The Last Man on Earth: Will Forte On the Out of This World Season Finale
Spoiler Alert: Stop reading if you have not yet watched The Last Man on Earth‘s season finale!
Farewell, Tucson! Fox’s The Last Man on Earth concluded its first season on Sunday with Phil “Tandy” Miller (Will Forte) being banished by his fellow survivors after he threatened to kill his arch nemesis, the other Phil (Boris Kodjoe). After “Tandy” was dropped in the middle of the desert, ex-wife Carol (Kristen Schaal) had a change of heart, and the two were last seen driving away from Tucson. But producers saved the season’s biggest twist for the last few minutes, when viewers discovered Phil’s astronaut brother, played by Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudeikis, is also still alive and well floating above the Earth and searching for any signs of life below. We spoke to Forte about the episode’s final moments, what’s next for the original Phil Miller, and the possibility of bringing back his impressive beard.
So can we expect a Last Man in Space spinoff next season?
[Laughs] I have no idea! I have in my head how I want things to play out, but I haven’t really talked it out with anybody else. We could come back and never see Jason again. He’s a buddy of mine, but he’s a very busy and successful person because he’s so wonderful at what he does. I certainly would love to have him be involved in the show in a way, so we’re going to figure that out as two buddies.
Phil spent all season building a community of people around him, only to be shunned by that group in the finale. Why was it important for you to end that way?
Phil spun out of control a little bit with how everything unfolded in his life. From the very beginning, we knew that we wanted him to get his comeuppance and get exiled from Tucson.
How do you view Phil’s evolution over the course of the season?
I don’t know that he’s a different guy. This is a guy who has flaws, and believe me, everyone has flaws. But because of the nature of the show, you automatically want to create sympathy for this guy because of the situation he’s in. So now he’s not this great sympathetic character we saw in the pilot, but he’s also not this horrible crazy person you saw in the middle of the arc of the seasons. He’s somewhere in between.
There was criticism halfway through this season that Phil was too unlikable. What did you make of that?
We didn’t write those episodes thinking they’d be pumped out in two episode blocks. So I think when you’re seeing episodes back to back like that, it does register more than if they were in single episode blocks. I’m not questioning Fox’s decision to do that, but there are positives and negatives. I still like those episodes, I think they’re funny. Do I look back and were there little things we could do here or there that might have kept some people on board? I don’t know. You learn your lesson, and I don’t know that I would have changed anything.
What’s next for Phil and Carol?
That’s something we’ve been talking about. Where is the hook in the relationship now? Archie and Edith Bunker were married and that was always interesting. It doesn’t mean they have to be lovey-dovey towards each other. You can still have that bickering. Thank God Kristen is one of the funniest people on the planet, so we can have her say and do anything and she always makes it interesting and funny.
Will we ever see the Tucson group again?
I have ideas, but I don’t want to give them away. What I will say is that I feel like I learned valuable lessons in not biting off more than you can chew story-wise. We have a group of super talented actors that we weren’t able to fully take advantage of, so I have really fun ideas for these people.
Could Phil and Carol meet new survivors next year?
Yeah, there is always that possibility. Right now there are seven people and Jason floating up in space. I know that in the first season, it seemed like every couple episodes somebody was coming in, and it seemed that way because it was true! But I don’t envision it continuing like that. It was a good way to build a cast up but now I think we’ll settle into the environment. But there is always the possibility of adding or losing cast.
Will the beard make a comeback in Season 2?
[Laughs] I have actually been thinking about it. I’m going to grow out the beard just in case, and then we at least have the option. It’s so weird, I have a love/hate relationship with that beard. Now when I don’t have the beard, it feels super weird. I had that beard for a long time, and I’m not by any stretch saying it’s a handsome look, but no beard is not a handsome look either. [Laughs]