Will Forte took a seat in the press room at San Diego Comic-Con with his face, all of it, as clean as a baby’s bottom. It was the first time since the season two finale of Last Man on Earth we’d seen Forte’s face resemble that of traditional facial hair, having spent the second half of the season with half of his hair, beard, and eyebrows shaved. He was flanked by his sitcom wife, the bubbly Kristen Schaal, who is settling in as the series’ breakout star as her character continues to pull the strings and command the respect of the last remaining people on earth.
Forte’s Phil Tandy Miller and Schaal’s Carol are finally cozying up to each other after a rocky start to their relationship. The size of the cast may fluctuate, with death a near constant theme in the series, but when Phil and Carol are working together, they have a weird way of centering the group even when things seem chaotic. That chemistry is apparent as Forte and Schaal trade quips before chatting with press before the cast of Last Man on Earth departed for their comic-con panel.
In our chat, we spoke with Forte and Schaal about shaved heads, handmade artwork, space Sudeikis, and what to expect in season three.
Den of Geek: You got the hair back Will!
Will Forte: It’s come back, but we have to shave it off again in a couple of weeks. And eyebrows.
Kristen, I have this weird feeling that you draw all the artwork in the show. Am I wrong?
Kristen Schaal: Well actually, in season one I drew the wedding picture. And I drew the one of Melissa coming out of the limo. And then after that, the drawings crept up in the script faster than I could draw them, so there was an artist that was hired that used my style to do it. But I do a lot of drawings, and I’m going to have an art show in October in Highland Park, so please come!
The season finale was heartbreaking. Is it possible we’re going to see Jason come back?
Will Forte: It is, never say never on anything. We like to keep our options open. But I thought it was a very fitting ending to that story, so it would have to be a really good reason to mess with that. You know, it seemed like a good ending point, but, you know… Jason Sudeikis, he’s just awesome. We have so much fun, and he’s just amazing, so…
Kristen Schaal: So we don’t want him back.
Will Forte: So, you know, we did not see him actually die, but we assume that he’s dead. But you know what your high school wrestling coach tells you about assuming…
Kristen Schaal: Yes.
Will Forte: Right?
Kristen Schaal: Every time.
Will Forte: Kristen was a big wrestler.
Kristen Schaal: I was a big wrestler.
Will Forte: High school specifically.
Kristen Schaal: Uh, yeah. In college, I hurt my back.
Will Forte: You tried to drop down a weight class, and that’s tough.
Kristen Schaal: Now, you know, that was my- I got cocky.
We spoke with executive producer Andy Bobrow a number of times during season two and he said that Will tends to think in set pieces. Can you speak to the way you use physical comedy to tell your story?
Will Forte: Oh man, that’s interesting. I’ve never heard him say that.
Kristen Schaal: I like that, I like that.
Will Forte: I don’t know… It’s weird. We all get into the room and bat around a bunch of ideas and, you know, it always leads to somebody come up with something good. It’s usually pretty obvious what the good ideas are because you’re throwing around so many bad ones all day. It’s just trial and error, so you usually know when there’s something that’s worth trying out because you go, “Wait a second, that’s… that’s all right.” But I don’t know, I wouldn’t say that I think in set pieces. I’ll think in like little dialogue chunks, and then stuff will come from there. At least with me. Everyone kind of has their own process. [Looks at Kristen] How do you think of stuff?
Kristen Schaal: It’s more visual. I try to see it. I see it first in my head. You know, it’s like the way you think of your favorite movies. There are these key moments, these set pieces, “Meet the Fockers” or whatever. There’s a cigarette on a roof and a cat, and now it’s a set piece and that leads to another set piece. Right?
Are there any big reveals or teasers you can give for a surprise guest for season three that might push the narrative forward even more?
Will Forte: Well, there… The end of season two, there are three people in hazmat suits coming towards us with guns. We know who one of the people is in the hazmat suits, and we know who one of the other ones is. We still don’t know who the third one is, but I’m very excited about the one that we do know.
Obviously, I’m not going to tell you who this man or woman is, but it’s very fun and we’re very excited. Other than that, we’re still charting the course for the season. We don’t like to get too comfortable in one situation, so there could be a change of scenery. There are a lot of fun ideas though, and we also have some ideas that are kind of like the season two appendicitis situation where things got pretty serious, and you kind of have to deal with the more serious part of what it would be like to live in this scenario, and we have something that’s quite different than that, but in the same territory. You know, maybe a little more on the dramatic side, approaching it from a more real point of view.
Kristen Schaal: Story will be moved.
Not to keep bringing up set pieces, but the little moments in the show, I think, bring out a lot in the characters. What kind of little moments for your characters, do you think, say a lot about their personality and their character?
Will Forte: The little moments. God, it’s so tough when you do… We haven’t done with it for so long because we’ve been done with it for so long. I can’t think of…
Kristen Schaal: I think there’s a nice little moment that Carol and Tandy are starting to sort copy each other. Like she wants to say “Boom” now, and like try to make a joke, and is trying to adopt his sense of humor, which is really nice.
Will Forte: It’s really fun to getting to know everybody so well because when you’re together doing a scene, you can bring in these… [Kristen] is the improv queen, and you just bring in those elements that weren’t even in the script that just organically come from being with each other for so long. So I think a lot of those moments. I mean we plan for a lot of those moments and some just kind of come out of the relationship that we all have and the trust that we have in each other.