The Ramblings of ZACHARY LEVI

CHUCK - Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski

Posted by Araya

Here is the final part of our CHUCK Media Day.

Daemon’s TV was recently invited to be part of a group of bloggers that hung out with the show’s likeable cast. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Here are some of the final things Zachary Levi had to say:

CHUCK on the Grind of Fame
Now that this (Fame) is happening I realize how topsy turvy your life and world becomes and your time is not your time anymore…and it’s calmed down a little, but as the season went on, I would say the first month or two of our shooting CHUCK, we would consistently do like 16 hour days — and that’s with a 12-hour turn around as actors on set, right?

So let’s say I get a 6am (call time for Monday), that means I can’t stay out Sunday night doing anything cause I have to get to bed early because of the 6am call. Then it’s 16 hours from that, which ultimately means by the end of the week we’d be finished at 7am on Saturday morning, which means you sleep away your Saturday…maybe your able to hang out a little on Saturday night..but your body clock is all messed up because you want to stay up all night but then you got to get to bed because you know you gotta get up really early to make a 6am call time.

CHUCK on the Wackiness of Fame
So there’s no time to do anything and it’s the one time when all your friends and family call and go: ”Oh my God I’m watching the show or I just saw this thing in an article and blah blah blah,” and there isn’t a chance to pick up my phone and I am normally the guy that picks up the unknown numbers and be like: “Hey who’s this? Hey,” you know, and hit back emails and texts immediately. But now I have no time to do anything.

So that’s just me on CHUCK and I don’t know what it’s like for people like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and all these people. I think it’s just a really weird life and understandably you just don’t understand a lot of the incidents that go on in Hollywood because it’s so abnormal. You wouldn’t think about it: a normal 9 to 5 is a crazy departure from what this is. And by the way that’s also not like: “hey cry me a river oh my gosh we’re actors working in Hollywood,” because you know we’re ridiculously blessed to do what we do, especially if you’re successful enough to say: “Well I don’t wanna take a movie right now, I’m gonna spend a couple of months in the Maldives, bye.”

CHUCK on How Fame Turns You into a Can of Dr Pepper
The point is that we’re a product. I might as well be Dr Pepper, seriously, and by the way I am fine with that because I know that God’s made me to be a good Dr Pepper and I think that this is what I was supposed to do, and what I was built to do and be 23 flavors of refreshment (laughs).

But it’s a lot easier to go I’ll take a picture of that (places Dr Pepper can on table). You know it’s a lot easier to go door to door and say: Hey let me show you how great Dr Pepper is or an Oreck vacuum cleaner or whatever when you just have to stand there and not do anything. It’s another thing when it’s like: “Hey, let me show you how great I am, and I’ll stand there and take pictures, and while he’s taking picture I can be calling people back, or when I’m taking pictures I don’t do anything. It’s the whole thing of time consumption and where does the balance lie in personal life and professional life, but then again those are the risk and rewards, so…

CHUCK on Social Engagements
It’s a little odd. When I was doing Less than Perfect, which was the sitcom I did for ABC, um, we were on for 4 years but nobody ever really watched it although internationally we were a bigger hit than we ever were domestically.

So it was always like this sleeper show that nobody really cared about and if they did care about it they cared about Sara Rue who was the lead, or Andy Dick, or Eric Roberts or somebody who was a little more notable and it was like the first thing I ever did and so we would go to TCA (Television Critics Association) parties and I would walk in and maybe one guy from Ventura County Star, because I’m from Ventura, would come up and go: “Hey Zach can I ask you a few questions?” And then I’d do like five questions and then it’s like alright “Thanks a lot” and then nobody would want to talk to me and I would be like “cool”, cocktail, dance floor and that’s what I’d do all night long. And so when we went to the TCAs for this NBC All Star party or whatever, I fully expected to do the carpet, grab a cocktail get on the dance floor and just dance the whole party away and first they dragged me up to the Singing Bee, which was a little crazy, but I won and everybody thought it was rigged, but the point is I expected to just be on the dance floor but it was all these interviews and so it was drastically different.

