The 57-year-old actor — who played Dwight Schrute on the NBC series — made the confession during the Sunday, July 9, episode of the “Club Random With Bill Maher” podcast.
“When I was [on] The Office, I spent several years really mostly unhappy because it wasn’t enough,” Wilson revealed. “I’m realizing now, like, I’m on a hit show, Emmy nominated every year, making lots of money, working with Steve Carell and Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski and these amazing writers and incredible directors like Paul Feig. I’m on one of the great TV shows. People love it. I wasn’t enjoying it.”
Rather than basking in the popularity of the show, which ran from 2005 to 2013, Wilson instead focused on the things he didn’t have at the time.
“I was thinking about, ‘Why am I not a movie star? Why am I not the next Jack Black or the next Will Ferrell? How come I can’t have a movie career? Why don’t I have this development deal?’” he shared. “I was making hundreds of thousands [but] I wanted millions. And I was a TV star, but I wanted to be a movie star. … It was never enough. Humans have lived for hundreds of thousands of years, and ‘never enough’ has helped us as a species.”
Wilson has since shifted his priorities from fame and fortune to spiritual discovery. While promoting his book Soul Boom: Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution, which hit shelves in April, the Mom alum opened up about his experience with religion.
“I rejected anything and everything to do with religion and faith and spirituality when I was in my 20s,” he explained during a May appearance on NPR. “I didn’t want anything to do with morality or God or hypocrisy of religion. I viewed religion as a weakness, used as a crutch by weak people, and spent many years as an atheist.”
It was Wilson’s “really crippling anxiety” that caused him to reconsider his approach to life. “It led me back on a spiritual quest where I was like, ‘You know, maybe I lost something by getting rid of anything and everything to do with spirituality. Maybe there’s some answer there,’” he said.
Wilson — who shares son Walter, 19, with wife Holiday Reinhorn — added that he turns to love as proof of a higher power.
“I know that I love my wife. I know that I love my son. I know that I love my father, who passed away a few years back,” he said. “I will never believe that love is simply a chemical, neurological response in order to, you know, continue the species propagating itself. My experience of love is far deeper and more profound than that. So, that’s the first step in knowing that there is a creative force in the universe is I know that there is love.”