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Rainn Wilson Talks Mental Health, Comedy, Bill Maher Podcast Backlash – The Hollywood Reporter



The Workplace star Rainn Wilson got here to the Simply For Laughs comedy pageant to speak critically about non secular struggling and “anxious discontent” folks really feel all over the place.

And he wasted no time earlier than addressing the current media storm he prompted when he shared throughout an interview with Invoice Maher on his Membership Random podcast that he felt “mostly unhappy” whereas starring as Dwight Schrute on the NBC sitcom for 9 seasons. “I literally made dozens and dozens of headlines when I revealed on Bill Maher’s drunken, smoky, rambling podcast… that I had been deeply unsatisfied at times while working on The Office,” Wilson recalled throughout a keynote deal with in Montreal on Friday.  

Wilson, it seems, did a redo on the comedy pageant after showing to be ungrateful and unfulfilled after his success on the favored sitcom. “Dozens and dozens of outrage-inducing clickbait articles for digital surfing pleasure: ‘Wait. What? That weird guy from The Office was making millions and getting nominated for the Emmys and was unhappy?’” he recounted.

Wilson added the podcast look got here within the context of his just-released e-book, Soul Growth: Why We Want a Religious Revolution, and his Peacock present, Rainn Wilson and the Geography of Bliss, the place he “traverses the globe searching for the secrets to the happiest societies on Earth,” in response to the synopsis.

“The point I was making to Bill, which was in context filled with nuance and vulnerability, was, just like all human beings, I was never really satisfied. Whatever success I had as an actor was never enough. When I was on The Office, I went through periods of time when all I could focus on was the things that were not happening in terms of my career: money, fame, envy and prestige,” he instructed the Simply For Laughs ComedyPro convention.

Wilson even took photographs at comedic actors in Hollywood who he feels have shunned him for speaking about spirituality and God. “Here’s the catch: In comedy circles in Hollywood, the cool kids all pretend they’re nerds and losers and alienated outcasts. But really, that’s just an act. And there’s no greater way to estrange yourself even further from the apex of the comedy industry as when you discuss God, the soul and spirituality,” he disclosed.

However removed from being consumed by greed or ingratitude, Wilson went on to argue that, in hindsight, he now sees he was stuffed with Duḥkka, which he translated as “anxious discontent” and is what Buddhists typically consult with as sorry, struggling and unhappiness.

He argued, “Everyone in the comedy world, especially, are quite literally fleshy manifestations of anxious discontent,” as actors search for laughs from sitcom audiences, stand-up comedians search for the approval of reside audiences in golf equipment, and comedy artists take to YouTube or TikTok to painting weird characters or storylines for likes and fan bases.

“However, it must be said you are also familiar with this idea if you work in insurance, solar panels sales, Uber-driving, or agriculture, or the manicure and pedicure industry, because Duḥkka is everywhere these days,” he added about atypical folks removed from Hollywood fame being wired to really feel anxious discontent over their very own lives.

Wilson recalled his tough childhood and never becoming in with the cool youngsters at school and searching for out vices and remedy as an grownup, and all with little means to heal his emotional wounds. That’s, till he set about to be taught non secular and psychological classes in life, starting with gratitude for the impression his comedy by way of The Workplace had on audiences.

“Comedy is an act of service. The thing that surprised me over the year around the success of The Office was how much it meant to people, the role the show played in soothing folks during difficult times, providing healing laughter, bringing families together and healing anxiety,” he instructed the Simply For Laughs viewers. Right here, Wilson underlined the therapeutic powers of laughter. “Humor is the best of all possible medicines,” he insisted.

The sitcom star additionally took subject with notions that detrimental power must be banished from folks’s lives to reside constructive ones. “This isn’t helpful or true,” Wilson argued, as he urged younger folks particularly to be taught to reside with struggling and to handle it. “It’s why psychotic comedians and comic actors continue to mine the depths of our pain, so we can create laughter for service, for medicine, to relieve suffering and to counteract pain,” he concluded.

Wilson’s keynote got here forward of the Hollywood actor receiving the Comedy Impression Award at Simply For Laughs on Friday.  

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