CHUCK on Seeing Himself on Billboards
It’s as it should be (laughs). Really, really surreal but not surreal in the sense that it’s like I’ve lived in LA long enough to know that if you get a show and it’s a buzz-worthy show they put pictures up. And not to mention the fact that, again, I was working all day everyday so the only billboards I would ever see where the ones between (my place and work). I mean that was it.

CHUCK Media Day - Zachary Levi

CHUCK on Holidays and Gaming Gifts
It’s a big year for calling up companies and saying: “Hey can you give me a couple of those to kick down to my family and friends?” Honestly, I just want sleep, and more time to play the video games that I own. And that’s actually one of the cool things about this job and the way it’s all worked out is that, the stuff that I would ask for like Rock Band, Harmonix, who makes it brought it to the set the other day and said: “Here you go, this is for you.” And I was like: ”Oh, thank you Jesus.” And I brought it home and hooked it up and me and my buddies have been playing it for like 3 days.

Video game developers are savvy enough to know that Josh (Gomez) and I every time we do a red carpet that’s all we talk about because when everybody asks us “So, how are you like Chuck?” (I say) “We play video games.” “Well what video games do you play?” And I go off on a tirade just about everything, and to the point where I am like I should be getting paid for this. All I do is talk about Microsoft product or Nintendo product and it’s ridiculous.

CHUCK on Gaming Geekery, pt 1.
Josh and I have actually made it a point to actually talk to our writers about letting us geek out more on (video games). Because we geek out on certain stuff: like Lou and I geeked out on sandwiches, which was funny, but in the pilot there were quite a few moments where we were riffing on different things and Josh and I truly are gamers, we are not actors that are playing gamers we are like ridiculous. If we didn’t have to go to work we wouldn’t be at work. We would be at home and not even interacting with each other, we would be on headsets on Xbox live.

Literally we were both playing BioShock at the same time one night and I was on a different level than he was and we are just sitting there talking on the phone like two girlfriends doing their nails at home except we’re on our head sets going: “Oh yeah, did you get to that part yet? That’s so killer.” And then I hear like gun shots going off and I’m like (excitedly): “Oh, oh, are you gonna, are you gonna, oh, oh…What kind of plasma are you using right now?” I mean that’s the kind of stuff we talk about it’s ridiculous.

CHUCK on CGI and Possible Unemployment
Look at how much money video games make nowadays, and unfortunately the dwindling numbers in film and television and stuff, and if you look into some of the cinematics that they have in video games and the whole Beouwolf trend they have going with the whole 3D thing – I mean I hope there is never a day when actors are completely replaced by computer generated images because clearly I would be out of work, but I want to be an actor that’s on the cutting edge of being involved in the video game world because I think it’s a huge part of future generations and especially the way the Nintendo takes the Wii interactive.

Watch a movie like Minority Report, we are on the brink of that kind of stuff. It’s so close. Clicking? That’s all gonna be gone. There’s not gonna be keyboards, there’s not gonna be mouse, mice, meece? And if your kids aren’t up to snuff they’re gonna be left behind.

CHUCK on Theater
My whole life I grew up doing theater. Right after I booked CHUCK they were holding auditions for Young Frankenstein on Broadway and my agent knew that I had done theater and knew that I wanted to do theater again at some point. And at that point we hadn’t even shot Chuck yet. I had just booked it and it was like around February 15, or Valentine’s this past year and they said: “Hey, do you want to go out to New York to audition for Young Frankenstein?” And I was like well, yeah I guess, just to go and put my face out there…and um very few people know this because of the way things have been, but they actually offered me the job and I couldn’t do it because they waited to see if we shot CHUCK and then CHUCK got picked up and that took me out of the running.

Roger Bart is doing it now and Roger Bart is awesome but I hope that I get another opportunity like that because I was real torn when all of that was coming down because I thought I might be giving up my only chance to go and star and originate a role on Broadway.