Our Interview Day with the Cast of NBC’s CHUCK – Part 1

Zachary Levi - CHUCK on NBC
Click on picture for larger version.

My Sundays usually find me laying around at home and watching TV. Surprising right? Well not last Sunday when Daemon’s TV and few other bloggers were invited to spend the morning and part of the afternoon with Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, and Adam Baldwin, the stars from one of our favorite TV shows, NBC’s CHUCK.

Zachary, Yvonne, and Adam all took time out of their busy day to hang out with us (and trust me it was busy). Here is how our day went, if you’re dying to know.

First, Daemon’s TV arrived at the Hollywood Center Stage Studio at 10:30am where we were briefed about the actor’s schedules and where we would fit in. We were told that Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, and Adam Baldwin were all at the HCS studio to shoot promos and photos for International markets in which Chuck has been sold. Our interaction with them would be during their down time and at a special lunch time sit down.

After our briefing we stopped by the stage where the promos were being shot in front of a green screen (so that each international channel could put their logos behind the actors) and there we found Adam Baldwin shooting his set. Soon after, Zachary Levi popped in and said hello to everyone.

Now I knew Zachary Levi was tall, but seeing him in person I was impressed, as I was with Adam Baldwin, who is really tall too. Actually, Yvonne rounds out what must be the tallest group of actors working on one show. I mean for a girl I am not a short person and usually I am among the tallest women in most groups, but next to Yvonne I felt just like another short person.

Zachary Levi - CHUCK on NBC
Click on picture for larger version.

Anyway, after briefly meeting Zachary, we then walked to a plane-hangar sized sound stage where Yvonne was already shooting still photos for another aspect of the international promotion. Zachary then joined in for a few shots with Yvonne, including some fun ones where she jumped on his back. After striking a few more poses Yvonne was whisked off to the green screen, and we were able to have an extended period of one on one time with Zachary, who started talking with us about a number of things – such as his love for Lost – and what he thinks about stretching out the sexual tension between him and Sarah.

To make this part fun, I thought I would add some audio from Zachary Levi himself throughout.

After a brief discussion about Lost (which Zachary loves), including the season finale and who is in the coffin, we started talking about his show, Chuck.

Zachary’s take on what would really happen if someone had government secrets downloaded to their head is that they would probably die or end up in a rubber room. Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking too.

Zachary then makes a comparison between how he feels about the whole Jack and Kate story on Lost to Chuck and Sarah’s relationship on Chuck. Turns out he wants to know “what’s the deal with Jack and Kate” as much as we do. I can’t say I blame him, what is the deal between these two?

As for Bryce, apparently lots of people want Bryce dead or mainly Zachary’s friends and family. Ha.

Sure we want to see Chuck and Sarah together but as Zachary explains, from an “entertainment standpoint, it’s the Ross and Rachel thing.”

Click on the audio below for the rest of his statement.

[audio:http://www.tvequals.com/audio/zachary_ross_rachel.mp3]

All you Office fan out there, you might want to skip a little ahead because Zachary does not watch The Office. And that’s because he was a big fan of the BBC version, so when he saw that the pilot for the American version was a carbon copy of the British The Office’s first episode, he just thought “you are bad…” He did hear that The Office (American version) branched off and became its own thing halfway through the season but it was too late for him:

“I’m a completionist. I want to watch a show form beginning to end. I can’t go to a movie if I’ve missed even the first five minutes. I want to see the trailers and then the opening credits and everything. I want to be able to judge something based on its entire experience, you know, so to jump in halfway through the season on any particular show just hurts me so bad because I want to have a completely educated opinion of it. I don’t want to be somebody who jumps in halfway through and goes “oh yeah it’s great, it’s ok” or it’s great but the first half of the season was horrible and everybody is like yeah but did you see the first part of the season no I don’t know…” [at this point Zachary makes a pretty funny noise and since it’s impossible to translate it into word, I thought it was better if you heard it from him directly. Click on the audio player below.]

[audio:http://www.tvequals.com/audio/zachary_season.mp3]

Regardless of his “completionist” issues, Zachary does encourage everybody to watch Chuck even if they start in the middle, haha:

[audio:http://www.tvequals.com/audio/zachary_just_because_i_have_issues.mp3]

Chuck is a good mix between procedural and serial. It’s easy for people who haven’t seen the show to understand what is happening in the episodes. Unlike Lost, right Zachary?

[audio:http://www.tvequals.com/audio/zachary_lost.mp3]

Fun anecdote: Zachary got an electric car to drive around. Then, the production office turned it into a nerd herd car. It now has the same decals and everything. Come on, tell me you are not jealous.

You want another reason to like Zachary Levi? He likes Pushing Daisies. He describes it as “Amelie meets you favorite Tim Burton movie.” In fact, he had half a dozen screening parties for the pilot of Pushing Daisies.

This lead to some pretty freaky situations as Zachary explains that since Pushing Daisies shoots right next to their Buy More stage, he thinks he might have freaked the Pushing Daisies people a lot at the beginning. Why? Well, because after seeing the pilot ten times, he knew so much of the dialogue that when he met them he started quoting lines to them. Everything ends well, Zachary eventually “grew on them like a fungus.”

Finally, if you wonder who is the person Zachary looks up to, it’s Tom Hanks. He would love to do a “Saving Private Ryan” or “Forrest Gump.” He calls the latter one of the greatest movies ever.

Zachary Levi - CHUCK on NBC
Click on picture for larger version.

Soon it was time for Zachary’s photo shoot, which we were again allowed to observe, and let me tell you, after seeing some of the pictures on their dual wide-screen, high resolution monitors, I was tempted to chuck my own camera in a trash bin. That said, we were able to take some photos of our own (as you can see throughout this post) but again, nothing as good as the ones the professional photographer took.

After our discussion, Zachary left to do his promo shoot in front of the green screen – and if there is one thing I would like to say about these actors, it’s that they are hard workers. Zachary had to stand before a huge long-armed pulley camera and do different promo lines like: “You’re watching Chuck on NBC.” It’s not digging a ditch, but now imagine him doing it for all the different international markets in different languages while striking several different moods, take after take after take. Wow! Props to all three of them for having such impressive stamina.

Finally, it was then time for lunch and our own uninterrupted face time with Zachary, Yvonne, and Adam; and it’s too bad that you couldn’t have been there as it was a pretty long lunch full of interesting discussions and gut-busting laughs. Needless to say all three of them were really nice, courteous and willing to talk about many things with us.

Want to know all about those discussions? This will be the next part of “Our Interview Day with the Cast of NBC’s Chuck.”

Stay tuned for more of Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, and Adam Baldwin’s thoughts on things from Chuck to Video Games.

Read part 2 here.