What would you do if you were the last person alive? Go to the supermarket in your underwear? Make a T rex skull the centrepiece of your dining room? This is how Phil Miller (Will Forte) endures the end of the world after a deadly virus wipes out the planet’s population. See how Phil copes in the acclaimed and imaginative The Last Man on Earth, starting on Dave with a double-bill this Monday at 9pm.
There’s great chemistry between the stars of The Last Man on Earth – whoops, spoiler alert. Will Forte, Kristen Schaal (Carol) and January Jones (Melissa) talk about the conception of the show and what they’d miss most about life.
What was the inspiration for the original premise?
Will Forte: Well it is very interesting because we, Chris Miller, Phil Lord, (Exec Producers) and I came up with the concept together. Then I kind of went off and just with this conversation, worked up my own little arc of the season. Then we all got together and made changes to that. I think initially we always knew the general pattern of character introductions and that stuff throughout the season. But we didn’t know I was going to be such a shit-head until we got to it and it just seemed like the appropriate thing to do. I think the plan was at first, to maybe make me somehow…maybe not go to such a scheme-y, deceitful place with this, but then it felt like the right thing to do. It was a challenge to see if we could pull it off. You know, for some people we did, and for some people we didn’t. That was what we wanted to do, to try that out.
Having been on the show now, have you thought about what you’d miss most about life as we know it?
January Jones: My family.
Kristen Schaal: I think I would miss culture actually, even though I make fun of it all the time. I think I would miss the constant stimulus of like a new song, radio, a new movie coming out, and a new television show. That’s all I would miss. And all the fine art I collect, just kidding. We got to make sure we keep our fine art community alive and thriving. I feel like no one is talking about whose next in the fine art world…you want to shout out a name for someone. See that’s the problem.
Will: Family and friends. January got it right. She (Kristen) got it absolutely wrong. I can’t believe, you don’t love your family?
Kristen: I’m just mixing it up, yeah I love my family (laughs)!
Will: Family is the right answer. And Kristen is talking about art.
Kristen: I mean, family is going to go anyway the older we get but culture continues. In this situation it doesn’t. So take that to the bank, biotch!
Will: Family might not go, the older we get, because we might die before them. Nailed it.
I know there was a virus, but do you think there will be more of an explanation of why things are the way they are?
Will: We talk from time to time potentially about going into that a little bit more. We do have ideas for that, but we don’t feel like we have to do it. If we can find an interesting way to touch on it [we will]. I think we’re more interested in just little tidbits about it instead of a major episode explaining what the virus was.
Would you really behave like you did in the first episode if you found out you were “The Last Man on Earth”?
Will: I don’t know. Certainly it was a heightened version of the scenario and it’s a crazy scenario that would very likely never happen. But I think a lot of that stuff is something I would do. You know, the wish fulfilment stuff, certainly. That just sounded like something fun to do. So I think a lot of that little kid stuff: just going around breaking stuff, is definitely something I would do. And as far as the drinking side of it, I have to do something, I don’t know. Probably would drink a little bit [a responsible amount].
Kristen: I think I would do something very similar to what his character does. I think it would be very sad, so I would be angry. Destroying stuff would be gratifying. Drinking, yeah.
January: Crying a lot.
Kristen: Yeah, I think it would be really scary to be alone. I think I would feel very scared, in general. I would be afraid of injuring myself. Because I’m clumsy anyways so I feel like I wouldn’t move very much. I would preserve my body as best as I could. I would create new works of art (laughs).
How is playing Melissa different from previously playing Betty in Mad Men?
January: Well, I mean I have a huge attachment to Betty. I have played her for longer than any other character in my life. As an actor, you try to do different kinds of things. I think Melissa is the closest I’ve ever come to playing someone close to myself. It has been fun to go to work and laugh.
How has it affected your life, not being on Mad Men anymore? Do you feel different as a person now?
January: No, I mean every job you have you hope that it’s something that’ll educate you and further your learning experience. So yeah, I think I have grown a lot. That is hard for me to say if I have grown in the last year. I don t feel that different, maybe I look different.