Rainn Wilson Was 'Unhappy' Starring in 'The Office,' Says Paycheck Wasn't Enough: 'I Wanted Millions'

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Jul. 10 2023, Published 6:30 p.m. ET

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Rainn Wilson doesn't feel satisfied by his award-winning role as Dwight Schrute on the famed sitcom The Office from 2005-2013.

"I spent several years really mostly unhappy because it wasn’t enough," Wilson confessed of his time filming the hit series during a guest appearance on the Sunday, July 9, episode of Bill Maher's "Club Random" podcast.

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"I’m realizing now, like, I’m on a hit show, Emmy nominated every year, making lots of money, working with Steve Carell and Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski and these amazing writers and incredible directors like Paul Feig. I’m on one of the great TV shows. People love it," Wilson recalled during the interview.

While life seemed great from a far, the 57-year-old admitted: "I wasn’t enjoying it."

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Wilson didn't want to be remembered as the funny guy from The Office, as one of his greatest desires was to be a well-acclaimed Hollywood movie star.

"I was thinking about, 'Why am I not a movie star? Why am I not the next Jack Black or the next Will Ferrell? How come I can’t have a movie career? Why don’t I have this development deal?'” he explained. "When I was on The Office, I was clutching and grasping at, okay, I was making hundreds of thousands. I wanted millions, and I was a TV star, but I wanted to be a movie star."

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"It was never enough. Humans have lived for hundreds of thousands of years, and ‘never enough’ has helped us as a species."

Though Wilson was admittedly unhappy working on the fan-favorite NBC TV show, he did find a new appreciation for his role during the COVID-19 pandemic, as he explained during a guest appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show back in April.

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"It would’ve been so much fun to film The Office during the pandemic," Wilson expressed at the time. "If we had pandemic episodes, that would’ve been amazing."

"The Office writers were so great — they would’ve been able to spin that in some beautiful ways," he continued, suggesting: "[Dwight] gets the call from corporate to get everyone back in the office and everyone is resistant. So, one at a time, Dwight has to kidnap every ‘Office’ cast member and bring them into Dunder Mifflin in some kind of obscure and somewhat inappropriate way."


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