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Interview: Angela Kinsey & Ed Helms from The Office

Interview: Angela Kinsey & Ed Helms from The Office


We had the honor of interviewing Angela Kinsey and Ed Helms from NBC’s The Office. They talked with us about their characters, their favorite episodes, and what’s in store for Angela and Andy!

In approaching both of your characters which are so much fun on TV but I’m not sure that it’d be as much fun if you really had to be with them all day, like… if they worked in the office with you. How do you approach that? How do you kind of approach your characters?

Angela Kinsey: Oh my gosh. Ed, do you want to go first?

Ed Helms: Oh sure, Angela. Thanks.

Angela Kinsey: I have an answer. I can go.

Ed Helms: Well no I, you know, I think it’s funny, like a lot of characters in comedy are atrocious in real life and that’s – it’s the sort of bubble of television or a movie or whatever sort of vehicle you’re looking at it through that makes it – it gives you license to laugh at it.

And for me, I guess Andy – I think – I’ve tried to find a lot to love about Andy and a real sort of sincerity. If anything, he’s guilty of caring too much sometimes.

And I – but I think it’s partly – we have the ability to laugh at jerks on TV, but also playing the dichotomy, playing like the – both the positive and the negative and giving – hopefully trying to give the audience something to hope for with Andy but also a lot to just kind of roll your eyes at, at the same time.

Angela Kinsey: Well, you know, I actually had a few odd jobs in the corporate world as a struggling actress. I worked in customer service. I worked in the mailroom. I was an operator at 1-800-Dentist and I had a bunch of ridiculous meetings I’d have to go to. And I’ve had to work with people who I probably would never have hung out with socially.

And I found that in my character – I found a little bit of her in these different companies I worked at.

There was always sort of the stickler and the busybody and the person who like just had this little amount of authority in their life and went berserk with it.

Ed Helms: Right, right.

Angela Kinsey: And so I try to like make her real and she’s definitely prickly. But I try to find in my own way — the way Ed does — like a way to like her even with all her craziness that like yes she’d probably drive you crazy but she’d probably, you know, completely organize your desk for you if you let her.

So I try to find the hills and valleys in her. But it’s definitely a lot of fun and I definitely draw on my past experience in the corporate America.

Ed Helms: You know what’s funny is I have – the hard part that I have is justifying Andy’s affection for Angela.

Angela Kinsey: That’s true.

Ed Helms: You know, like my dad asked me recently, he’s like why are you with that woman? And it’s a very valid question.

Angela Kinsey: Aw, poor guy.

Ed Helms: But I think – but actually, I do think that there’s just this unflappable optimism and like if there’s one thing that’s really great about Andy is he’s so decisive and like he goes with something.

And once he decides it’s what he wants, he’s just in it and he throws his whole heart into it.

Angela Kinsey: Yeah.

Ed Helms: And I think that’s just what’s happened in this relationship with Angela. It’s like this is…

Angela Kinsey: Come on board.

Ed Helms: …I’ve made – this is my life partner and this is going to work god dammit.

Angela Kinsey: Yeah.

We talked to Paul Lieberstein on a conference call last month. And when I asked him about whether or not you guys were going to make it to the alter, his quote was they make it to an alter of sorts but probably not what you’re thinking or the way you were thinking. Can you guys expand on that in any way?

Angela Kinsey: Nope, unless I can call Paul and get him on the phone. Do you got anything, Ed?

Ed Helms: We get into altered states of mind, perhaps.

Angela Kinsey: Yeah, it’s so – yeah, I can’t – oh, sorry.

Ed Helms: No, we just – I’ll just go ahead as the big spoiler. We do become Satanists and sacrifice goats at an alter.

Angela Kinsey: Oh, Ed Helms.

Ed Helms: And that’s the alter. No, I’m sorry. We – I guess we can’t really get into it.

All right, well I have kind of like a spoiler-y question, so I’m going to go for it.

Angela Kinsey: Uh-oh.

Is Angela pregnant with Dwight’s baby? And if so, are they going to have a shotgun wedding?

Angela Kinsey: Wouldn’t you like to know?

I would.

