Ed Helms Says the “Tornado of Fame” Around Him Following the Success of ‘The Hangover’ Was “Very Overwhelming”

Ed Helms is opening up about his rise in popularity and fame after The Hangover, saying the film “was a whole new level.” 

On Monday’s episode of the Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast, the comedian and actor talked about his experience and the recognition he gained following the release of the popular 2009 movie, which also starred Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis

“When the hangover came out, it was so exciting,” Helms said. “Another way in which I was lucky … lucky in 10 million ways on that movie, but Bradley and Zach and I were all kind of at the same level before that, and so we were going through it together. … If it wasn’t for those guys, I don’t think I would have stayed sane, but we all had each other.” 

Before The Hangover trilogy, the comedian worked as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart from 2002 to 2006. At that point, his name wasn’t as well known. Then, starting in 2006, he played Andy Bernard in The Office, where he began to get noticed more. But it wasn’t until the success of The Hangover that things really changed for him. 

“It was such a unique experience, and I look back on it and wish … I knew more,” he added. “I wish I could go through it again with what I know now because … I really was reeling a lot of the time like in the aftermath of The Hangover.” 

Helms told O’Brien that the “tornado of fame” that followed was “very overwhelming,” because suddenly, he had several projects and scripts being pitched to him. 

“I was kind of spinning out and panicking about different things, like … what kind of a career do you want,” the actor said he remembered thinking. “I definitely felt a lot of anxiety and like, identity kind of just turmoil. And I will say one of the craziest things about a … massive jump into fame like that is … the just total loss of control of your environment.” 

Helms also noted that he feels lucky that his “public persona had risen gradually” and that he appreciated the support he had from his Hangover co-stars

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