We had the pleasure of speaking with Zachary Levi and Josh Gomez from NBC’s Chuck. The guys talked with us about the second season of the series, their characters, and their favorite TV shows. Here’s what they had to say:
How psyched are you that you have this back nine already? You know you’ve got a full 22 to play with. You can develop the characters. You know you can pay your bills for the next however long.
Josh Gomez: Ding, ding, ding. Yeah, we couldn’t be happier. I mean, I – it’s – when I got the call I was just really – it was just – I mean, you can’t hear better news and it’s sort of unprecedented which I thought was really, really cool.
I mean, to kind of get it this early just based off of what the network had seen and the studio had seen and stuff, I was just – it feels really good. It just gives you that confidence. You go okay, we’re doing something right, you know.
So it – we kind of go forward now with a little more – hopefully a little swagger in our steps and feel confident, and know that we’re on the right path. So yeah.
Zachary Levi: Yeah and I know that I should say the same but I’m really only in this acting game to work my way into infomercials. I was hoping that the 13 episodes would just wrap up and I could get on with my dream. But, you know, whatever – 9 more, that’s fine.
With the writers’ strike kind of all behind us now and it cut your first season short, is a lot of what we’re seeing – was that intended for the first season or do – are we just kind of starting off from scratch with the second season?
Josh Gomez: Yeah, I think it’s kind of starting off from scratch. I know there’s probably ideas definitely being used for sure that were, you know, intended for last season that are now being put into place – absolutely.
But I think it was all sort of rearranged and rewrote, and reorganized and put into a new season – sort of fresh or whatever it does. So, you know, I don’t think it was just like here, these are episodes we didn’t get to.
I think there’s a whole mythos and there’s a whole reason why everything is happening, and a whole, you know, planned goal I’m sure at the end of the show or something like that.
So I think – but there are, I’m sure, ideas that they didn’t get to get – didn’t get to use that are now being used but probably in a different way or just kind of rearranged or whatever.
Josh Gomez: That or there’s no plan whatsoever and we’re just winging it.
Zachary Levi: You’re not supposed to say that.
Well you do that very well, too.
Josh Gomez: Thank you.
Going into this show, I don’t know if you guys knew each other or not, but your on screen chemistry is really, I think, fantastic. I’m just wondering what do you guys like about working with each other.
Josh Gomez: Zach, you want to start off how wonderful it is to work with me?
Zachary Levi: You know, I wish there was something I could say to that but he’s really just a horrible person. No, you know, honestly yeah, from day one when I first met Josh I had been cast in the part of Chuck – no, I was cast as Casey and then they thought no, you’re really not – you’re not tough enough.
No they casted me in the role of Chuck and then they had me come in and do chemistry reads and audition – in the auditioning process with various other characters.
And Morgan was one of them and so I got the privilege to meet Josh before he got the role. And the first time we ever read together immediately there was a really great chemistry. We have very similar comedic styles.
And he’s just an all around great dude and so they – I – you know, the – Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak, and McG, and the powers that be saw that I think in the room and Josh got the role, as he should have.
And then right after that we were sitting around just kind of, you know, talking about life, getting to know one another and immediately we came to the realization that we’re both avid and rabid videogame players.
And so because of that and because both Chuck and Morgan are avid videogame players in our fictitious world, we hit it off, you know, like peas and carrots I suppose, and to quote the genius, Forrest Gump.
Yeah, ditto to what he said and I – it’s definitely – the chemistry you see is – on camera is natural and it’s for real, and it’s kind of what happens off camera as well.
And yeah I mean, I just – it’s just a pleasure and I’ve said it before but I think that for me I think that like, not only was I lucky enough to get this gig and to get this – and then to have the show go on the air and then have it picked up, and have people like it and actually be a good show.
I’m lucky enough to have the guy – they head guy be Zach – you know, our number one on the show be Zach because again — and I said it again and again — it’s just like the guy should teach a class in Hollywood on how to treat people on a set and how to conduct themselves and how to just make everybody feel like a family and welcome.
And so I just – it’s just a pleasure everyday and I may start to cry so I’m going to cut it there.
How much fun do you have doing your scenes with Adam Baldwin? Do you ever goof on him and do like, you know, Full Metal Jacket, you know, impersonations or anything with him? He’s so serious and wrapped up in his character.
Zachary Levi: You know, Adam is – he is so dedicated to the character and shares many aspects with him. But I would also tell you that he’s – Adam’s probably the most – the biggest surprise because he can get sillier than almost anyone on set.
He’ll do funny voices and joke around, and he – you know, he’ll bust out some fully, you know, Full Metal Jacket stories about – even just for example the – I can’t remember the actor’s name but the head of the squad when he gets, you know, shot by the sniper bullet and he’s sitting there dying.
And I can hack it, I can hack it – well when the cameras weren’t rolling he’s – this is a guy sitting there, you know, fake bleeding. He’s like oh, I’ve been shot. I’m dying.
