LOS ANGELES — Someone once said that where there’s a will, there’s a way. On the set of “The Brothers Solomon,” however, a new adage emerges: Where there’s two Wills, there’s complete anarchy.
“We like to pass our time with spiritual hymns,” explains “Saturday Night Live” star Will Forte (the “Falconer” guy) on the set of the bizarre comedy, due next year. In the meantime, co-star Will Arnett (manic magician Gob on canceled series “Arrested Development”) puts his hands on Forte’s shoulders to give him a quick massage and asks, “What have you been doing? Swimming? It’s like a barrel of snakes back here!”
The two stand in the middle of their characters’ bedroom set and break into a harmony that would make Destiny’s Child jealous — well, OK, maybe Color Me Badd. “And I will raise him up/ And I will raise him up/ Talking about the Lord!”
Taking a bow, Arnett adds, “There’s also one other little ditty, a song that America has fallen in love with.” Putting his arm around Forte, the two glance into each other’s eyes and, silently synching, belt out a second, slightly less religious tune: “Wait till we get our Hanes on you!”
Grinning triumphantly like they just got their third standing ovation at Red Rocks, the duo prepare to slap their palms high up in the air — and then, something magical happens. The two perform an R-rated variation on the high five, flying through the air and thrusting their crotches against each other.
On the set of “Solomon,” a flick about two schmucky siblings trying to get a girl pregnant to shock their gruff dad out of his coma, such innovative humor easily flows from the mouths of this improv-heavy duo. And with “Mr. Show” legend Bob Odenkirk running this two-Will circus, some of it might even make it on film.
“I don’t want to let the proverbial cat out of the bag just yet, but the co– five is going to replace the high five nationwide,” insists Arnett, whose dry delivery and quick wit has catapulted him into the same comedian-approved supporting-player stratus that Steve Carell was navigating until just recently. “You heard it here first. Two years from now, the big D.A. from L.A. is going to win some big case and he’s going to stand up and co– five the assistant D.A. It’s going to be mammoth! At sporting events, the President will co– five the prime minister of Malaysia.”
Today, Will and Will are slamming nether regions following the successful filming of a sequence that has them training each other in the minutiae of fatherhood. No two takes are alike, but each begins the same way: Slamming down the button of his stopwatch, Arnett informs Forte that there is only one minute to find their baby. What follows is a frantic tossing of couch pillows, kitchen cabinets and chairs while Odenkirk’s handheld camera crew follows the two Wills wherever their comedic instincts take them.
All the crew knows in advance is how the scene ends — with Forte tossing open the toilet and finally discovering the hidden baby doll submerged in the tank’s water. Arnett informs his brother that the search took just under a minute, so only mild brain damage has set in. Squeezing the doll, a sad Forte listens to it gurgle, “Mama!”
Much of the film has the pair pursuing various hotties and asking if they can impregnate them — including Malin Akerman, better known as Freakshow’s wife in “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” — but the Wills also promise plenty of these infant-training sequences, because you never know when you may have to catch a falling kid on the sidewalk in real life. “We’ve had some scenes where we’ve thrown some babies off of buildings,” Arnett reveals. “Not real-live babies — they were already dead.”
Forte takes a moment to describe the quasi-screenplay he co-wrote. “I’m Dean Solomon. I’m the younger brother to John Solomon, but in many ways I am like his son and he’s always teaching me lessons. My mom just recently read the script, and she was a little shocked at some of the passages. I had to assure her that she was a good mother and it had nothing to do with her parenting. But she wasn’t quite convinced.”
“Day one, Will said, ‘Let’s throw out [the script] and just do some makesy-upsies,” Arnett remembers. “We’ve been doing that since moment one. I remember the script, barely. It was pretty cool, I guess. It was long, but it was totally grammatically correct.”
When the two brilliant but naive brothers realize giving their comatose Dad (played by Lee Majors) a grandchild might wake him up, the flick turns into something like “Dumb & Dumber” meets “Three Men and a Baby.”
“Actually, it’s more along the lines of ‘A Very Long Engagement’ meets ‘Porky’s’ meets ‘Three Men and a Little Lady,’ ” Arnett grins. “This movie has ‘Three Men and a Little Lady’ written all over it, and we are finding that very difficult to avoid. But that’s for the lawyers to figure out.”
So why do the Solomons hatch such an unusual plan? “They’ve grown up under strange circumstances,” Arnett explains of the brothers — neither of whom resembles Steve Guttenberg — who were raised by Majors’ domineering Dad to be Jacques Cousteau-like explorers. “Now, these two babes from the wild are thrown into the world, and they play by their own rules — not like Dirty Harry, but different rules, goofy rules.”
The two are determined to pack “The Brothers Solomon” with as many laughs — and as many Wills — as they can. “We thought about getting Will Clark, the baseball player, but he’s retired,” reveals Arnett. “Will Ferrell, we tried to get him and he didn’t want anything to do with us. We’ll settle that score on a different day. Will Smith? Yeah, I guess he’s OK. I don’t watch a lot of TV.”
Celebrating the dis of a fellow Will, Forte and Arnett once again break out the move that seems sure to sweep the nation any day now. Then, they begin addressing the on-set anticipation of Arnett’s full-frontal nude scene, which will be filmed soon.
“[Odenkirk] wants me to go for a Chilean — that’s like a reversed Brazilian,” Arnett explains of his grooming in preparation for the scene. “Either way, I’m going to shave South American-style. I’ll even go Venezuelan if he wants me to.”
If “Brothers Solomon” garners as many laughs in theaters next August as it does on set, the two Wills might end up going Hollywood. And, if not, they have a backup plan: Please note that co– five is a copyrighted act and you must send each Will a nickel every time you perform it.
“Here’s the tricky part: What if she is a gal?” Arnett points out, admitting that there are still some bugs that need to be worked out in all this pelvis thrusting. “It does become a little tricky, because then you get into the whole procreation issue — you know, sometimes there are gonna be mishaps.”
If any babies do get conceived as a result of their new signature move, at least the two Wills are adequately trained to make sure the infants won’t fall off a building or drown in a toilet.
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