Sundance – Ed Helms on ‘Cedar Rapids’

We get updates from Helms on 'Cedar Rapids', 'The Office' and 'Hangover 2'.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

Sundance - Ed Helms on 'Cedar Rapids'

Ed Helms’ next comedy Cedar Rapids premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, immediately following RedState. The next day, Helms continued to share the Sundance experience with the press. Cedar Rapids stars Helms as an insurance salesman and the wacky shenanigans that ensue at an insurance convention. He even gets to do a love scene with Sigourney Weaver. As soon as Helms greeted us, I jumped in with some very important questions on the subject.


Ed Helms: Everybody got enough oxygen?


CraveOnline:  I am getting winded. Have you been winded? 

Ed Helms: Yes, I’m very winded.


CraveOnline:  Doing basic tasks like tying your shoes? 

Ed Helms: Yes, interviewing, I’m already out of breath.


CraveOnline:  How did it feel to go on after the RedState religious protests? 

Ed Helms: You know, I just caught the slightest wind of that because Stephen Root was in that movie and then he was at our premiere. He mentioned it but I didn’t know anything about it. I don’t even know what that movie is about so I don’t know what the protests are about. I don’t much care for protesting artistic endeavors in general so I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for it but people will do whatever they want.


CraveOnline:  How great was it to have a love scene with Ripley? 

Ed Helms: Dream come true. I mean, what American male has not had a crush on Ripley at some point?


CraveOnline:  You say Sundance is exhausting. How exhausting was Thailand for Hangover 2? 

Ed Helms: Thailand was brutal. It is a beautiful, majestic place to visit and I think if you go with your tourist hat on, you’re kind of excited and ready to take on all these cultural differences and you’re kind of prepared for being unfamiliar with everything. But if you go there with the intention of working hard for two months, suddenly all the unfamiliarity is just totally disconcerting and incredibly taxing. To be kind of thrust into that with this little core group of guys with a lot of very aggressive male energy, it was intense and at times scary, a lot of emotional highs and lows and insanely fun. I think we all came back a little shell shocked. It’s funny, Todd said something a week after we got back, I was talking to him on the phone. Todd Phillips, the director, goes, “I feel like no one understands what we’ve been through. We’re home now and we’re interacting with our friend and family and we can tell people what it was like but you can’t really know. No one can really know.


CraveOnline:  Will you have post traumatic stress when you see the finished film? 

Ed Helms: I don’t know. It might. It is something that I think collectively was just a very intense experience for all of us. I think when you see the film you’ll just instantly understand why. Even when you see the trailer, I think some of the imagery that we captured because of the places that we were and the places that we committed to going, it’s intense and is a whole new level.


CraveOnline:  What’s the feeling on the set of The Office as you approach Steve Carell’s departure? 

Ed Helms: It’s kind of a giant sigh, “Thank God, finally.” No, there’s a lot of excitement on the set about what’s next. It’s not clear to anybody what is next. What I like is that it doesn’t appear that the writers and producers are going to just answer the question quickly. It’ll be explored. It’ll roll out over I think a lot of episodes and different characters competing for Michael’s job, maybe Michael’s job changing shape in some way, maybe looking at other possibilities. It’s sort of the greatest opportunity for storytelling. It’s one of the most fun stories that we’ve had an opportunity to tell on the show. It’s one of the biggest. They’re going to milk it and it’s going to play out.