Zachary Levi Interview – CHUCK

     August 8, 2008

Written by Rachel

Now for Part Three of Chuck at Comic Con.

If you are just now joining this, check out what the creators of the show had to say about all the cool guest stars, what the characters are in for in season two, and how at least one of the writers keeps attempting to throw poor Chuck out of an airplane HERE, otherwise, here is the continuation of the cast and crew interviews.

Or you can check out Part Two, where Yvonne Strahovski and Adam Baldwin bicker with each other, talk about cool new fight moves, and tell how season two might involve some characters’ pasts coming back to haunt them. Check that all out HERE.

Now check out what Zachary Levi, who plays the star, Chuck Bartowski.

As soon as he sat down he and I promptly proved our Comic Con worth to each other and geeked out over our iPhones, pulling out our Lightsaber applications and having a duel over the table. We talked for a bit about how great the iPhone is, the differences between the original and the 3G, and the Lightsaber application and how it’s a must have. He even told us about an epic iSaber war between the background extras and cast and crew on set. Then, after proclaiming that Apple needs to start paying him if he talks anymore about the iPhone, we get down to business, namely…

Q: Chuck!

ZL: So Chuck, let’s talk about Chuck.

Q: So what’s new this season?

ZL: Oh gosh! Well, there is a really big horticulture scene . . . No, I’m kidding. You know, I wish I could say that . . . Well, there’s a lot of great guest stars, I’m sure you heard about most of them, Michael Clark Duncan, John Larroquette, Melinda Clark, Nicole Richie, Ben Savage. Tony Hale’s come on to do, like, three to five episodes, he’s a freaking genius. Jordana Brewster’s come on to play my ex-flame Jill, for like thirteen episodes, actually more, cause we talk about her in the first couple of the season, and it’s this whole, “infamous Jill,” “infamous Jill,” “infamous Jill,” and now we meet her! She’s so lovable, and it’s ridiculous! So that’s great, and she’s going to be in like three episodes, and we’re halfway through with her first one, and lots of really cool stuff. But aside from that . . . I don’t know how to say . . . It’s not really all that different, I mean, it’s the same, but in the best ways. I think, unfortunately a lot of television shows or movie sequels or video game sequels or whatever. The problem inherent with the success with your first iteration is you feel like you have to make the second iteration better, but you lose the heart of, you lose what made the first iteration so good. And what I’m happy about is that they haven’t done that, they have, like, re-launched Chuck 2.0 wear, like, all of a sudden everyone’s dressing a little differently and hairstyles are all sorta, you know, you pick up and you’re like “that’s the Chuck I knew and loved from the first season.” With like, little differences here and there. Yvonne’s character, Sarah, no longer works at the Weinerlicious, which is good because that was very Austro-Hungarian, it didn’t make very much sense. She works at this PinkBerry-kinda place called the OrangeOrange, which is all blue, which I find to be hysterical! With orange highlights of course, cause you have to work that in. And she’s got this cool, very much-more-functional-for-fight-scenes outfit, although I am sure a lot of the fanboys and girls would argue that, “no no, we loved the dress with the bustier, that was great!” So you know, little changes there, new set pieces I think people will dig.

Q: Are their any fun scenes at the Buy More?

ZL: Oh there are some great scenes at the Buy More! Tony Hale comes on as this guy who’s like Buy More Corporate, who comes in to, like, examine this delinquent branch of the Buy More. Cause that’s what we are. And he’s very, you know, put together and very, you know . . . At first he thinks . . . Cause everyone’s selling him “Oh Chuck’s the guy, Chuck’s the guy who really keeps things running.” So he thinks “Oh, I’ve found the one guy who can help me fix this place.” But I’m constantly running out to these spy missions, and he doesn’t know why, he thinks I’m a shmuck. And so then he’s like my nemesis, and that’s awesome. So there’s a lot of great stuff with that. We’ve got a couple scenes where we’re all just kinda lined up, like all of us, and he’s like Patton, walking up and down, telling us what’s up. And great spy scenes, you know, we’ve blown up a couple cars now and that’s always fun. That’s probably my favorite. It’s like “What can we blow up now?!” And some great wire-work. I think I get dropped off a building at least three times. We’re only at episode six and it’s like “I’ve dropped three times, how many times can I fall?” How many times? Trust me.

Q: What’s the scariest?

ZL: None of it! None of it, I’m not kidding, none of it, none of it is scary to me. It’s so much fun. When you’re a kid all you want to do is grow up and play war with your buddies, you know. I would pay money to go be in Saving Private Ryan, or whatever, just to run around and have to go through bootcamp! I know that sound, like, sadistic a little bit, but to me it sounds like awesome fun!

Q: Bungee jumping?

ZL: Oh I’ve done bungee jumping. Skydiving, I have motorcycles that I ride. I’m a little bit of an adrenaline junkie in that way.

Q: The insurance brokers must love you!

ZL: They are fantastic!! Tell me about it. And Production’s really all about it! They’re like, “You did what? You did what in your off time? That’s great, we’re going to keep you under house arrest, thank you.” But so to me hanging upside down and . . . Michael Clark Duncan in the beginning of the first episode you pick up on. . . . it’s kinda like the tail end of whatever that mission was . . . I’m not explaining it right, but basically the beginning of the first episode is like the tail end of this mission you didn’t see but you assume you’re coming in at the end of it. And I’m being held out this window by my tie by Michael Clark Duncan and I’m all wired up and it’s all his stuff, and everybody kept asking me “Are you okay? Do you want to come down?” And I’m all “Why would I want to come down? I’m like Peter Pan up here! Second star to the right and straight on till morning kids, let’s go!” And plus our Stunt co-coordinator Merritt Yohnka, he just got nominated for an Emmy, he’s that good, I trust him implicitly. So it’s all fun, and I trust him completely, and actually the stunt that he got nominated for was the one last year where Casey and I were tied up back to back, and that whole fight scene, and we fall out the balcony and go seven stories into the pool. I mean that was awesome. That was him, that was Merritt. In fact, that one right there, the studio was saying all this really specific stuff like “Zac can only have up to his calf can be hanging over the balcony, but that’s it!” for insurance purposes. Adam was still inside, but it was like when we were first getting pushed over, so we had producers saying “So only up to your upper calf. And that’s as far as you can go.” And I was like, “Yeah, whatever.” And I’m, like, going and going and going, until basically I’m off [the balcony], and again everybody’s freaking out, “Are you okay?” And I’m like, “Dude, throw me off of this thing right now, I don’t care.” It’s all fun, blowing stuff up is fun!

Q: You had a beard, I heard you tried to go a little Jack Bauer and fit that into the season premiere, you lost?

ZL: Noooo, no winning on that one. I wish, I really wanted to, I thought it would be fun! Like, change it up a little bit. Didn’t work. But there’s a whole following of the Chuck beard, let me tell you that.

Q: Do you have a preference playing the comedy or the action? I mean, even when you are doing the action you are still comedic, but maybe you prefer the Buy More scenes?

ZL: I dunno. I’d say that’s an excellent question. But I think I enjoy them both kind of equally in there own ways. From an acting standpoint, you dream of having a role like Chuck, because you get to do everything. You get to wear every hat. I get to do great romantic scenes, like really heart felt stuff with Yvonne and with my sister Sarah Lancaster. That gets confusing, by the way, Sarah and Sarah. “We need Sarah on set?” “The real one or the fake one, which one are we looking for?” So that’s awesome. And then get to play really dramatic stuff, and really comedic stuff at the Buy More, and then the action stuff. So . . . And I enjoy all of it equally, I just really enjoy that I get to not just be playing one note the whole time.

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