Rainn Wilson, a huge fan of Ricky Gervais’ character as David Brent in the British counterpart of The Office, had initially auditioned for the role of Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) with a pretty trashy Gervais impression. However, the casting directors found him a better fit for Dwight and thank heavens for that!
Dwight Kurt Schrute- the dorky and sociopathic megalomaniac from Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton – with his signature glasses, awkward personality, mustard yellow shirt and general idiosyncratic aura, is the greatest and most relatable anti-hero.
While he is constantly being pranked by his colleague Jim Halpert (John Krasinksi), Dwight dreams big. His desperation to do well at his job and his constant need for approval from his boss, Michael Scott, makes him highly relatable. Our inner Dwights are constantly resurfacing in today’s rat race, compelling us to work hard and be better at our jobs. While Dwight has often been perceived as an ideal epitome of capitalism, hardly any of us are anti-establishment in today’s capitalistic world.
Dwight is pretty naive yet competitive. He stores wigs to emulate his co-workers and is the butt of Jim’s jokes. Everyone palpably dislikes him due to his go-getter attitude and the inherent tendency to be humble to authority. Having grown up on a farm, Dwight has negligible social skills that make his paranoid and uptight nature even more hilarious. Despite being the clown on the show, the character is pretty sexist and homophobic and says many things that he would not get away it.
However, his rigid and stubborn nature is somehow ignored by viewers who are more caught up in Dwight’s narrative arc as he slowly begins to unravel the variety of human emotions and understand the intricacies of social behaviour and romance.
Schrute is a pop-cultural icon. We love to hate him as he annoys the other characters to no end. He is fixated on being the Regional Manager of his company, which he manages to achieve in the end. Despite his emotionally constipated self having a very turbulent affair with Angela and various other hindrances, wight perseveres in the end, which is equal parts endearing and inspiring.
Wilson adds a different dimension of likeability to the character. On a podcast, he had opened up about how he gave Dwight the haircut he had as a sixteen-year-old and genuinely adored his character. While talking about how he played the character “as outrageously as possible”, keeping the character “realistic and grounded.” Wilson added a certain childish charm to this ambitious yet uptight character who abounds in hilarious and adorable oddities.
Dwight Schrute is one character who deserves his own spin-off show- I’ll pay to watch it!