You know, like just really funny, great stuff and he’s such a veteran and been around the block numerous times. And I mean he’s our rock. Adam Baldwin is our rock and he’s one of the…
Josh Gomez: Yeah, but he – and the biggest surprise also is that like he plays these characters and he just like – it’ll be – the cameras are rolling and he’s polishing his gun, and he’s grunting at Chuck and he’s doing the scene.
But when the cameras aren’t rolling, he couldn’t be the biggest teddy bear you probably have ever – I mean, just all he – you know, he loves his cast and he loves his family. And he’s just like the biggest sweetheart and it’s mush.
And then all of a sudden, you know, (cha-cha) and he’s like uh, he’s grunting and he’s doing – you know, he’s slamming my face into a wall. You know, it’s just like so – and then he says oh are you okay, you know, whatever and he’s just like a sweetheart, you know, so yeah it’s funny.
What was it like to work with Michael Clarke Duncan?
Zachary Levi: Oh it was awesome, yeah. I mean, first episode back and we have, you know, a bona fide movie star. That’s really, you know, everything you can hope for.
When you’re doing a television show you hope that you’re making a product that other actors and, you know, directors of a certain caliber watch and appreciate themselves – and say you know what, I’d like to, you know, go play with those guys for an episode and hang out, and enjoy what they’re doing.
And so it was really an honor that he, you know, decided to come and play in our sandbox. And he was a really sweet dude. I mean, kind of you know like Josh was talking about Adam, you know, how he’s just, you know, from the outside he’s very imposing and this strong, rough guy and then on the inside he’s a big teddy bear.
Michael kind of has that same thing. I mean, I, you know, I don’t know him as well as I know Adam of course, but he seemed to be, you know, just really laid back, down to earth, you know, had a good time shooting the episode and, you know, was easy to talk to and really professional, and very, very imposing. He is a large man.
Exactly. Actually, speaking of Adam I noticed in this episode Casey seems to be warming up to Chuck because – it almost appeared like he was considering to disobey that direct order. Like is that what – are we going to see more of that this season, like you guys are getting closer?
Zachary Levi: I definitely think so. I mean, you know, I think one of the – A, I think that they want to show that Casey isn’t just a robot, you know. And we kind of touched a little bit upon that last season.
And B, I think they want to show that Chuck – you know, part of his charm I suppose is that no matter how irritating he may be to his handlers — particularly Adam Baldwin/John Casey — he’s like an infectious disease almost – a good infectious disease whichever that may be.
I don’t – I can’t think of any good infectious diseases. But – and so, you know, Casey has no choice but to just kind of embrace him and say – and, you know, and as many times as Casey has saved Chuck’s life, Chuck has also saved his and Sarah’s in return; albeit, you know, in some clumsy un-thought out way but does – you know, still managed to get the job done in some way.
And, you know, and Casey sees – he’s privy to my whole personal life and my sister, and my friends and knows that I’m a good dude just trying to, you know, do my best in the world.
And I’ve been thrown into this situation, you know, completely outside of my own control. So you definitely see him hesitating on the orders that he’s given and I think he’s relieved that he doesn’t have to follow through with it, you know.
It was. Is there any – you know, since you’ve worked with like John Larroquette and some of the other guest stars you’ve had on already, is there any one that hasn’t been on that you’d like to see come on?
Josh Gomez: Again, probably, you know, I would love to see ALF, but I know it’s not going to happen. But I think he’d be great in the Buy More. I don’t know. What do you think?
Zachary Levi: You know, I just want to see – again, you know, for me it’s just always about – I love seeing just actors that I love and respect that I’d look at their, you know, their talent and their craft, and how long they’ve been doing it.
And that’s the great thing about television, you know, as opposed to film. You know, if you do a film you get to work with your cast and then that was the experience.
But in television you work – you get to work with new actors and directors all the time. They’re always coming in. And so I just would love for more just, you know, solid awesome actors and actresses to come through.
You know, hopefully they’d dig the show and they want to be a part of it in some way, shape or form because just having, you know, those few days – we just had Gary Cole who was Lumbergh from The Office (sic) and, you know, has done all kinds of work.
And not to be confused with Gary Coleman who is also a monster of the craft. And – but Gary Cole, you know, he’s one of those, you know, great character actors that, you know, maybe not everybody is familiar with his name but they’re familiar with his face.
And I was over the moon. I mean, you know, it’s – the first thing – I felt like such an idiot because the first thing – I see him in the hair and makeup trailer and I’m like Peter what’s happening?
Listen, did you get the memo about the TPS report? I mean, he probably gets that all the time but I couldn’t resist. It’s, you know, it’s one of those huge things for me and I’m such – again, he’s such a great actor and he kills the role. He plays a great character that I can’t tell you who he is but he will be great, I assure you.
Tell me a little bit more about how you see Morgan overall. What kind of person is he?
Josh Gomez: I think he’s just – I think he’s – at heart, he’s just a – he’s a good kid. He’s sweet natured and but he’s a little bit – he can be a little on the – he’s not so goal oriented.
He’s not – he’s a little lazy and he just – I think it’s just like he wants to do as little work as possible, hang out with his buddy, play some videogames and, you know, and not cause too much trouble, you know.
