Will Forte

Almost two weeks ago, principal photography began on David Wain‘s (Wet Hot American Summer) adaptation of A Futile and Stupid Gesture. Based on Josh Karp‘s best-selling book, the story follows National Lampoon co-founder Douglas Kenney, who’s played by Will Forte (MacGruber) in the biopic. Forte is surrounded by nothing but talent in this true-life story, which, according to him, we shouldn’t expect a sanitized version of.

While interviewing the actor for the upcoming comedy, Keanu, he opened up a bit biopic. Below, Will Forte discusses A Futile and Stupid Gesture.

At times, starring in A Futile and Stupid Gesture must be surreal for Forte. The actor is constantly surrounded by actors bringing to life some of comedy’s biggest icons, such as Bill Murray (Jon Daly), Chevy Chase (Joel McHale), Gilda Radner (Jackie Tohn), Christopher Guest (Seth Green), and more. Any actor that’s a fan of these comedy titans, including Kenney, must have to occasionally pinch themselves some days on set.

When Forte discussed some of his own heroes in comedy, he went on to talk about what the experience of shooting A Futile and Stupid Gesture had been like so far:

Right now, I’m in a very interesting job. I’m playing one of the guys that created the National Lampoon Magazine, Doug Kenney, and it’s so fascinating. I mean, there are all these different things about his story. I had always heard about things, like, ‘Lemmings’ and different phrases. ‘Lemmings’ is the group — Jon Belushi and all those guys — that would do these shows. I get to kind of study up on this era of comedy that sort of led the way for all the stuff that influenced me the most. It’s been an interesting experience. I’m really excited for this opportunity.

Forte added:

It’s certainly a difficult thing to go into because it’s a tragic story, on many levels, and a very interesting story. A lot of the characters in it are my comedy heroes, so I certainly go into this with the greatest amount of respect and appreciation of all these people that are telling this story. I don’t want to offend anybody, but I also want to… it’s just a really interesting story, so I don’t want to pull any punches. It’s just an interesting scenario to be in.

A Futile and Stupid Gesture is not a biopic you would want to pull its punches. Doug Kenney’s story is tragic, in many ways, but more than that, Wain’s film focuses on a fairly wild time in comedy. The sugarcoated version of this time period wouldn’t be as interesting as the actual events, but an honest, warts-and-all portrayal of Kenney and this story could make for an exciting, funny, and heartbreaking biopic, so it’s promising to hear Forte — and hopefully all involved — aren’t pulling their punches.

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