The comic actor, who played the hilariously awkward Dwight Schrute on the NBC sitcom, recounted his nightmarish childhood on “The Diary of a CEO” podcast this week. (Watch it below.)
Wilson said he was abandoned by his mother as a toddler, whisked away to live in the jungles of Nicaragua by his father at age 3, and then endured abuse amid a loveless household with his father and stepmother.
“I experienced a lot of pain in my life, and a lot of suffering with anxiety and depression and addiction,” he told host Steven Bartlett. “As I dove into recovery and the therapeutic process, I can pin that squarely on a lot of gross imbalances and trauma that I suffered as a child.”
Pressed by the host to elaborate on the abuse, Wilson declined.
But he put a positive spin on his bleak upbringing.
“This is the curious thing, I’m grateful for it,” Wilson said. “Because, you know what, if I had a happy, well-balanced childhood, I don’t know what my career would have been. But it certainly wouldn’t have been an actor. And it certainly wouldn’t have been a successful actor.”
“These confluences of pain and difficulty and abuse and neglect, they caused me a lot of suffering later on, but at the same time they caused me to be driven, to try and be the best version of myself...and they made me funny.”
Wilson recently discussed how he felt unfulfilled at the height of his fame on the beloved sitcom, but his interview here went in another revealing direction. Fast-forward to 2:20 for the segment on Wilson’s childhood: