We Love TV!
This is just an unofficial fan page, we have no connection
to any shows or networks.
Please click here to vote for our site!
Interview with Rainn Wilson of "Backstrom" on
It was really great to speak with Rainn after watching
this show. He's so great in it and I hope it's a big hit.
He's such a nice guy and nothing like the character on the
show. He's more normal and so funny.
FBC PUBLICITY: Backstrom Conference Call
January 16, 2015/2:30 p.m. PST
Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by,
and welcome to the Backstrom Conference Call. At this time,
all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will
conduct a question and answer session. Instructions will be
given at that time. (Operator instructions.) As a reminder,
this conference is being recorded.
I would now like to turn the conference over to our host,
Mr. Chris Kaspers. Please go ahead, sir.
Chris: Hi, everyone. I just want to say a quick thank you for
calling in. Weíre very excited to have Rainn Wilson on the
phone to answer some of your questions. As you all know,
Backstrom premieres next Thursday, January 22nd at 9 p.m. on
Fox. Greg will now start the call.
Moderator: Thank you very much, Mr. Kaspers. (Operator
instructions.) Our first question comes from the line of
Sarah Curtis with GiveMeMyRemote.com. Please go ahead.
Sarah: Hello, how are you?
Rainn: Iím doing well. Howís it going?
Sarah: Going great. Thanks so much for taking the call.
Sarah: Okay, I have got a couple of questions for you. The
first one Ė you know with all the current societal concerns
of racist police officers or tampering with evidence, how do
you see Backstrom, the show and the character, kind of
fitting in; or the message is that he is kind of obnoxious
or I think Fox described it as Ďunorthodox messageí; how
does that fit in with sort of the cultural landscape across
the United States right now?
Rainn: Wait a minute, you might be describing a television
show thatís actually relevant to modern society? Outrageous.
Yes, thereís relevance there. You know, there are a lot of
crooked copsóand I donít think thereís near as many as there
used to beóand there are a lot of racist cops, but once you
get to know Backstrom if you watch the episodes, Iím not
sure if youíve gotten a chance to see them yet, but when you
do, assuming that youíre going to, youíll see that itís
really not racism like you think of it. He hates himself
more than anyone. So heís racist against whites and blacks
and any other race; and he is sexist against men as he is
sexist against women. He just is an all purpose hater.
Sarah: Okay and yes, I have seen the four episodes that Fox
Rainn: Awesome. Thanks for [indiscernible].
Sarah: I enjoyed them, I enjoyed them. And I guess my next
question then, follow up, would be what would you consider
Backstromís best quality and what would you consider his
worst quality Ė the character?
Rainn: I think that Backstromís best quality is sensitivity.
I think that anyone who is outwardly so insensitive, that
has to come from somewhere; and it comes from a history of
abuse, abandonment and neglect that he has gone through. Not
trying to get all psychobabble on you; but he truly is a
deeply, deeply sensitive person. Heís just been twisted and
worked so much that it comes out sideways. Whatís his worst
quality? Heís selfish and puts himself first.
Sarah: Okay, great. Well, good luck. I know a lot of people
are rooting for you and the show to succeed.
Rainn: Thanks so much.
Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Andrea
Morabito from the New York Post. Please go ahead, your line
Andrea: Hi, Rainn, so this is your first TV starring role
since The Office. And after so many people are used to
seeing you play Dwight for nine seasons on that show, how
did it feel for you now to step in to playing this new
character, a very different one than you had played for many
Rainn: Yes, well it was reallyódoing another TV show was kind
of the last thing I wanted to do right away after The
Office, after working so hard and for so long on that
character. But when I read the character of Backstrom it was
kind of like, oh, darn it, this is too good, this is too
rich, itís too interesting and it just drew me in
incredibly. I couldnít say no. Itís such a rich,
multi-faceted character that I had to take it; and they
donít come along very often, especially for weird looking
middle-aged character guys like myself. So, to get a role
this interesting for an actor such as myself was just a
Godsend and Hart Hanson is an incredible writer who can
balance the drama and the humor, the absurdity at the same
time so effortlessly so it all fits in into one tone.