It’s simple – the simple things make Morgan happy, you know, like a sandwich, a nice videogame.
And he’s lusted for his – Chuck’s sister his whole life hasn’t he?
Josh Gomez: Yeah and I mean, always kind of – I look at that as like, you know, just that first – I mean, that’s his best friend’s older sister and I mean every – I don’t know, I feel like there’s a lot of guys that can relate to that.
You just – it’s just that first love kind of – it’s a sweet – I think sometime’s Ellie and Morgan’s affection for Ellie is a very sort of sweet, almost like, you know, a little boy’s kind of infatuation kind of thing that’s just carried on a little way too long.
Give us a little sense of what Morgan’s going to be up to in this season and how he’s going to fit into all of the action and romance, and things or will it be mostly at the store when his – that – when Chuck’s life overlaps into the store from the spy end of things?
Josh Gomez: Yeah I think – sure, it – the latter. I think that it’s going to be very Buy More centric. Morgan’s very heavy in the Buy More and the B Story and it’s sort of, kind of taking a little bit of the reigns over there at the store because, as you said, Chuck finds himself I think more and more wrapped up in the spy world.
He becomes less and less kind of present at the store which actually is one of the sort of side stories where we have this new guy, Emmett (Milbars) who is played by the very, very funny and very talented Tony Hale – comes in and he’s just like where – how come I hear all this great stuff about this Chuck Bartowski and yet he’s never here kind of thing.
And then I kind of, you know, do my best as a friend not really – I don’t know why exactly I’m covering for Chuck but as a friend it’s my job to cover for him so I have to cover for him.
And all these kind of things happen at the Buy More and we have a – you know, even for this season obviously for the first time, like even in the B Story we had a great guest star like – Michael Strahan came in it was sort of a David and Goliath type scenario of Morgan having to face off against this mammoth human being who works next door at this like sports chalet type of place called the Mighty Jocks.
And he just keeps coming in and he just keeps using our videogames and him and his jock friends are, you know, playing games in our home theater room. And I have to kick them out, and it doesn’t go well.
So – but yeah so it’s definitely heavily featured in the Buy More stuff I think this season.
Zach, What’s going on with Chuck and Sarah this season because the episode I saw they definitely came really close to actually having a full on first date but, you know, of course things interrupted. And is that going to develop at all or are you going to kind of keep them apart?
Zachary Levi: Well I could tell you but then I’d – well then you’d know.
Zachary Levi: No. You know what’s funny is that – this is one of those like questions everybody wants to know what’s going to happen.
Are they finally going to, you know, have their chance to be together or, you know, and fortunately or unfortunately, you know, the way that television – the best television is – keeps you on the edge of your seat.
And so they’re going to string it out as long as they can. And I don’t blame them because, you know, you look at another NBC classic, Friends – Ross and Rachel.
You know, Ross and Rachel, everyone was like oh my gosh are they going to get together, are they going to get together? Then they finally do and the ratings kind of took a dip. And they’re like well what the heck is going on?
So they break them up again and everybody is watching the show. So I think that, you know, people want to see the tension. They’re rooting for them – you know, for Chuck and Sarah to get together.
But we can’t go there yet, you know. We’re all hoping that we’ll, you know, have a healthy span of, you know, five to seven seasons – god willing. I have no idea what NBC has in mind.
But – and again, of course, I’m trying to get to my infomercials so I’m not pushing it. But…
Josh Gomez: He’s really gung-ho on the infomercials.
Zachary Levi: It’s crazy. I mean, I got a food dehydrator lined up. It’s all this stuff.
Josh Gomez: He’s fantastic by the way. You’ve never seen a man talk a blender on the air like this man.
Zachary Levi: But there’s definitely – you’ll definitely see lots of good stuff that will satiate your desire for Chuck and Sarah. And there’s, you know, a little DTR – a little define the relationship discussion that we have a couple episodes in.
And so it helps kind of set that tone as well.
Of the second season episodes you guys have shot so far, in what ways have you seen both your characters further grow and develop? And also along with that, what maybe have been some of the acting challenges as well?
Josh Gomez: I’ve definitely seen – there is definitely some growth with Morgan. I think that happens and is happening like I kind of spoke about before which is that I think he sort of is left a little bit more responsibility by Chuck at the Buy More right in the beginning of the season.
And so he still does things the Morgan way, I like to call it. So it’s usually some sort of, you know, crazy scheme or weird – like, you know, when Chuck asks Morgan to be the Assistant Manager in the beginning of the season.
You know, steel cage match, a la Thunderdome. So that’s sort of the – that’s the Morgan maturing right there. But he got the job done and my point is that, you know – no it’s not good. It’s just not good.
So – and then there’s him and – Morgan and Anna starts to develop even more and there is a lot of decisions he had to make about that, and trying to grow up.
And she – you know, are they going to take this further and do whatever, and he’s forced to kind of look down that road. And all he’s ever kind of tried to do is sort of avoid those roads.
Hard work, you know, adulthood, you know, all that stuff – that’s the stuff he tries to avoid and now he has to come face to face with. So there’s a lot of that happening for Morgan.
