It's slightly unnerving to talk to Yvonne Strahovski after watching her for a full season on Chuck. She's proven herself so adept at spying, knife-throwing, and other forms of physical intimidation that it seems wise not to make any sudden movements.
Luckily for me, Strahovski didn't seem at all interested in beating back the line of reporters who wanted to talk to her about the upcoming season of Chuck at NBC's TCA press tour party last month. In fact, she was strikingly sweet as she talked about playing a teenaged Sarah in an upcoming episode, bringing out the romantic side of her character, and training for those fight scenes. Here are highlights:
It's been a while since we've seen Chuck. What can you tell me about where we are when the new season picks up?
We pick up with the same sort of dynamic between Chuck and Sarah — they have feelings for each other, but of course they have a job to do. We do get a taste of what it might be like if Chuck wasn't the intersect and if Sarah didn't have to protect him. And then we get to see into Sarah's past in episode four, when Nicole Richie's character comes into the show. She was like the mean girl at high school and Sarah has to deal with that all over again. And it brings up a lot of demons for her because Sarah wasn't the cool spy chick that she is [now], that we all know her to be. She was a daggy, dorky, braces, bad hair girl, and to see Nicole Richie's character come back in her life, you know, it's tormenting in some ways.
Do you get to play the young Sarah?
What was that like?
I had braces, as the 17-year-old Sarah Walker, and that kind of brought back old memories for me, because I used to wear braces when I was 12, and having them back on, you know, the fake ones — it was really weird. It's amazing how much younger i look with just the braces on. We put a wig on, as well, and had bangs and brown hair. Sarah wasn't so confident when she was in high school. We see how she evolved into the agent that she is today.
More from Strahovski about the future of Chuck and her favorite fights, so
When the last season ended, things weren't looking so good for Chuck with the new intersect almost running. Is he in danger?
In the first couple of episodes when we return, that is addressed — when the new intersect is being built and we have to find the final chip to make the new intersect work. But, you know, a whole bunch of things happen, and things might not go the way people assume they might.
What were some of your favorite things to play in season one?
I loved, loved, loved the fight that I got to do with Matthew Bomer, who plays Bryce, when we did the fight scene that was back to back in the Buy More. I love the really intimate scenes between Chuck and Sarah; I love that Sarah can't say what she wants to say. Those sorts of scenes are great, they're heartbreaking and I love those.
What was it like working with Nicole Richie?
It was actually great. She was really nice, her baby is super cute, and actually my parents were visiting at the time and my parents really liked her too. They got on really well. I was really genuinely impressed. She has a dancing background as well, so learning those fight scenes, it didn't take very long. Sometimes it can take a while to shoot them, but we worked them out really quickly, she didn't miss a beat, and we had tons of fun.
We've heard a lot about Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez playing video games on set. Have you gotten sucked into any of that?
No — while they play their video games I have to go train for my fight scenes.
I heard you have a new cover job this season. What's your new cover outfit like?
Let's just say, I prefer the outfit to the Weinerlicious one. I like this one better, and I like the color scheme better. It's an odd color scheme but it works.