Will Forte and Bruce Dern attend the after party for the 'Nebraska' special screening at Brasserie 8 1/2 on November 6, 2013 in New York City. (Getty Images)more pics »
The most unlikely onscreen pairing of 2013 is easily veteran character actor Bruce Dern
and Saturday Night Live
alum Will Forte
. The two appear together in Alexander Payne
's latest, Nebraska
, as a father and son duo who hit the road to collect a million dollars that doesn't exist. Dern's character receives one of those Ed McMahon sweepstakes notices in the mail and thinks he's a big winner. To placate the old man, Forte plays the good son and rides out the delusion by his side as the two encounter a slew of memorable characters along the way.
Director Payne has always had a knack for
casting the perfect actors for his characters. However, the decision to cast Dern (a lifelong character actor known for portraying villains) and Forte (a comedic actor) raised eyebrows around Hollywood. We talked with Forte about his reluctance going into the film and how thankful he was to Payne for the chance. (We also needled him about his favorite SNL
cast member.) As for Dern, the chance to speak to a Hollywood legend about the old days was too hard to pass up. He told us about the first time he met Marilyn Monroe, but he also took the time to praise his daughter, Laura
, and his newest co-star, Forte, whom he calls his "second-best partner ever." His first? Jack Nicholson.
Check out some of the highlights below and the full interview at the bottom.Forte on his relationship with Dern:
"It was like we were family... I just didn't expect going in that we would get as close as we did. Now I just can't imagine him not being a part of my life. He's just Brucy. (Laughs) I don't think I've ever called him 'Brucy' before!"On which Saturday Night Live cast member made Forte laugh the most:
"I loved Chris Farley. I had such a huge place in my heart for Chris Farley. He just made me happy."Dern on meeting Marilyn Monroe at The Actor's Studio:
"She leaned over to me and, I'd never met her—she's Marilyn Monroe, I'm Brucy from Winnetka—and she said, 'Oh, you're Gadge's new wunderkind, aren't you?' And I said, 'Oh, c'mon please. He doesn't say that.' She said, 'Yes, he does. He also says nobody's going to know who you are until you're in your late 60s.'"Dern on Marilyn's fragile nature:
"As we approach Sutton Place (while walking in New York City), a woman comes whipping out right in front of us, as close as I am to you, hailing a cab. The cab slams on its brakes, stops, she gets in the cab. As the door opens and she gets in the cab, I turned to Ms. Monroe, who has tears in her eyes, and I said, 'What's the matter?' She said, 'Bruce, don't you know who that was?... That was Greta Garbo! And she didn't know who I was.'"Dern on working with Forte:
"Jack Nicholson's the best partner I ever had in a movie. Ever. He and I, and Ellen Burstyn in The King of Marvin Gardens
, that's a group. (Jane) Fonda, me, and John Voight in Coming Home
, that's a group. But my second best partner is Will Forte."