Not only did Ed Helms replace Steve Carell as the fictional regional manager on “The Office,” now he will also attempt to take Carell’s real life perennial nominee slot as Best Comedy Actor at the Emmys. After years of being snubbed by voters as a supporting actor, this is his first foray into lead.
In the eighth season of the hit NBC laffer, Helms’ character Andy Bernard got promoted, had to win over the rest of the staff, dated two women, chased one of them to Florida, lost his job and had to regain it all over again.
In a video chat with Gold Derby, Helms admitted, “It has been quite a rollercoaster. Right out of the gate, it was going to be something new and exciting and a little bit different. I didn’t know entirely what to expect … Some of the nicer, almost more mundane things about Andy got focused on a little early on. I was glad the writers saw more value in the dysfunction of Andy and brought that back around. I certainly was advocating heavily as well.”
Helms revealed that one of the two episodes he directed could be his submission if nominated as an actor. In “Christmas Wishes,” Andy is trying to grant everyone’s holiday wishes. In “Welcome Party,” he breaks up with current girlfriend Jessica (Eleanor Seigler) in favor of Erin (Ellie Kemper). The episode just prior, “Get the Girl,” was also a showcase for Helms as Andy unexpectedly travels to Florida to win over Erin.
As the actor explained, “I love it when I get to play those shades of pathos. It’s not just about being goofy and nice and earnest or being really angry. Those are sort of Andy’s two default positions. But he also has sadness, he has regret, he has fear and anxiety. When we get to mix it up like that, it’s really fun.”
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