Today is a bittersweet day for loyal ‘Chuck’ fans, as the show wrapped its final night of filming just a few hours ago. But even though the cameras have stopped rolling, the Buy More lives on — at least for nine more episodes, the first of which airs tomorrow night (Fri., Dec. 9, 8PM ET on NBC).
AOL TV was on set for the filming of ‘Chuck versus the Hack Off,’ which was also the final episode of the series that Zachary Levi directed. It guest-stars ‘Community’ favorite Danny Pudi, ‘Lost’ alum Eric Lange and ass-kicking ‘Matrix’ heroine Carrie-Anne Moss, and judging by what we saw during our visit, it promises to be one of the show’s most hilarious episodes yet.
We caught up with Moss and Yvonne Strahovski to get the scoop on why Chuck, Sarah and Gertrude find themselves infiltrating a cult; Levi’s directing style; and what Strahovski was feeling as the show neared its end. We also have an exclusive — and revealing — preview of tomorrow night’s episode, so read on for more.
As our stealthy cabal of reporters crept onto the “jungle” set of the Warner Bros. lot, we were met with an eye-opening sight indeed: Zachary Levi directing himself while wearing nothing but a rather revealing mini-robe. There was more than a little thigh on display, and it seemed as though co-star Yvonne Strahovski was actually slightly more covered up than her on-screen husband, for once.
“Yeah, we’re in a cult today,” she laughed, explaining Levi’s attire. “It’s very hippy dippy on the set of Chuck. Everyone’s free flowing … We hope he’s wearing underwear underneath that.”
As the preview clip so boldly illustrates, the team has to infiltrate a cultish nudist colony to try and track down a computer super virus, and in this case, undercover definitely means under-dressed.
“I think Sarah’s a little weirded out by the whole thing, but you know, they’re on a mission, so they have to find the bad guy,” Strahovski said. “There’s always a bad guy, isn’t there? I don’t know how much I’m allowed to give away because I’m never allowed to give away anything, but … that’s good enough, right?”
The Australian did admit that while Sarah is “adjusting well” to married life, it might be Chuck who is struggling with his role this week: “I think she’s happy with the marriage, between the spy life and the marriage. I think Chuck might be questioning whether the spy life feels right to him, especially in this episode, so we’ll see where that goes.”
Since episode 504 ended with John Casey (Adam Baldwin) being arrested by the evil Clyde Decker (Richard Burgi) for murder, it seems as though our favorite grunting colonel might be indisposed for this particular operation — perhaps prompting Chuck and Sarah to turn to their newest business rival, Gertrude Verbanski (Moss), for assistance.
“I am camouflaged, I’m not getting naked,” Moss revealed (without being revealing). “I don’t do nudity, but [Yvonne] does — she’s crazy about it. No, just kidding. If I had her body, I’d be naked all the time too, let’s be truthful.”
Though the last episode saw Casey left in a fairly sticky situation, that doesn’t mean he’ll be completely absent from the episode; Moss admitted that there’s a little bit of a development between her character and Baldwin’s this week.
“They’re both so dominant. She definitely brings out another side of him, especially in this episode,” she said. “There’s some moments that you see him have — and we haven’t shot them yet, so I can’t wait to see how he’s going to play it. Just, you know, some slightly tender [moments] and … I mean, tiny tenderness. His grunt’s a little higher.”
Because Levi was pulling double duty with acting and directing, he didn’t have time for an interview, but his co-stars were effusive in their praise of his multitasking skills.
“He does it effortlessly; he’s been doing it for a long time, so that character is just in him,” Moss observed. “He’s done a great job, I’ve been really impressed.”
Strahovski agreed, “This is his third time now, so he knows what he’s doing and he’s really good at it. He’s got his plan worked out, and it makes it a whole lot easier, because he trusts us as characters and as people to know where to go.”
As the final season draws to a close, Strahovski was asked what she still hopes to see for her character before the show wraps up. “I would love to meet Sarah’s mother,” she admitted. “That was pieced together for me, my character’s history. We know Gary Cole played my dad, so it’d be great to see what Sarah took from her mom and why she is the way she is because of her mom.”
In the days leading up to wrapping the final episode, the cast has been tweeting emotional messages of gratitude to the fans, but that wistful energy was already evident when we were on set a few months ago.
“I think I’m going to have major withdrawals when I finish,” Strahovski said. “We’re on such a rigorous schedule here, with the ending now. I think that alone is going to be a giant slap in the face, not having to go to work and shoot scenes at such a fast pace as we do here on Chuck. But more so than that, it’s the people; it’s seeing the familiar faces every day of the costume [department] and crew, and you know, having that gone, it’s hard. I feel like with television and film, you spend so much time with a group of people, and you sort of become family, and then, one day, it’s just gone. It’s a lot to digest.”
Still, considering the show has lived perennially on the bubble over the course of its run — often saved from the brink of cancellation at the eleventh hour — the actress admitted that it’s a relief to have a sense of proper closure: “It’s nice to know that we have an ending that we can write towards, that the fans will be happy with, and not a weird, open-ended ending when we didn’t really know that we were going to end. It’s really nice that we can work towards that.”
As for her ideal vision of how the show should end, Strahovski echoed the sentiment that many fans share. “Maybe they all run away as a family, like, everyone, to a tropical island and just hang out there,” she smiled. “It should be a happy ending.”
We couldn’t agree more.
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