Why The Office's Ellie Kemper Wasn't Exactly A Fan Of Erin And Andy's Relationship

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When looking back at the myriad romantic relationships that went down during The Office's nine seasons, the biggest standout is obviously going to be Jim and Pam, especially since John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer maintained their close friendship well after the final episode. The second best couple is a little harder to figure out, though. Would it be Michael and Jan? Dwight and Angela? Ryan...and...Kelly? If you answered "Erin and Andy," then you are in direct opposition of star Ellie Kemper.

Before landing the titular lead role in Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Ellie Kemper was added into The Office's ensemble as Erin Hannon in Season 5, where she spent a few seasons in an on-and-off relationship with Ed Helms' Andy Bernard. On the one hand, that particular romance made sense, considering both Erin and Andy shared similar desires to keep others smiling and happy. But on several other hands, they weren't exactly the smoothest pair, and Kemper said as much while talking to former co-star Brian Baumgartner for his behind-the-scenes podcast An Oral History of The Office. When directly asked if she thought the characters worked as a couple, she answered with:

I never thought [Andy and Erin were a good match]. Is that terrible to say? I don’t know, I felt like Andy was a bit too childish. I don’t think he was ready to take care of Erin the way she needed to be. I think Erin was ready to take care of him, but I felt like it was uneven in that respect.

Uneven is probably the best word to use for Erin and Andy's romantic ebbs and flows. Andy was all interested in Erin when she first arrived at Dunder-Mifflin (as was Dwight, weirdly enough), and then she returned that attraction in Season 6, though it was a situation where neither one wanted to really make a big first move, leading to misunderstandings and minor disappointments. I mean, even their first date (in "St. Patrick's Day") was marred by Erin's illness and Andy's suspicion that she had some kind of romantic connection with her foster brother Reed.

Just when things started to get going, Erin discovered that Andy had been engaged to Angela, which she hadn't known about before, and they split up. In Season 7, Erin dated Gabe for a while before turning her sights back on Andy, who was still bothered by the Gabe situation. And it just kept being a mess through Season 8 and 9, where Andy was dating Jessica, and then Andy got fired, and then Erin transferred to Florida, and then Erin started dating Andy's friend Pete. That latter relationship was still intact for The Office's finale, and I'm sure I'm not the only one hoping that it kept going, and that there weren't another 700 near-misses for Erin and Andy in the years that followed.

Obviously this opinion is more centered on how the writers handled the narrative ins and outs, and and not about the performances from Ellie Kemper and Ed Helms, who were both as solid as can be throughout their time on The Office. But in the same way that Michael and most women didn't work, and the way that Ryan and Kelly didn't work, and the way that Toby and everyone didn't work, Erin and Andy were just not crafted with pure compatibility in mind. And let's be real, Erin was way too happy and wonderful to put up with Andy's wishy-washy ass.

One thing is almost definitely guaranteed, though. Ellie Kemper likely doesn't hate the idea of Erin and Andy as much as Office fans hated the idea of Jim and Cathy, to the point where the actress Lindsey Broad unfortuantely still gets trolled about the role on social media.

The Office is currently available to stream in full on Netflix, where it remains one of the most-watched shows on the entire platform. It'll eventually get ported to NBC's Peacock, complete with extra footage, but while waiting for that to happen, check out all the new and returning shows arriving soon with our Fall TV 2020 premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.