Zachary Levi: And for Chuck, you know, it’s him just finding himself, trying to become more comfortable and more familiar with this world of espionage and, you know, just finding better footing and, you know, maturing as a spy because he – you know, whether he likes it or not he has become a spy.
He’s not just, you know, something that Sarah and Casey will go to when they need him. I mean, you know, they need him all the time now. And so he’s – and you’ll see that as the episodes progress and again, you know, as the seasons progress.
God willing if we get to go, you know, enough seasons, you’ll see him – I think the idea is that he’s got the potential to be a Bryce Larkin. It just has to be brought out of him and that’s a long road.
That’s going to be – you know, I’m looking forward to the CIA/NSA training montage where, you know, he’s getting the crap beat out of him in Kung Fu class and, you know, slowly but surely getting closer and closer to the target as he’s shooting at it.
But, you know, it’s a long road. It’s a long road to hoe. So but yeah, and finding, you know, a little bit more confidence in just who he is as a man and as far as, you know, the women in his life.
And, you know, Sarah has inspired a lot of that in him. And though the tension between them is going to continue and it’s not going to pay off the way that he would like it to, it does still inspire him I think in growing up.
You know, it’s something that he wants to do and that Morgan doesn’t want to do. And – but it’s being forced upon both of us I think.
It does seem like in the first couple episodes that despite their, you know, the presence of the occasional girlish shriek that Chuck is getting a little more confident, has gotten a little more used to the double life he’s leading. That – am I reading that right and does that continue on further?
Zachary Levi: Yeah, I think so. Yeah, I definitely think so. I mean, you know, any time a – you know, with a television series it’s that really fine line of you don’t – you can’t change the show too drastically.
Otherwise, you know, audiences will be like oh, you know, that doesn’t make any sense or it’s not believable. But at the same time, you do have to have a maturation, a progression of your characters and of the writing that is believable and does make sense, and that keeps it, you know, keeps the momentum going and not just stagnant.
You know, with sitcoms it’s a little easier because, you know, they’re just all kind of self-contained episodes and you don’t have to do it as much. But with a show like this, I think that’s got a lot of heart and a lot of drama and relationship, and these real characters that, you know – or at least we’re trying to make them real.
Maybe they’re all just complete caricatures and we’re hacks. I don’t – I couldn’t really tell you. But certainly, you know, I know that in the writing, you know, they’ve tweaked it a little bit so he is a little bit more comfortable.
And I know when I was starting to approach the role at the beginning of the season I wanted to do that as well. I don’t want it to just be – I don’t want it to be exactly the same Chuck that we all came to know last season.
I wanted to be basically same but he – you do see a little bit more. You know, he is – he does have a little bit more confidence. He has more confidence in Sarah and Casey because he trusts them much more now.
And he’s kind of seen how they work and he’s seen the things that he’s been able to kind of, you know, bumble through and how that worked.
And so he’s able to, you know, buy a little bit more time or have a little bit more confidence like, you know, in the first episode when he comes up with this plan, walks right up to Michael Clarke Duncan and is about to kill him and say no, you know, I’m Charles Carmichael and this is my trap.
I mean, you know, that’s something that Chuck in first season might not have had the cojones to do. But in this season he tries it and it ends up working.
You know, when we talked last year about you having to possibly, you know, make out with Yvonne I believe you said that you’d have to take that bullet for the team. So now that it looks as if, you know, Chuck and Sarah have the potential to get more intimate do you think you’ll be able to stomach some more make out scenes with Yvonne?
Zachary Levi: Man I don’t know. I don’t know.
That’s a really tough question. I mean, I consider myself a team player. I really do. But I mean, have you been watching the show? You know, she was good looking last season but a lot’s happened in the hiatus, you know.
And I don’t know if she’s just been eating too – are you kidding me? I would gladly put my lips on her lips or whatever – whatever they put in the script. She is one of the most beautiful girls in the world, you know.
And it’s fun because she’s also, you know, a big tomboy in a lot of ways, too. She’s really down to earth and if I have to – I will take a barrage of bullets. I’ll take a mortar to the chest if I have to if that’s what we’re talking about.
Do you think we’re going to see (Bonnie)’s character featured more prominently this season, especially after what’s going to happen at the beginning? And are there any guest stars that you would personally like to see on one of the episodes?
Zachary Levi: Yeah, first of all I commend you, for a (Bonnie) question. Not many people ask about Bonita which is – and it’s so odd because we never get to see her. They shoot her stuff in a little set and she’ll do her things and then they play it back for us when we’re having to talk to her.
And it’s frustrating. Occasionally we’ll – you know, I’ll see her as she’s coming into work, going out or vice-versa. But she’s such a lovely woman and does a great job on the show.
And yeah I mean, you know, she – there are a few little things that connect her to our world a little bit. Look – you know, how many episodes have you seen, the first three?
Okay, so then you – you know, you see the little love connection that perhaps she and John Larroquette had at one point which is so freakin’ fantastic to me. That was a freakin’ by the way, that was not a – that was not an F-bomb.
