New Delhi, Sep 24 (PTI) Actor Rainn Wilson says he always goes for the thrill of following a character's journey, whether it is his immensely popular paper salesman Dwight Schrute from 'The Office' or his latest role of a scientist in Amazon series 'Utopia'.
For most fans, Wilson will always be synonymous with Dwight Schrute, a role that he played across nine seasons opposite the likes of Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, BJ Novak and others.
Since the show's end in 2013, Wilson has featured in many movies and shows such as 'The Boy', 'The Meg', 'Shimmer Lake', 'Star Trek: Discovery' and 'Blackbird'.
But it is the role of Dr Michael Stearns in Gillian Flynn's conspiracy thriller 'Utopia' that seems to be the next big thing for Wilson.
'I view him as being a little bit nerdy and kind of lost, basement-dwelling research scientist, who is not really respected by anyone. So he goes on a really exciting and outrageous journey.
'That's one of the things that really spoke to me. It starts so small for him but he ends up on the world stage. It's very exciting as an actor to play that kind of incredible range. It's pretty rare and that was really thrilling to me,' Wilson told PTI during a group interview on Zoom.
'Utopia' revolves around a group of conspiracy theorists who find out that a graphic novel has clues about the pandemic that is raging through the US. Along the way, they meet Jessica Hyde, the lead protagonist of the novel.
Wilson's Dr Michael Stearns is thrust into the scheme of things when he finds out that he has a cure for the disease that is now quickly spreading across the US.
The 54-year-old actor believes there are some similarities between both Dwight Schrute and Dr Michael Stearns.
'There's some parallels between Dwight and Michael. I think that's interesting as they both are very dogged. They have strong wills and want to get to the bottom of things.' Wilson is confident that the show will go on to become popular among the viewers as it 'reverberates' with the problems of real world that is battling the coronavirus pandemic.
'We had no idea that months after we were done, there would be an international global pandemic that was mirroring what was happening in our show to such a degree. So, it has incredible resonances, reverberations and repercussions with what's happening in the real world.
'And not only that, but the relationship to science and relationship to conspiracy theories, there's so many issues that 'Utopia' is digging into that are really relevant in this day and age. So it's exciting to see how an audience will respond,' he added.
'Utopia', which also features John Cusack, Sasha Lane, Desmin Borges, Dan Byrd, Jessica Rothe, Ashleigh LaThrop and Christopher Denham, will start streaming on Amazon Prime Video from Friday.
In real life, the actor said the concept of Utopia, which is a term for an ideal society, is something that he pursues actively.
'When I was a kid growing up, people talked about world peace and how it was possible. Nowadays, if you talk about world peace, people roll their eyes and are like, 'Oh, you're so naive and so stupid. World peace is never going to happen.' People are cynical.
'For me, Utopia is not being cynical anymore, but striving to make the world a better place. Striving for unity and diversity at the same time. So as John Lennon said, 'They may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one', I think that there's still some dreamers out there and we need to work hard to make the world a better place.' Wilson is also happy that 'The Office' remains incredibly popular among people across the globe, even though it has been seven years since the show ended.
'I feel flattered that people love 'The Office' and have been discovering it. We were a moderate hit when we were on the air. Now it's one of the biggest shows in the world, six-seven years after we've wrapped, which is crazy.
'So it's amazing and thrilling. I love that audiences all over the world are discovering the show.' PTI RB BK BK