Angela Kinsey and Ed Helms conference call

Ed: He sits there and edits these episodes all day long and he still comes up to us and like quotes our lives and stuff.

Angela: I know. And talk about — Dave is adorable. Dave has one picture on his desk and it’s him hugging his dog.

Ed: He is like our biggest fan and he sees more Office than anyone in the world. It’s so funny. But I think — just getting to the heart of the question, it’s — The Office is such a simple show and it’s such a simple concept.

And getting into the origins of this show, obviously Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant tapped into something that clearly even has like an international relatability.

Angela: Sure.

Ed: And it’s — you know, it’s not — it’s just called The Office and that’s all it is. It’s just an office and it’s — the kind of architecture of the show is so simple that I think people can really latch on quickly and easily. And by the way, I had mentioned Steven Merchant. He directed the episode that — I think it’s on…

Angela: This week, right?

Ed: Tonight, right?

Angela: Yeah.

Ed: Tonight’s episode. So…

Angela: Which was amazing having him.

Ed: That was an unbelievable privilege to be able to kind of work with one of the godfathers of this show, of the Office world really.

Angela: Really. I dorked out on him.

Ed: Yeah. And he was — he’s just so hysterical. But yeah, I think it’s this — it’s just the simplicity of it. It’s a very — I mean not to blow too much smoke up our own butts here, but it’s kind has — there’s an elegance to the simplicity of it.

Press: Romance and especially love triangles can be pretty tricky for a comedy show to pull of well. What do you think are the pitfalls?

And that seems to be a lot of what The Office has become over the years. What do you think are the pitfalls that the show has been able to avoid?

And are there any past TV romances or love triangles that you guys have been pulling as inspiration?

Angela: Oh, well I think it is very tricky. But I think what’s great, you know, The Office has a lot of relationships but then it’s also sort of the inner workings of this pathetic paper company.

And it’s so great that we have that, you know, to always go to. There’s always some kind of, you know, insurance seminar we can go to or something like that can pull us away from those romances for a few episodes.

But I think honestly our writers just keep finding new ways to reinvent the wheel. And I also think all of our characters exist individually without the relationship, you know.

So they’re so defined. Like Dwight is so defined and my character is so defined — and Andy, and Michael.

And so whether they’re in a relationship or not, I think they’re still interesting. And I think that’s been a big gift. But for me, like a relationship that I’ve drawn on from past TV, definitely for Dwight and Angela, is the relationship on M.A.S.H. of Hot Lips Houlihan and Frank.

Angela: And they have this secret relationship and they were both kind of militant and judgmental and, you know, on all those things. And that’s been fun for me to sort of like remember how they were and bring that to our show.

Ed: Yeah. I agree across the board. Angela, I think you hit it on the head. Every — it is hard for a comedy show to kind of walk the line between melodrama of — like relationship melodrama…

Angela: Right.

Ed: … and just sort of silly, fun comedy. You know, one thing I love is that you’ll never see tonight, a very special Office, you know. You know, like there’s something always very silly going on.

Press: Oh, they did a bit of that with Jim and Pam at the beginning.

Ed: Oh that’s true.

Angela: Yes, we all cringed. We were like no, what are they doing? We love you promo department, but why? But yeah, I think even when there are those moments, you know, there’s still — Michael has figured out a way to make a fart noise come out of Phyllis’ chair, you know.

Angela: So there’s always some real sense of playfulness.

Ed: Yeah. It is a delicate balance and it’s — I think it does go to like just the ensemble is such a rich sort of pool that you can dip into anywhere to kind of keep it silly.

Angela: Totally. We have a deep bench.

Press: And so Ed, have you pulled inspiration from any past comedy romances?

Ed: That’s a great question and I don’t know. Not really, not consciously. There’s some thing — Mork and Mindy, you know. Yeah, no I don’t — maybe a little bit of — no. No, I can’t think of anything.

7 comments

  1. They are such wonderful people! I love how careful they are with their characters, and how they try their best to give US the best, not just reading some lines. This is a wonderful, insightful interview, and makes me even more glad that Ed Helms joined the cast in Season 3, he fits in like…um….like a analogy to show how good he fits in.

  2. These two crack me up! I loved the story about Angela having to clean out the fridge! It’s amazing how situations from The Office, regardless of how bizarre and weird they are, have some real-life basis. As an almost-marketing-graduate, I’m excited (and scared) to get out there!

  3. This was so great! I love it when we get to hear about the actor’s perspectives on their own characters. Also I have a new favorite Ed Helms quote: “I have prided myself on the lack of dignity I have.” Awesome.

  4. “But he did it and by jobe, he is doing it.” TWSS!haha. awesome transcript! I love how dedicated Angela and Ed are to their characters. it really shows in their work on the show and how realistic and complex their characters are. also, I think it’s great how the writers take part in the action and go beyond just writing the scripts. it doesn’t sound like that happens all the time. The simple things in life are the best, and The Office is the best! thank you Angela and Ed! you guys are awesome!

  5. Thank you for this! Wonderful interview and very funny. These are the things I come to this site for and it delivers. :)

  6. I was so happy when Ed Helms joined the cast. Andy has become my favorite character, and I think Ed Helms has given a wonderful sort of endearing quality to Andy that really makes him three-dimensional. Although I knew it was love immediately after delivering the line “I’m really going to shoot you” in the Call of Duty sub plot. that game makes everyone angry, especially if a teammate decides to snipe in Carentan. i can only imagine what it did to andy. thanks for the transcript!

Comments are closed.