Ed Helms Talks Cedar Rapids and The Hangover 2
01.22.11 by Ryan
The trailer for Cedar Rapids debuted at the end of December and showed Ed Helms as a Midwestern insurance salesman who heads to the big city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for an insurance convention and has a life-changing adventure. While the movie opens in February, Cedar Rapids will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend (attendees will be able to walk into a full installation of the insurance office). Screen Junkies recently caught up with Helms, who described what kind of movie Cedar Rapids is.
It’s a gorefest and the feel good movie of the year. No, it’s kind of a poignant little story of just a very small kind of world, but the movie looks at it very microscopically and it feels big. It’s a Midwestern guy just kind of getting in over his head. Because we’re so close to him and his reaction is so overwhelming and terrified it actually has kind of a resonance I think.
Helms called Cedar Rapids a comedy with "dark edges to it" and revealed why the movie, which Helms also produced, is so special to him.
It’s a movie that’s very near and dear to me because I helped develop it with the writer Phil [Johnston]. It was his idea that he brought to me and then he and I kind of actualized it. The fact that we were able to get Alexander Payne on board [to produce] and [director] Miguel Arteta was kind of a dream come true, to get that group together to make this thing. John C. Reilly and Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock just all got on board. I’m excited about it.
Helms can also be seen in The Hangover 2 later this year. The movie wrapped production in Thailand, where the sequel is set. Helms says there was a lot of pressure on director Todd Phillips and the cast to "elevate the sequel."
I think there was a sense that we had to really rise to the occasion and elevate the sequel. So we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. There is also, I think we do feel confidence just in who the characters are. We all love to work together and we didn’t really know each other in the first one. Now we kind of know what we’re going into so there’s a confidence that comes from that. There’s a real sense of urgency to meet the expectations. Nobody’s phoning it in.
Helms admitted that making the sequel in Thailand wasn't an easy shoot.
Hearts of Darkness. I mean, we went to hell and back and I think you’re going to see it on screen. It was a hard movie to make. Fun as hell but hard as hell.