Filed under: Adam Baldwin, Chuck, Chuck Premiere, Chucks Secret, ComicCon, Josh Schwartz, Joshua Gomez, McG, NBC, TV, Zachary Levi
Now, you have another show this season called Chuck. I was utterly engaged while watching the trailer on NBC.com, and I can’t wait to see the whole pilot. Where did you come up with the idea for Chuck?
A guy named Chris Fedak, who I went to college with, pitched me the initial concept. I thought there was a real opportunity there for a really funny show, while he was thinking thriller. We started talking back and forth and it evolved from there. We came up with something that’s a fusion of both of our sensibilities – it’s been a really fun collaboration.
There’s been some comparisons to cult favorite Jake 2.0 – had you seen the show?
Not at the time, no. I think he had superpowers, though. I think he was like, bionic. That’s my understanding.
So Chuck is superpower-free? He just knows secrets?
He just has these secrets in his head, which he flashes on, but he has zero powers. He has negative powers.
His flashes are memories of things he’s read?
The flashes are intelligence that has been downloaded into his brain, that are triggered by certain subliminal triggers. All of a sudden he’ll get a flash – it’s top-secret government information about something.
Chuck also stars Adam Baldwin. There’s something about Adam Baldwin that just goes with a gun. Did you have a character in the script who sported a gun and you knew you had to cast Adam Baldwin?
Chris loves Adam Baldwin. When we sat down and talking about casting, we said “Okay, John Casey.” He’s like, “Adam Baldwin, it’s got to be Adam Baldwin.” Right away, that’s the guy that he’s passionate about. So our first casting session – there was Adam Baldwin and it was a perfect fit. And it will give him the opportunity to a lot of comedy as well.
Which he does really well, but doesn’t seem to often get roles that let his comedic side shine through – he’s often the heavy.
In this, he’s the heavy – but he’s the heavy with a little glimmer in his eye.
How did the rest of casting for Chuck go?
We looked far and wide, we looked at a lot, a lot of people. For the character of Chuck, it was really about finding the guy who you believed was sweet but not totally together, and you believed not having a girlfriend for many, many years. At the same time, could still be a leading man. It was about finding the funniest guy you still wanted to see get the girl. And Zach [Levi] is fantastic at that.
For the character of Sarah, who is played by Yvonne Strzechowski – it was about finding someone you could believe was vulnerable and sweet and the girl next door, which is her cover – but you would also believe with a gun in her hand, kicking some ass.
In a way, it’s almost the perfect world for a fanboy – the geeky boy and the girl with a gun.
Exactly. And our point of view is that in any other show, Sarah is the one that the show would be about. She is that level of proficiency as a CIA agent.
You have the perfect dichotomy of Gossip Girl being your girl-centric show and Chuck being your boy-centric show. Does it help you maintain a strange sense of balance?
Internally, they operate on different sides of my brain. In terms of the stories we’re telling.
But in Gossip Girl, there are very attractive women for the men to watch and I feel a good part of my role in the show is helping the guy sensibility. Even though it’s called Gossip Girl, it’s also for both audiences.
The O.C. was a show that they thought traditionally women would watch only. And a lot of guys watched it or brought their girlfriends to watch. So my hope here is if girls bring their boyfriends to watch Gossip Girl, there will be something for them to watch as well. It’s something that Stephanie and I think about a lot.
And Chuck has a lot of action and comedy, which is appealing to young guys, but there’s also a lot of romance to the show. And I think that Zach Levi is the kind of guy that girls will fall in love with.
Oh, he’s adorable.
And he’s a nice guy – and I think that’s something that’s missing out there for a lot of women.
I agree – there’s a lot more bad boys on shows these days. Not as many have nice guys.
Exactly – and I think women are going to want to protect Chuck. Take care of him.
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