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Filed under: Films, News Posted by Lauren on July 21, 2015 // No Comments

The “Vacation” release date is almost a week away and “Thor: Ragnarok” star Chris Hemsworth’s bulge, as seen in one the film remake’s trailers, has been explained, thanks to Ed Helms.

In a recent interview with Access Hollywood, Helms said, “That scene with the underwear sight gag, I think people look at that and kind of quickly assume, ‘Oh it’s funny because of the underwear sight gag,’ but it’s not.”

“That’s not why it’s funny; it’s funny because of Chris’ performance,” explained Helms, who plays Rusty Griswold in the adventure comedy directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein.

When it comes to deciding on how far to go with Hemsworth’s bulge, Helms said the “Vacation” film’s creative team had a lot of discussions about “what is funny” and “when does it go from funny to horrifying.”

Helms pointed out that he was not part of those discussions but he happened to think that the “Vacation” film’s creative team nailed it. He said that he could barely make it through filming the “Vacation” underwear scene with Hemsworth’s bulge, which he said is “exactly what it should be” whatever it is.

“I hope we see him do a lot more comedy,” Helms said of Hemsworth, who is also set to do another reboot, the all-female “Ghostbusters,” in 2016. In 2017, Hemsworth will star in “Thor: Ragnarok,” which will also star “Blind Spot” star Jamie Alexander, MTV reported.

Along with Helms and Hemsworth, “Vacation” also stars Leslie Mann, Elizabeth Gillies, Michael Pena, Christina Applegate, Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, among others. The film is set to premiere on July 29.


Filed under: Films, News Posted by Lauren on July 16, 2015 // No Comments

Owen Wilson has closed a deal to join Ed Helms in Bastards, a comedy being produced by Alcon and the Montecito Picture Company.

Larry Sher, the cinematographer behind The Hangover comedies, is making his directorial debut with the project, which is heading towards a September start in Atlanta.

The script by Justin Malen centers on two brothers whose mother who slept with many, many, many famous men in the 1970s heyday of the Studio 54 scene. When they find out that their biological father is still alive, the two hit the road to find him.

Alcon is financing Bastards and the company’s Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove will produce with Montecito’s Ivan Reitman, Tom Pollock and Ali Bell. Chris Fenton and Chris Cowles are executive producing.

The project was previously set up at Paramount.


Filed under: News, TV Appearances Posted by Lauren on July 12, 2015 // No Comments

The worlds of Hollywood and sports collide at the ESPY Awards, ESPN’s annual ceremony that recognizes athletic achievement and other sports-related performance.

This year, The Soup comedian Joel McHale will host the awards show alongside a huge cast of presenters, including Mike Epps (Survivor’s Remorse), Julie Foudy(analyst/retired professional soccer player), Ed Helms (Vacation), Andre Iguodala(Golden State Warriors), LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers), Chris Long (St. Louis Rams), Danica Patrick (NASCAR driver), Richard Sherman (Seattle Seahawks),Britney Spears, Kiefer Sutherland, Vince Vaughn and J.J. Watt (Houston Texans).

 An even bigger cast of celebrities will be in attendance.

Some of the ceremony’s most prestigious awards include Best Male Athlete, Best Female Athlete and the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

There’s sure to be lots of laughs and good times, but also more serious and reverent moments. We’re in good hands with McHale leading the way.

Meanwhile the funnyguy is still busy with The Soup and is a producer on the upcoming show The Comment Section.


Filed under: Lonesome Trio, News Posted by Lauren on June 26, 2015 // No Comments

Ed Helms, star of this July’s Vacation remake, met Jacob Tilove and Ian Riggs back when he was an Oberlin undergrad. They bonded the way college lads do: over drinking, jokes, and jamming as a bluegrass ensemble. When fate brought them to New York City, Helms, Tilove, and Riggs formalized their extracurricular as The Lonesome Trio and became regulars at Manhattan’s Parkside Lounge.

