Will Forte (“The Last Man on Earth“) has a lot of guts for creating and playing a character — the titular Phil Miller — who’s not necessarily known for his likability. In a new video chat with Gold Derby (watch below), Forte tells us, “Certainly when we went into this pilot, just by its nature, you’re rooting for this guy because you see him all alone and you feel great sympathy for him. But he was never a perfect person and he’s just like every person out there — he’s got his own flaws.”
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Forte continues, “We just thought it’d be interesting to follow that journey of this guy and what could happen in this heightened situation. Are there redeeming qualities? Sure, I think you can find redeeming qualities in everyone. Phil’s definitely a mixed bag and we experimented by going down some of his more unlikable qualities. But he definitely is an unlikable person with a heart of gold.”
According to exclusive Gold Derby odds, Forte’s major Emmy competitors for Best Comedy Actor are: Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”) with 10/3 odds, Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) at 4/1, Louis C.K. (“Louie”) with odds of 11/2, William H. Macy (“Shameless”) with 15/2 odds, Billy Crystal (“The Comedians”) at 12/1 and Don Cheadle (“House of Lies”) with odds of 14/1.
As for his potential episode to submit to Emmy judges should he get nominated, Forte teases, “I would assume the pilot, for the most part because it’s the beginning of the story. You do not need any knowledge of the show to enjoy it. I like different things about each episode, but if I were to show somebody Episode 5 and they had never seen the first four then it wouldn’t make as much sense. They’d just be going, ‘Why is this guy such a jerk?'”
Also in our chat, Forte says that the writers have “a number of ideas” brewing for the just-announced Season 2, he details how each of his co-stars — Kristen Schaal, January Jones and Mel Rodriguez — got their roles, and he agonizes over the fact that they have to edit out all of the bird chirps. “Why did we choose to have birds die, too?!”
Besides dishing “The Last Man on Earth,” Forte reflects on his many years at “Saturday Night Live” including his favorite characters, whether he’d ever host and what it was like returning for the 40th anniversary last February. “That night was just one of the most special nights. All of my friends, all of my comedy heroes were there. It was so cool to feel like, ‘Oh my God, I’m a part of this thing.'”
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