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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Will Forte Gets Serious In ‘Nebraska’

Will Forte, left, in Alexander Payne's new film, "Nebraska." (FilmNation)

Will Forte, left, in Alexander Payne’s new film, “Nebraska.” (FilmNation)

Actor Will Forte is known for his offbeat, sometimes outrageous characters.

For example, MacGruber, the special ops agent with a penchant for blowing up things. Forte created the character during his years on Saturday Night Live and later played him a 2010 feature film.

But in Alexander Payne’s new film “Nebraska,” Forte plays a much more subdued and straightforward role: a son, trying to cope with an aging father who believes he has won a million dollars.

Here & Now producer Emiko Tamagawa spoke with Forte at a recent screening of the film in Boston. He told her that he was very nervous about auditioning for the role, and he was sure he would not be cast. But months later he got a call.

“I heard I got the job and it was such a surprise, and that’s when the terror settled in.” Forte said, laughing.

Although the characters Forte has played on SNL were different than his character, David, in “Nebraska,” Forte says acting is about revealing the truth of a character.

“This is just a more realistic truth you’re looking for,” Forte said. “For me it’s always this wacky character and you can hide behind the character. And this, in a way, was easier because the character was way more like me in my real life, but harder because you feel like you’re revealing all your personal moments and secrets, and it made you feel really vulnerable.”


  • Will Forte, actor and comedian, most recently in the film “Nebraska.” He tweets @OrvilleIV.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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