Rainn Wilson Shares His Favorite Super Bowl Ad (He Just Can’t Remember What It’s For)

Backstrom star can definitely name his top podcasts, though


Specs
Who Rainn Wilson
Age 49
Claim to Fame Stars as detective Everett Backstrom on the new Fox series Backstrom (Thursdays at 9); co-creator of the SoulPancake website and YouTube channel
Base Los Angeles
Twitter @rainnwilson

What's the first information you consume in the morning?
I check CNN and the L.A. Times news apps. But before that, the first information I get is some inspirational spiritual quotes and meditations—I practice the Baha'i faith—from this meditation teacher I love named Jeff Kober.

Tell us about your social media habits. What are your go-to platforms?
I have all of those social medias, although I try to stay off of those as much as possible because they suck your soul out. My life is much better when I'm not checking my Twitter feed. I don't even have the app on my phone anymore.

What other news do you follow?
The only other news that I really care about is NFL updates. There's an app that I have called Qwik NFL News. I'm a Seattle Seahawks fan, but I'm also just a football fan in general.

Speaking of football, do you have a favorite Super Bowl ad?
There was one ad that came out years ago—I can't even remember what it was for—but it was a shot of some guys in a garage, and it said, "We just wasted $2 million on this ad." I thought it was very clever. Although I guess that shows how ineffective it was that I don't remember the brand. [The ad was E*Trade's "Monkey," which aired during the 2000 Super Bowl.]

What TV shows do you watch?
I really am enjoying Peaky Blinders on Netflix. I just watched The Missing on Starz, which I thought was pretty mesmerizing. I also love Game of Thrones, and I'm excited for the finale of Mad Men.

Do you have a favorite app?
This is so lame—I wish I was more exciting—but I really like Shazam. I use it to find out what song is playing, but I also like that they have the lyrics. When I was younger, I used to obsessively cram the lyric sheets that came on the inside cover of cassettes.

What's on your reading list?
I'm just beginning the Tenth of December by George Saunders. I love George Saunders. I've been listening to the audiobook of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Maté, which is about the world of addiction and drug addicts in Vancouver. I'm actually writing a memoir, so I did a splurge where I read all of those celebrity memoirs. Honestly, I really loved Nick Offerman's book, Paddle Your Own Canoe. I thought it was just terrific.

Do you listen to any podcasts?
I really like The Nerdist podcast, and I listen to Marc Maron. I'm about halfway through Serial. It's so addictive. I've also been listening to The History of Rome podcast. Every episode takes you through about 50 years of Roman history. I'm at about the year zero right now.

How do you wind down before bed?
It's terrible, but I play online chess on Chess.com at night. It's a lot of fun, although it gets a little obsessive at times. The worst part is that it doesn't even calm me down.