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Up All Night Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

Maya Rudolph

This is an interview with Will Forte on September 27, 2011 about the show Up All Night.

Question:
What did you enjoy the most about your time spent on the All Night set?

Will Forte:
It was just pure joy because I'm friends with so many of the people who work there. It just felt like hanging around with your family. Emily Spivey, the creator of the show, I've known her since I was in the Groundlings 15, 16 years ago. We worked together at Saturday Night Live and obviously I worked with Maya at Saturday Night Live and Jorma's in this episode, Will Arnett I knew through Amy Poehler originally. But then we were in the Brothers Solomon together so it was just there was none of the formality that is usually involved in getting to know the people on the set. It was super comfortable. And I actually knew pretty much all of the writers. So it was pure joy working on this.

Question:
Can you talk about the type of advice Reed gives Chris to spice up his relationship?

Will Forte:
It's very new agey advice. It's all advice that I would give also, you know. I don't have a kid. I'm 41 years old and still no kids. I'm driving my mom crazy. So it all seemed like perfectly reasonable advice to me. But it was all just I feel like he's trying to get in the mind of women and see through their eyes. He's a very smart man. But I don't know, ultimately can any man really understand the perspective of a woman? I don't know. And vice versa. But he gives it a go. And he gives his advice with such confidence that Will Arnett's character really takes it to heart.

Question:
If given the opportunity to guest star on any other show that's out on TV right now which show would it be and who would be your dream co-star?

Will Forte:
That's a tough question. To be honest I've gotten to really be a part of my favorite shows and it's so exciting that all my friends who are including me in their shows I'm such fans of them at the same time and it's awesome. I will say that I've been watching a lot of Louie recently. I love that show very much. But I wouldn't want to come in and ruin one of his shows so I just want to watch it. But I love that show. I guess maybe I would want to be a guest on SportsCenter. That's one of my favorite shows too. Or work a Monday Night Football game. That's about it.

Question:
Is there is any possibility Reed might become a recurring character and is that something you'd be interested in?

Will Forte:
Oh, I have no idea. I don't make those decisions. But of course, everyone involved in the show is a friend of mine. It was just a delightful experience. So I would love to be a part of it if that happened. They have such a good writing staff too. It really was a very well written script. And it's just easy to come in and say all this fun stuff. It was just a really fun, perfect scenario.

Question:
As far as your career is going is it taking you where you're trying to go?

Will Forte:
Yes. I'm super delighted. You know, I was a writer. I got my first acting job at 32 when I went to SNL and at that point I had kind of given up on acting. I was settled in as a writer and I love it. I love writing. The SNL thing came out of the blue and just everything acting related has been gravy. If the acting stuff dried up and I had to go back to a life of writing I would be so happy to continue writing. So yes, I'm very happy. I feel blessed. I feel blessed to even get this opportunity. The fact that anybody wants me to work on anything is really cool. So yeah, I'm loving it and I'm very happy to be doing the things that I'm getting the chance to do.

Question:
As far as your part that you're playing on the show, is it like something that is easy for you or is it a little bit hard?

Will Forte:
Well I resent that because it's a super cool character so for you to think that it would be hard for me to play a cool character. No it always depends on the writing. And this writing was so fun and funny that it made it very easy to play. The character is a surfer so I guess the one tricky part is I didn't it's so easy to kind of get into a surfer character that you've seen a million times before so I tried to switch it up a little bit and just have a guy who is kind of a Zen surfer that I guess a I think a lot of people might just go straight to Spicoli from Fast Times who is the most awesome character of all time. So I wanted to make sure I wasn't just doing a Spicoli rip-off. But who knows? Maybe it'll come out - maybe that's how it will come across. I wasn't trying to do that but if that happens then I guess I'll live with it.

Question:
What do you feel is the formula for good comedic television?