And, you know, but, you know, I guess the kind of fortunate and unfortunate thing about it is that she’s in D.C. You know, she’s running things out there so – but, you know, I don’t know.
I wouldn’t – we can do a lot of things with our show. There are many – because of the, just the spy world, you know, gadgets can come out of nowhere or people can, you know, pop back into our lives.
And I’d love to see Beckman make her way out to the Los Angeles area. You know, maybe she needs a tan. I don’t know. Just let her hair down, hit the beach.
So since you two have worked out this whole slapping each other to calm each other down, are we going to get to see a Morgan/Chuck fight scene for any reason this season?
Josh Gomez: I hope so. I want to beat the crap out of this guy.
Zachary Levi: Oh my, you should see his face right now. He’s not kidding. There was a look – the look he just gave me frightened me.
Oh, well I didn’t mean to start any trouble.
Josh Gomez: Well guess what?
Zachary Levi: You…
Josh Gomez: Too late.
What has been your favorite thing or the most fun thing you’ve got to do so far on the show.
Zachary Levi: The most funny thing we got to do on the show?
Josh Gomez: Most fun.
Zachary Levi: Most fun?
Zachary Levi: I think – you know, for me the comedy is always fun. Being able to just riff around with Josh and Vik is just, you know, and Tony Hale. I mean, it’s – you know, it’s – well especially Josh, especially you.
Josh Gomez: Oh come on.
Zachary Levi: And not just because he’s sitting here. Okay, just because he’s sitting here. But for me the stunt stuff is so much fun. You know, car chases and fun fights and, you know, getting dropped off buildings.
I mean, it’s just stuff that you don’t get to do. There’s no other profession that — aside from actually being a real spy — that you get to go and do this stuff, other than being an actor and shooting it, you know.
And I just hope that Chuck – you know, as the seasons progress, I think the idea is that he gets better and better, and finds more footing in this new world of his.
I just hope he gets to do more of the stuff. You know, I want to go shoot a gun. For Heaven’s sake people, I mean, when are they going to teach me how to shoot?
I got to defend myself.
Josh Gomez: For me, I – because I don’t know – because I’m not in that world. So for the most part I’ve had — as far as that kind of stuff — is getting put in the – anytime you can get put in a harness, I think it’s a bonus.
Yeah. But so I was rigged up and for – Michael Strahan had to like manhandle me. He had to pick me up and do whatever so they put this harness on and do whatever.
And it was just so much fun. We were just cracking up and he was just in – almost in tears because I just would let my body go limp and he would just swing me around like a rag doll. And it was pretty cool. It was pretty fun.
Chuck just won an Emmy for stunts. Congratulations. I wanted to ask – I know in the first season when a big fight scene would come around Chuck would just kind of like hit the ground and not really be fighting so much. But I was wondering if you did have a favorite fight scene that you’ve been involved in or maybe even a favorite one that you’ve watched from the sidelines.
Zachary Levi: Well first of all, thank you for the congratulations. I’ll pass that on to Merritt Yohnka, our stunt coordinator. The man is just the best that there is. And like the sweetest guy in the world to boot.
Second, thank you for pointing out my cowardess. But yeah, no it’s true. I mean, Chuck was always either dropping to the ground, running away screaming like a girl.
These are my defense mechanisms both in life and on camera, so it’s good. It’s really easy to play. But probably actually that scene that we won the Emmy for where Casey and I – where Chuck and Casey were strapped together back to back and, you know, he’s kind of using me as a weapon – my long, limber legs and knocking dudes out.
And it was really the first time that Chuck kind of saw combat in any way really, even though, you know, it wasn’t something that Casey wanted to do I’m sure but, you know, still it happened.
And then falling off the balcony, I – of course, Warner Brothers – everyone at the studio had very strict rules as to exactly how far my body could be off that railing and I said ah, rules (schmooles). I want to hang off this thing.
So, you know, so exciting. It was a lot of fun. And then as far as watching fights, the fight between Yvonne and Nicole Ritchie in Episode 4 is probably one of our best.
I mean, it’s, you know, it’s two girls in a catfight in a shower, in a girls locker room. I don’t know, you know, pipes – I mean, you know, it doesn’t really get better than that.
I was wondering if Josh and Chris, the show creators, ever talk to you about what shaped their ideas for the show or what kind of inspired them as far as the – just the premise and the overall feel of the series?
Zachary Levi: Well I – interestingly enough, what I do know is that they don’t want it to be Get Smart – as much as I agree with you in the sense that I really loved Get Smart when I saw it in reruns and whatnot.
And I think we definitely do have elements that, you know, you just can’t hide it. There is kind of, you know, some absurdity to, you know, some of the missions we go on.
It’s just really a very tough line to walk when you have the comedy and the action, and when they – those two worlds collide it ends up – you know, can be, you know, just very fun and very funny and entertaining sometimes.
But as far as I know, I think it really came out of – I think it came out of Josh and Chris having known each other for awhile, both being writes at USC and they wanted to make kind of a quarter life, you know, crisis, mid-20s to late 30s, like you know what are you doing with your life kind of a premise.
