Zach Levi: Chuck’s Mad Skills Are Bad for Romance

Zach Levi (ABC)

Zachary Levi (ABC)

At long last – yet months sooner than originally planned – NBC’s ‘Chuck‘ will launch its third season this Sunday at 9/8c, with a double-episode, before settling into its usual Mondays-at-8 slot the following night. Fancast met up with series star Zachary Levi to secure intel on what Chuck’s mad new skills will mean for future missions as well as his roller-coaster romance with Sarah.

What was your reaction when you first read the script for the Season 2 finale?
Oh, I was super excited. I had been sitting on the sidelines for a couple of years watching Yvonne [Strahovski] and Adam [Baldwin] kick so much butt and being like, “God, I want to do that.” So finally, Chuck got his chance. The new Intersect 2.0, and all the powers that come with it, is pretty awesome.

What was then your first question for series creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak?
“How much more of this do I get to do?!”

Is it safe to say that you have had to learn some new skills?
Oh yeah. We learn fight choreography, dance choreography…. Obviously you don’t get as much time as you’d like to learn that stuff, or shoot it for that matter. But I’ve gotten to learn a few cool fights, some guitar, language stuff….

Is there any special something that you, Zach Levi, already know how to do that you’ve suggested they write into a future mission?
Not really – unless they can work more videogames into the show!

It should be noted that Chuck’s new skills are glitchy, to say the least.
Oh, for sure. They were meant for Bryce Larkin, a cool, calm and collected character – that’s alliteration at its finest – and Chuck is not that. He’s an emotional guy, and his emotions are tied to keeping his family safe and, more specifically, Sarah. His emotions are like his kryptonite, so the Intersect 2.0 does not work the way it’s supposed to.

Plus, one thing he can’t upload is the ability to do some of the things that need to be done as a spy.
Exactly. But the more he can calm himself and find that happy place, the more the new Intersect is able to make him the spy he needs to be.

Josh told me that Chuck is actually going to have a harder time connecting with Sarah, even though they would seem to now have more in common.
Yeah, Chuck is becoming more of a spy and less of the guy Sarah originally fell for. And because there’s been so much back-and-forth between them, Sarah finds herself having to be more the professional [CIA handler] so she can assist him and make the missions go smoothly.

Does this bump in the road for Chuck and Sarah open the door for Brandon Routh’s character (CIA agent Daniel Shaw)?
One could say that. One could say that.

Please tell me that Chuck’s new love interest, played by Kristin Kreuk (‘Smallville‘), won’t turn out to be yet another pretty sleeper enemy agent.
I can’t reveal too much… but there are always challenges, whether they’re tied to espionage or not. And this romance is no exception.

What draws Chuck to her?
Chuck and Hannah are both tech geeks, they’re both into that world where they know how to reboot servers off of backscript. They both speak that language. And then there’s the fact that she’s smoking hot.

What new wrinkle does Awesome’s awareness of Chuck’s secret bring to the table?
Just the danger that comes with that. He gets wrapped up in the spy world a bit, though he’s more scared of it than he is excited.

One of the promos has Ellie charging Morgan with finding out Chuck’s secret. Does that test their “bromance”?
It does, but the bromance is being tested already. This is the third year now Morgan is losing his best friend, and he doesn’t know why.

The same promo also hints that someone else will learn about Chuck’s spying. How far into the season does that happen?
Oh, you’re going to have to watch and find out.

‘Chuck’s Season 3 order got bumped up to 19 episodes. How will that affect the storytelling arc?
Originally the writers were only banking on the 13, so there was a big and specific arc from Episodes 1 to 13. That now will basically be like one season, and the back six will be its own little season. [Episodes 14 to 19] will take a new turn and dive even more into mythology.

Do you think your bosses have on tap a Season 3 finale on par with last year’s game-changer?
I hope so, yeah. That always keeps shows fresh and new, and that’s what people want.

Want scoop on ‘Chuck’ or any other TV show? Have a burning question you want answered? Email and read The Big Tease every Tuesday at Fancast!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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