Angela Kinsey: Wouldn’t it be funny if all of a sudden I had to be pregnant since I was just pregnant for real? Oh my god. I cannot answer your question.

Come on.

Angela Kinsey: I can’t. I can tell you this. Things get really complicated pretty quickly.

Ed Helms: There you go. That’s the right answer.

Angela Kinsey: In the next few episodes. That’s all I can say.

Are we going to get to any kind of wedding? A wedding in general?

Angela Kinsey: I mean it’s like Fort Knox. It’s Fort Knox over there.

Ed Helms: I know.

Angela Kinsey: I mean they’ll come after us.

Ed Helms: We’ve got a list of things we can’t talk about.

Angela Kinsey: Yes.

Ed, who is your character’s favorite person in the office? And will we see any kind of fisticuffs or anything with Dwight in an upcoming episode?

Ed Helms: Wait, who’s my favorite person in the office?

Yes, in your character – with your character, who is – who are you buddies with?

Ed Helms: Well I think that Andy has a kind of bro crush on Jim.

Angela Kinsey: Totally.

Ed Helms: You know, that’s why he kind of like – he’s like – kind of tries to be like him, but also doesn’t want to be too kiss-ass so he’s like kind of also like kind of a jerk sometimes just to make sure Jim knows that Andy is like his own man.

But it’s all part of a broader attempt to just impress him and like – you know, like all Andy wants is for Jim to kind of take him under his wing.

But I think separate from that, there’s like a – like there’s a very shrewd part of Andy that really wants to get in Michael’s good graces, obviously and Michael – so he has kind of a corporate crush on Michael, if you will.

Angela Kinsey: Right.

Right. But no fisticuff with Dwight?

Ed Helms: In – what do you mean?

Well I mean are you going to – is it going to get to a point where Dwight is so insistent that he wants her to make a decision and the tension…

Ed Helms: I don’t know. I don’t know.

Angela Kinsey: Oh, only time will tell.

Now Angela I was wondering, is your character working on a plan to get something on Phyllis so that she can get back into the party planning committee?

Angela Kinsey: Oh, you know it. I mean not that the writers have told me, but I definitely think that she’s probably always got her eye out on everyone.

I wouldn’t be surprised if like Angela Martin has like a file on like her minutes of everyone’s behavior that she can use at some point.

Ed Helms: God, you’re right. She’s like the J. Edgar Hoover of The Office.

Angela Kinsey: Totally, totally. She’s keeping tabs on everyone.

So she’s probably going to get some kind of blackmail material so she’ll leave her alone about Dwight and…

Angela Kinsey: Yes.

Yeah, that’s what I figured. Ed, do you – what do you think Andy will do if and when he finds out about Dwight and Angela? Like will his anger management training still hold, do you think?

Ed Helms: Let’s see, I feel like this is a dangerous area for me to get into.

Angela Kinsey: Totally.

Ed Helms: But just in terms of – but I’ll just – in broad terms, I think that Andy’s anger issues – I’d like to think that they’re still very much there. I’m not sure anyone who has a real problem with that ever fully gets past it.

Angela Kinsey: Right.

Ed Helms: But he’s really learned a lot of coping mechanisms and has – I like – I have this image in my head. You know those – you can buy like an inflatable, like a little inflatable gremlin or something and it’s like you can beat this up and take your anger out on this thing.

So Andy has one of those at home. But for some reason I like the idea that Andy like beats up this little inflatable doll, like so much that like – he like swings it around his room and he’s actually damaging things around his house, like it’s not working because he’s still damaging things around him.

Angela Kinsey: Right.

Ed Helms: But yeah, there may be some little like – he has a little punching bag – metaphorical punching bag or literal, I don’t know, in his garage that allows him to kind of stay a little more centered and adhere to social norms a little bit better.

Does he have any new nicknames that he’s working on?

Ed Helms: You know, it’s funny, I forgot this but someone recently reminded me that — and this was just in improvisation during a shoot — but I had called BJ’s character, Ryan, Big Turkey one day which was – because, you know, Big Tuna came from…


Ed Helms: …Jim bringing in a tuna sandwich…

Angela Kinsey: A sandwich.

