Our Interview Day with the Cast of NBC’s CHUCK – Part 3: Interviews

CHUCK - Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski, Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah Walker, and Adam Baldwin as Major John Casey on NBC

Posted by Araya

Welcome to part three of Our Interview Day with the Cast of NBC’s CHUCK. Daemon’s TV was recently invited to be part of a group of bloggers that hung out with the show’s likeable cast. We left part 2 right in the middle of our conversation with Adam Baldwin, right before the arrival of Yvonne Strahovski…

Yvonne Strahovski enters the lunchroom, and causes a stir. Soon after she joins the interview—

So Yvonne you came to Hollywood and after three days you landed the part of Sarah. Hollywood’s not such a tough town after all is it?
Yvonne Strahovski: No, it doesn’t seem that way. No, ahhm, yeah, it’s a bit of a fairytale. I went in for meetings. I only packed my bags for two months, really, cause I was gonna come in, try out pilot season, and then go home.

So it wasn’t a long and arduous audition process?
YS: Ah, no, short (laughs). Well I mean cause I sent my tape in from Australia and it wasn’t even a tape, it was a QuickTime file on the internet and I didn’t know that I was going to be testing for the show when I got here. I got here and my managers called me in and said that they wanted a meeting with me and that was the second or third day and I was still jet lagged and then I did the studio and network test and so it was kind of um…

Adam Baldwin: Welcome to America…

YS: Welcome to America as easy as that. Everybody should do it (laughs).

AB: (My audition) was like, I met with Josh and Chris, and read the role and they said great we would love to test you – (and then I) tested for the studio, and tested for the network all in the same day. I was there the same day as Zach was testing, and…

YS: I think I came in after that…

AB: Yeah you came after that. There were girls there before you but they found the right one.

So much of the show works well because of the chemistry between the three of you…
YS: Yeah pretty much

AB: We were very fortunate because McG is a terrific director…he loves actors and he made sure we had rehearsal time going into the pilot. We got to know each other…He explained to us very carefully his shot list, his vision, and he would give us reference material (for) what the shot was gonna be. Basically he gave us tone notes going in and that alleviates a lot of the pressure, like: “Oh who am I?” That’s all set in stone so once you get the “Who am I” down, then you get the who are you?

And from as early as Comic Con (in July) it seemed pretty clear that all that preparation was going to pay off – if the screening and audience reaction was anything to go by…
YS: That was wonderful; it was such a beautiful moment. We walked in the last quarter when people were just watching it and it was great. We were watching all the people watching the show, and how they reacted and laughing and cheering and going awww and doing all those noises and then the lights came up and they just gave all of us a big fat standing. It was so nice. It was really special. I think all of us that were there were quite touched…moved by that whole experience.

But staying on the theme of preparation, one of the show’s strengths are the strong performances. How do you both prepare for your parts? Do you use any specific techniques? Adam, do you recall the last time you killed somebody?
AB: (Laughs) Good actors borrow, great actors steal…I steal…I think for me as close as you can relay what you’re talking about to your own personal life the better. It’s good to keep those secrets, but you know if you have to cry in a scene you have to think about something sad from your life.

YS: Not necessarily, not everyone does that.

AB: Not everyone, no, I mean so that’s my school of thought, so that’s how I try to approach it. Try to keep the stakes high and keep it close to home and try not to laugh when Zach’s in the room.

How do you keep your faces so straight when Zachary is such a comedian?
YS: We don’t (laughs). We had some shockers.

But the outtakes are gonna be great on the DVD…
YS: It’s gonna be a lot of goofy faces. It’s goona be a lot of…

AB: …A lot of off burps and farts

YS: It’s gonna be a lot of krumps (starts krumping)…

To Adam – But your character’s face is very stoic all the time…
AB: Yeah that‘s my job not to make any cracks but once Zach loses it I lose it. I can’t hold it together pretty much…the ones that get me are Jeff and Lester, and Josh gets me, but if Zach loses it, I lose it – I can’t hold it together.

YS: It’s the twinkle in the eye. If you’re looking at them and they haven’t started smirking yet, but you can see they’re about to smirk, then it’s over.

AB: Zach just has this pure joy in humor that I don’t have but that he has and so when it’s coming from him it’s so honest and wonderful and infectious you can’t help but laugh when he’s laughing…he’s just a beautiful person.