I don’t know why Rainn Wilson named his memoir The Bassoon King, yes he played the bassoon as a teenager but it wasn’t a pivotal part of his growing up. He talks about Dungeons & Dragons, sci-fi books, and his Baha’i faith shaping his childhood more than being a band geek. I suppose it does set the tone of a not-quite-serious look at the boy who would become Dwight Schrute. Rainn Wilson would not have been given a book deal if he hadn’t played Dwight, similar to Kunal Nayyar’s memoir in that sense, although to be fair Wilson did have a few small film credits to his name prior to The Office.
We were poor, but we were unhappy.
Rainn Wilson is a lot older than I thought he was (he was 39 years old when The Office premiered) and he had a unique childhood. His parents split when he was very young; his father remarried and moved his family to Nicaragua for a few years. The family made their way back to Seattle where they struggled financially throughout Rainn’s childhood.
Wilson owned his geekiness; he spent his weekends playing D&D, he played bassoon in band and was on the chess team. In high school he was bitten by the acting bug- drama geeks had access to girls! He studied acting for one year at Tufts and another year at Washington University before making his way NYU where he received his BFA. After graduation he struggled to get work as an actor, he got addicted to cocaine and was drinking heavily. Once he got clean he was able to make a small career as a working actor in off-off Broadway productions but it wasn’t until he moved to LA that he began to get traction on screen.
In 2004 Rain Wilson was cast as Dwight Schrute on NBC’s The Office and he parlayed that into a few (not so successful) staring roles in movies. This book was written right after his FOX show Backstrom was cancelled and he seemed a little bitter about it; he admits to reading things online and was angry at all the House comparisons the show received.
I’m not a huge Dwight fan. He actually wrote the foreward as Dwight and a few other passages within the book that I skimmed over because it’s just annoying. Otherwise the book was charming. Despite a brief faltering (while he was on drugs) Wilson has a deep spiritual belief in the little known faith, Baha’i. He also worships his wife and the passages about their relationship and the birth of his son were sweet without being schmaltzy.