Whatever role Ed Helms plays -- whether on "The Office," the "Hangover" movies or, most recently, a voice part in the upcoming "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax," he stands up for his characters. Even if the character in question is one of the more egregious villains of children's literature like The Once-ler.
"He's kind of a villain, but he's not a bad guy!" insisted Helms to TODAY's Matt Lauer on Monday. "He's an entrepreneur who gets carried away and goes down the black hole of greed and avarice.... Like all of us he's vulnerable to these things, but it doesn't make him an evil guy."
He's got company in FOX's Lou Dobbs, who all but defended the Once-ler on a recent show while voicing dismay about the film, saying it was trying to "indoctrinate our children" with liberal messages while turning a businessman into the villain.
But that's where Dobbs and Helms part ways. "We're going to indoctrinate a lot of people if this goes well!" crowed Helms, tongue in cheek. "Lou, come on, what are you talking about? ... It's about a good guy who gets greedy. These are unimpeachable values. Like be responsible for your world."
Lauer quoted Seuss defending his work, saying "The Lorax doesn't say lumbering is immoral. I live in a house made of wood and write books printed on paper. It's a book about going easy on what we've got. It's anti-pollution, anti-greed."
"Boom," said Helms. "There you go."
"Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" opens Friday, March 2.
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