Will Forte:
It's hard to say because I think the formula changes with every show. And I feel like if you get sucked into some kind of formula that's when it's bad. To me I kind of like weirder stuff though. So that's why I think I love Louie so much because it just seems different from a lot. I don't know, it's just a little different than everything else. And I feel like but I'm sure there you'd probably go to a lot of different networks and they'd try to if he was pitching that show to people they would say no, you can't do that. You've got to do this and that. A lot of it is just finding the right concept and the right home for the right concept at the right time and the right cast. Like it's a lot of luck. And skill mixed together. And with Louie I mean god, that guy's just super funny. He's always been super funny and I love that show.

Question:
Can you talk about anything about what's in store for you for the rest of this year?

Will Forte:
I'm very excited. I just got to do an Adam Sandler movie which was so fun and a real dream come true because I love him. I've always been a huge Adam Sandler fan. And I just got back a month ago and now I got a job on this movie called Neighborhood Watch which is really exciting. It's a Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill movie and I'm so excited to be a part of that. I'm going out to Atlanta in about a week to start that.

Question:
You mentioned earlier that you're a fan of Louie and Breaking Bad. Are you able to watch those shows as a fan or is it more kind of since you're involved in the actual process of making shows you kind of watch it from a different perspective?

Will Forte:
I feel like it's easier to watch dramas without getting caught up in my head about stuff. That's why I'm loving Louie so much because yeah, most of the time when I'm watching a comedy I'm dissecting it and with Louie I just get sucked in. It's so different. It's got such a different tone. I usually will go out with friends to movies. Most of the times with movies I have one friend who will rip apart all the dramas. I get sucked into them. And then I'll kind of dissect all of the comedies and my friend will just love all those. I just get sucked into all dramas pretty much. And that includes soap operas.

Question:
Can you also just talk about the difficulty of bringing comedy to life both on Up All Night and just being a comedic actor and a writer?

Will Forte:
It's not easy. It's not easy at all. With any type of acting there are so many different possibilities out there and you have to figure out the one that's the most believable that's going to sell the humor the best. And it's very, very difficult in some scenarios. That's why doing Up All Night was so much fun because these were people I had worked with so many times in the past that it was easy to quickly get on the same page. But sometimes that's not the case. Sometimes you'll be working with somebody you've never worked with before.

You might not be doing what they want you to do and maybe they'll be reluctant to come right out and say what they want you to do because they don't want to hurt your feelings. So it can be quite difficult. But that wasn't the case with this one. This was just pure fun. But yeah, no, it is not easy at all to do comedy. It's not easy to do most jobs. But you do them for a while and you get a little better at them and then a lot of it is just confidence and making a choice and going for it. And if you have enough confidence in that choice then it'll turn out well hopefully. So is that an okay answer?

Question:
On Saturday Night Live which guest star or guest host did you enjoy working with the most?

Will Forte:
I was there for eight years and there were so many wonderful people who came through there. Betty White, that was probably the most fun I ever had during a show because not only was it her but it was all some of the very important women of the show came back and it was really just such a fun experience to see all the Tina, Maya and Amy and Rachel. And they had all their kids around. It was really, really fun. But god, the Will Farrell was always so much fun to work with and Jack Black, Josh Brolin. I remember really liking Jake Gyllenhaal. It was just a tremendously long list. Oh, Alex Baldwin obviously one of the most fun people to work with. Yeah.

Question:
As far as your writing do you feel that you have pushed yourself as far as you can go as far as the diversity of it?

Will Forte:
No, there is way more stuff that I would like to try. But it's really hard to write, especially the first couple of things that you will write are just exercises almost. You might finish a screenplay but very rarely is that a screenplay that has any shot at getting made. So I feel like I'm just getting comfortable with knowing how to do that. It's always a tremendous amount of work but it's rewarding work. So first I'm trying to kind of get down the stuff that I kind of know and then I can start branching out and exploring other types of writing. There is way more stuff I would like to explore creatively. But it's tough. There are only so many hours in each day, I believe 24 is the number.

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