In the highly amusing new film “Cedar Rapids,” Ed Helms stars as Tim Lippe, a naïve Wisconsin insurance salesman who, with the help of an overzealous, goodhearted buffoon (John C. Reilly) and a boozing flirt (Anne Heche), learns a lot about himself during an insurance conference in, um, exotic Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Helms, whose highly anticipated sequel to “The Hangover” opens May 26, says he's getting a little overwhelmed about his first lead role: “While we were making this movie I didn’t feel any kind of dramatic increase in pressure,” he says, “but now that it’s coming out, I’m starting to wig out a little bit.”
How nervous are you to have “Cedar Rapids” opening against the Justin Bieber film “Never Say Never”?
I’m terrified. Justin Bieber is a force of nature, and I’m scared that we will be just absolutely crushed in his wake. To be fair, I think we’re going after different audiences. So I’m not too worried about that.
What’s something the two movies have in common, in case anyone wants to catch a double feature?
Tim Lippe and Justin Bieber have similar haircuts.
Tim has an unexpectedly debaucherous time in Cedar Rapids. What are the chances it becomes the next Vegas?
[Laughs] I would put the chances somewhere between zero percent and 0.0001 percent.
So as “The Hangover: Part II” was developing there wasn’t a question of setting it in either Bangkok or Cedar Rapids?
No, that was never a part of the conversation. If off this movie they wind up building three or four massive casinos in Cedar Rapids I’d call that a success. But, no, [for] “Hangover 2” there’s only one way to heighten Las Vegas and that’s Bangkok, Thailand.
Was your naked locker room scene in “Cedar Rapids” done to settle a conversation about who has the best butt on “The Office”?
[Laughs] Has there been any opportunity to see other people’s butts on “The Office”?
Maybe you just wanted to end the conversation before it started.
OK, good point, yes. Rainn Wilson and I are constantly fighting over who has the cutest tushy.
And actually, he’s the naked drummer in “The Rocker.”
Oh, that’s true. So it’s an easy comparison.
Do you not know what’s coming on “The Office” once Steve Carell leaves, or do you know and can’t say?
No, there is an awful lot that I just flat-out do not know right now. But I’m really OK with that because what I do know is that once we all sort of get over the actual heartbreak of Steve leaving it’s an incredibly exciting time for this show. ‘Cause there’s not a lot of shows that get an opportunity this far along in their maturity to have such a dramatic reinvention of themselves.
Find showtimes for "Cedar Rapids."