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The Good Son - Will Forte
"He doesn't have Alzheimer's, he just believes what people tell him." -- David Grant

Playing opposite Dern's Woody is Will Forte as his son, David, who finds himself on a road-trip he's not entirely sure is such a good idea with a father he's not entirely sure he can communicate with, let alone get close to. Forte, best known as a cast member of "Saturday Night Live" and as the spoof action star "MacGruber," reveals an entirely different side of his talent in a role that is as dramatic as it is quietly, darkly funny. A lovelorn stereo salesman, and a man who seems to mostly be spinning his wheels in his own life, David has no idea just how far this trek into his family past will take him.

Payne notes that Forte's audition won him over. "I believed him," he explains. "Will communicates a ready sincerity and sweetness, and also a sense of damage. And since we were putting together a family, we really felt that Bruce Dern and June Squibb could produce this person."

Forte knew it was going to be a step outside the box for him, and that excited him. "I'm used to doing crazy comedies and I didn't even know doing a film like this was in the realm of possibility," he says. "To work with Alexander Payne, who is such a hero of mine, was a dream come true situation."

He was determined to give it his all. "It wasn't lost on me that this was an amazing opportunity to do something different. But it's been a big challenge, too," he admits. "There are comedy elements in this story, but they're rooted in real life, and what's interesting is that Bruce and June have most of the really funny moments. David is actually the straight man."

On the set, everyone was impressed by Forte's never-before-seen facility for subtlety, and for moving between the amusing and the touching. "Will is a big, big discovery in this part," says Berger. "He brings a wonderful every-man presence that invites audiences into the story."

Part of that comes through a performance that is built on conflicted feelings towards Woody, says Forte. "David is frustrated by his father at the same that he cares about his father at the same time that he regrets not knowing him that well. He sees this trip as his one chance to take another look at his father."

To bring all that out, Forte had to carve out a complex relationship with Dern. "It was intimidating," he admits, "but it was also magical."

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