Exclusive: MacGruber star Will Forte talks leaving SNL
Last week news broke that Will Forte was leaving "Saturday Night Live" after eight seasons. Besides a statement from his publicist confirming the news, Forte had yet to comment publicly on the move but in a phone conversation yesterday afternoon, the MACGRUBER star spoke at length about his "really hard decision" to call it quits.
"I think people thought, 'Oh this guy thinks he's some big hot shot! Thinks he's gonna go out and get a bunch of movie deals!' But it really had nothing to do with that," Forte explains. In fact he would later admit he has no future plans other than playing volleyball and drinking beer. As we talk about his departure, the normally jovial and goofy star known for "SNL" skits like "Fart Face" and "The Falconer" suddenly gets serious. "Maybe it's because I turned 40 and I started getting very..." Forte takes a long pause and sighs before adding, "...introspective."
"I just wanted to be close to my family," Forte says, specifically mentioning his sister, a niece and an impending nephew. "If you really want to do good work there, you really have to give it your all and that makes having a life outside work kinda tough."
"SNL" producer Lorne Michaels attempted to convince Forte to stay one more year but Forte says he had already extended his original seven-year contract an additional year and that, in the end, "Eight years is just a long time." Michaels, Forte says, was "incredibly supportive" of the decision to leave.
Though Forte says he's "really going to miss" being a part of the cast, he may not have to wait long to return. "Oh my God, I would do anything ["SNL"] asked me to do! If they ever wanted me to come back and do a "MacGruber" for one episode, I would do whatever they want...I don't plan on being a stranger from those guys."
Though Forte has moved on (quite literally - he called from his new home in Los Angeles), he says "I will cherish that experience for the rest of my life."
I'll have much more with Will Forte including how he handled MACGRUBER backlash, his plans for the future and the sketch he'll always regret not getting on "SNL," next week so check back on Tuesday for our full profile.