And – but, you know, but everybody just – everybody has a take on that. What’s a fresh take on that? Well a fresh take would be that you’re wrapped up in espionage. That’s a heck of a quarter life crisis right there.
And because Chris is such a huge fan of, you know, great action movies like Die Hard and Total Recall, and all these types of things, that’s I think where he’s drawing a lot of his influence in that world.
And then, you know – and because Josh Schwartz was, you know, so successful with finding that, you know, young audience with The O.C. and that kind of pop culture buzz – you know, if you take he O.C. and Die Hard, and Get Smart, and the Bourne Identity and The Office and, you know, all these various kind of genres and influences – you throw them altogether and that’s Chuck, I suppose.
I don’t know if it’s your – I know it’s not your department, but what’s with all the “Huey Lewis and the News” music in the first couple of episodes? It was – was there like a buy two, get one free offer?
Josh Gomez: I hope so because that’s a great answer. I don’t know, do you remember – I remember – I just – Chris Fedak, just got asked this question…
He just got asked this question and there was – he had an answer for it, like I don’t know if he – him and Josh both grew up listening to – like they were huge fans or something like that and they…
Zachary Levi: Yeah, I think it was something like they were both big fans of Huey Lewis and, you know, it’s – because the show lends itself so well to music and especially because, you know, if you look at what Josh did with The O.C. and really – and breaking a lot of bands and new stuff, I think it’s important to also stick to really classic stuff, especially when we have so many references to classic films or actors, or music or what have you to weave that in.
And I mean, I was pleasantly surprised by it. I mean, you know, I watch Back to the Future and half of the reason I want to watch it is because of the Huey Lewis in it.
And I think you know, Chuck wishes he could be Marty McFly, you know. And so for that to be in the show is a great touch.
Well it was like I was listening to (Jack FM) all over again. Zachary, I was struck by the Roger Moore vibe that you gave off in that photo with you all spoofing the classic JJames Bond movie poster. So I figured I’d ask do you like spy movies, specifically James Bond movies? Do you have a favorite Bond movie, if so?
Zachary Levi: Yeah, I’m a huge fan of spy movies. I wish that I was more – I wish I was better versed in all of them. We were actually just talking about it on set the other day and someone talked about the movie The Spy Who Came in from the Cold which I now own on DVD because someone gave it to me because I had no idea what it was.
And a lot of the classic Bond, I wish I was – I knew better. But I’m 27, you know, so it’s – but the stuff that I’ve grown up with – well I guess, you know, Brosnan was really the first Bond, you know, probably because – for me probably because there was a Nintendo 64 game that was, you know, in conjunction with Goldeneye which was maybe one of the greatest videogames ever.
Again, this is my inner nerd coming out.
Josh Gomez: Yes.
Zachary Levi: But, you know, I thought Goldeneye was very good. And most recently I thought Casino Royale was very good. I think Daniel – is it Daniel Craig, right, not David Craig? David Craig is a singer.
Daniel Craig, I think, is a great Bond and, you know, and a cool departure a little bit with the blond hair, blue-eyed thing. And kind of going back to, you know, how he might have started off as being 007 and a little bit more gritty, and not so refined.
So I really dig it. You know, I like it with it’s a little bit more in the kind of – I like – well another spy movie, Jason – any of the Bourne movies I think are very well done.
Liman and Greengrass both did great jobs – and of course, Matt Damon and anyone that they put in them. So, you know, I would – since I was a kid I always thought being the first American Bond would be incredible because there’s never been an American Bond.
I guess – you know, I mean Jason Bourne is the closest thing we have. But if they can cast an Australian as a Bond, they can cast an American. I mean, we all came from the same gene pool ultimately, didn’t we?
Josh Gomez: Here here, Zach, here here.
So you pretty much have the same wardrobe on all season. Do you ever get tired of the green shirts or the white shirts?
Josh Gomez: You have no idea. For me I know I – yeah, it’s the green polo, not the most flattering thing that you could wear, you know, day in and day – and try having also a beard for four years now. No it’s fine.
I – yeah, I wind up in the same thing probably more often even than Chuck. But he gets to once in awhile wear a nice little date outfit or whatever, a nice shirt here and there, you know.
But you’re in the same boat.
Zachary Levi: It’s funny because I feel like – well two things. One, I actually don’t – if I’m going to be stuck in one outfit, you know, if it’s going to be my kind of, you know, uniform, my superhero costume I suppose, it’s not a bad one to be stuck in.
You know, it’s not long-sleeved. It’s nice. I get some short-(sleeveness) going on, some, you know, simple black slacks and I get to wear my Chuck’s, which by the way I’m wearing right now. They’re my favorite shoe.
I’ve been wearing them for years. My family and friends all thought something was wrong with me because I never wanted to wear anything other than my Chuck’s even on, you know, red carpet things or whatever.
My publicist would literally yell at me what are you doing, put on some nice shoes. Those are filthy. I mean, the laces would be broken. I’d be like – I’d rigged them up and whatever. And now ha-ha, the joke’s on them.
Well there’s your infomercial (totally).
