Ed Helms: Why the Nard-Dog is now boss

Ed Helms stars as Andy Bernard, the new boss on “The Office,” airing Thursdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

Andy Bernard always seemed like a loveable loser in the workplace of Dunder Mifflin. Who knew that after four years of pushing paper on NBC’s best-rated comedy, “The Office,” Ed Helms and his character would rise to the top, replacing Steve Carell’s  Michael Scott as regional manager? Helms doesn’t exactly know, but he and one of the show’s creators and stars, Paul Lieberstein (aka hapless HR manager Toby Flenderson) recently spoke about the transition.

There were rumors that you’d bring in new talent to take on Michael’s role at Dunder Mifflin. How did you arrive at the decision to promote from within?

Lieberstein: The natural question was, should we continue after Steve Carell leaves? The answer was clear when we said, “Our cast is amazing and we don’t need anybody else.” We still want to watch our cast. We still want to write for our cast. Although different names were batted around at times, we never really considered changing the focus of the show to anyone else but our people.

Were members of the cast vying for that spot?

Helms: There was a lot of internal wondering and questioning what was next, “Who might be the next boss?” But I think it’s a testament to the cast and the dignity of everyone involved that we all took a backseat to the creative considerations upstairs and were eager to support whatever decision came down.

What is it about Andy that made him the best person to be regional manager?

Lieberstein: He can take the role of father of the family, partly through insecurity and partly through genuine affection. He’s really caring and interested and empathetic. Any problem that anyone is having, he would feel very deeply — which makes him suited to be a comic relief in the show.
Considering their office rivalry, what are Andy’s plans for managing Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson)?

Helms: Dwight is someone who responds very well to a firm hand of leadership. Andy is searching for that a little bit, but in that first episode we started to see the very first inkling of a backbone in Andy. I’m excited about it because it makes Andy’s leadership more plausible, and it also shows you where Andy has to go. Dwight provides a constant friction for that.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…