Rainn Wilson explains how he made ‘The Office’ awkward for everybody

Rainn Wilson throws up a rock 'n' roll salute and sticks out his tongue at a comic con panel.
Photo by Danny Peterson.

Rainn Wilson is revealing one of the most awkward aspects of filming The Office probably came from him. It was awkward — for everyone else, that is — due to a particular character choice with which Wilson imbued his hierarchy-obsessed Assistant to the Regional Manager, Dwight Schrute.

When one fan asked Wilson what the most awkward part about filming The Office was, at a recent panel he hosted at Rose City Comic Con in Portland, Oregon, Wilson admitted he was the source of it.

“Well, I think one of the choices I chose to make with Dwight early on was that he didn’t have spatial awareness. So he would often stand awkwardly too close to his cast members. So any chance I had an opportunity, especially with Jenna [Fischer], my dear friend Jenna, to kind of stand too close to her, especially with my groinal area being inappropriately close to her face. Actually, that wasn’t awkward at all, I rather enjoy it. But I’m sure it was awkward for her.”

During that same panel discussion, Wilson talked about some other little-known facts about filming The Office, including that there is an unseen extended cut of the failed backdoor pilot episode of the Dwight-focused “The Farm,” that Creed Bratton was the most fun co-star to work with, and that production of the show once had to shut down due to the entire cast succumbing to uncontrollable, contagious laughter during the episode “Lecture Circuit: Part 1.” In particular, Wilson said the scene in which Jon Krasinski’s Jim Halpert and Dwight set up the birthday party for Mindy Kaling’s Kelly Kapoor — and Dwight puts up a sign that simply says “It is your birthday” — was what caused the entire cast to lose it.

Wilson, who was the star of James Gunn’s Super in 2010, seemed to enjoy the convention and even shared a fan-created action figure of The Crimson Bolt, the character from the movie.

“Dude at Rose City Comic Con did his own SUPER / CRIMSON BOLT action figure! Glorious!” Wilson wrote in a Twitter post.

In terms of what’s next for Wilson, he is set to portray Dr. Demento in the upcoming musical biopic parody film Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, starring Daniel Radcliffe, when the film releases on November 4.