Ed Helms joined “The Office” in its third season, when John Krasinski’s Jim transfers to another office to avoid his feelings for Jenna Fischer’s Pam. Andy Bernard is immediately a jerk, sucking up to the boss and giving Jim an unwanted nickname. Helms, who wasn’t supposed to stay on the show past his debut season, impressed with his performance and was made a series regular.
After joining the show for the longterm, Andy went through a bit of a softening. Instead of the complete jerk with anger issues he started out as, he became more of a well-meaning but pompous moron. It was this evolution of the character that Helms began to really see himself in. In a deep dive interview with fellow “The Office” star Brian Baumgartner, Helms talks about this:
“Andy is not very much like me, but only because I have better editing mechanisms for my own behavior. But I think a lot of Andy’s impulses and instincts are, you know, I relate to. He’s just not self-aware enough to put a check on them.”
Being able to relate to the character’s myriad flaws is one thing, but Helms was even able to find aspects of Andy’s character that he straight up admired. “There are things that I actually really envy about Andy, that I wish I was more like,” Helms said in the interview, specifically citing Andy’s relationship with office ice queen, Angela. “He fell in love with Angela, and was just like, ‘This is it. I’m all in. And I love you!’ And everybody knew it, and there was no shame, there was no kind of reticence, and I think I just always loved that about Andy.”