January 25th, 2010 by thetvchick
Chuck is off to a fantastic start this season. It is full of big guest stars, interesting story lines, the Intersect 2.0, and Captain Awesome finding out Chuck’s secret. Captain Awesome has always been a favorite character of mine, simply because it’s clear that there is much more than meets the eye. When he has to essentially become a spy in an hour or less, he is able to handle whatever Chuck throws at him (even if it’s not done with the utmost of grace, and results in a lot of hilarity). Chuck is a show that has it all, and I’m excited to see what new surprises the creators have in store for us this season. I recently had the chance to chat with Ryan McPartlin (Captain Awesome) ab0ut his significant role this season, his character’s relationship with Ellie, his dream guest stars, and that time George Clooney wandered onto their set.
Your character Captain Awesome/Awesome has really taken on a significant role this season. What has that been like for you?
It’s been cool. The end of last season, Captain Awesome was brought into the spy world, you know everybody was making a really big deal of it, well let’s see the third season and see where it goes, and then what they did with it — I’m really impressed with all of the writers, and I’m really impressed with the fact that they didn’t kill Captain Awesome in the spy world, because that would have been a bad thing.
(laughs) That’s the risk though that you run with dealing with the likes of Angie Harmon. She could shoot you in the face at any time. So yeah it was great, it was fun, there’s always more for me to do but we have such a good supporting cast that it’s just fun to see everybody get more involved–see all these back stories come to light a little bit.
Absolutely. And Awesome was the first person to find out about Chuck’s secret. Why do you think he was the first person to find out?
Oh, Vik [Lester Patel] just brought me some lunch here. Lester is right next to me, eating right now. Maybe you want to ask him too (laughs). He said no, he has to go change. He’s gotta get out of his Jeffster outfit right now. I’m sorry, what was your question again?
Why do you think Awesome was the first person to find out about Chuck’s secret?
I just don’t think the audience saw it coming. And I thought it was good, really fun — you would think that his best friend would find out or his sister or somebody else. So I don’t think the audience saw that I was the one– it just made sense though because of course Captain Awesome would want to get into the spy world first and jump right in without any training or without any I don’t know, spy training. And let’s just be honest, it’s more fun to have Captain Awesome in there (laughs) because I can bring the fun in. It’s a funny character and I have a good time with him.
Will we see him getting more involved in Chuck’s world as the season goes on?
As the season goes on, I mean to be honest, I think they wrote it, got really excited by it but then are like “Oh, now what do we do?” which is what happens with most shows. No, they probably have a good arc planned out, but the thing is you can’t have him be really good at it yet. I’m kind of carrying the torch from the first season, and this season, I’m kind of like what Chuck was in the first season where he was balancing the spy world with the home world and now the audience is going to see that through Captain Awesome’s eyes. So, yeah I think it’s going to evolve. Not in the same way as it did for Chuck, but there’s some chatter going on right now about what’s going to happen at the end of the season, and it sounds like it’s going to be just as big and exciting as the end of season 2.
That sounds great. And I think Awesome is the most interesting character on Chuck. I’m wondering if there are things about him we don’t even know yet.
Yeah, and that’s what’s fun. They didn’t develop my character to begin with, so now by this point in the series, I think they’re having a terrific time with it — the writers — and I’m having a really good time with it. I try and bring whatever I can to the character, and just be loose. You know, Zach [Levi] has taught us all a lot — just saying “let’s be loose, let’s have fun, and let’s see what we can bring.” And we’re all kind of getting this good chemistry where I think it’s drawing a nice synergy.
And how is Awesome’s relationship with Ellie going to continue to develop?
Definitely. The relationship that we have on the show is really just as important as the Chuck and Sarah relationship because it’s the grounding force of the show towards that sense of reality. So we have the benefit of being able to bring that element to the show of the drama that everyone can relate to at home with their own relationships, and the struggle in the relationship. There’s going to be drama and tension. Not everybody has it because they’re leading a double life (laughs) but you know those secrets and whatever it might be that can affect the relationship is definitely what we’re going to experience.
Do you have a favorite moment from filming the show so far or even a favorite episode?
There are two things I really liked. I liked when I did the tango with Chuck, season 1. They’re all blending together. When I taught Chuck how to tango — definitely a great moment. And the other one was probably when I tackled John Casey [Adam Baldwin]. I think that was hysterical. Those are two really cool moments for me.
I had put out a request for questions, and someone wanted to know how long it took to film that “Cat’s a bear” scene (from Season 3) and if anyone broke character when you were filming that scene.
Oh, I take it back. That’s my favorite moment. It didn’t take that long. I was losing my voice from growling like a bear so much. But what took a long time was keeping a straight face because Sarah Lancaster couldn’t stop cracking up. I know I’ve done my job when I make her laugh, because she never laughs at anything I do so when she’s cracking up, I just have the best time.
Yeah, that was me letting loose, really. The writers could see what I could do, and it was fun. I thought that was a great moment. It took a while only because none of us could keep a straight face, and Zach kept cracking up too.
