
2012 Rove LA Himself Episode: "Rainn Wilson/Sarah Wayne/The Miz"
2013 The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange Dr. Po (voice) Episode: Orange James Orange (#2.5)
2013 Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself Episode: "Rainn Wilson Wears a Short Sleeved Plaid Shirt & Colorful Sneakers"
2014 Adventure Time Rattleballs / Peacemaster (voices) 2 episodes
2015 Backstrom Detective Evert Backstrom 13 episodes
2016 Roadies Bryce Newman Recurring Role

Written publications


  1. "Rainn Wilson has faith in life after 'The Office'.". CNN. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  2. Rainn showed the book and read from it on Jimmy Kimmel Live! March 22, 2011.
  3. "Rainn Wilson on Jay Leno". OfficeTally.com. 19 March 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  4. "Rainn Wilson on Myspace". Myspace.com. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
  5. Estudillo, Terry (May 22, 2006). "From Shorecrest "loser" to "The Office" poser". The Seattle Times.
  6. "NYU Graduate Acting Alumni". 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
  7. Chung, Wing (March 1, 2006). "The B.J. Novak Interview". Television Without Pity.
  8. "Rainn Wilson leaves cubicle for the big screen". MSNBC.com. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
  9. "Rainn Wilsons Talks About Entourage!". Entourage The Blog. July 17, 2008.
  10. "Rainn Wilson". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-10-18.
  11. "ED治療技術と治療薬まとめ". ED治療技術と治療薬まとめ.
  12. "Monsters vs Aliens (2009)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
  13. "The Boy". Dread Central. March 2013.
  14. Pedersen, Erik (2016-08-18). "Rainn Wilson Joins Jason Statham In Prehistoric-Shark Tale 'Meg'". Deadline. Retrieved 2016-10-18.
  15. "Rainn Wilson's Next Show is a CBS Crime-Drama Called Backstrom". Splitsider. March 2013.
  16. Petski, Denise (2015-05-08). "'Backstrom' Cancelled By Fox". Deadline. Retrieved 2016-10-18.
  17. Villarreal, Yvonne (November 12, 2015). "Rainn Wilson gets spiritual in his memoir 'The Bassoon King,' and Dwight Schrute has something to say about it". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  18. "Rainn Wilson on Oprah's Radio Show". Oprah.com. March 9, 2009.
  19. "SoulPancake: Number 114 on the 2015 Inc. 5000". Inc.com. Retrieved 2016-10-18.
  20. Rainey, James (2016-10-13). "Participant Media Acquires Rainn Wilson's SoulPancake". Variety. Retrieved 2016-10-19.
  21. "From A Weirdo Nerd To A Guy Who Plays One On TV". npr.com. 2015-11-27. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  22. Winters Keegan, Rebecca (March 8, 2007). "Rainn Wilson". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2008-08-24. Did being of the Baha'i faith help you understand the spirituality? As a Baha'i, I believe in all the spiritual beliefs: Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity.
  23. "Rainn Wilson Feeds The Internet Soul Pancakes: Online Video News «". Newteevee.com. 2009-03-11. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
  24. "Rainn Wilson talks about Hollywood, his family and the Baha'i Faith". bahai.org.
  25. "Baha'i Blog | Introducing Baha'i Blog's New Podcast: The Baha'i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson -". Bahai Arts, Stories, Media & Bahai Religion. 2016-06-26. Retrieved 2016-10-19.
  26. "Charity's work aligns with Rainn Wilson's faith". msnbc.com.
  27. Zumberge, Marianne (2014-12-10). "Rainn Wilson Pays It Forward With Haitian Arts Program". Variety. Retrieved 2016-10-19.

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