Rainn Wilson reflects on "The Office" - WLTZ 38 | Columbus Georgia Regional News & Community

Rainn Wilson reflects on "The Office"

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By Jake Tapper (CNN)-After nine seasons, "The Office" and its workplace antics are over.

The NBC comedy ended its run Thursday night.

Jake Tapper sat down with actor Rainn Wilson to talk about the show's ending, his faith and a cause near to his heart.

It's a show that brought the mockumentary to the mainstream and with a single camera set up with no laugh track -- reshaped the landscape of network comedies.

Rainn Wilson is one of the breakaway stars of the show, playing bizarre paper salesman, bed and breakfast proprietor and beet farmer Dwight Schrute.

(Reporter): "It's possible this was the most awesome thing your were involved in."

"It is probable that this was the high point in my career and the most awesome thing I'll ever be involved in."

(Reporter): "And there's no crime or shame in that."

"No, I feel none I just feel tremendous gratitude."

It has been on one level an unlikely success.

It faced skeptics who thought it could never improve on the British original starring Ricky Gervais.

And then came questions as to whether it could survive the loss of star Steve Carrell.

But it has thrived.

(Reporter): "Is it tough to call it quits on a show?"

"'The Office' ending really came from us going to the producers and saying, 'You know what it's time to end this thing. Let's do one final season. Let's make it great. Let's have a big finale and let's do it right. I love the people there so much. It's such a great family, and, at the same time, it was time for it to go away."


Recently, the cast and crew threw a giant wrap party and soaked up a victory lap in the Pennsylvania city the Dunder Mifflin paper company called home.

(nats: "Ain't no party like a Scranton party!")

Thousands came to bid them farewell.

(nats: "i feel like the Beatles!")

Wilson is now using his "Office" fame to help support fellow members of the Baha'i faith who are being persecuted

"Baha'is believe that there's only one God and that all religions are in harmony. It's a beautiful faith. I grew up in it."

(nats: "Good evening, everyone. Thank you so much for coming.")

He came to Washington to raise awareness about seven Baha'i volunteer leaders who have been imprisoned in Iran for five years.

"The charges against them are just preposterous, it's like spying for Israel and corruption on earth. So this campaign of five years too many is really to let people know, 'Hey, there are Baha'is rotting in jail on a 20-year sentence on completely trumped up charges, simply because they have a certain set of faith beliefs that run against the theocracy in Iran."

(Reporter): "But nobody looks askance at you because you are a spiritual person?"

"Probably Ricky Gervais does. He's a..."

(Reporter): "He's a doubter."

"Well, he's an actively proselytizing atheist. You know what I mean."

(Reporter): "He's aggressively atheist."

"But that's okay. I respect his beliefs."

(Reporter): "He doesn't respect yours, though."

"He probably doesn't. But, that's okay. I thank him for creating 'The Office,' though! Because I wouldn't have a job without it."

(Reporter): "You seem really at peace and centered and not like a lot of other actors I've met. Is that because you're Baha'i?"

"You know, my faith grounds me and centers me and gives me focus and I'm very grateful for that."


"Maybe I'll always be known as Dwight. That's great. I'm fine with that. I'm a good actor. I know that there's a lot of other work out there for me and a lot of other fulfilling stuff, but this is just how I'm feeling right now, but talk to me tomorrow and I could be pulling my hair out and screaming 'Damn Carrell!'"

(Reporter stand up): "If you have a hunger for more of Dwight Schrute... sorry. NBC reportedly passed on a spin-off. But, if you have a hunger for more Rainn Wilson or you want to see more about those Baha'i imprisoned in Iran, check out his website soulpancake.com. Jake Tapper, CNN, Washington."

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