Ed Helms Can't Believe 'The Office' 'Has Had Such Ridiculous Staying Power' 

"It just seems to always be bubbling up," the Together Together star tells PEOPLE of the hit NBC comedy

ed helms
Photo: Steve Granitz/Wireimage

Ed Helms admits that most people recognize him as dentist Stu from The Hangover or goofy yet well-meaning Andy "Nard Dog" Bernard from The Office.

"At this point, it's probably more Andy from The Office, just because that show has had such ridiculous staying power," the actor, 45, tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "So many more young people are watching it, people that weren't even born when that show was on the air. It just seems to always be bubbling up."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

The father of one plays an equally quirky but lovable guy in his new movie Together Together, in which Helms stars as a man ready to become a single dad via surrogate.

"I was definitely able to tap into a lot of my memories of being an expectant father and so much of the anticipation, but also the anxiety and that fear of the unknown," he says. "I remember that so vividly. Ironically, the character Matt, in this movie, kind of has his s--- together a little bit more than I did. He's a little more calm and collected than I was."

together together
Tiffany Roohani/Bleecker Street

Like so many people, Helms got to spend more time with his own family over the last 14 months due to the coronavirus.

Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday.

"I usually keep a pretty ridiculously busy schedule and the silver lining of this pandemic, for me, has certainly been that it's forced me to back off the work schedule and being able to be home and spend this much time with my family," the SAG winner says. "I am definitely rethinking things a little bit."

That didn't stop Helms from putting out not just Together Together this month, but his new Peacock series Rutherford Falls, which he calls "a labor of love."

RELATED VIDEO: How Well Do 'The Office' Alums Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey 'Know' 'The Office'?

"[Co-creator] Mike Schur and I first started talking about this years ago," Helms explains. "It started to become clear that there would be a strong Native American component to this world, so we roped in our friend, Sierra Teller Ornelas, who's Navajo, and she became our showrunner."

The show follows Helms as the descent of a Northeast town's founder. The town sits next to a Native American reservation and starts to "reckon with its past a little bit," Helms says. "It's very, very funny and a ton of fun, and I hope maybe it might even be an opportunity to think a little bit about some of these issues."

rutherford falls season 1
Colleen Hayes/Peacock

Though known for his humor, a congenital heart defect caused Helms to "think a lot about mortality probably way younger than most people do." He underwent open-heart surgery at 13. "Thankfully, they were addressing something before it really was a problem," the Atlanta naive says. "As a result, the recovery was maybe three, four weeks before I was back in school."

Today, Helms feels grateful for the top-notch medical attention he received as a teenager. "I was very lucky to have the access to the resources that we had and the incredible health care that I got," he says. "I'm generally very, very healthy."

For more Ed Helms, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now, or subscribe here.

Related Articles