'Rocker' Role A Real Rush For Wilson

By Bill Harris, Toronto Sun, March 25, 2008

As part of Rainn Wilson's preparation for his upcoming movie The Rocker, he got to bang away on Neil Peart's drum kit.

"I play a drummer from an up-and-coming heavy metal band (in the 1980s) and I get kicked out right before they make it really big," said Wilson, who is best known for playing Dwight Schrute on The Office.

"Then 20 years later, my life has kind of gone nowhere and I get a second shot at fame by joining my high school nephew's garage rock band.

"So I wear a nice heavy metal wig and I reveal a lot of my butt crack and my torso."

Wilson knows how to play several instruments, but he learned to play the drums specifically for this role, and at one point he went to see legendary Canadian band Rush.

"They're not really a hair metal band, but I got to see them on their warmup for their tour and got to meet Neil Peart, who probably is the greatest drummer of all time," Wilson said. "He let me sit behind his kit and play it. So I was initiated in the world of drumming."

Wilson grew up as more of a punk and new-wave fan than a hair-metal fan.

"But I went to a hair metal high school in suburban Seattle, so it was kind of inescapable," Wilson said. "I heard a lot of Ratt and Cinderella and Whitesnake."