Ed Helms: So the theory being that one day BJ brought in a turkey sandwich and he’s Big Turkey now. But I actually am quite a nicknamer in real life, too. So it’s – there’s always something brewing.

Angela, it’s not uncommon for actors to get yelled at or scolded, you know, for the bad things their characters do on TV. I interviewed Timothy Busfield the day after he said something nasty to his wife on thirtysomething. A lady slapped him in the grocery store. Have you gotten any grief from fans who don’t approve of the way you’ve treated Andy?

Angela Kinsey: Not yet, but I kind of stay close to home with my baby. I’m a little afraid. No, I wonder what it would be like to be sort of out in a mall right now.

But, you know, I have to say our fans are such – they’re such die hard fans of the show and they’re really great at appreciating all the characters and their quirks.

And I think they’ve seen enough of us outside of work that they know that we’re not that character. But occasionally, like one or two – like I had this woman come up to me and say will you take a picture with my friend.

She was too scared to approach you because she was afraid you might be like your character.

And then I was in an elevator and this man said – I guess I had my Angela Martin face on which is scary that it’s become like my natural resting face. And he came up to me and he goes hey, everything is going to be okay, you know. And I was like oh no, what do I look like right now?

But it’s kind of an occupational hazard I think for me to wear a frown when I leave work.

Ed, did you miss being in the fake news business during the run-up to this week’s election?

Ed Helms: I don’t miss that really much at all. I feel so lucky to be a part of The Office and it’s so fun, so consistently. I loved being in the fake news business.

But it was so taxing to do those interviews and to just – and especially – I have great memories from the 2004 campaign coverage. But it’s really, really hard – really hard work.

And it’s very hard on your constitution. And it – so I loved it, but I don’t yearn for it.

You’re happy where you are?

Ed Helms: Yes. The thing that I miss is just that feeling of being like very close to the heart of it, which was really exciting and, you know, we attended the conventions.

And we spoke to a lot of people who were right in the middle of it which was really, really exciting, and especially such an historic election this year. There were pangs of sort of like maybe a little bit of nostalgia perhaps. But not a real yearn for it.

And I’ll tell you what’s funny is that what you asked Angela about feeling that people think she is like her character, I have more trouble with that on the Daily Show than I have on The Office because I played a sort of heightened, jerk-ish version of myself on the Daily Show. So people – my friend was like yeah, I was just talking to my buddy and he was like oh you’re friends with Ed Helms? That guy seems like kind of a jerk. And I remember getting really like…

Angela Kinsey: Bummed out?

Ed Helms: …despondent about it because if I didn’t – I was like wait a minute, don’t people realize that we’re different characters on that show?

Angela Kinsey: Right.

Ed Helms: But I think there is a blurry line sometimes between perception even though – even when you give an audience full credit for like knowing the difference, there’s just something kind of visceral that kicks in when you see somebody and you have all these associations with them.

Angela Kinsey: Yeah, totally. I went to Scranton with Brian and everyone was coming up like Kevin, I want to have a beer. And then they’d be like Angela, eeh. And I’d be like I’ll have a beer too. And they’re like oh, okay.

Ed, did your time on the Daily Show kind of help you be so fearless and always, you know, to be – to not care that you’re singing with your a capella group over the phone and things like that, or is that just kind of something you’ve always been comfortable with?

Ed Helms: Well let me start by saying that I have prided myself on the lack of dignity that I have.

It’s one of my greatest traits is my lack of dignity. But I think it actually goes back a little further than the Daily Show. I – before that I trained and worked at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York, and I did stand up for years in New York. And I…

Angela Kinsey: Oh, you need to be fearless.

Ed Helms: What’s that?

Angela Kinsey: You have to be fearless to do stand up.

Ed Helms: But the thing is you’re never fearless.

Angela Kinsey: No, I know.

Ed Helms: It’s like fear is such a huge part of it. It’s just a matter of like – of embracing the fear and sort of being drawn to it in a way. And there’s nothing more exhilarating than sort of like throwing your fear at – just throwing it out there.

