updated 02/19/2008 AT 7:00 PM ET
•originally published 02/20/2008 AT 10:00 AM ET
The Office’s Rainn Wilson is prepping for his role as emcee at the Independent Spirit Awards on Feb. 23. Could he be adding entertainment journalist to his resume?
The actor appears on the Web in a series of new video segments (titled “Rainn on Film”) featuring Wilson sitting down for tongue-in-cheek interviews with directors like Juno’s Jason Reitman and I’m Not There’s Todd Haynes. (View all the clips here.)
And while the chats are totally unscripted, they are not quite Barbara Walters caliber, either.
‘I Tried to Blindside Them’
“They went in blind,” Wilson tells PEOPLE about his interview subjects. “They didn’t know the questions – and I tried to blindside them for comedic effect. But they knew that there was going to be something comic happening and that it was going to be kind of edgy.”
Shot as part of his work for the Independent Spirit Awards (Feb. 23 on cable’s IFC and AMC), Wilson describes the interviews as a “sidebar project” that won’t make it to air. (He has filmed a series of auditions for all the nominated films that will air at the award show.)
Still, the clips find the Office star asking his pal Jason Reitman how much help he received from father Ivan Reitman (Ghost Busters) on Juno or grilling Todd Haynes on his relationship with frequent collaborator Julianne Moore. “What’s it like to make out with Julianne Moore?” he asks the gay director. “What’s it like to do her?”
“We shot a lot more that was really quite offensive that got left on the editing room floor,” Wilson says. Still, his collaborators seemed to enjoy the project. Says Wilson: “[Haynes] was a great sport. He had a great sense of humor.”
It’s Really About Me Looking Stupid’
“It’s really about me looking stupid,” he continues. “But I would love to try it with a guy who seriously gets pissed. I think that would be hysterical.”
With production on the Office revving back up, and Wilson’s hosting gig this weekend, the actor says he doesn’t really have to time delve into the burgeoning world of online comedy. But he loves watching it.
“It’s kind of the future of showbiz in a weird way. There will always be movies and big content, but now there’s always going to be secondary content and skits … that get out on the Internet [for] people have a good time with.”