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Rainn Wilson Reveals How He Hilariously Dodged A Fan Of The Office During Trip To Dentist

Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute on The Office.
(Image credit: NBC)

Being famous has its perks to be sure, but there are also some hardships that come with being widely recognizable. I’d imagine that’s especially true for actors who are well-known for a specific role or who have a catchphrase of some kind (just ask Schitt’s Creek’s Dan Levy about catchphrases). These are the people who likely are the target of fan interaction (welcomed or otherwise) when engaged in even the most mundane of tasks, such as grocery shopping or — as The Office’s Rainn Wilson recently experienced — getting ready for a root canal. America’s favorite beet farmer portrayer shared that he narrowly dodged a potentially awkward fan encounter in a way that wouldn't have happened pre-COVID.

Despite The Office being off the air for nine years, Steve Carell and his amazing co-stars will live in infamy as the employees of the Dunder Mifflin paper company. Amongst the most memorable of the characters was the self-assured but constant prank victim Dwight Schrute, whose eccentric mindset and lifestyle have been memed to death over time. So when Rainn Wilson realized he was at risk of encountering a woman at the dentist's office who was wearing a Dunder Mifflin shirt,  he took evasive action to ensure his identity went undetected. Check out the actor’s post on Twitter:

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Okay, first of all, I need to know: Was the dentist’s name Crentist? Second of all, I still want to know the first thing.

It’s so very Dwight to want to stay incognito at all costs. I’m sure Rainn Wilson is hardly the first celebrity to use a face mask for a little extra anonymity around fans, and hey, it seems like a perfectly reasonable way to avoid what he thought might turn into an awkward encounter for both of them. There are certain times and places where expressions of fandom are practical and expected, but any kind of a medical waiting room should be universally recognized as "not the right place."

Can you imagine being the woman in this photo, though? Assuming she’s a fan of the show to some degree — and didn't just steal that Dunder Mifflin T-shirt from a friend — what would she say if she knew she was sitting right near the Rainn Wilson while waiting to see the dentist? Would she be miffed that she missed an opportunity to meet the actor? Embarrassed at the inadvertent fangirling? Creeped out that someone in the dentist’s office posted a photo of her to social media? (Cue the “Dwight wearing the CPR mask” gif!) 

She shouldn't "beet" herself up about it, though. Rainn Wilson has spoken out about his inability to escape the eccentric character before regarding fan encounters. A few years ago he went off on an epic rant as part of a podcast game in which he jokingly complained (quite realistically) “I’m Not Dwight” in regard to fans who continued to make beet jokes, ask bear-related questions, or say “Fact,” to him years and years after the show ended.

Rainn Wilson has been excellent in a number of projects other than The Office. His recurring role as Arthur on Six Feet Under was as memorable as Dwight in a much more limited capacity, and he’s also appeared on Star Trek: Discovery and Mom, as well as in movies including Galaxy Quest, The Meg, Almost Famous and Full Frontal. He’s also got a bunch of projects in the works, including an appearance in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, which will no doubt be magical in spades. However, he’ll never not be Dwight, so he'd probably be best to keep those face masks at the ready.

If you want to relive the mockumentary shenanigans, The Office is available for streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription, and it’s also one of several comedy series whose Blu-rays and DVDs are available at a huge discount on Amazon. Be sure to check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what new and returning shows are premiering soon.

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.