And then the Daily Show, I think, was – it’s funny that you say it – that you used the word fearless because I was terrified every single segment on that show. It was very nerve-wracking.

That’s sort of what I was talking about before, like it’s just very taxing. But yeah, I just – I think there’s a certain – I just – I also love to break out in song in real life.

Angela Kinsey: This is true.

Ed Helms: And there’s nothing funnier to me than a really inappropriately timed Broadway number. So I sort of – I don’t know. I think it’s – fear is a big part of it and…

Angela Kinsey: Pushing through it.

Ed Helms: Yeah it is. But also, kind of, there’s a – there’s almost like a little bit of an actor’s high, if you will, of like going…

Angela Kinsey: That is true, Ed because sometimes I…

Ed Helms: …just like really like leaping into the fear fire.

Angela Kinsey: And you get a little bit like of this adrenalin rush. But I have to say it’s something that’s so adorable about Ed is that sometimes I’ll see him kind of in the moment improvising something for his character and getting cracked up.

It is so cute. It’s like – he’s like wait I got something, I got something. Oh this is funny. We all do it, too.

Office romances – I mean through the show have you learned yeah, definitely bad? You know, have you guys ever had your own office romances in the past in your corporate days?

Angela Kinsey: Oh…

Ed Helms: Tabloids bombshell, Angela and I are dating. That would (cut through) it all.

Angela Kinsey: What? Oh no.

Ed Helms: That’s completely false. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a workplace romance. Yeah, I don’t think I have.

Angela Kinsey: I have not had a workplace romance. I was asked out at one of my corporate jobs by a co-worker and I went. And it was awkward and then I had to work with that person every single day.

And I definitely didn’t reciprocate the – I was like oh we’ll just go out. It’ll be friends, you know, friends – co-worker friends, yah, and then it was like oh, he wants to smooch me. Aahh.

And then I had to like go and see him everyday at work. So that was somewhat awkward.

Ed Helms: I totally had the workplace romance and it was my first job out of college. And this entire company was four people and we hired a new like bookkeeper or something.

And we started dating, and we totally hid it. I remember we were just sort of like yeah let’s just not tell the other two guys in the company.

But they completely knew.

Of course, there were only four of you.

Ed Helms: Yeah, and we were like 22 and 23 or whatever and they were like in their 30s and just far more sort of savvy. And they were like guys, we know what’s going on.

Angela Kinsey: Right.

I found, you know, watching a lot of TV, 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 Kinsey: 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.

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 Helms: 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 Kinsey: Right.

Ed Helms: …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.

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

Ed Helms: Oh that’s true.

Angela Kinsey: 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.

So there’s always some real sense of playfulness.

Ed Helms: 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 Kinsey: Totally. We have a deep bench.

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

Ed Helms: 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.

Angela, you know, is it exciting to kind of be like this saucy office minx on the show now?

Angela Kinsey: My gosh. I don’t know what’s happened to my character. She’s like crazy like I don’t know. It is so much fun to play because, you know, it’s just – it’s like a buffet, you know. There’s so much to choose from happening with her.

And so as an actor I love it. My poor dad is being put through the ringer though. Like – he’ll like watch an episode and he’ll be like are you serious man, what’s going on, you know, because his daughter is like kind of the office skank. I don’t know. But it’s definitely a lot of fun to play.

And what about for you, Ed? Is it like weird to play, you know, like this kind of lovesick guy who is totally getting – I mean…

Ed Helms: I love it. I love – I just – I think – I was mentioning to Tim earlier it’s like I found so much to love about Andy and I think there’s a lot of me in him. Like there – the things that I’m kind of ashamed of, I just like blow out of proportion for Andy and – or the things that I might be insecure about I just make them the biggest parts of Andy.

And so I don’t know, I just – I love it and I love the dynamic. I love his passion for Angela. And it’s – as the show – as sort of Andy has grown on – in the world of The Office and all the characters continue to get more and more fleshed out, it just gets more complicated which is so much more fun as a performer.

And it gets so much more information and data. It gets – accumulates and it’s just more to work with. So I – it’s – I love it. It’s a blast.