Occupations took them in different directions over the years—Helms went off to Hollywood to become a movie star—but the trio persisted. Whenever they got together, they picked up their banjo, mandolin, and bass (respectively) to unearth their sweet, melodious repertoire.

Twenty-two years later, The Lonesome Trio finally has an album (simply titled The Lonesome Trio). Speaking to Esquire by phone, Helms says there’s no particular reason why it took so long, this is just how show business works. One day you’re swamped, the next you’re sitting at home waiting for the next project to get greenlit, then, all of a sudden, you’re cutting an album with two college buddies, because why not? Here, Helms reflects on the early days, shares The Trio’s whiskeys of choice, and explains where his bluegrass and acting lives meet.


Filed under: Lonesome Trio, News Posted by Lauren on June 23, 2015 // No Comments

The Internet features more than its share of negativity and snark—sometimes you’ve just gotta vent. But there’s plenty of room for love, too. With Fan Up, we ask pop-culture people we admire to tell us about something they really, really like. 

The fan: Though he’s best known for his acting roles in everything from The Office to the upcoming Vacation, Ed Helms also dabbles in music, having played the banjo for years. His bluegrass band, The Lonesome Trio, formed while all three members were at Oberlin College, and the group released its self-titled debut earlier this week on Sugar Hill Records.

Given Helms’ background in bluegrass, it’s no surprise that he was drawn to the genre by one of its most successful LPs: Eric Weissberg’s Dueling Banjos. The A.V. Club talked to Helms about that record, and about how he learned to separate the sound of the banjo from having to squeal like a pig.

The A.V. Club: You told your publicist that Deliverance shaped your musical tastes in a way. Can you explain why that’s the case?

Ed Helms: How familiar are you with the movie?

AVC: I have some familiarity with it.

EH: You’re aware of its horrific lore, what it depicts in the movie…

AVC: Yeah.

EH: Why it’s the butt of many a joke.


Filed under: Lonesome Trio, News Posted by Lauren on June 23, 2015 // No Comments

In The Hangover, Ed Helms tickled the ivories and serenaded a tiger as toothless groomsman Stu. OnThe Office, he plucked a banjo and sang Sondheim as cheerful paper-pusher Andy.

But you won’t see either character take the stage when the comedic actor plays with The Lonesome Trio, his bluegrass band with friends Jacob Tilove and Ian Riggs.

“I think Jake and Ian would chop my head off,” Helms, 41, says.

“As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be totally averse to that,” Tilove, 40, counters. “I’m a huge Ed Helms fan and I like all that stuff. I would have no problem working up a bluegrass Stu’s Song.”

For the time being, the group will stick to the down-home harmonies and earnest refrains of its self-titled debut album, out Tuesday.


Filed under: Lonesome Trio, News Posted by Lauren on June 23, 2015 // No Comments

Ed Helms superfans have long known about his bluegrass obsession. Not only is the Hangover actor (soon to star in the upcoming Vacation reboot) the founder of the website The Bluegrass Situation and the same-name Los Angeles festival, but he’s been gigging around New York City and L.A. with his band, The Lonesome Trio, for decades. They’ve done stints at Bonnaroo, played at the Newport Folk Festival, maintained an annual show at the Parkside Lounge in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and even shared the stage with other high-profile aficionados like Steve Martin.

But now, 20-odd years after the threesome—Helms on guitar and banjo, Ian Riggs on bass, and Jacob Tilove on mandolin—met and began jamming at Oberlin College, they’re finally releasing an album. The Lonesome Trio,their self-titled debut, out today, is a collection of twelve songs that hark back to golden era bluegrass mainstays, like Bill Monroe, with traces of modern alt-country acts, like Old 97’s, Old Crow Medicine Show, or Ryan Adams.