Andrea: And just a follow-up on that, I know the show was
developed first at CBS and did you make any changes to the
character when it moved to Fox, or are you essentially
playing the same guy that you signed on for?
Rainn: Well, we always knew it was going to be very tricky at
CBS. CBS is not really known for its likeable characters. It
really is known for its ensemble procedurals where
characters are not as important on the CBS shows. This is a
show all about character. Everyone in the ensemble has a
very strong point of view and is very quirky in their own
So the adjustment really was going goodie, yippee, weíre on
Fox, now we can do something a lot more interesting, and
take a lot more risks. Itís still network television Ė itís
not like a show that we could do if we were on FX or AMC,
but for network television I think weíre trying to push the
envelope in some really interesting ways. We have some very
[indiscernible] episodes and we have some really comic
episodes, too, but Hart Hanson walks that tightrope in his
writing very well.
Andrea: Great, thank you.
Moderator: Next we turn to line of Jamie Ruby with
SciFiVision. Please go ahead.
Jamie: Itís okay. Hi, thanks for doing the call. I was going
to say first, I really enjoyed the first two episodes. I was
curious, is there any either person or character, something
specifically that you took inspiration for in creating
Rainn: I would say the only inspiration that I had is growing
up watching Columbo and watching The Rockford Files is I was
really excited about the kind of old school nature of the
show. Thereís nothing slick about this show. Well, you know,
I have a few little montages here and there, but it really
is an old school, itís kind of cut from the 70s kind of
detective show. You know, a quirky character that is not a
leading man; who is struggling to get by in the world, kind
of an anti-hero and with some really major flaws who happens
to be pretty brilliant at solving crimes. So that would be
my only inspiriation, my main inspiration.
Other than that, it was really figuring out who this guy
was; doing the acting work, the rich, detailed acting work.
Iím not saying that I was very good at it. I tried to do the
rich, detailed acting work that was exploring who this guy
is, how he sees the world, how he sees the world through his
particular work lens and his choices accordingly Ė where
does that come from? Whatís it like to really be in his
shoes and see the world the way he does? Thereís a lot of
pain there, but thereís also a lot of humor.
Jamie: Right. And then I was going to say as a follow up,
since you do have so many humorous lines, do you have a
Rainn: Do I have a favorite episode?
Jamie: No, line, like something he said because there are a
lot of good ones.
Rainn: Do I have a favorite line? I like to say Iím a big fan
of one they keep using on all those promos that theyíre
running over and over, ďWeíre looking for lesbians in a
shed.Ē That always makes me laugh for some reason. Let me
think about that. I donít have lines off the top of my head,
really good Backstrom lines. Iím sure there are plenty. I
wish Hart Hanson were one the phone; he can think up a
thousand of them.
Jamie: Alright, well thank you so much. I appreciate it. Iím
enjoying it so far.
Rainn: Thank you.
Moderator: Next we turn to the line of Suzanne Lanoue with
The TVMegasite. Please go ahead.
Suzanne: Hi, good afternoon. I enjoyed the first four
episodes as well.
Rainn: Great, thank you.
Suzanne: I actually never saw The Office, so I think youíve
been doing a great job on Backstrom.
Rainn: Oh, right. Okay, good for you. I love that you
admitted that. Thatís very brave.
Suzanne: Ha ha! I was going to say, I like the interplay of all the
different characters and I was wondering, I donít know if
this is too early for you to answer or not, but it seems
like the kid living with him, weíre supposed to think heís
his son, or maybe his stepson. Do we know, do we find that
Rainn: Yes, thereís definitely something going on there.