Angela Kinsey: Yeah. I think you bring up a good point, too, that I think no matter what kind of character you play — even if they’re evil or sinister or skanky — you bring a little bit of yourself to that character.

I mean I know for Angela Martin I tend to be – sometimes I overly like organize. Like I’ll take on a project that’s ridiculous like I organized all of my wrapping paper and my ribbons, and my tissue paper. And…

Ed Helms: In real life?

Angela Kinsey: In real life.

Ed Helms: Oh my god.

Angela Kinsey: And, you know, that sort of freaks people out when they see my wrapping paper section of my closet. But I’m like oh, Angela Martin would do that, you know, so you sort of bring a little bit of yourself to that.

Ed Helms: Leave it at the office, Angela.

Angela Kinsey: I know, don’t bring it home right?

Now Angela, you’re sitting at your desk. Angela Martin, she’s making a decision tree. Dwight or Andy?

Angela Kinsey: Oh my.

What are some of the pros and cons, like the positives and negatives of each guy?

Angela Kinsey: Oh my god. Well I think – I really…

Ed Helms: Keep in mind I am on the phone.

Angela Kinsey: Oh, right.

Ed Helms: And Dwight is not.

Angela Kinsey: No, I think that… I think that Andy is sort of like – there’s part of Angela Martin that kind of wants to do what society would think would be appropriate. And I think Andy seems very sort of appropriate. She could bring Andy to church. I don’t know if she could bring Dwight to church.

He might show up with like some squirrel pelts to give people. It’s a little off-putting, you know.

And I think Andy sort of, on paper, is what she thought she wanted. And I think Dwight sort of has that sort of – she has this kind of crazy chemistry with Dwight that she doesn’t understand.

It doesn’t fit into her plan for her life, and that’s sort of the thing she goes back and forth with.

Like the person who she thinks is more appropriate and the person who she really has sort of a deep passion for.

And Andy has like this enthusiasm and he wants to plan this perfect wedding. And he’s so accommodating to all her needs and her needs are crazy.

And Dwight is kind of more in her face, and I think challenges her, and they fight more. But maybe she’s more exhilarated by that.

Angela Kinsey: Yeah, that’s my own little take.

Ed, what do you think…

Ed Helms: Yeah, it’s the whole – it’s the Madonna whore thing in reverse for Andy and Dwight.

Angela Kinsey: Yeah.

Ed Helms: Dwight is your dirty guy and I’m your…

Angela Kinsey: Clean cut fellow.

Ed Helms: Yeah.

Angela Kinsey: Yeah.

Angela, you were talking about chemistry earlier. And I was wondering why doesn’t Andy do it for Angela Martin? Like what’s wrong with him?

Ed Helms: Yeah.

Angela Kinsey: Yeah, well I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Andy except that maybe he’s just a little too nice. And I think she really loves someone she can butt heads with, you know. And I think Dwight constantly – I think she truly has like a love/hate relationship with Dwight and with Andy she has a like/like relationship.

And there’s something about that love/hate that is very appealing to her.

Ed Helms: Yeah, it’s just a little – maybe it’s a little bland with Andy.

Angela Kinsey: Yeah, it’s just a little too nice.

Ed, why doesn’t Andy realize Angela has no passion for him?

Ed Helms: Because he’s blinded by his own passion. He’s just thrown everything into this and I think – I mean there’s so many things that he doesn’t notice around Angela.

Angela Kinsey: Totally.

Ed Helms: It’s like just that’s – the lack of her passion is just the tip of the iceberg. I think that he sees Angela meeting a checklist that he’s always had.

Angela Kinsey: Totally.

Ed Helms: And that he just never questioned. And so…

Angela Kinsey: I think they both do that with each other.

Ed Helms: Yeah, you’re right. But I think in Andy’s case – well I really admire this about Andy because it’s something I think I even struggle with in real life is like just deciding to be committed and to make it work, like that is a very admirable thing in Andy I think.

And he’s done that. And it may – he may not have had enough data to make that decision wisely early on. But he did it and by jobe, he is doing it.

Angela Kinsey: Right.

I was wondering if it was up to the two of you, where would you have this relationship between your characters go.