Zachary Levi: Exactly, right. Yeah. And – but, you know, but I also look at what, you know, they put Morgan in and I go well that’s, you know, a polo. That’s nice. I got a whole button up. Yours is easy. You just pull it right over.
And then on top of that, he gets to wear all kinds of casual, cool, funny T-shirts and, you know, I got to go get (dudded) up. But, you know, it’s – whatever.
Josh Gomez: Wow. Grass – see, grass is always greener.
Zachary Levi: Grass is always greener.
Josh Gomez: See that?
Zachary Levi: Especially in that green polo.
Josh Gomez: Yeah right, exactly.
Blooper reels only tell part of the story. What regular cast member is most likely to laugh during a scene and which scene from Season 1 was the most difficult for each of you to get through without laughing?
Zachary Levi: That’s a great question.
Josh Gomez: That is great. We’re actually probably – and the funny thing is we’re both equally prone to laughing.
Zachary Levi: Yeah.
Josh Gomez: Then also the follow-up to that is both equally prone to slapping each other across the face to stop us from laughing. That seems – that’s our normal cure-all.
Zachary Levi: Yeah.
Josh Gomez: When it’s about four or five times – if we go through about four takes and we’re like crap, crap, crap, right, stop, stop, stop – if it’s about four or five times, slaps are coming.
And it usually surprises the crew because they’re loud, they’re hard and they’re for real. I kid you not. This kid’s got mitts on him and they – so yeah. I don’t know. Well…
Zachary Levi: I think – you know, I couldn’t tell you, I think we’re all equally as prone to laugh just because we’re always having a great time. But I will tell you the person – I think the person who has the hardest time getting the giggles out is Yvonne.
If Yvonne gets going, she’s done. You got to cut. We just got to take a moment because of course, you know, Josh and I have this method that we’ve worked out of just beating each other. And pain normally helps take away the happy’s.
But – and then as far as a scene, oh gosh, I mean, there were so many scenes that we were busting up – one in particular for me was in Chuck versus the Marlin, the Episode 13 of last season when Adam and I go in to confront Scott and Vik — Lester and Jeff — about where the Marlin is and they’re playing the hard ball and then they dive in.
And then Vik, who is – he’s just – in my opinion, he’s so underutilized. The man is so talented. But, you know, hopefully he’ll get some good episodes to really sink his teeth into.
But he goes off on this riff about how they were at Bennigan’s – at Bennie’s.
Josh Gomez: Oh that’s right.
Zachary Levi: And, you know, had too much to drink and all that. And he had – I mean, Vik’s got takes for days. He could ad lib and riff, and just go wherever and he had all these great things worked out.
And I couldn’t – you know, thank god for half of that scene the camera was on my back because I had a grin from ear to ear. I could not stop laughing. And so that – yeah, for me that was probably that scene.
I know that DC and WildStorm Comics is currently putting out a comic book based on the show. I was wondering if you guys have had a chance to look at it yet? How do you feel about it? How do you think a comic book adds to the show? And how does it feel to have your image in the pages of a comic book?
Josh Gomez: So freakin’ cool to be in a comic book. I think it’s great. I think it’s a great way to expand the storyline in ways that frankly we probably could never afford to do on film.
And so I have gotten a chance to look at them and I think they’re all doing just an amazing job. I mean, just the covers have been so cool. I just -I enjoy seeing them.
And yeah, I think it’s just a great way again to sort of expand the mythos and go deeper, and kind of revisit characters and – but – and go to like these exotic locations that of course we could never kind of do right now – maybe one season.
But for now, this is a cool way to kind of let Chuck – let the reigns off of Chuck so I think it’s definitely cool. You my friend?
Zachary Levi: Yeah, I totally concur although I would say as opposed to so freakin’ cool it’s about time. I mean, shouldn’t we have been in a comic book when we were kids? Come on.
Josh Gomez: Yes.
Zachary Levi: No, and – yeah, and I think the artists are great. I think that, you know, it’s drawn and colored very excellently and, you know, and they capture I think the voices of our characters pretty well.
You know, the dialogue is pretty spot on and like Josh was saying, you know, they can go to Paris. They can go to Japan. They can go to all these places that just, you know, monetarily we — and time wise — we just can’t do it.
But I’m hoping that, you know, Season 3 will include episodes like Chuck versus The Bahamas. That would be great.
Josh Gomez: Wonderful.
Zachary Levi: And then very, you know, within the tone of the show I think.
So I have to ask you guys, I’m sure you’re giving tekkies everywhere a good name so are you like getting hooked up when you go to Best Buy or Comp USA or something, if people are recognizing you?
Josh Gomez: I wish. Why isn’t that happening? I go to Best Buy’s all over just to see if it happens and it doesn’t. I go no it didn’t happen at this one and I cross it off my list, and I drive to the next one and it doesn’t happen.
No, but it is funny. It’s weird to walk in there because our set is so amazing in that it looks – except if you look up and see all the gigantic lights, but when you’re standing in that set, you feel like you’re in a Best Buy or in this big box electronic store.
So when I go into Best Buy I get like wow, I feel like I’m at work only I’m not that tired. And the other day I saw the funny – (Libby) – I went in with my friend and there was this guy there.
