Back in December, on the second-to-last day of filming Chuck, ChuckTV.net was included among a group of reporters invited to the set to talk with the cast about the finale and look back at the previous five seasons. We’ll be releasing those interviews this week as we countdown to “Chuck vs. the Goodbye” on January 27.
Vik Sahay has played Lester Patel, the angry Hin-jew Nerd Herder and one half of cover band JEFFSTER!, for the last five years. One of my favorite people to interview, Vik is funny, thoughtful, and provocative. Here’s what he had to say about his time on Chuck.
On Jeff and Lester’s changing relationship
Vik: I think it was time for some kind of altercation between these two, with a kind of wildcat like Lester, something’s got to break and this is it.
Q: And with Jeff going through so many changes right now, I can only assume that your character will be as well.
V: You assume wrong, my friend. I think Lester is who he is. He’s going to need some very deep therapy, screen therapy and some isolation therapy in order to come back to anything resembling normal. He’s broken. He’s a broken boy, sadly. That’s kind of why I love him. I feel his insides as I rage out against the world.
On the final days of filming Chuck
Vik: You want to be eloquent in these moments and it’s really difficult, because you’re trying to keep this…this dam of emotion out and you’re really just trying to do the work. When you’re asked about it, you want to be articulate and eloquent, but the emotion kind of prohibits that, and you want to use words other than “family”, other than “bittersweet”, but, you know, those are right. For me personally, I moved to Los Angeles for the show, so these people have been my base, my tribe, my family, and the fact that they’re such unbelievable people has been instrumental in me remaining alright in this new, crazy town and I think as time goes on, I’ll realize more and more how crucial that’s been for me.
Q: Some of the other guys were saying in the last scene that was shot in the Buy More, that they just sort of hung out for a while. Even after the grips were leaving.
Vik: I guess I wasn’t invited. No, yeah, we did. It was very hard to leave that set. We did a scene, me and Scotty, and I broke down in it.
Vik: I don’t need your pity. It’s a really big chapter to close and it’s very, very emotional and I’ve been a guy who’s a little itchy, a little edgy to bite into other things, and now that this is happening, it’s very, very heartbreaking in a way.
On JEFFSTER! and singing
Vik: I’ve always really loved singing the big, classic, epic songs; the ones that are very difficult to tackle. I chose the song ‘Fat Bottom Girls’ when we did it at ComicCon. Tackling that kind of massivity was stunning and beautiful and to be able to sing that kind of thing. I don’t know. The Who. Being able to sing these giant rock operatic kinds of songs are the things that I’ve loved doing the most. [Credence Clearwater Revival] was great. They’ve all been really great.
On Chuck’s connection with the fans
Vik: It’s funny to be on the show, because it’s such a…I don’t know if the word is honor to be a part of a show where the fans were so behind it. Because it’s so mysterious, it’s so elusive how things connect with fans, because you can take all the pieces of why it should and put it together and it often doesn’t. So that kind of alchemy between the show and the fans is stunning. It’s what’s allowed the producers and whatnot to create the show that they’ve created. It’s something that I have never experienced before and it’s so moving and I don’t know if I will ever get the chance to feel that kind of back and forth again.
On taking souvenirs from the set
Vik: Yes, I’m physically taking this injury with me [holds up his smashed thumb]. I thought of leaving it behind. “What is that? That’s Vik’s injury that he’s leaving behind.” Scott stole a sign; I don’t know if he told you that. I tried to steal one too, but they arrested the colored guy for that. He knows that I’m talking about. I hope to get a sign as well. There’s a lot of things I’ve stolen over the years that I can’t talk about. But yeah, it’ll just be the visuals that I have in my brain, of remembering all of that.