Elizabeth Morris and Amazon Prime Video’s photo of Rainn Wilson in a hazmat suit in Utopia.
Elizabeth Morris and Amazon Prime Video’s photo of Rainn Wilson in a hazmat suit in Utopia.

Cosmic Crib, with Rainn Wilson

Image Credit: Elizabeth Morris/Amazon Prime Video.
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About This Episode

He’s Dwight from The Office, he’s a climate activist, and he’s definitely a nerd. On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with actor Rainn Wilson. Rainn is best known for his role as Dwight Schrute on The Office but he’s always busy. To start things off, Neil and Rainn discuss Rainn’s podcast Metaphysical Milkshake, his climate series An Idiot’s Guide to Climate Change, his media company SoulPancake, and why it’s important to produce uplifting content. 

Rainn fills us in on his trip to make An Idiot’s Guide to Climate Change and why it’s important to reach out to young people when it comes to climate science. You’ll hear about Rainn’s new show, Utopia, in which he plays a virologist. We discuss why the show’s release has had serendipitous parallels with the current COVID-19 pandemic. And, you’ll find out if Rainn retains any science knowledge when portraying a scientist. 

Then, Rainn answers some fan-submitted Cosmic Queries.! You’ll find out his favorite comic book character. We dive into his love of science fiction. Neil and Rainn share the nerdiest things they’ve ever done. Rainn also tells about his time on set making Sahara and the deep conversations he shared with Penélope Cruz. 

Lastly, Rainn gets to ask Neil some Cosmic Queries. We investigate “spooky action at a distance.” Neil tells us about the birth of electromagnetism and field theory. We investigate quantum entanglement. All that, plus, Rainn asks Neil about the most transcendent experience he’s ever had studying the universe. 

Thanks to our Patrons Jennifer Sell-Knapp, Chris Reynolds, Nancy Umanzor, Daniel Rolandelli, Raymond Mang, Saad Algwaizani, Tyler Causey, and Christopher Lowther for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

Rainn Wilson photo by Christopher Heltai.

About the prints that flank Neil in this video:

“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

In This Episode

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