There is some juicy connection between those two; between
Thomas Dekkerís character, Valentine, and Backstrom. You
will definitely find that out. Thatís one of the great
things about what Hart has done on this show is you go on a
wonderful little story arc for the first 13 episodes. You
get to know Backstromís father, you get to know his
ex-fiancťe, and these kind of mysteries of who he is and why
he is the way he is are revealed and thatís one of the
interesting mysteries of it.
Suzanne: Good. Is it a big star playing his father? Somebody
thatís weíd go, oh, thatís a greató
Rainn: Yes, Robert Forsteró
Suzanne: Oh good, I love him.
Rainn: óis going to play his father in about three episodes.
Suzanne: Oh, great. Oh, heís wonderful.
Rainn: Yes, and it was fantastic working with him. Iím just
such a huge fan of his. He did a great job.
Suzanne: Oh, yes, heís terrific. Oh, good, I look forward to
seeing that. Have you filmed all of the episodes for this
season yet, or are you still working on them?
Rainn: We finished 13 episodes and we were done by early
Suzanne: Oh, good. Well, good luck. I hope it works out. I
really enjoyed the show.
Rainn: Thank you so much, appreciate it.
Moderator: And next we turn to line of Tim Gerstenberger with
TVOvermind. Please go ahead.
Tim: Hi, Rainn, Iím really excited to be talking to you
Rainn: Hi, howís it going?
Tim: I am doing well. How about yourself?
Rainn: Iím doing great. Thank you.
Tim: Good. I was wondering if you could tell me three reasons
why you think people should tune in to the show?
Rainn: Three reasons why they should tune in to the show.
One, they get to see me almost naked a lot.
Tim: Oh, thatís a good one.
Rainn: Two, I think Iíve rarely seen a network show that
balances humor and the dark edge of the underbelly of the
human condition so nicely.
Tim: Yes, from the episodes Iíve seen I agree with that.
Rainn: And, three, what else can I tell you about three?
Every episode is surprising in some way that you havenít
seen before. So there is a nice surprising aspect. Four,
which you can actually substitute for one, would be itís a
terrific ensemble of actors.
Tim: Yes, I do like everyone.
Rainn: Dennis Haysbert and Page Kennedy and Kris Polaha are
really interesting, interesting actors that bring a ton to
Tim: Great. And then for a follow-up question, this show
comes from Hart Hanson, the mind behind Bones. I was
wondering if there was any discussion of maybe doing a
crossover type episode with that.
Rainn: You know, I highly doubt that that would ever happen.
I think that they inhabit such different worlds. Bones is
much more silly than Backstrom. [Indiscernible] itís much
broader and I donít see how the characters would jive. I
donít see how they would get along in the same world, but
maybe so, maybe there will be such tremendous clamor for
that; I mean Bones fans are really loyal and Hart Hanson
fans are super, super loyal so that would be interesting to
Tim: Okay. Well, thank you and I look forward to seeing the
rest of the episodes of the season.
Rainn: Thank you.
Moderator: And next we turn to line of Christopher Lawrence
with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Please go ahead.
Christopher: Hello, sir.
Rainn: Hi, how are you doing?
Christopher: Iím good, thanks. Without divulging the actual
mystery, can you talk a little bit more about Backstromís
relationship with Valentine as well as your chemistry with
Rainn: So this really became the central relationship of the
show, Backstromís relationship with his
connection to Backstrom in some strange way that more will
be revealed. And it was one of those cases where Thomas
Dekker is truly one of the very best actors I have ever
worked with in my life. Heís astonishingly good. Heís so
quick and he can go from high comedy to deep tragedy on the
drop of a dime and heís just a fascinating person and he
creates fascinating characters. And so it just was this rich
world of this relationship between the two of them. We
always knew that it was there, but it just really blossomed
and grew over the episodes. So youíll see more and more of
Valentine as this series goes along.
At first he wasódo you remember Angel from Rockford Files?
He always had this like kind of weaselly guy that was really
funny that was always given choice tidbits of information.
