‘The Last Man on Earth’s Will Forte Reacts to His Two Emmy Nominations
For The Last Man on Earth‘s main character Phil Miller, it may be the end of the world as he knows it, but the Fox comedy’s creator and star Will Forte certainly feels fine today as he snagged two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. The news came as a surprise to the Saturday Night Live alum, who was in Europe attending a friend’s wedding when he got word. Before the reception began, Forte took a few minutes to discuss his dual nominations and praise one unexpected costar.
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Where were you when you heard the news?
I was in a wedding ceremony watching one of my best friends from high school get married. Something happened that I wanted to take a picture of and when I lifted my phone up, I had like 30 texts. I thought, ‘What is happening here? Something either really good or really bad is happening.’ So after the ceremony I snuck away and got the news, and was delighted and so excited. The reception is just starting, so this is perfect timing.
The Last Man on Earth is so unique and different from what viewers are used to in a traditional half hour comedy. What does it mean to not only get an acting nomination, but also recognition for writing the pilot?
It’s incredibly exciting. This wonderful group of people worked so hard on this and it’s just really exciting. It makes us feel like we’ve made some good decisions along the way when a lot of times we were nervous. We were trying to do something and we weren’t sure if people would enjoy it. I’m very used to doing things that other people don’t quite get, but that I find funny. It really felt like this was potentially going to be another one of those things, so it was very exciting that people actually tuned in and watched it, and some people kept tuning in. It was just a very exciting experience, every part of it. Especially the writing nomination is a really exciting one because even though my name is on it, it’s really that whole writing staff, which is just filled with a bunch of my longtime friends. That’s going to be really exciting to get to share that with them.
When you look back on the first season, do you have a moment that is most memorable?
Wow. I don’t know that I could pick one. There are just little things along the way. There’s certainly something really special about watching the pilot because it is the first time I’ve really gotten to work with [executive producers and directors] Chris [Miller] and Phil [Lord] in that way. So to spend this long process of trying to figure out what the show is and write the pilot and do rewrites and rewrites and rewrites and rewrites and rewrites and rewrites and then finally get to the place where you finally think that it’s ready and just have this experience with those two guys, it was so much fun. You’re just working with these two guys who are like family, it was a very special experience. So I would say it’s not one single moment, but just that whole pilot experience was amazing. And the rest of the way through was very exciting too, but once we got going, there was just such a crazy amount of work that it was really hard to have any time to sit down and relax and think about how much fun we were having. But there were a lot of very fun moments among this period of intense stress and work.
Have you spoken to any of your costars?
I haven’t! I’m in France at this wedding, so I don’t have very good reception out here, I kind of snuck away to this one little area and I haven’t really got a chance to connect with anybody.
If you do win, will you give your beard a shout-out for Outstanding Supporting Actor?
[Laughs] I think anybody who helped me to get this nomination, they probably didn’t realize it was me because I had this big beard on my face, so that’s probably helped. They’re like, ‘Oh no, it’s that guy? Oh s–t, I didn’t mean to nominate him!’ [Laughs]
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The 67th Primetime Emmy Awards air Sunday, Sept. 20 at 8/7c on Fox.