'The Breakdown': Rainn Wilson on Gillian Flynn's 'Utopia'

Author Gillian Flynn’s (Gone Girl, Sharp Objects) new show, Utopia, is a conspiracy thriller that follows a group of comic book nerds who are trying to save the world from a global pandemic.

Adapted from the 2013 British original, Utopia stars Rainn Wilson, John Cusack, Sasha Lane and Daniel Byrd. Rainn Wilson discusses the show in the latest edition of The Breakdown series. “It’s a funny story how this came about; I got an e-mail one day from Gillian Flynn kind of offering me the role. Oddly enough, she had seen this independent film I had done several years prior called The Boy,” he says. “I started reading the script and I just couldn’t put it down. So I just came into the world of Utopia.”

Filmed in 2019, the show eerily parallels the Covid-19 pandemic. “The amazing thing here is that six months before this global pandemic, we were doing a TV show about a global pandemic. We were pretending that this virus was sweeping the nation and people didn’t know where it was from or what caused it. The plot points between real life and the plot points of the show are extraordinary in their parallels,” Wilson says.

He also spoke about working opposite John Cusack, whose character Wilson describes as “this smooth as silk, demented but completely reasonable smarter-than-everyone-else-in-the-room billionaire.”

“People forget he’s an American icon,” Wilson adds. “This role is so perfectly suited for him. His facility at both comedy and drama and the way he interweaves both effortlessly was really fantastic to watch.”

Utopia is available to stream on Amazon Prime on Friday.

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