Will Forte is a busy man. Most of the California native's life is gobbled up by his demanding work schedule; Tuesday night's writing session—which can regularly stretch into Wednesday morning—table reads, rehearsals and the actual filming of his weekly Saturday Night Live gig. Not that this hard worker is complaining. A cast member since 2002 and known for his impressions of George W. Bush plus viewer favorites like Tim Calhoun and the Falconer, in his rare spare moments Forte kicks back close to home in the East Village. "I spend most of my time around my place or at Rockefeller Center. Which means directions wise I'm totally messed up," Forte says sheepishly, "Out of numbers? I'm just completely lost."
What isn't lost on audiences, however, is Forte's good looks and charm. Google him and you'll hit fan sites that proudly declare him the resident sex symbol of SNL and others pleading for more skits that feature Forte in a swim suit.
A Peter Sellers fan—"but he doesn't really put much stuff out anymore"—the laid-back actor likes to unwind when he can in a darkened movie theater watching everyone from Will Farrell to Ben Kingsley onscreen. But it's music that will really get him talking. From his latest love, Deerhoof, to his "Holy Trio" of Radiohead, the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, Forte favors live acts around the city at venues everywhere from the intimate Beacon Theater to the colossal Madison Square Garden. But his weekly backstage pass might be the best ticket of them all: "One of my favorite parts of the show is getting to see all the musical acts every week. It's such a thrill to be so close and watch them rehearse."
Up next on Forte's crowded slate is a guest appearance on an episode of 30 Rock, and the August release of The Brothers Solomon—a movie in which he stars alongside Will Arnett—and is also proud to have written. "Writing is so therapeutic. I was writing for a long time before SNL," says Forte, who was behind the scenes on shows such as 3rd Rock from the Sun and That '70s Show. "Now I'm delighted to have the opportunity to write stuff for myself, which is fantastic—and selfish." But for all his work obligations, this New Yorker still has plans to discover some unexplored corners of Manhattan. "I love my neighborhood, but anytime I go to another part of the city I love it too for different reasons. It's like if you're in L.A. where you miss the seasons. I think hanging out in the same part of the city all the time is the same thing. You need to switch it up and go all over the place," says Forte. "Then again, I'm lazy," he laughs. "So what I really love about my area is that I'm lazy."
Well, not that lazy if his swimsuit body is any indication. And we have to agree with those websites—funny is pretty sexy after all. So if you ever see Forte wandering lost outside of the numbered streets, just make sure you point him in the right direction. We wouldn't want him to miss a taping—or us to miss a laugh.
Deerhoof is this awesome experimental rock band that I've fallen in love with. …more