It’s time to spread the kind of nasty rumors about “Saturday Night Live” star Will Forte that no comedian wants said about himself: He is unceasingly polite, punctual down to the very minute and genuinely one of the nicest guys this reporter’s ever spoken to.
It also helps that his quick wit has served him well through five seasons on “SNL” and into feature films, including “The Brothers Solomon,” which hits theaters September 7. Recently, Forte called in for a crude-but-courteous conversation that tackled everything from his new flick’s “Watchmen” co-star to Christopher Walken’s skills in the kitchen to some exclusive news on what might just be the funniest movie pitch we’ve ever heard.
Will Forte: Hey, Larry, this is Will Forte.
MTV: Hey, Will. Thanks for calling.
Forte: Thanks for having me call. [He laughs.]
MTV: They said you were punctual, but wow — 10:30 on the dot!
Forte: Is that the word on the street, that I’m punctual? Oh my gosh. I thank you. I feel like I’m giving an awards speech.
MTV: When we visited the set (see ” ‘SNL,’ ‘Arrested Development’ Stars Refine Lewd Humor On ‘Solomon’ Set” ), “The Brothers Solomon” looked hilarious. Give us the plot breakdown.
Forte: The basic plot is that two brothers find out that their father is dying, and his biggest regret was he never got a chance to have a grandchild. So they set out to make him a grandchild before he dies.
MTV: Where did you get the idea?
Forte: Well, I used to work on [TV's "3rd Rock From the Sun"], and when I left, in order to break my contract there, Carsey-Werner, the production company, said, “Well, you’ve gotta write us a movie.” … Basically, I had to write up a bunch of ideas.
MTV: I’ve never heard of anything like that.
Forte: I think it’s pretty common. Although, at the point I was going through it, I was the only person I had ever known to do that. But I’m sure it happens.
MTV: Your co-star Will Arnett is one of the funniest people alive. Tell us something about him that even his mother doesn’t know.
Forte: Well, I had forgotten that it had even happened, but somehow I always brought my little camera on set, and I was scrolling through all my pictures recently and there was some kind of picture that we had taken through Arnett’s pubic hair — it’s looking up, pointing towards his face.
MTV: Oh my God.
Forte: Yeah, somehow my camera must have been between his — there was definitely no touching of genitals in the taking of this picture, but I don’t know exactly how that couldn’t have happened.
MTV: Do you remember taking this photo?
Forte: No. I must have blacked out or something. I don’t remember. He might have even taken it of himself.
MTV: It’s great that, for once, Arnett isn’t being cast as a villain. He’s funny in “Hot Rod” and “Blades of Glory” and whatnot, but there’s a lot more to him.
Forte: He’s pretty amazing. He’s definitely the furthest thing from a villain in this. He plays a wonderful, caring brother.
MTV: And on “Arrested Development,” he somehow managed to balance the bitterness of his character with a loveable quality.
Forte: Yeah, exactly. And the Solomon brothers are somewhat clueless, or socially inept. They’re not just idiots; they’re a little more nuanced.
MTV: You’ve been on “Saturday Night Live” for about five years now, so I’ve gotta ask: Have you seen this video of Christopher Walken cooking chicken?
Forte: [He laughs.] No, I haven’t.
MTV: We love him and everything, but … what’s really going on there?
Forte: I’ve only been there for one time that he’s hosted, and back then I think it was my first season, so I didn’t get too close to him. Back then, I was still super-nervous [around] the hosts.
MTV: Would you like to engage Walken in a cook-off?
Forte: Sure. Just for the sport of it. But I’m not a very good cook. I’m just up for any brand of competition, basically.
MTV: I also wanted to ask you about Malin Akerman, who is in “Brothers Solomon” and has seen her stock skyrocket after landing a role in “Watchmen” (see ” ‘Watchmen’ Cast’s Watchwoman Revealed: Carla Gugino To Play Silk Spectre” ).
Forte: Yeah, she plays a woman who lives across the hallway from us, and Will Arnett falls in love with her. She doesn’t do a lot of superhero-esque moves, but you’ll be able to see in “Solomon” that she’ll be a great superhero.
MTV: The Solomon brothers are pretty lousy parents. Give us a parental decision that your parents probably shouldn’t have made, but actually made you a better person.
Forte: Well, I forget how this happened, but somehow I was in a ballet class as a kid. I’m sure it wasn’t my doing. I think it was my mom. I definitely gave some kind of performance in this little group — but I don’t know that I got a single positive thing out of it, ever.
MTV: Did you wear a tutu?
Forte: I don’t think I wore a tutu. But I definitely wore a leotard.
MTV: That’s awesome.
Forte: [He laughs.] No, it was not awesome. I assure you of that.
MTV: What else have you got coming up?
Forte: This summer I’ve been writing a lot with my friend John … we’re writing something crazy.
MTV: What’s the basic plot?
Forte: Well, should I say it? I guess if I say it, it’s like copyrighting it, right?
MTV: Sure. It’ll be on the Web forever with the date — you said this idea on August 9, 2007.
Forte: OK, well, what we’re trying to do is … you know those body-switching movies?
MTV: Like “Vice Versa” or “Freaky Friday”?
Forte: Exactly. Well, this is another body-switching movie — but the people who switch bodies are identical twins.
MTV: Wow, that’s great.
Forte: We’re having an awesome time writing it, but it’s also the most confusing outline of all time. Because it’s like, “Matt is in Jim’s body, but Jim’s not Jim, he’s Matt.” It’s crazy. It’s making fun of switcheroo movies — but at the same time it’s a kick-ass switcheroo movie!
MTV: And what is the name of this future classic?
Forte: It’s called “Ye Olde Switcheroo.”
MTV: Yeah, Hollywood doesn’t make enough movies with “Ye Olde” in the title.
Forte: After this movie, they’ll all be using it.
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