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‘MacGruber’ arrives at Varsity Theatre

Cast members discuss SNL, movie

Students stand in line outside  Varsity Theatre on Monday to watch an advanced screening of the action-comedy “MacGruber."
Students stand in line outside Varsity Theatre on Monday to watch an advanced screening of the action-comedy “MacGruber."

The feature film “MacGruber,” based on a popular Saturday Night Live sketch, premiered at the Varsity Theatre on Monday. Writer/director Jorma Taccone, writer John Solomon and actors Will Forte and Ryan Phillippe sat down with The Daily Tar Heel’s Laney Tipton Tuesday morning to talk about the film. Read the full version at

Q: What do you want students to know about the film?

Jorma Taccone: I think that it’s a lot different than you’d expect, from an SNL film in particular. We’re all obviously really excited about it, but like, it’s much raunchier than you’d expect, especially from what we were allowed to show in the trailers.

Ryan Phillippe
: The movie has a definite edge, and it’s a hard “R,” which I think is a major departure from any of the previous SNL films, and so it’s got, you know, there’s nothing flat about it.

Will Forte: Because it’s connected to SNL, I feel like people seem to have an opinion one way or the other before they’ve even seen the movie and have maybe already made their decision. And I think we just would like to go around and tell people to keep an open mind.

Q: How did “MacGruber” go from skit to movie?

WF: That was none of our ideas actually. We had done a Super Bowl commercial for it last year, and somebody approached Lorne (Michaels) about it, and that was kind of how it started.

JT: I think we always had it in the back of our mind that like, maybe we could do that?

WF: Well, as a joke, we would have certain things that would be too raunchy for SNL sketches. We would jokingly say “Oh, save it for the movie,” not in a million years thinking that we were going to make a movie. I don’t think any of those things made it into the movie, but in the back of our heads a fictional movie existed.

Q: You produced the movie in 28 days, which is a pretty short time. How was that?

JT: It is a slight advantage coming from the show (SNL), where you have to make things so quickly on the show … We are all sort of in the know about having to do things in no time at all and coming up with things on the fly and having to adapt and change things.

Q: Will, there is a scene involving you with a piece of celery in your butt, and said you watched it with your mom. Is there anything you wouldn’t do in front of your mom?

JT: I can answer that. Absolutely not.

WF: Probably a year ago, I would have said “Well, I wouldn’t put a piece of celery in my butt in front of my mom.” So that is always changing.

RP: The bar gets raised.

WF: She’s used to it at this point.

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