Will Forte is an incredibly charming actor, and while he’s known mostly for his comedic work, he turned in a subtle, moving performance in Alexander Payne‘s dramedy, Nebraska. For those who haven’t seen the film, the story centers on Woody Grant (Bruce Dern), who believes he’s won a million dollars in a sweepstakes. His son David (Forte), unable to convince his father that it’s a scam reluctantly drives with Woody to Nebraska to pick up the “winnings”. It’s a wonderful picture, and because it was recently released on Blu-ray/DVD/digital download, I got the chance to talk about it with Forte.
During our conversation, Forte talked about getting comfortable working alongside his talented co-stars, the freedom to find the character, what he personally took away from working on the film, and more. He also provided a brief update on the status of MacGruber 2. Hit the jump to check out the interview.
Now playing in theaters is Ben Stiller‘s latest directorial effort The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. In the film, Stiller stars as the eponymous LIFE Magazine negative asset manager who, incapable of standing up for himself in the real world, retreats to a fantasy where he becomes his poised, confident opposite. On his quest, he seeks to find a missing image taken by a photographer played by Sean Penn. The movie also stars Kristen Wiig as his love interest, and Adam Scott, Shirley MacLaine, Patton Oswalt, and Kathryn Hahn. While Stiller is known for his great work behind the camera on Tropic Thunder and Zoolander, Walter Mitty is definitely his most adult effort to date and the film is a beautiful look at life.
At the New York City press day, I landed a video interview with Kristen Wiig. She talked about working for Ben Stiller, how it was a cool project because it’s not just a comedy or a drama, how she prepares for a role, other projects like Anchorman 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and the possibility of a MacGruber sequel, and more. Hit the jump to watch
Will Forte, the comedic actor best known for his absurd SNL characters MacGruber and The Falconer, shows unforeseen dramatic range in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska. Forte stars as David Grant, the youngest son to the mentally deteriorating Woody Grant (Bruce Dern). When Woody mistakenly believes a Million Dollar Marketing Scam to be legitimate, his youngest son David obliges his father’s fantasy and takes him on a cross-state trip to collect the non-existent prize money. Forte, who spends a vast majority of the film in one-on-one scenes with acting legend Dern, more than holds his own. Forte ably imbues the pain and disappointment behind each kind act David does for his unreceptive father. It’s an incredibly subtle and restrained performance from an actor renowned for the outlandish and the silly.
In the following interview with Will Forte, he discusses his greatest fears during the film shoot, the dynamic on set with Bruce Dern and what acting lessons Dern offered to him. In addition, Forte also touched upon how far along he is into writing MacGruber 2. For the full interview, hit the jump.
I’ve come to the conclusion that MacGruber 2 is the new Anchorman 2. It’s the sequel we’ll want for years and years, but the studio will keep waiting to see if the cult fanbase is big enough to warrant a greenlight (or if there’s an empty spot in their calendar). It’s also worth noting that Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy made waaaaaay more money than MacGruber. But Will Forte can look forward to being asked about MacGruber 2 every time he does an interview, and he still seems fairly optimistic about the possibility. In April, he said “there will be some form” of the sequel, and now he tells Rolling Stone, “June 10th my writing partners John Solomon, Jorma Taccone, and I are locking ourselves in a room and writing it.” Forte also told Rolling Stone there have been discussions about bringing back Kristen Wiig and Ryan Phillippe. Of course, last June, Forte said he would be writing the script in the next six months, so he could just be messing with us.
Even if we hold out hope for a MacGruber 2, we shouldn’t expect it for years unless Forte rockets to the A-list. If he receives enough critical acclaim and attention for his performance in Alexander Payne‘s new drama, Nebraska, that might not be out of the realm of possibility. In the meantime, just keep chanting “KFBR392″.
MacGruber has had an interesting journey from an easily dismissed adaptation to box office flop to cult hit. It continues to rack up devotees who happily quote it and know what “KFBR392″ means. But despite these fans, MacGruber 2 looks highly unlikely. Last June, star and co-writer Will Forte said he didn’t think any sane person would fund it, but he added that they were definitely writing the script within the next six months. Forte can always look forward to fans asking about a sequel, and he recently provided an update while doing press for his upcoming drama, Run and Jump.
Hit the jump for what Forte had to say about MacGruber 2. Forte will next be voicing a new character in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, and he’s playing the lead in Nebraska, the new film from Alexander Payne (The Descendants).
Last week, MacGruber director Jorma Taccone had to go and fuck with us by getting our hopes up for a sequel to his cult hit comedy. Taccone says when he gets together with Will Forte and co-writer John Solomon, they kick around ideas like wanting the film to take place on Christmas (like Die Hard) and even had a title planned. In all fairness, he didn’t say any studio was interested, but it was still nice to think that the creators hadn’t cast the world’s worst special agent aside.
However, Forte has now provided us with a reality check. Hit the jump for more. (Update: Forte commented further on MacGruber 2. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.)
In the pantheon of feature films born out of SNL skits, there’s a big hit-and-miss factor; for every Wayne’s World, there’s three It’s Pat’s. A film version of MacGruber hit theaters in 2010 and any way you slice it, the movie was a disaster at the box office. Against a budget of $10 million, the film grossed a total of $9.2 million worldwide. I wasn’t a huge fan of Will Forte’s MacGruber sketch to begin with, so I wasn’t about to go sit through a 90-minute version in theaters. However, the film hit DVD and I started hearing from trustworthy friends that it was actually good.
After being commanded to watch it multiple times, I finally relented and watched MacGruber myself. It turns out that the film is actually pretty fantastic. The jokes are ridiculously out-there, and Forte and director Jorme Taccone got away with making an insane comedy within the studio system. So it’s with great enthusiasm that I greeted the news today that Taccone and Forte are working on a follow-up to MacGruber that may or may not come to fruition. Hit the jump for more.