In the season premiere of The Office, persnickety accountant Angela Martin had this to say in response to a question from the show’s documentary crew: "I have a nice comforter and several cozy pillows. I usually read a chapter of a book, and it’s lights out by 8:30. That’s how I sleep at night."
In light of the events in last week’s show, though, it seemed worth asking again of Angela Kinsey, the actress who plays her. So, Angela, just how does your character sleep at night?
"I think she’s wired pretty tight right now," says Kinsey, who, for the record, could not be less like her character. "I think she definitely doesn’t want to sleep next to Andy, but her nights are probably — I think she tosses and turns quite a bit. She obviously wouldn’t share that with the documentary camera crew, you know. She’s very offended by the question."
Andy, of course, is her fiance and fellow Dunder Mifflin employee Andy Bernard, played by Ed Helms. Andy has barreled headlong into their surprise engagement, either not able or not willing to see how much he’s had to drag Angela — who still has a thing for Dwight (Rainn Wilson) — along with him.
"You know, my dad asked me recently — he’s like, Why are you with that woman? And it’s a very valid question," Helms said on a conference call with reporters last week. "But actually, I do think that there’s just this unflappable optimism, and if there’s one thing that’s really great about Andy, [it’s that] he’s so decisive, and he goes with something. And once he decides it’s what he wants, he’s just in it, and he throws his whole heart into it.
"And I think that’s just what’s happened in this relationship with Angela. It’s like this is … this is my life partner and this is going to work, dammit."
Neither Helms nor Kinsey would say where their relationship is headed, but they were more than willing to discuss their weird and comedically wonderful relationship. Some highlights:
Angela being Angela
Helms: I think Angela’s childhood was probably pretty disturbing.
Kinsey: Yes, me too.
Helms: And so you like — you’ve just found a lot of coping mechanisms. And you’re able to sleep through a hell of a lot.
Kinsey: Well, OK. But I think that there are times when she’s — Jen Celotta, one of our writers, I think said it really best. … I was like, Look, I need a little bit of insight because what she’s doing in this situation is so foreign to how I — you know, I’m trying to find a way to make her human. And Jen was like, I think Angela is in this situation that sometimes people get in [a situation] where they kind of say yes to something and this snowball effect starts to happen, and they weren’t really prepared. And they don’t know how to handle it, and then they just go through it with blinders on to the very end. …
But I do think her family is pretty disturbing. I mean, she doesn’t speak to her sister. We find out that she was in little girl pageants. So, you know, there’s definitely some issues there.
He’ll do anything
Helms discusses his willingness to make Andy look like a fool: Well, let me start by saying that I have prided myself on the lack of dignity that I have. It’s one of my greatest traits, my lack of dignity. But I think it actually goes back a little further than The Daily Show [where he was a correspondent from 2001-06]. Before that I trained and worked at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York, and I did stand-up for years in New York.
But the thing is, you’re never fearless. Fear is such a huge part of it. It’s just a matter of embracing the fear and sort of being drawn to it in a way. And there’s nothing more exhilarating than sort of like throwing your fear at — just throwing it out there. … But yeah, I think there’s a certain — I also love to break out in song in real life. And there’s nothing funnier to me than a really inappropriately timed Broadway number.
Pros and Cons
Kinsey on what Angela sees in Dwight: "I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Andy except that maybe he’s just a little too nice. And I think she really loves someone she can butt heads with. And I think Dwight constantly — I think she truly has a love/hate relationship with Dwight, and with Andy she has a like/like relationship. And there’s something about that love/hate that is very appealing to her."
Helms on how Andy doesn’t see how wrong he and Angela are: He’s blinded by his own passion. He’s just thrown everything into this and I think — I mean, there’s so many things that he doesn’t notice around Angela. The lack of her passion is just the tip of the iceberg. I think that he sees Angela meeting a checklist that he’s always had, and that he just never questioned.
I really admire this about Andy because it’s something I think I even struggle with in real life, is just deciding to be committed and to make it work. That is a very admirable thing in Andy, I think. And he’s done that. He may not have had enough data to make that decision wisely early on, but he did it, and by Jove, he is doing it.