You were always really excited when you saw Angel on the
screen because you knew it was going to be really
interesting. Thatís kind of the role that he originally was
meant to be and then he just became much, much more than
that as we went along. I canít say enough good things. I
canít wait to talk again to you after the mystery is
revealed, and then we can really kind of talk deeper about
Christopher: Right, itís just a really interesting chemistry
you guys have.
Rainn: Yes, yes, I loved working with him. It was very
Christopher: Thanks so much, and good luck with it.
Rainn: Thank you.
Moderator: And we have a follow up from Sarah Curtis with
GiveMeMyRemote.com. Please go ahead.
Sarah: Thanks. Can you talk a little bit about the difference
in preparation between the 60-minute procedural where youíre
the lead versus the 30-minute sitcom with more episodes?
Rainn: Yes, in the 30-minute sitcom, no preparation, so itís
a huge difference. The Office was usually short scenes,
largely improvised, if you messed up your lines itís okay.
And then we made sure that we always got it as scripted at
least once, but it was much more freewheeling and it was
more about finding the comedy in the moment. Yes, there were
through lines in the episodes, but it was just being open
and spontaneous to find those little gems.
In Backstrom there is a lot of drama in the show, and
thereís a lot of through lines, you have to be very aware
whatís going on scene to scene and Iíve never had to do as
much preparation as I have in Backstrom. Iíve never worked
as hard in my life; 7 to 8 pages of dialogue a day, usually
13 to 14 hour shoot days and itís not like heís just passive
in the scenes. Heís very active driving scenes, and digging
and exploring and emoting and hitting the jokes. So you have
to be really, really on at the same time. So it was really
night and day.
Sarah: Okay, great. And just for fun, if you were
interviewing your character on Backstrom what would you ask
Rainn: I would ask him, oh, that is an excellent question.
Really excellent question. I guess I would ask him about his
super power of how does seeing the very worse in humans
allow him to see so deeply into the criminal mind.
[Indiscernible] the criminal mind, [indiscernible] the
criminal heart. [Indiscernible] the criminal element must be
Sarah: Okay, cool. Thanks so much.
Moderator: And our final question comes from the line of
Suzanne Lanoue with The TVMegasite. Please go ahead.
Suzanne: Hi, again. I was wondering if you had to choose,
what things would you say that youíre the same as Everett?
Obviously not physically, but mentally oró
Rainn: Well, I am physically. That is [indiscernible]. Iíd
certainly be slovenly. I certainly have a predilection
towards being addictive compulsive, and I what else? I
definitely can be super insensitive as a person. Thatís
something Iíve always struggled with. You can just ask my
wife. I think that would be a great question for my wife,
actually. Could you ask my wife, please, in what way I might
be the same as Everett Backstrom?
But we donít have toóChris we could go longer if you want. I
was late on the call. Do we have more questions? This is
really fun. I donít want to shortchange anybody.
Chris: Thatís okay; I think weíre doing good.
Rainn: Alright, okay. Any other last questions or are we
Suzanne: I look forward to the rest of it and after the show
I hope we get to talk to you guys some more.
Rainn: Thanks so much. Yes, I hope so too.
Chris: Alright. Thank you, everyone, very much for all your
questions, and thank you, Rainn, for taking the time. Again,
Backstrom premieres Thursday, January 22nd at 9 p.m. on Fox.
Iíll turn it over to Greg to give us the playback
instructions and any other instructions we need.
Greg: Thank you very much, Mr. Kaspers. Ladies and gentlemen,
this conference will be made available for replay after 4
p.m. today until January 23, 2015 at midnight.
That does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for
your participation and for using AT&T Executive
TeleConference Service. You may now disconnect.
Back to the Main Articles
Back to the Main Primetime TV Page
We need more episode guide recap writers, article
writers, MS FrontPage and Web Expression users, graphics designers, and more, so
please email us
if you can help out! More volunteers always
Page updated 3/11/15