Will Forte Steps Out Of His Comedy Comfort Zone In ‘Nebraska’

By Craig Flaster

Add Will Forte to the list of SNL actors who have transitioned to high drama.

Forte’s latest role in acclaimed filmmaker Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” is an unusual departure for the actor, who was seen this year in “Grown Ups 2″ as a male cheerleader and heard in “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2″ as the over-the-top, Steve Jobs-like villain. And Forte was as surprised to get the dramatic part as anyone.

“Alexander Payne is one of my favorite directors and I thought there was very little chance I would be able to get this role,” says Forte.

The talented funnyman beat out a number of other actors for the coveted role. While Forte says this gave him some initial confidence, he was also very nervous to be on the actual set of Payne’s newest dramedy.

“I heard about some of the people who were in the mix, and it just…I still don’t know how I got this job,” says a clearly humbled Forte.

But Forte isn’t going to abandon comedy any time soon. He says that hopefully he and collaborator Jorma Taccone, also of The Lonely Island, can get started on a followup to Forte’s SNL-inspired parody MacGruber.

“We are not going do it if we don’t love what we write,” he says. “If we do love what we write, we’re not going to do it if somebody makes us change it around.”

Forte also hints at a possible special appearance in the sequel by Val Kilmer, who [spoiler alert] was killed in the first film.

“It would be visiting Val at his grave,” teases Forte.

While you wait with bated breath for an official “MacGruber 2″ announcement, you can check out Forte’s more serious side in “Nebraska,” now in limited release.