A quick chat with Ed Helms about his naughty new flick!

2015-09-13 12:00

Cape Town - Ed Helms can be seen as Rusty Griswold in the hilarious new adult comedy, Vacation.

The film is the fifth installment of the National Lampoon's Vacation film series and is loosely inspired by the original 1983 film.

In the 2015 reboot Rusty takes his own family on a road trip to "Walley World" in order to spice things up with his wife and reconnect with his sons.

In playing the adult Rusty for the first time, did you go back and look at the original films to take any cues from the different actors who played the teenage Rusty?

I didn’t. I watched the old films just for fun and just to get in the spirit of the Griswold’s mythology, but I didn’t look for acting cues in those performances from Johnny Galecki or Anthony Michael Hall or anyone else. They’re great performances but I just felt like it’s really a different character, adult Rusty. And each of those iterations of Rusty were pretty different from one another as well – they just reflect the actor portraying who Rusty was. So, I looked at this as a pretty blank slate and an opportunity to just bring Ed Helms to Rusty Griswold, and had a hell of a good time doing it.

How did you keep a straight face seeing Chris Hemsworth in the bedroom?

I didn’t. (Laughs) Thankfully, the camera’s on him most of the time. It was so funny and it’s not just funny because of that prosthetic and what it looks like; it’s funny because Chris Hemsworth sold it so amazingly. I mean, he just nailed that joke with the arrogance and just walking in with all that attitude. It was amazing.

Did he talk to you about the prosthetic at all?

Well, we were all on set laughing about it and checking it out. I would say we all had a lot of laughs about that.

Can you tell us a bit about how that scene is set up?  

Yeah. So, Rusty and his wife, Debbie, are visiting Audrey Griswold and she is married to an incredibly hunky cowboy, played by Chris Hemsworth, and his character’s name is Stone Crandall. So, we’re staying at their house and we’re settling down to go to bed, and Stone Crandall comes in wearing nothing but very tight underwear. We can see through his underwear that he has an enormous package and we’re stunned by this; and he is also weirdly oblivious and arrogant about it, just sort of talks nonchalantly for a few minutes and then leaves and we’re left bewildered.  

Were you surprised when you heard he would be taking on that role?

I think, of course, it was a big win for us when he agreed to do it and I was surprised that he did it. I don’t think I would’ve done it.

Do you have a personal memory of a bad family vacation either as an adult or when you were a kid?

I have two older siblings and we all took a lot of family vacations. It’s hard for me to pinpoint a vacation that was all bad, but there were definitely terrible moments on vacations. When I was about eight, we took one family trip where we flew from Atlanta to Denver and then drove all across the western United States for two weeks in a rented Oldsmobile sedan, five of us, and there are beautiful sights in the American west: Grand Canyon, the Tetons, Four Corners, all of it. But between those are thousands of miles of bleak desert, and we almost killed each other on those drives. My brother and I got so bored we were eating grapes and we put them in the window and tried to make raisins. It didn’t work.

Vacation opens in South African cinemas on Friday, 11 September.

(Photos: Warner Brothers Pictures)

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