It was originally supposed to be a lunch with Ed Helms at a hotel restaurant in Greenwich Village but — on what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year — I was relieved to find out we were just going to hang out in what appeared to be the diner-type section of the hotel. (Eating food in front of a famous person on a day like this did not seem appealing.) Instead, Helms and I both ordered Cokes.
We were seated at a two-person booth that was strangely intimate, with our faces being maybe two feet from each other. This was an occasion I didn’t even try to read a question from any kind of notebook. If I had, we were sitting so close, Helms would have just been able to read the questions himself anyway. So, we just spoke about anything that came to mind, really. Eventually, we started talking about The Cable Guy.
Helms stars in Vacation as the now-grown Rusty Griswold, who has been played by four separate actors in the four prior Vacation films. This time, Rusty wants to drive his family across the country to visit Walley World, where his father (Chevy Chase) had taken him and his sister many years before. As you might expect, hijinks ensue.
Helms is a hard guy not to root for. He’s incredibly polite, even when the subject turns to the reviews that had been published a couple days prior to our drinking Cokes together. Helms (who I’m more and more thinking is a very brave soul) also discusses where he is with another beloved franchise reboot, The Naked Gun. But, first, we tried to get cozy in our too-close-for-comfort seats.
This is intimate.
Yeah, it’s cozy here.
I’ll get to know the real Ed Helms.
It’s kind of romantic, actually.
So, if there’s another Vacation movie, do you get replaced?
[Laughs] Well, I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out! Obviously, I’m the fifth Rusty, and it’s never been the same in any movie. I will be thrilled to break that trend, but I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.