I have mixed feelings about stories coming out of USA Today now that our friend and their star entertainment reporter Susan Wloszczyna is no longer working there. Nonetheless, Alexander Payne gives a brief interview about the latest chapter in his ongoing rumination on America and its imperfect inhabitants. The point of this story appears to be to get two things out of the way before lest the internet, or unsuspecting audience members, become suddenly startled. He cast Will Forte (MacGruber), and he shot it in black and white:
Payne gives little explanation as to why he shot Nebraska in black and white. “I think it’s cool. It just felt like the right thing to do.” But he explains why he made the unlikely choice of SNL and MacGruber star Forte as a “straight man.”
“Never in a million years would I have thought of him,” Payne says. “But I believed him in his audition. And there’s an appealing familiarity about him. It’s as though you went to high school with him.”
Forte was so thrilled with the dramatic role breakthrough that he even relished spending extensive time each day with Dern in a Subaru Outback.
“It was fun hanging out. He tells the best stories,” Forte says. “I could, and often did, listen to him for hours. It was priceless.”
We will get our first look at Nebraska when it shows in Cannes in a couple of weeks.