And are there any other good stories you can share of you or any other cast members breaking character?
Yesterday, I couldn’t keep a straight face in the Buy More. Anytime I work with Vik, Josh, Scott Krinsky — it’s next to impossible to keep a straight face. Number one because Vik’s stepping on all of our lines, and going off book and doing whatever he wants to do no matter what the director tells him so that alone makes us laugh really hard. It just happened in the Buy More yesterday. I was going into look for Chuck, and I was trying to talk to Morgan and over comes Jeff and Lester, trying to weasel their way into our good time. I can’t tell you what was happening any more than that, but I couldn’t keep a straight face. Any time that we shot those Honda commercials with Gomez’ [Ed Note: Josh Gomez plays Morgan] character and myself, we basically just had no scripts and had a good time and were laughing our tucuses off.
And it seems like it’s a pretty hilarious set. Has anyone ever played any pranks on each other?
No we don’t play that many pranks as we’re all in the moment. We all come prepared and ready to work, but then we get a little squirrely and we start laughing and having a good time. Again, I was doing a scene with the super talented Vik and he spit in my face out of the blue. So I’m glad that was on camera. I don’t know if it will make the cut or not, but he spit in my face. It was wonderful. It’s always such a treat working with this guy. He’s right here, that’s why –
And Chuck is very well versed in guest stars. Is there a dream guest star you’d like to work with?
I think Chuck Norris would be a good fit. Not just because of the name, but because he knows martial arts. He’d be a really nice fit. The dream guest star that I would like to work with — I don’t know if Clooney would want to do our show. He came on set one time and that was pretty cool, just to meet Zach. He was walking by, he was doing ER. [Zach] was like “Hey dude, I want you to meet our makeup artist, she’s a really big fan of yours,” and Clooney was like “Okay!” He walked on our set, and everyone’s jaw dropped, and he’s like “Hey, what’s going on.” He comes up to me, and I’m wearing my scrubs and he was like “doctor, doctor,” he’s wearing his scrubs. I was like there’s George Clooney on our set. Let’s get the cameras rolling here. So yeah, that would be pretty sweet if he would do our show. But yeah — Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van Damme, the guy who played Drago from Rocky [Dolph Lundgren], any of those old 80s action stars would be great.
Yeah, I think that would fit in pretty perfectly.
Yeah. He could be my nemesis.
Yeah, you’d have to fight him.
(laughs) Yeah. Absolutely.
And are there any good guest stars coming up?
We have some good ones that are here. Brandon Routh, that big reveal last week, he has a great arc through a lot of episodes. I don’t know how it ends up with him to be honest but even if I did, I couldn’t tell you. But he’s a great one. That Superman is doing your show is a big deal. Stone Cold’s coming up in the next one — Steve Austin — we’re really fortunate with a lot of people that want to do our show.
Definitely. And Chuck is a show with a huge fan base. Have you had any interesting fan reaction or good fan stories?
You know what, the fact that our fans love us as much as they do — they’re more like family than fans. They really are. I mean, I’m a fan of the show too, so I’ll get on message boards every once in a while and correspond with them just out of the blue. And I think everybody does that, or at least all the guys do that. When it comes to our show, I don’t know I’m trying to figure out a way to reward fans for being such loyal supporters — start a pyramid scheme. (laughs) We could pass it on down the line, Zach was saying that I was going to go on a date with all the fans, but I don’t think my wife would be too fond of that.
Probably not. (laughs)
Maybe we could do some sort of multi-level marketing thing where we could get each of our loyal fans to bring three more in, and reward them somehow. You know, they came up with that great Subway contest…maybe it could be discount subs or something like that, we’d have to work it out with Subway.
I’m sure people would do it.
Yeah! Some sort of secret word that they can say at Subway that Chuck fans know and they get a discount on their subs.
That’s a really good idea.
Maybe something like that. You know those secret decoders — remember A Christmas Story when we runs home with a secret decoder ring and they figure it out and it’s like “drink more Ovaltine.” It was just an advertisement. We need something like that but that could really work, like if our fans had secret decoder rings that they could go into Subway and flash it and get a little discount on a Chuck sub.
I think people would buy that, I definitely do.
You know what I’m saying, I think we’re onto something here.
I think you are! Absolutely.
And I know you can’t spoil too much, but can you tell us what’s coming up this season, specifically for Captain Awesome?
For my character it’s always been about the relationships with Ellie and with Chuck. And trying to make Chuck a better man, and now that I find out that he is who he is, I’m in a little bit of a limbo. It’s a really interesting, transitional year for Captain Awesome because the tables are turned, and he’s kind of my mentor now for those first few episodes, and now I’m trying to just get the ground under my feet again. Because I kind of lose my Awesome-ness a little bit, and just start losing my mind a little bit just trying to balance the secrets, because I’ve never had to lie about anything in my life, Captain Awesome hasn’t. So dealing with the pressure of this, he starts to crack a under the pressure a little and then it plays for some good laughs, so stay tuned!
Be sure to tune into NBC tonight at 8 pm for an all new episode of Chuck!