"I thought it was brilliant satire, not only of Trek, but of fandom in general. The only thing I wish they had done was cast me in it, and have me play a freaky fanboy who keeps screaming at the actor who played 'the kid' about how awful it was that there was a kid on the spaceship. Alas."
Writer, actor, geek
, paper collator
, and all-around nice guy.
Born in Burbank on July 29, 1972, he became a full-time actor at the age of 8, scoring small roles and a large voice-acting credit for the classic The Secret Of NIMH
. Then in 1986, he was cast as the lead in the Rob Reiner movie based on Stephen King
's novella The Body
, called Stand by Me
. This got him plenty of public exposure, enough for him to land the job that he's most known for:Wesley Crusher
of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Imagine that you're playing a character that you know is hated by the fandom
that you're a part of
. Imagine reading the hate mail it gives you, despite the great feelings you have of the cast, the crew, and the creator himself. Now, imagine you're 15, and thus interpreting all the hate as hate against you (which, unfortunately, some of it was
). Now you'll understand Wil Wheaton's demeanor towards fans until his epiphany in the late '90s (as chronicled in his story The Saga of Spongebob Vega$pant$, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Star Trek
Believe it or not, he
, or rather what the writers had him do as Wesley. His reviews
of the Star Trek: The Next Generation
episodes are sure to mention exactly how annoying Wesley is each time he appeared in the show. Unfortunately his review column was discontinued in early 2008 when TV Squad was bought by AOL, but he has collected his reviews of the first 13 episodes, expanded them and put them in a book called Memories of the Future: Volume 1
released in late 2009. Memories of the Future Volume 2
, due to be released whenever, will cover the rest of the first season, most of which he didn't get the chance to review before the aforementioned discontinuing.
Since embracing his inner geek, he's written four compilations of memoirs, has a world-famous blog, and is embraced by geekdom as their avatar. It doesn't hurt that many of the mostly guest acting gigs he's scored these days are as geeks or voices of comic book heroes such as Aqualad
and the second Blue Beetle
. He was a caustic comic book collector on an episode of NUMB3RS
that took place at a comic convention(!), a supremely creepy unsub (as if there's any other kind) on Criminal Minds
and a Jerkass
computer hacker on Leverage
, a role which he has reprised several times.
He also did a hilarious take on Kent Brockman News
as Richard Burns on GTA Radio
, plays Fawkes
on The Guild
and was a frequent guest on the Dungeons & Dragons podcast
alongside his fellow geek luminaries from Penny Arcade
. He also plays Darkstar (imagine if Wesley was more obnoxious and villainous) in Ben 10: Alien Force
, Ultimate Alien
, and Omniverse
. He also had a recurring role as Dr. Isaac Parrish, a Jerkass Ace
astronaut candidate, and Fargo's long time rival
, on Eureka.
He is also the host of Tabletop
, and plays himself as a recurring character in The Big Bang Theory
. In addition, Wil, like his The Guild
co-star Felicia Day
, has a voice role in Fallout: New Vegas
, as the voice of the Robobrain enemy. He now hosts The Wil Wheaton Project
, a show which is pretty much The Soup
for sci-fi/fantasy and geek culture in general. In 2014, he was cast as recurring character Earl Harlan in Welcome to Night Vale
Offscreen (well, and on, really), he's become pretty much the poster boy for One of Us
At PAX 2007, he coined what has become known as Wheaton's Law: "Don't Be a Dick." The irony of this, considering most of his TV roles are Jerkass
characters, has not been lost on the fandom. This has led to the corollary of Wheaton's Law, "Don't be a dick, but you can play one on TV
He's quite active on both Twitter
(incidentally, Jeph Jacques
drew his profile image) and, these days, on Tumblr
This actor provides examples of:
- As Himself/Adam Westing: On The Big Bang Theory: He plays Sheldon's (ex-)Arch-Enemy, an antagonistic version of his real life persona ("Evil Wil Wheaton").
- Bacon Addiction: In one episode of Tabletop, it's revealed that Wil is a patron of "Bacon of the Month" club (which sends him packages of specialty bacon), and that he considers cooking bacon in a microwave to be a crime against nature.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: From his website:
"I specifically requested that my information not be shared, rented, given, sold, gifted, delivered, or handed off in a dark alleyway dead drop to any third parties."
- Gateway Series: Has stated on his blog that AKIRA is what led him to watch anime including Ghost in the Shell, Hayao Miyazaki's films, and one accidental hentai film with "tentacle dicks".
- Mean Character Nice Actor: Quite a few of his characters are massive, insufferable jerks. He's, of course, polite, friendly and nice.
- One of Us: As stated above, he's pretty much the Poster Boy.
- Playing Against Type: He played a rapist/serial killer on Criminal Minds and a cowardly hipster-lumberjack in Broken Age.
- Promoted Fanboy: He was a big Star Trek fan. Not as much as nowadays, of course, but...
- Real Men Hate Sugar: He's stated on Tabletop that he hates sweets.
- Tabletop Games: He's currently the God of this medium.