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MacGruber No More? Will Forte Takes Dramatic Turn in 'Nebraska'

Jorge Corona for KUT News
Forte on the red carpet for the Texas Premiere of "Nebraska" at the Austin Film Festival.

Disclosure: KUT is a media sponsor of the Austin Film Festival.

Will Forte of Saturday Night Live fame is probably best known for his character and film "MacGruber" – a mullet-sporting, inept version of MacGyver.

But the comedian takes on a serious role in “Nebraska” – a black and white film from director Alexander Payne about a father-son road trip. Forte is David Grant – a stereo salesman from Montana with a lackluster love life and a rocky relationship with his family.

Forte’s Grant is not only the straight-man through much of the movie but, in many scenes, seems to be the only sane-man.

KUT's Laura Rice talked with Forte before the movie's Texas Premiere at theAustin Film Festival.

On Seeking Out a Dramatic Turn:

"It just kind of happened. I read the script and thought it was a beautiful script and somehow felt this connection to the character that I don’t usually feel."

On Playing the Straight Man:

“It was really fun. It was also really intimidating doing that different style of acting because I’m so used to these big, crazy, absurd characters and to play something like this, which is much closer to who I am as a person felt very revealing and scary.”

On Cars:

"I don't know anything about cars … I don't know what size my engine is. Anything past Honda and Civic – I still get make and model mixed up. I think Honda is the make, Civic is the model – yeah. See? That's all I know. Hybrid. I know it's a Hybrid. Four tires. And it's grey – or silver."

On Austin:

"I love Austin … This is a city that even though I've only been here a couple of times, I love it. It's so great. Delicious food. Man, wonderful food. Wonderful food, wonderful barbecue, wonderful Mexican food. I love food. I just love it … Also, this is going to sound really stupid, I forget the name of the place – it might be Jo's? Is it Jo's? That coffee place? That little coffee stand? Oh my god!"

Forte also talked about why he connected with the "Nebraska" role, his black and white movie influences and his advice for SNL newcomer and UT-Austin alumna Noël Wells. Click the player at the top of the post to hear more.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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