Ed Helms: ‘The Hangover’ Fame Created ‘Fear and Riot’

“It was a tornado of glory and much turmoil. It was very overwhelming”

Of the three main cast of the original The Hangover movie, Ed Helms was arguably the most famous at the time of its release in 2009. While Bradly Cooper and Zach Galifianakis received a significant boost in public profile from the film’s massive success, Helms was already well known for his regular roles in The Office as well as his appearances on The Daily Show. But the film, which grossed $467 million at the global box office, making it the highest-grossing R-rated comedy in history, still gave Helms a public boost — something he found difficult to handle.

Helms spoke about how the “tornado of fame” that came with the success of “The Hangover” was “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” on a recent episode of the Conan O’Brien Podcast, calling it ” a whole new level” of public scrutiny compared to his work on television.

“It was a tornado of glory and much turmoil. It was very overwhelming,” Helms said on the podcast. “I was really torn most of the time, like after ‘The Hangover’ when I got scripts for all these different kinds of projects. ‘Like what do I do? I do not know.’ I kind of turned around and panicked about various things. Like, ‘Well, what kind of career do you want?’”

Helms said he feels “very fortunate” to have those opportunities, but admitted it caused “a lot of fear and a kind of identity — just uproar.”

“I’m going to say one of the — one of the craziest things about a massive leap to fame like this, and what I think people who have never dealt with it or been close to it just can’t understand is the total loss of control about your surroundings,” he said.

Helms, Cooper and Galifianakis starred in two sequels to The Hangover, released in 2011 and 2013. Helms said he relied on Cooper and Galifianakis to keep him grounded and sane while he coped with his newfound fame.

“I don’t think I would have stayed sane without these guys. But we all had each other to be kind of, you know, I don’t know, just to feel sorry for each other and measure ourselves,” Helms said. “And I think we saved each other from drifting too far. And too unprofessional.

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/12/ed-helms-the-hangover-fame-created-anxiety-1234795079/ Ed Helms: ‘The Hangover’ Fame Created ‘Fear and Riot’

Lindsay Lowe

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