“Our album isn’t for [just] anybody. I don’t have any idea that America needs this album,” Helms explained to Vogue.com over the phone from the middle of The Lonesome Trio’s album-release tour. “It’s just something we were excited to share. We hope it connects with some people. If that’s two people, fantastic. If it’s 10 million people, fantastic.” Read on to find out how Helms got into old-timey string music, what it takes to write a bluegrass song, and why he’d like to high-five David Duchovny.

So why bluegrass?
I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. I wasn’t surrounded by bluegrass by any stretch. But I did go to summer camp up in the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. And my mom is from Nashville. Somewhere in there at a very young age, I think my parents picked up a cassette tape at a truck stop—Smoky Mountain Hits or something. It was just some string band music, and I really loved it. And then my first guitar teacher, when I was thirteen years old, was really into this stuff. I don’t think a lot of his students were, but I responded to it, and I think that excited him.


Filed under: Lonesome Trio, News Posted by Lauren on June 23, 2015 // No Comments

Actor Ed Helms makes his living off laughs, but he takes his passion — music — very seriously. In between roles in the Hangover films, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and elsewhere, the 41-year-old is a bluegrass renaissance man, playing several instruments in The Lonesome Trio and running The Bluegrass Situation, an all-things-Americana hub that hosts an eponymous festival in Los Angeles and just curated a stage at Bonnaroo for the third year in a row. With The Lonesome Trio’s self-titled debut released on June 16 on Sugar Hill Records, Helms explains why he digs deep for roots music.

You recorded this album in two intense weeks in a studio in Asheville, N.C. Compare the process of making an album to making a film.

They’re totally different creative muscles. The best comparison would be cramming on a script deadline: long hours, late nights and just jamming to get a script done. It’s sort of a similar neural pathway to making an album, just kind of holing up in the studio, working super late hours, long days. But it’s so fun. There’s something very pure about it. You isolate yourself; you’re steeping in this creative stew. It’s a really special experience.


Filed under: Films, News Posted by Lauren on June 05, 2015 // No Comments

Growing up in the shadow of Atlanta, Six Flags Over Georgia was a frequent vacation spot, but on this day in early November 2014, it’s no longer Six Flags, it’s Walley World for New Line Cinema’s Vacation. Ed Helms stands with Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins in line for a roller coaster that for my whole life has been “The Ninja” but has been upgraded today to “The Velociraptor.” The Griswolds have arrived.

“Don’t forget to scream your faces off,” Helms reminds his “kids” during a take.

This new iteration of the Griswolds eagerly wait in line for their turn, and when the chain comes up they’re stopped. Ron Livingston of “Office Space” fame puts his hand out, holding the Walley World equivalent of a fast pass, and ushers his perfect, khaki pant-clad family in front of our heroes. They are in essence the anti-Griswolds, perfectly creased shirts and bright suburban smiles. After they walk through, co-writer and co-director John Francis Daley emerges in his cameo as a Walley World employee and puts the chain back up. “Last ride tonight,” he tells the distraught Rusty and company.


Filed under: Lonesome Trio, News Posted by Lauren on May 09, 2015 // No Comments

Actor and comedian Ed Helms has joined with longtime friends Ian Riggs and Jacob Tilove to form the group Lonesome Trio, and the group will release its self-titled debut album in June.

Helms, Riggs and Tilove — who met while attending Oberlin College in Ohio more than 20 years ago — wrote and recorded 12 original tracks during a two-week stint at the Echo Mountain recording studio in Asheville, N.C. The project was engineered and co-produced by Sugar Hill Records’ president of A&R, Gary Paczosa, with all three of the men lending vocals and instrumentation to the tracks.

“We decided right out of the gate that the three of us needed to do the whole thing,” Helms tells Rolling Stone Country. “But we opened the door to lots of additional instruments and layers. The only rule was that we do it ourselves. I’m proud of that. It was more important than any crisp perfection in the execution, and I just love it. That’s our spirit. There is no sound on that album that didn’t come from the three of us.”


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