Rainn Wilson Reflects on the ‘Miraculous’ Legacy of ‘The Office’ Nearly a Decade Later (Exclusive)

It’s been almost a decade since The Office came to an end, and its impact on pop culture hasn’t dissipated. For Rainn Wilson, the beloved sitcom still plays a role in his life on a frequent basis.

The actor recently spoke with ET’s Matt Cohen while promoting his new film, Jerry & Marge Go Large, and he reflected on the indelible legacy of The Office, as well as his iconic character, Dwight Schrute.

“I think about The Office a lot because it’s become so culturally iconic,” Wilson shared. “You know, obviously I’m recognized all the time, and they are always doing new stuff with The Office. It’s playing in different parts of the world and there’s different kinds of merchandise coming out and books and podcasts and whatnot. So that does make me end up thinking about it quite a lot.”

Wilson said that he is “just so grateful” for the longevity of the show’s popularity and the stalwart fanbase. 

“I really am super grateful. I know a lot of people that were on television shows for a very long time and no one thinks about or watches their television show anymore,” Wilson shared. “And, you know, they got some nice paychecks, but that’s it.”

“But the fact that we were able to make something that still resonates, especially with young people today, is really miraculous,” he added.

Now, Wilson is starring in the Netflix comedy Jerry & Marge Go Large — alongside Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening — and the actor explained how the role allowed him to get back to his comic roots.

“You know, it’s funny, since The Office, I haven’t done many roles that are just kind of straight-up comedic,” Wilson said. “I’ve done a lot of indie films and kind of various television shows that are, you know, dramedy, maybe, that have some comic elements. But very little that I have done that was just funny.”

“But when I read the role I was just like, ‘Oh, this is hysterical! I can just play this in my sleep. I can have fun, I can improvise,'” he continued. “Everyone knows this guy. He’s just affable and crazy and, you know, the rock and roll Hawaiian shirt-wearing drunk uncle that everyone has. It was just a blast to play and I just was excited at the chance to be in that kind of comedy.”

Jerry & Marge Go Large premieres June 17 on Paramount+.

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