The cast and producers of Chuck, sans an ill Sarah Lancaster, took the stage at PaleyFest ’08 last night to talk about the show and what’s next. ChuckTV.net’s own Roz was on hand and will be filing her report shortly. [Updated: Roz's report is below. Enjoy!] In the meantime, here are a few highlights, and check out the Gallery for lots of photos.
Update #2: Kristin at E! interviewed Zac, JoshG. and Ryan at PaleyFest. Check out the video here.
- The writers started working on season 2 of Chuck this week and plan to shoot the “pilot” episode for the season 2 relaunch in May.
- Josh Schwartz wants Jean-Claude Van Damme for the season premiere; Chris Fedak wants Dolf Lundgren.
- Season 2 will be a reboot of the show. “The idea is to own the fact that we’ve been off the air for several months, so there’s a reset that’s going to happen,” said Schwartz of the second-season premiere, slated for September. “We’re going to bring in some fresh new characters, some new villains.”
- The original title for Chuck was Scenario 5.
- Originally Chuck was going to be torn between Sarah and a steady girlfriend, but Josh Schwartz decided it was too unrealistic for geeky Chuck to have two women interested in him.
- The cast and producers are scheduled to attend ComicCon in July.
- Zachary Levi, Joshua Gomez and Ryan McPartlin kept everyone in stitches throughout the panel.
I want to apologize for not remembering more of this panel, but I suppose that being in the room for that long laughing is to blame.
Damon Lindelof had the dubious honor or being asked to moderate the panel by Schwartz himself, which lead to a much more relaxed attitude compared to other Paley events this week. He took his moderating duties to be like the job that James Lipton does each year at The Actor’s Studio: the night was filled with blue note cards and Proust’s questionnaire to the entire cast.
When discussing how it was for Yvonne to be an outsider on set, Vic added that being Canadian and on the show hadn’t affected his life at home. He still can’t get coffee, despite being recognized.
Unintentionally or not, the cast was divided between those who work with Chuck on the spy side of life and the workplace side of life. Lindelof did ask if any of the Nerd Herders (and Captain Awesome) wanted to enter the spy side, to which most of them answered no (Julia loves action and would love to see that side). Ryan feared that Awesome being in that world would mean he dies, which he’d prefer not to happen.
The cast really has a great time with each other. Ryan and Josh Gomez really play off each other well and had a great rapport going on during the night. It helped that Ryan was around Josh, even though Zac would look over for support from Josh at various points.
One of the better moments came when Lindelof wanted to ask a question from Alan Sepinwall from The Star-Ledger. The gist of the question was about Sarah’s Weinerlicious outfit, but the explanation about it came at the situation from the angle of a return to Jewish issues that Josh Schwartz might have, which would allow for the outfit to represent the way in which Jews still look at the longstanding issues from the Hitler regime (or something like that), only to end with “or it was hot.” (There is no real way to do it justice, I’m sorry, but it’s an attempt.)
The audience did have a chance to ask a few questions, including what levels Josh G and Zac are at in Call of Duty (33 and 34 respectively, and they have yet to prestige). That was the last in a long line of gamer-related references by the two of them.
When asked about what the cast would like to see in season 2, Ryan suggested Awesome could wear more clothes so he didn’t have to work out, and Gomez would like to see Morgan’s room (and to know where he lives and with whom.) Zac would prefer not to shave his beard (which I doubt will happen since most of the audience said he should shave–McG thanked us all for that so NBC didn’t have to leave it as a note).
During the Proust questionnaire, Adam was asked what his least favorite word was. He responded “intolerance” and then Schwartz said “Democrat.” I think most of the audience had a decent laugh at that. Vic would love to be McG if he weren’t acting, Mark Christopher wouldn’t like to be a janitor in the same vein. Julia hates the sound of wet squishy boots while Scott loves the sound of the ocean. The last of the official questions went to Schwartz about he’d like to ask for if Heaven exists. His response was “Chuck has been picked up for season 3″ to which Zac then commented that Schwartz would be dead at that point. The Van Damme references kept going for Zac’s question about how he would prepare for an episode called “Chuck vs. Chuck” in which he needed to battle his moustacheoed doppleganger. Zac would, essentially, act like Lester to achieve that difference between the two.
Stay tuned for a more on our next podcast!