Angela Kinsey: My gosh.

Ed Helms: If it was up to us as like if it was up to Andy and Angela or if it was up to Ed and Angela?

Up to Ed and Angela.

Angela Kinsey: Oh, up to us personally?

Yeah, up to you personally.

Angela Kinsey: Gosh, I don’t know. I feel like they’re giving us – there’s so much that’s going to unfold in the next coming episodes that have been so amazing to play. I can’t give anything away.

Ed Helms: Yeah, it’s also – there’s something like – it – we’re also big fans of the show.

Angela Kinsey: Yeah.

Ed Helms: So it’s really fun for us to show up for table reads and find out what the writers have come up with for our characters.

So I don’t mean to dodge the question, but there’s something we share in the – what I guess I’m saying is we share in the sort of excitement and anticipation of what the characters are – what’s going to happen.

And there’s a lot of trust and I think admiration that we have for the writers that it’s like what are you – what’s it going to be? What are you going to give us? So I don’t really think in those terms.

I don’t really – because in a way that’d be sort of rewriting the show. It’s sort of a wait-and-see thing.

I suppose if you were to hold a gun to my head, it might be fun to see Andy get a job at NASA and become the first space tourist…

Angela Kinsey: Angela would be so proud.

Ed Helms: …to bring Angela into outer space as a space wife.

Angela Kinsey: Space wife. I totally agree. When you asked that question, I found myself sort of like at a loss for words because I think that anything that I think up, like oh it would be fun if my character did this or something – you know, like if you just sort of have an idea in the moment on the set as like an episode is unfolding, I then like go to the table read.

And the writers have taken what kind of little idea I might’ve had in my head and not shared, and made it ten times more amazing and I couldn’t even believe that they took my character that way or the show that way.

And I do sort of like leave a table read in awe many times. Like oh my gosh, that’s so awesome. I can’t believe we’re doing that.

Ed Helms: Yeah.

Angela Kinsey: So…

Ed Helms: It really is. I feel like the table reads for us are just like the episodes for fans.

Angela Kinsey: Yeah, exactly.

Ed Helms: You know, they really – it has the same anticipation, the same energy. And I’ll say this about the way that Angela and Andy – the way our story develops over the next few episodes, I would not change a thing.

Angela Kinsey: Me either.

Ed Helms: I am so excited about it.

Angela Kinsey: It’s so much fun.

Ed Helms: Yes.

Angela Kinsey: And yeah, I think – obviously, I think the only, you know, thing that we would all want is that they just keep coming up with these things.

Ed Helms: Yeah.

Do you guys have like a favorite episode as far as your characters’ storylines that you’ve filmed?

Angela Kinsey: Oh wow.

Ed Helms: I think for me the really fun – I’m going back a couple of seasons. I always – I just loved punching a hole in that wall.

When everything – when Andy’s world just crumbled around him and all of like – all of his very shrewd efforts to suck up to everyone suddenly implode and the Rockin’ Robin music is no longer enjoyable. It’s like this death (melt)…

Angela Kinsey: He had a full on meltdown.

Ed Helms: Yeah, it’s this full on meltdown. There’s nothing more fun as an actor than to just completely melt down.

Angela Kinsey: That’s so true because I was going to say my favorite episodes for my character are always the Christmas episodes. But if you look back, in every Christmas episode my character has a total breakdown.

Ed Helms: Right.

Angela Kinsey: Like she’s screaming and smashing ornaments or, you know, like full of anger. And that’s just – those are my favorite.

I remember I was speaking to Brian Baumgartner in the summer and he was talking about a scene in which Amy Ryan had really cracked him up where he just couldn’t control himself. It was the scene in front of the vending machine when she was going through his change. I’m just wondering do you guys remember – have specific moments where you – where one of your cast mates – where you just couldn’t handle it anymore and you had to shoot it several times because you couldn’t stop laughing?

Ed Helms: There are so many.

Angela Kinsey: My gosh, every day. I’m not kidding.

Ed Helms: There’s so many. But Angela, we…

Angela Kinsey: We just had one.

Ed Helms: What was the one that we had recently?

