So as I feared, The Office is really going forward with its ill-advised Dwight Shrute spin-off The Farm, as evidenced by a character breakdown that’s going around. Since there’s nothing I can do to stop it, I figure I might as well play along and opine on who should play which character.
First, a bit of background: the series begins with Dwight and his siblings inheriting a large B&B/farm, and for some reason, Dwight has to talk his family into joining in on the business before he can proceed.
FANNIE SCHRUTE | Attractive, urban and in her late 20s/early 30s, Dwight’s younger sister fled the Schrute farm life for Boston as soon as she could, and has had little to do with her roots for quite some time. Now divorced with one son, Fannie is “a bit of a pseudo-intellectual lefty” with an ironic sense of humor and a great heart.
There are a lot of actresses who could play Dwight’s normal, sane, career woman sister. Anyone who’s ever played a lawyer would do, and the fact that all of these women are improbably beautiful will only make it funnier, like Jerry‘s hot daughter on Parks and Rec. Portia de Rossi has great comic timing, and has proven herself to be good at playing little sisters. I also think Rashida Jones makes a great straight-woman for wacky people to play to. Sure, she doesn’t look like a Shrute, but maybe she’s Dwight’s half-sister. And I’m also a big fan of Lizzy Caplan for a part like this, although she might be a little too young.
JEB SCHRUTE | Dwight’s easygoing thirtysomething brother hasn’t done well in any of the career paths he’s followed – worm breeder and Bigfoot hunter among them — but has found some success with a pot farm. He’s got none of Dwight’s dedication or work ethic, but he has made an exercise video about things you can do with a knife and a canoe.
This part screams Judah Friedlander to me, or maybe Paul Rudd if the wardrobe and makeup departments can sufficiently obscure his handsomeness. Or how about Gareth Keenan, the actor who played the “Dwight” character on the British version of The Office? It would be fun for him to play a more Jim-like part this time around, and he’s already proven he can play a weirdo. Also, he looks like he could be related to Dwight, in that they are both kind of pale and shifty-looking. (Sorry, Rainn Wilson.)
CAMERON WHITMAN | Dwight’s smart and slightly weird 9-year-old nephew (Fannie’s son) is a cosmopolitan lad who nevertheless feels the pull of his Schrute heritage, especially when he’s around someone — his uncles, perhaps? — who can offer the fatherly guidance he lacks.
How about Jacob Hopkins, who is almost definitely looking for work since meeting the true death on True Blood? We already know he has the ability to be creepy, and his tendency to over-act may hinder him less in this role.
HEINRICH MANHEIM | The Schrute siblings’ great uncle is charming, greedy, manipulative… and just may have had to spend time in Argentina following World War II, thanks to his German National Socialist roots. Oh, and he vows to kill Dwight by the end of the first episode.
Any great old character actor! Or Nick Offerman, 20 years from now. Uproxx.com suggests Ray Wise (a.k.a. Leland Palmer from Twin Peaks), and now I can’t get that image out of my head. I mean, LOOK AT HIM:
So yeah, those are my picks. What are yours?
(Via TV Line)