Press call with Ed Helms and Paul Lieberstein

Thanks to The Office’s Ed Helms and Paul Lieberstein, who held a press conference call on September 27, 2011.

Ed and Paul discuss Ed’s new role as manager, upcoming storylines, the Scranton Strangler, and even the status of the documentary that has been filming for seven-plus seasons!

Here’s an optimized transcript of the call. Enjoy!

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to The Office Press and Media conference call. During the presentation all participants will be in listen-only mode. To register for a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone.

Moderator: Hi everybody. Thanks for joining us. We’re thrilled to have our new Officer Manager Ed Helms joining us as well as our EP Paul Lieberstein. If you have questions, again please dial 1 4. And we can begin the conference. Thank you guys for joining us.

Reporter 1: Lots of time you play kind of regular guys who eventually triumph and clearly Andy’s done that now. I mean he struggled so much and all of a sudden he’s finally become the manager there. Do you see yourself as that sometimes?

Ed: You know, I think that in some respect yeah, I think I’m a pretty normal guy but I do work very hard. And I’ve been focused on a lot of goals over time. And – but I think that the characters that I play are just sort of a heightened version of myself. I relate to Andy. I’m not sure it’s about a regular guy triumphing as much as it is sort of – Andy Bernard is in a lot of ways an opportunity for me to exercise some of my own demons of insecurity and social awkwardness. So he is a heightened version of those aspects that I think I have and that most of us have to some extent.

Reporter 1: His obsession with reminding us that he went to Cornell all the time, I mean you went to a good school which is Oberlin and that’s a good college. Where did the Cornell obsession come from? And do you have this sometimes when you talk about Oberlin?

Ed: Well, you know, it’s funny. I think that that Cornell joke came out of a sort of – we have a handful of Harvard writers on our writing staff. And I’m a little out of the loop on that to be honest. But I think there’s some Ivy League rivalry and Cornell is sort of a punching bag in the Ivy League sometimes. So it’s just a fun – it’s something that Andy clings to. It gives him a sense of identity.

Reporter 1: Does that get some respect in your crowd or do the Harvard people look down at you?

Ed: Harvard people look down on everyone, right.

Ed: I’m certainly proud of my alma mater but I don’t wear it on my sleeve the way Andy does. I think for Andy it’s really about insecurity more than anything else.

Reporter 2: I interested in learning more about the decision to promote from within. And I’m interested if there were considerations given to various outside stars to come in and take over The Office and that kind of thing. But eventually they settled on Andy Bernard. Do you have anything you can tell us about how that worked out that way?

Ed: Allow me to channel Paul Lieberstein for a second: Ed Helms is just an unbridled genius and it was important to us to capitalize on that, so. So I trust you will not quote me directly on that.