By 2009, Fox was taking on roles that would make even Deputy Mayor Michael Flaherty blush. His character on FX’s “Rescue Me,” for example, is a giant jerk.
Dwight appears in five episodes of the series, starting with Season 5’s “Baptism.” The boyfriend of Janet Gavin (Andrea Roth), ex-wife of firefighter Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary), he’s largely paralyzed from the waist down. By dating Janet, he’s ended up on Tommy’s list, and Tommy, being a macho jerk in his own right, can’t understand why Janet would date someone who uses a wheelchair. Tommy thinks he can bully Dwight out of Janet’s life, but what he doesn’t count on is Dwight being just as manipulative as he is.
As Fox told Deadline, “I thought that people see a wheelchair or see someone with a disability on television and the music gets soft and hazy and then the guy is struggling with some mundane task, trying to conquer this thing … and then they finally do it and the music rises to crescendo [but] handicapped people can be a**holes too. Handicapped people can be jerks and manipulative, and so it was fun to play one.” Fox as Dwight is indeed an absolute hoot, and a bit of a surprise for an actor whose charm usually adds a baseline level of redeemability to his roles. This portrayal won Fox yet another Emmy.