It turns out that The Last Man on Earth‘s title isn’t meant to be taken literally as Phil Miller (played by the series’ creator/writer/producer Will Forte) wasn’t the last surviving human on planet Earth after all. The Fox comedy debuted on March 1, 2015 and while poor Phil was alone for a while, he soon found other people alive in Tucson. Kristen Schaal, January Jones, and Mel Rodriguez play random strangers who were apparently immune to the virus, and at the 2015 WonderCon in Anaheim, Forte talked about the decision to expand the cast, his co-stars, and what fans of the comedy series can expect from the remainder of season one.
Asked about the process that went into deciding when to bring in supporting characters, Forte replied, “Well, that was in the early going always a discussion of how long before you introduce another person. I think that I would always go to the side of having more time with fewer people. I think in the early going, there was some nervousness around that and there was the hope that more characters would come in earlier. And I’m really proud of the show in general, but those first couple of episodes there’s something really special about them. If there’s one thing I could change it would be spending a little more time in that world. More time with just Phil alone, and then a little more time with just Phil and Carol. And then a little more time with just three, because once you get these people there’s no going back – unless you kill somebody off. But everyone’s so nice I don’t want to kill anybody. So, it’s tricky. A lot of thought went into that and it was the decision of a lot of people that this was the way to go. I’m very happy of it and proud of it. I stand behind it, but it’s a tricky question.”
In our interview Forte confirmed they have plenty of material to cover if the show is picked up for a second season. “Originally we had a rough arc for the first season, but there were a ton of ideas that we had. I’ve never run a show before so getting in and figuring out everything and learning just how much you can do in a 21 minute 30 second episode is pretty eye-opening,” explained Forte. “There’s so much stuff that we didn’t get a chance to cover that we would hopefully cover if we got a second season.”
And speaking of material they’ve come up with, Forte was amazed at the fact that he was able to pitch a project featuring a lead character who doesn’t talk all the time. “I remember when we were pitching, one of the people involved in our pitch process said, ‘You maybe could get away with not really talking for a cold open. But maybe not even that much.’ That was the plan and thank god they were very supportive of what we wanted to try to do, so that’s a big thing. It’s interesting what you’re not allowed to do. That is an example of something we were able to do, but the stuff like the sex scenes with no movement…it’s pretty bonkers when you look at some of the more violent stuff on TV and see just how rigid the restrictions are on anything that seems like sex. It’s pretty bonkers. It’s actually maddening. Maddening is a good word for it.”
Watch the complete interview for more on this first season:
-By Rebecca Murray
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