Angela Kinsey: It was so bad. It was so – we – I mean they had to stop rolling. It was actually me, Ed and Rainn. And they literally gave us like a five minute break to try and collect ourselves.

And what was hilarious was like first, I think like – I think I went first and then Rainn got tickled. And then Rainn and I finally get it together and then Ed lost it. It was so funny.

Ed Helms: What was the thing? Oh, I remember one that was – it was from the – I think it was the season premiere this year when I come up to your desk and I go hey Ang, and you give – shoot me this dirty look and I go hola.

Angela Kinsey: Yeah.

Ed Helms: A la, a la…

Angela Kinsey: Under my angerella…

Ed Helms: Under my angerella…

Angela Kinsey: Yeah.

Ed Helms: And Oscar was sitting next to, you know, Oscar’s desk is right there. So he – and Oscar never breaks – ever, he never breaks.

Angela Kinsey: I know.

Ed Helms: It’s sort of like this running bet, like he’ll give anyone $100 if he breaks. And I was doing the Angela thing and I made eye contact with Oscar. And he didn’t break, but he had this twinkle in his eye…

Angela Kinsey: Yes.

Ed Helms: And it was like I’m about to break him. And it made me lose it.

Angela Kinsey: Yeah.

Ed Helms: And it’s so frustrating because sometimes it’s like your favorite take. It’s, you know, it’s like the take that’s going the best that’s always the funniest and it makes you lose it.

Angela Kinsey: Right.

Angela, I want to ask you a question that the documentary crew asked you earlier in the season. How does Angela sleep at night?

Angela Kinsey: Oh my gosh, Angela Martin or Angela Kinsey?

Angela Martin.

Angela Kinsey: I would have to say that it – she’s pretty, I think, wired pretty tight right now. I think she definitely doesn’t want to sleep next to Andy but her nights are probably – I think she tosses and turns quite a bit.

She obviously wouldn’t share that with the documentary camera crew, you know.


Angela Kinsey: She’s very offended by the question.

Ed Helms: Can I speculate on that question?

Angela Kinsey: Yeah.

Ed Helms: I think Angela’s childhood was probably pretty disturbing.

Angela Kinsey: Yes, me too.

Ed Helms: And so you like – you’ve just found a lot of coping mechanisms.

Angela Kinsey: Totally. I think she detaches.

Ed Helms: And you’re able to sleep through a hell of a lot.

Angela Kinsey: Well okay. But I think that there are times when she’s – I think I’m – Jen Celotta, one of our writers, I think said it really best.

he was like I think – because I went and asked her – I was like look, I need a little bit of insight because what she’s doing in this situation is so foreign to how I – you know, I’m trying to find a way to make her human, you know.

And Jen was like I think Angela is in this situation that sometimes people get in where they kind of say yes to something and this snowball effect starts to happen, and they weren’t really prepared.

And they don’t know how to handle it, and then they just go through it with blinders on to the very end.

Ed Helms: Yeah.

Angela Kinsey: And so that made sense to me and I think that’s kind of how she is. I think she’s got these blinders on and it’s all going to work out. And I don’t want to – I don’t have to pick or decide, or choose, and it’s all going to be fine.

And – but I do think her family is pretty disturbing. I mean she doesn’t speak to her sister. We find out that she was in like little girl pageants.

So, you know, like there’s definitely some issues there.

I was wondering about the open hostility between two people who are supposedly engaged. Now I know that we often, in life, maybe see people who are supposed to be getting married and you’re thinking to yourself oh god, that’s not going to last. Do any of you have – do either of you have any experience with something like that? You don’t have to name any names. But just couples who you look at and you go my god, like why in god’s name are they getting married?

Angela Kinsey: Oh my gosh. I think that if you sort of like are part of like a huge group of couples, there’s usually always one.

I think that’s why I love that SNL sketch so much, the Bickerson’s, you know, because I think there’s always like one. And definitely – yeah, I’ve definitely been there.

Ed Helms: I think that relationships like – the definition of a working relationship is so different for everyone and it…

Angela Kinsey: Completely.

