Friday, September 26, 2008

Chuck - SciFi Weekly: Zachary Levi Interview

At SciFi Weekly:

(Please follow the link for the complete SciFi Weekly interview.)


September 26, 2008

Zachary Levi returns to spy harder in a second season of Chuck

By Ian Spelling

Zachary Levi is atop a wave he hopes to ride for a long, long time. Levi stars as the title character on Chuck, and NBC, more on the strength of critical acclaim than ratings, renewed the show for a second season, ordering 13 episodes. Then, more recently, the network, apparently on the strength of what it had seen of the first few second-season episodes, ordered nine more hours, thereby ensuring that Chuck, even before it kicks off its sophomore year, will be assured a full 22-episode second-season run. So why the support? Well, Chuck is one of network television's most winsome shows, a quirky combination of action, comedy, romance, SF and spy intrigue.

The key figure is, of course, Chuck Bartowski (Levi), the very average Joe who saw his life completely transformed when a CIA/NSA database got downloaded into him, thus making him and his survival paramount to both agencies. To keep him safe, the CIA sent the lovely Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski), while the NSA sent John Casey (Adam Baldwin). And so, surrounded at all times by Sarah and John—and let's not forget that Chuck adores Sarah and she likes him back, or that John may have to kill Chuck—Chuck basically works as a spy, all the while juggling his familiar responsibilities as a pocket-pack-sporting member of the Nerd Herd at the local Buy More electronics superstore. Season two begins on Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and SCI FI Weekly spoke with Levi in advance of the premiere.

A brief excerpt:

Chuck is loaded with pop-culture references. We've seen the Tron poster and heard references to Dune and Lost and Adam Baldwin's old show, Firefly. How big a fan are you of that kind of thing?
Levi: I love it. And we, the cast, we try to throw in even more as much as we can, especially when it comes to the video-game stuff and the nerd-related stuff, quoting sci-fi films and television shows. I think, A, it's a lot of fun for us, and B, it's all those great little easter eggs that audiences just eat up. They love them, and I know why, because I love them. I love that stuff. One of my favorites was that Lost reference that we did, "Oceanic Flight 815." That was so great, because I'm such a huge fan of Lost. It went by so fast, and those are my favorite kind. You just throw them out there and whoever gets it, gets it, and if they don't get it that's fine, too. But it's a little treasure for people to find, and it layers the show and makes it that much better, in my opinion.

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