Linda Hamilton & Timothy Dalton Talk Chuck, Villains & Parenting

A pair of interviews leading up to Monday’s Chuck give us some insight into Mama Bartowski and Alexei Volkoff. TV Guide caught up with Linda Hamilton, who debates whether Mary Elizabeth Bartowski is good or evil:

TV Guide Magazine: The billion-dollar question: Does this show truly have the balls to make Mom evil?
Hamilton: [Laughs] Oh, this series has balls! I’m thrilled to death right now.

TV Guide Magazine: But considering the heartache she’s already caused her kids by dumping them and running off, wouldn’t that be just too, too cruel?
Hamilton: I know. It would, wouldn’t it? As an actor, it would be so much fun if Mary Elizabeth turned out to be a baddie. [Laughs] But, looking at my longevity, being good would better serve me. I want to stay on this show! And, besides, poor Chuck needs a mom.

TV Guide Magazine: So the writers intend to string us along for a while?
Hamilton: Apparently. [Laughs] And I’m getting ulcers over it! Mary is walking a very tight wire here, and nobody has told me where this is headed. It’s the first time I’ve ever played a character where I don’t know what’s really going on.

Read on for her thoughts on Papa Bartowski, playing Agent Frost, being directed by Zachary Levi (in this Monday’s episode) and lots more.

Meanwhile, USA Weekend has an interview with Timothy Dalton who talks about going from Tuttle to Volkoff in one episode, Russian accents, a character arc that drew him to the role:

In your first episode, you went from a good guy to the main villain of the whole season by the end. That’s a decent character arc for one hour.
That’s one of the reasons why I came to do it. When [executive producers] Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz asked me to do it, they sent me a whole bunch of DVDs of the show to let me know what kind of work they were doing. I love the show, I thought it was great — it had this wonderful, anarchic quality to it. And then they told me what kind of character they had in mind for me. It was such fun to literally play one character and then absolutely turn into another character altogether! The challenge if course is that both of those characters were Volkoff. Yes, you can say he’s schizophrenic — he’s different all the time — but nevertheless inside everyone of those parts he’s played, he is the same man. So you have to tie that together. It’s an interesting arc.

Keep reading for whether Volkoff has a Russian accent, his take on Zac as a director, playing a “big bad”, voicing a character in Toy Story 3, and much more.

Linda Hamilton and Timothy Dalton return to Chuck on Monday, November 29.

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  1. Just to say this it doesnt look good then for us on the tv guide poll if they are covering Chuck stuff now and not waiting for that december 13 episode.

    • The two are unrelated. Linda Hamilton and Timothy Dalton were available for interviews in advance of their return as guest stars; it has nothing to do with the timing of the TV Guide cover.

  2. Good to hear. I was worried for a sec.

  3. Timothy Dalton mentions that “there are different storylines in each of these four.” Does he mean four episodes? Do we know how long his arc is or if it will be extended with the lengthened season 4?

  4. Linda gives great interview and I have only one issue: she says “Back in the day, a lot of women were moved to get strong and show they could kick ass on screen and still be sexy, and the audience embraced it. But what happened?” How can she wonder such a thing while she is working with the astounding Strahovski? (see also: Gabrielle Anwar, Piper Perabo)