And I went to ask him for help and Best Buy had blue shirts on, the blue polo’s or whatever. But I just saw him from behind. I kind of like – I was like hey could I ask you a question or whatever, and he turned around. And it was like oh my god, Morgan.
My friend was like oh my god, just watch him and you can study him and use it. You can use it, you know. And it was literally like – I mean, he had a beard. He had this thing – and it was like looking into a mirror only he was probably a little better looking.
But yeah, I don’t know, you – do you get free stuff or anything? Do you get razzed, there Zachary?
Zachary Levi: No I mean, we have – no, we haven’t gotten – again, I wish. You know, maybe after the show has been on a little bit longer and if people don’t mind losing their jobs by giving us free stuff then maybe we’ll get something.
But no what’s – you know, honestly it’s just kind of cool to walk in – like Josh was just saying, you walk into a Best Buy and for them to know who we are because they watch the show, it’s kind of like the biggest compliment you can get.
You know, if you’re emulating somebody else in their profession and what their life must be like at work, and they dig it and they’re into it, and they think you’re doing a good job doing it then, you know, clearly we’re doing something right.
And the last time I went into a Best Buy, there was a whole gaggle of employees that, you know, I took pictures with them and signed some stuff. And it’s funny because at the Buy More, you know, we’re really just a bunch of slackers.
I mean, we – I don’t know if we really accomplish anything. I don’t know how anything is sold in that store. And yet, when I go in everyone at the Best Buy says oh, you’ve nailed us. You’ve got it.
Josh Gomez: Yes.
Zachary Levi: So I don’t know if that should inspire confidence in employment.
Josh Gomez: Or Buy More -or Best Buy should look into their employees.
Zachary Levi: Yes, I know right? But it’s just – you know, that’s really cool. And I’ve read a review as well – there was a review last season of – some publication had actually gone to a Best Buy or a couple of them and just asked the people – you know, they said have you seen the show and what do you think.
And it was raving. You know, the employees that they talked – they have a night where they sit together and watch the show together. Well I guess I suppose that would be Mondays because that’s when we’re on, unless they TiVo it but whatever.
But so, you know, that’s – it’s a great compliment to have the people that you are representing feel good about what you’re doing.
That’s great. Now you guys mentioned that the reason you’re such good friends is your love for videogames. Do you ever have, you know, videogame battles on the set, off the set? Like who’s taking the win here?
Zachary Levi: Well just to clarify, it’s both our love for videogames and Shetland ponies, but we can’t – we don’t have enough time to get into that right now.
Josh Gomez: I’d rather yet – thank you.
Zachary Levi: Yeah, I’d rather not. We’ll leave that for another…
Josh Gomez: Yeah.
Zachary Levi: Anyway but no, you know, during the pilot we brought our Xbox to set and we were playing. I mean, you know, McG would be like guys come on, we’re about to shoot.
So we’d run over and go do our shot and then we’d go back and start playing. But we had a little bit more time for the pilot. It was – now that we’re actually – you know, when you’re in the season you’ve got nine days to accomplish what you should have a month to do, I suppose.
You know, we’re making kind of a mini movie every week. So there’s not a tremendous amount of time to be playing videogames. But hopefully, you know, if we get a little bit more time and get some cool setups then we’ll, you know, we’ll be rocking out – doing some Gears of War II, you know, some…
Josh Gomez: Make no mistake, when – we have these phones. When we’re done here today there will be headsets on and there will be game playing. We’re on hiatus. Believe me, the headsets will be back on and there will be game battles tonight. I kid you not, I assure you.
What do you guys have on your DVR schedules that you watch regularly and love?
Josh Gomez: We are both – and I – you don’t mind me speaking for you, right, because you will agree with me?
Zachary Levi: No, you go right ahead buddy.
Josh Gomez: Thank you, sir. Gigantic – what do we call ourselves? Lost-ians?
Zachary Levi: Lost-ians? Yeah.
Josh Gomez: Yeah, Lost-ites.
Zachary Levi: Lost-ites.
Josh Gomez: Yeah, I don’t know.
Zachary Levi: Whatever sounds most horrific.
Josh Gomez: Yeah. No…
So you’re into the mystery like all of us?
Josh Gomez: Yeah.
Josh Gomez: Huge, huge, huge Lost fan – yeah. I mean, we come back to – we’ll come to work after a Thursday or whatever and it’s like did you watch? And it’s like dude, you know.
So it’s like – I’m probably like everybody else in the country. So yes, that’s definitely top for me at the moment.
Josh Gomez: But of course also, Heroes, My Own Worst Enemy, Life, Lipstick Jungle…
Josh Gomez: Knight Rider. You know, I mean, just standard classics.
Zachary Levi: Dateline.
Josh Gomez: Dateline.
Josh Gomez: All of the Law & Orders.
Any comedies out there that you guys enjoy?
Josh Gomez: Oh – I mean, yeah actually, all joking aside, you know, 30 Rock, The Office…
Zachary Levi: So great. Yeah, they’re all – yeah.
Interview By: Emma Loggins