Ed Helms says that he was overwhelmed by all the fame that came his way after The Hangover came out in 2009.
On a recent episode of Conan O’Brien’s Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast, the actor opened up about how much The Hangover and its two successive follow-ups affected his mindset.
“It was a tornado of fame and a lot of buffeting. It was very overwhelming” Helms told O’Brien. “I really was reeling a lot of the time, like in the aftermath of ‘The Hangover,’ I was getting scripts for all these different kinds of projects. ‘Like what do I do? I dunno.’ I was kind of spinning out and panicking about different things. Like, ‘Well, what kind of a career do you want?’”
Helms is also known for The Daily Show, Chappaquidick, and Arrested Development. And even though he was already well known for playing Andy Bernard on The Office, he still found the sharp increase in public recognition jarring.
Although he did feel “very lucky” for the opportunities the trilogy afforded him, he says it caused “a lot of anxiety and like identity kind of — just turmoil.”
“One of the craziest things about a massive jump into fame like that, and what I think people who have never dealt with that or been close to it just can’t understand, is the just total loss of control of your environment,” Helms added.
He also credited his co-stars, Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis, with helping him stay grounded during a big life change.
“If it wasn’t for those guys, I don’t think I would’ve stayed sane. But we all had each other to kind of be like, you know, I don’t know, just to commiserate and measure ourselves,” Helms said. “And I think we kept each other from drifting too far. And being too unprofessional.”
Main Image: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Justin Bartha in The Hangover Part III courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.