Here's How 'The Office' Star Rainn Wilson Defines Himself As An Actor

Rainn Wilson Dwight Schrute The OfficeNBC/’The Office’Rainn WIlson starred as Dwight Schrute for nine seasons on NBC’s hit series ‘The Office.’

In Hollywood, it’s easy to get typecast.

Just ask Rainn Wilson.

The actor often plays outlandish characters, like Dwight Schrute on “The Office,” and Detective Everett Backstrom on his new Fox series, “Backstrom,” which premiered on Fox Thurs. night.

But he doesn’t see himself as so limited.

When asked if he considers himself a “character actor” or a “leading man” at an AOL Build Speaker Series event, here’s how he defined his acting style:

I come from New York City. I went to NYU. I did theatre here for 10 years before I did any film or television, and I always thought of myself as a character guy … but I think any theatre actor thinks of themselves as a character actor. You’re asked to … play a a lead here, a comedy there, a drama there, and Shakespeare here, an experimental theatre [piece] here, a Neil Simon thing here, and it’s very diverse. You transform yourself to become the character in the best way possible and entertain and tell the story. So, I still carry that with me.

Wilson went on to describe how Hollywood often divides actors into labels, but he doesn’t see himself falling into any of those categories.

Backstrom rainn wilsonLiane Hentscher/FOXRainn Wilson in his new Fox show ‘Backstrom.’

“In Hollywood, it’s very much like ‘He’s a leading actor. He’s a character. This is a guest star actor. This is a television actor, he’s a film actor.'” says Wilson. “Everyone has labels. Kind of like a card around their chest, what kind of actor they are.”

“I’m just an actor-actor,” he said.

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