Director likes casting comedians in dramas
TORONTO — Film director Alexander Payne says he likes hiring actors with a comic sensibility for dramatic roles. It’s one of the reasons he turned to former Saturday Night Live cast member Will Forte to star in his bittersweet family film, Nebraska. The comic largely plays it straight as the son of a befuddled senior who mistakenly believes he’s won a million dollars. Bruce Dern plays the taciturn old man, who insists on travelling to Nebraska from Montana to collect his supposed fortune. Along the way, he stops in his hometown where his news causes a stir among old friends and family members. During a recent stop in Toronto, Payne says he insisted on making the film in black-and-white to capture the austere quality of the people and landscapes. Nebraska opens in Winnipeg on Dec. 20.