Sarah Lancaster and Ryan McPartlin Talk CHUCK Awesomeness

CHUCK --Ryan McPartlin and Sarah Lancaster

CHUCK is well into its fourth season and the Awesomes–Ellie and Devon–are facing impending parenthood. Daemon’s TV was there when Sarah Lancaster (Ellie) and Ryan McPartlin (Devon) answered questions about that Awesome baby, next week’s “Chuck Vs. the Coup D’Etat” episode, the ten foot statue of Captain Awesome, and Ellie’s emotional arc this season. There are some teasers but no real spoilers.

On “Chuck Vs. the Coup D’Etat”

The episode airs Monday, October 11 with Armand Assante returning as Generalissimo Goya and both Sarah and Ryan were thrilled to have him come back. Sarah called him hard-working and hilarious to which Ryan agreed, saying that as funny as his work is, Armand takes it very seriously.

Sarah said that Ellie is feeling “over-babied” and that she and Devon have settled into too much of a staying home routine, so when Goya calls on Awesome again, she’s excited. Sarah also said that Chuck pops whenever they get so much of the cast together and away from home.

Ryan called this episode the flip-side of last season’s “Chuck Vs. the Angel de la Muerte” in that this time around, it’s Ellie who needs excitement instead of Devon, and that now Devon knows exactly where things can go with Goya. He laughs a lot about the interaction between Goya and Ellie, so I’d have to guess Goya hits on Ellie again.

According to Ryan, this is Devon and Ellie’s big adventure and it’s a fun episode before things get heavier with all the mom stuff coming up. He likes that it ties three relationships together with the same kind of problem.

On the 10 Foot Statue of Captain Awesome

Ryan said that seeing the statue of himself in “Chuck Vs. the Coup D’Etat” was very surreal but that he loved it when Zach Levi said, “I’m so jealous of your 10 foot statue.”

His favorite thing about the statue is that the writers couldn’t decide if it should have a shirt. On the one hand, Devon’s a doctor, so he would wear a shirt, but on the other, it’s a statue. Their solution was to use a skintight shirt that shows every muscle.

Ryan knows that someday he’ll look back and say “What a crazy, nutty show that was and how much did we love doing it?” but for now, he takes it for granted that he’s on a show that would make a 10 foot statue of his character.

On playing a character named “Captain Awesome”

Ryan said that it is “cool, no doubt,” and when he first read “Captain Awesome” in the script, he laughed but thought it would wear thin very fast. He credits the writers with finding so many ways to bring it up and keep it interesting.

When asked what Devon thinks about the nickname, Ryan said it was never addressed in a script, so he made the choice that Devon thinks it’s a positive thing. The writers then ran with it.

On Ellie’s big arc this season

It’s all about family for Ellie this season. Her pregnancy is softening her toward the idea of finding her mother and Sarah said that the mother story is going to overpower everything else, including whether or not Ellie finds out Chuck is still spying or any anger that could result. The combination of mom and pregnancy will bring up a lot of emotions for Ellie and it will raise the stakes for her and the show.

Sarah said that Ellie will question how she grew up and wonder what was real or true. She will feel that she doesn’t quite know her family at all and she will have to decide if she wants her baby to know its grandmother.

Ryan made the point that Ellie is going through a lot of what Chuck did in seasons one and two as he found out, bit by bit, about his dad.

On Devon and Ellie as the anti-Chuck and Sarah

According to Sarah, Ellie and Devon’s job is to give Sarah Walker an in-her-face look at what marriage and parenthood could be like so she can decide if that’s what she wants.

Ryan agreed, saying he thinks Devon and Ellie are a good mirror for Chuck and Sarah Walker. He also thinks there is plenty of material in the Devon-Ellie relationship to use as a springboard for both comedy and drama.

On why home life is so important in Chuck

Sarah said that while her actor’s ego would love to have her running around with a gun as a spy, she knows that the spy-life/home-life dichotomy is essential and that she loves playing the Ellie-Chuck moments that “take the show down a notch” and ground it.

According to Ryan, without Chuck’s home-life and family, Chuck would just be The A-Team.

On Baby Awesome

In terms of its affect on Chuck, Ryan said that the baby raises the stakes and makes jeopardy in the spy world that much more acute.

Sarah and Ryan know the sex of the baby but very deftly avoided divulging it. They don’t know the due date, though, and when the baby comes could depend on whether or not Chuck is extended past the initial thirteen episode order.

Sarah said the baby belly will make its first appearance in the “Chuck Vs. the Coup D’Etat” episode and that it has taken on a life of its own. She finds herself stroking it and walking differently with it on.

When asked what the baby would be like at birth, Sarah said it would be “all Awesomeness.”

There are no baby names yet and that will be up to the writers.

On Devon and Ellie as parents

Sarah said she thinks Ellie is manic and that she loves the moments where Ellie comes undone, so she hopes Ellie will be pulling her hair out and maybe won’t take to motherhood right away. She wants Devon to be as awesome at fatherhood as he is at everything else.

According to Ryan, “Ellie’s going to have to step it up” because while Devon absolutely would breast-feed if he could, he can’t. He also said he plans on being as neurotic about raising this child as he is about his own, to which Sarah cried, “Oh, no!” Ryan then launched into a lecture about BPAs and microwaving plastics. Ha!

On the return of Mom Awesome

Morgan Fairchild will reprise her role as Devon’s mother Honey this season, and according to Ryan, Honey and Ellie will have to learn to deal with their new roles as grandmother and mother, leading to some fun drama. Sarah puts it more succinctly: “The truth is that Morgan Fairchild`s character just doesn`t think Ellie is good enough for her perfect boy.”

On cast chemistry and a fun set

Sarah cooed, “I love my boys. They make me laugh” and joked that she feels like a mother hen on set, so she`s really not that far from Ellie. She called her chemistry with Zach natural and instant–she adored him from the start and in some ways he’s similar to her younger brother, which may show on-screen. She said that she and Ryan have merged into not just a married couple, but essentially one person. They spend all their time on-set together and a couple of weeks ago as they sat down waiting to be called, they pulled out the same book to read.

Ryan said the set is a fun place, especially when Josh Gomez (Morgan) is around because he brings it up a notch. All the cast has a good energy together.

On why people still watch Chuck

Ryan called Chuck “a natural anti-depressant,” a fun show you can sit down with at least most of your family and watch. You can just enjoy it and go along for the ride.

Chuck airs on NBC Monday nights at 8pm/7 central. You can find all our Chuck coverage here.

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