Ed Helms: You know, and what may work for one couple is horrifying to another couple. And I think that, you know, what Andy and Angela have is largely horrifying.

Angela Kinsey: Right.

Ed Helms: But there is a real – in some ways, who they are dovetails perfectly, like who each person is fits – they fit together because I think there’s a little bit of a feedback loop of Angela being so demanding and Andy being so accommodating.

And it doesn’t work. It’s like it’s not healthy, but it works. You know what I mean?

Angela Kinsey: Totally. And I think…

Ed Helms: It’s like – and by works, I just mean it keeps them together.

Angela Kinsey: I think also, too, like I think we’ve all like had relationships where different people bring different sides of you out more prominently, you know.

Ed Helms: Oh yeah, totally.

Angela Kinsey: And sometimes you’re with someone and you’ll be like what am I doing? But I think Andy and Angela have a lot of that. They sort of bring each other’s sort of crazy…

Ed Helms: Yeah. But I do think that there is an undercurrent like anyone – with the exception of Andy’s parents, anyone who knows our couple is probably like what the hell is going on here?

Angela Kinsey: Right.

Ed Helms: And I’ve certainly had that experience at a wedding before, just being like – like the entire wedding party at the reception being like oh god.

Oh exactly, you think that…

Ed Helms: Let’s just enjoy the food.

The show obviously has a wide range of fans and I know that actually The Office did a panel at Comic-Con this summer. So I was wondering – so obviously you have a big geek, comic book crowd trend. And I’m just wondering what you attribute the success of the show and that wide range of fans there?

Angela Kinsey: Oh my gosh. Well I think a lot of us in America, we spend more time with the people we work with then even our own families. And you sort of have this forced family where you go to work.

And definitely that makes it relatable because everyone sort of works with an Angela or knows a Dwight, or an Andy. And that’s a lot of fun to see every week. But I have to say sometimes I am blown away by the different spectrum of our fans.

Like my cousin is ten years old and is the biggest fan for our show; knows – like can quote like Dwight monologues and she’s ten. She’s never worked in an office. And so that is always surprising to me, but a lot of fun.

Ed Helms: You know who cracks me up as like the biggest fan is one of our editors, Dave Rogers.

Angela Kinsey: And he like sits with it all day long.

Ed Helms: 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 Kinsey: I know. And talk about – Dave is adorable. Dave has one picture on his desk and it’s him hugging his dog.

Ed Helms: 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 Kinsey: Sure.

Ed Helms: 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 Kinsey: This week, right?

Ed Helms: Tonight, right?

Angela Kinsey: Yeah.

Ed Helms: Tonight’s episode. So…

Angela Kinsey: Which was amazing having him.

Ed Helms: 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 Kinsey: Really. I dorked out on him.

Ed Helms: 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.

Angela, you mentioned you’ve had a lot of funny things happen when you were working in all these different offices. Can you give us just one example from real life that’s kind of like the odd things that happen in the office or just one thing where you realize what a stupid meeting this is or what a stupid thing I’m doing today?

Angela Kinsey: Oh my gosh. I have so many. But for time I’ll give you one.

I – you could get extra pay if you came in on the weekends and decorated for the big annual Christmas party.

Ed Helms: Oh my gosh.

Angela Kinsey: And the woman that was in charge of it, also ran front reception and she was also in charge of the mailroom and making sure that the kitchens were cleaned out, like the fridges.

So she was in charge of the party planning and I volunteered for extra money because I was broke. And I came in to help decorate and she had these big bows that she wanted to put on like a little banister.

And I was just kind of doing the bows. Look I mean, I’m not great with bows okay. And she was like – she actually came behind me and she was like you’re doing these bows all wrong.

And it was like the end of the world. And she was like never mind, never mind. And so instead of decorating I got sent to clean out the fridge and that’s what I did with my extra hours.

That’s a true story.

Interview By: Emma Loggins

The Office Official Site

Emma Loggins Emma Loggins is the Editor in Chief of FanBolt. She updates daily on the latest entertainment news, her opinions on current happenings in the media, screening/filming opportunities, inside scoops and more.  She’s been writing on the world of geekdom and pop culture since 2002!


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