‘The Office’: Ed Helms Is Different From Andy Bernard for 1 Reason, but There’s 1 Thing About the Character He Envies

Actor Ed Helms is known for playing Andy Bernard on the comedy series The Office. Recently, Helms shared the biggest difference between his personality and his character in The Office. Helms also opened up about the one thing he envies most about Andy Bernard.

Ed Helms as Andy Bernard on 'The Office'
Ed Helms | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Andy Bernard’s journey from ‘loveable loser’ to ‘America’s Next A Capella Sensation’

The Office introduced Andy Bernard in season 3. When Jim (John Krasinski) left Dunder Mifflin Scranton and transferred to the Stamford branch, he still had an annoying co-worker to deal with — Andy. Dwight’s (Rainn Wilson) polar opposite, Andy was preppy and privileged, but just as dense. 

From the get-go, showrunners made it clear Andy grappled with anger issues. When Jim tried to play a prank on Andy by putting his calculator in jello, Andy threw a tantrum. Later, after Andy punched a hole in the wall of Dunder Mifflin Scranton, he was sent to anger management. 

In the later seasons of The Office, Andy began to change. First, he got engaged to Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey). When she cheated on Andy with Dwight and Andy found out, he ultimately called off the engagement. After his broken engagement, Andy had an on-again-off-again fling with Erin Hannon (Ellie Kemper).

By the end of the series, Andy went from a “lovable loser to someone who completely throws away his job and love interests to go sailing and pursue a singing career” — something fans on Reddit attribute to the Alcohorse Theory. Regardless of how much Andy changed throughout The Office, there’s one significant difference between Andy and the actor who plays him. 

Ed Helms has more control over himself than Andy Bernard does on ‘The Office’ 

In reality, Helms doesn’t think Andy is very much like him at all. “I have better editing mechanisms for my own behavior,” Helms explained to his Office co-star Brian Baumgartner on his podcast, The Office Deep Dive.

“I think a lot of Andy’s impulses and instincts I related to,” he continued. “He’s just not self-aware enough to put a check on them.” Despite that significant difference between Helms and his character, there’s something about Andy Helms says he envies. 

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Ed Helms envies Andy Bernard’s ability to wear his heart on his sleeve

During his conversation with Baumgartner, Helms also addressed the thing he envies most about Andy Bernard. Helms wishes he could be more open in expressing his emotions like Andy was in the show. “Being transparent and chasing something that you love” are two qualities Andy had that Helms admires.

When it came to Angela and putting his heart on his sleeve, Helms fell in love with Andy. “There was no shame; there was no reticence [when it came to falling in love],” Helms explained. “I always loved that about Andy.”

He also addressed Andy’s rage, which was just as intense as the love he had to give. “He just wasn’t able to control the expression of his emotions when he should have,” Helms concluded, going back to his original point. “[Andy’s lack of control] had beautiful consequences in some of his relationships and devastating consequences in other ways.”