'The Office' Star Rainn Wilson Details His 'Demented' Role in Weird Al Biopic (Exclusive)
Rainn Wilson's years as Dwight Schrute on The Office may be a thing of the past, but the beloved actor has an exciting and "demented" role in the upcoming "Weird Al" Yankovic biopic, titled Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. In the film, Wilson portrays Dr. Demento, an infamous radio host who grew to notoriety in the '70s and '80s by playing novelty and spoof music, among other bizarre and comical content. Dr. Demento was instrumental in Yankovic's rise to fame, as he was the first to play the artist's songs on the radio.
Speaking about the film exclusively to PopCulture.com, Wilson explained that it "kind of sends up music biopics," in the same way movies like "Airplane sent up disaster movies." Regarding his role as Dr. Demento, Wilson says it was an exciting opportunity because he listened to the DJ as kid. "I grew up, and it was, I think it was Sunday nights. I grew up in Seattle and then later we moved to Chicago. It was always like, 'Oh, hello there, it's Dr. Demento,' and you would just hear stuff. I mean, you would hear like ridiculous polka music, but you would also hear Frank Zappa and like horror music, weird horror music and soundtracks."
Get psyched. pic.twitter.com/w7oTGVwjFe— Al Yankovic (@alyankovic) May 3, 2022
Wilson continued, "It was just really mind-blowing because at the time, radio was so limited, too. You know what I mean? Like '70s, '80s radio was just... you had your classic rock station, your pop station, your classical station. That was it. You didn't hear anything out of the box. Now you can listen to anything, anytime. You just hit a button and you can hear anything, but Dr. Demento was crucial and crucial in launching 'Weird' Al Yankovic onto the world. And we have a remarkable 30, 40 year legacy of 'Weird Al,' thank God, making the world a better place.
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story stars Daniel Radcliffe as the "Amish Paradise" singer. In addition to Wilson, the film's supporting cast also includes Evan Rachel Wood, Rainn Wilson, Toby Huss, Julianne Nicholson, Olivia Wilde, Gary Cole, Mary Steenburgen and Patton Oswalt. The comedy biopic is directed by Eric Appel from a script he wrote with Yankovic. In a previous statement on the new film, Appel joked, "When Weird Al first sat me down against my will and told me his life story, I didn't believe any of it, but I knew that we had to make a movie about it."
Yankovic added, per Deadline, "When my last movie UHF came out in 1989, I made a solemn vow to my fans that I would release a major motion picture every 33 years, like clockwork. I'm very happy to say we're on schedule. And I am absolutely thrilled that Daniel Radcliffe will be portraying me in the film. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for." Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is set to debut on The Roku Channel later this year.