Mekenna Melvin joined the cast of Chuck in the middle of season 3, revealing an unexpected result of Casey’s hidden past when she was introduced as his daughter. We had the chance to talk with Mekenna and find out more about her career as an actress as well as her experience playing Adam Baldwin’s on-screen daughter.
The daughter of a high school drama teacher in Northern California, Mekenna acted in high school before deciding to move to New York to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Following school, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career and the rest is history. Chuck is her first big role, but when she auditioned she had no idea what it entailed.
“Alex kind of happened. I didn’t even know that her name was going to be Alex or that she was going to be the daughter of John Casey. It started out as a one line, one word part, and the title of it was ’20-year-old girl’ and the line was ‘Mom’. So I went in and I said ‘Mom’ and they booked me and I thought, ‘Really? I must have said Mom really well!’”
It wasn’t until after booking the role that the producers gave her the scoop on who this ’20-year-old girl’ really was and that it was a recurring role. Fortunately Mekenna has a background in martial arts, earning a black belt in Tai Kwan Do at the age of 16, so when she got to fight John Casey in her second episode, she was excited to put those skills to use.
“I remember getting to work and seeing that they had a stunt double for me and thinking ‘how can I make this so that she doesn’t work today?’,” she laughed. “Everybody was really excited, and she was really excited to teach me the combination. They were open to letting me try and it worked out and I got to do it and it was really fun!”
Mekenna doesn’t have much of a backstory to work with for Alex, what we’ve seen on-screen is it so far, but her personal take on the character is that she’s really happy to have her father in her life, although he is more hesitant. So far they’re in the “honeymoon phase” of their relationship but there’s the possibility of conflict arising as they get to know each other better.
Already a pro at not revealing spoilers, Mekenna did give us a few clues about what’s coming up for her character. She’s spent most of her time working with Adam Baldwin and Joshua Gomez, but when asked about Alex and Morgan, she chuckled coyly and said, “Let’s just say they have a really fun dynamic. Morgan and Alex have some sort of a relationship, and it’s fun. That’s all I can say!”
So far Alex isn’t aware of the spy world that surrounds her, although Mekenna hopes that she gets brought in eventually. “She’s Casey’s daughter. Who’s more of a spy than Casey? He is the ultimate!” And there is a chance she’ll get to put her martial arts skills on display again soon, although she kept mum on the specifics.
Appearing in at lest three episodes this season, it sounds like Mekenna’s Alex will be an addition to the cast that provides us with more insight into both Casey and Morgan. Hear more from Mekenna in our next podcast, and catch her return to Chuck tonight in “Chuck vs. the Cubic Z” at 8/7c on NBC.