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Chuck Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

Chuck

This is a transcript of an interview with Joshua Gomez on November 10, 2011 about the television show Chuck.

Question:
Could you please explain your character from your viewpoint?

Joshua Gomez:
When I first started the show in trying to discover this character along with the writers, it was always Morgan was kind of a free spirit, and a little bit impetuous, and kind of the captain of his own ship. And so I think he's still obviously a big part of that, but he's obviously grown up and matured a ton, so I've been more focused now and but still kind of fun loving and he's very loyal, and a really good best friend, and someone to have in the firefight at your side. No actually that's not true, he'd be terrible in a firefight, awful in a firefight, but a good best friend.

Question:
Can you talk a little bit about your upcoming episode?

Joshua Gomez:
Chuck versus the Frosted Tips which is Friday at 8:00 is kind of the big part in the ark of Morgan and the Intersect, and basically where we left off at 502, this last week, something was wrong it's not working correctly in his head. He doesn't remember who Indiana Jones was, and Luke Skywalker and that ain't cool in Morgan's world.

So obviously something is happening, plus his whole attitude and his demeanor and he's a little bit aggressive and so something is wrong. So that kind of comes to a head in 503, the Frosted Tips. And clearly something is very, very wrong when you actually see my hair, because it's something else. Some people like it though. I will go out on a limb and I've been told that some people actually find it fetching. Myself, I'm not one of those people. But, there you go.

o this is a big kind of moment and it really kind of tests the boundaries of Chuck and Morgan's friendship and also, and all the things like I've mentioned about Morgan being sort of a very, I think, throughout the seasons a very, very loyal and dedicated friend that really gets put to the test in Frosted Tips. So, it's kind of fun.

Question:
When did you actually find out that Morgan was going to become the Intersect? And what was your reaction when they told you that they wanted to do that?

Joshua Gomez:
I think we were probably shooting like the 423, so basically fourth season, I think we were finishing up the 23rd episode, and I think Chris Fedak, one of the co-creators went down on the set and we were just kind of talking. Him and I are fairly close as we're fooling around and just kind of talking and he was like have you heard about 424 yet? And I said no. And he was like, ???Oh, I'm going to be really interested to see what you think.??? And I was like kind of like ???Oh boy, I'm dead.???

And then it turns out that he said no, no, no, just read it and I did and you get to the last page and I know kung fu and it was like you've got to be kidding me. This is insanity, I'm a dead man. But I was very excited. Obviously it was really excited to kind of just get to change up and try new things in the course of the television show especially one like Chuck that's been fortunate enough to go five seasons, you know it's like anything has a chance to become a bit stale, or you know, especially as an actor and playing a certain character and playing in the same thing over and over again.

So for me to be able to know that I was going to come into this season, if there was a season because at that time we didn't know if we were even going to get a fifth season. But if we did, to be able to come into the fifth season with a sort of renewed sense of like, wonder and fun and it was like, oh this is going to be very cool, so. It was awesome.

Question:
How did you prepare for all the new physical demands that you're going to have now with all the special powers?

Joshua Gomez:
I honestly just trusted our stunt and fight coordinators and they kind of got me up and running in the beginning of the season with some crash course on some basic kung fu moves and just different sort of stunt techniques. And where you're supposed to put your foot when you're kicking at somebody's nose and yada, yada, yada.

But for me, I always tend to I stay pretty active anyway, I'm a pretty avid runner and things like that, so I felt physically good. And I'm not a dancer or a kung fu guy, or two things that really help in fight scenes, I think. Like Yvonne had a dance background so her balance and stuff is really, really good and mine is just terrible, I have like just a really weak lower body, so kicking is not my forte. But it's good, they got me up and running, and then I have an amazing fight double and all that stuff, so, easy enough.

Question:
After four years of being on the bubble, how do you feel knowing that this is it, this is the final season, and how are you guys approaching it?

Joshua Gomez:
It's obviously a question that gets asked a lot and it's a great question and because the end is nigh. And for us I think as a cast it's really interesting because you're exactly right four seasons, every season, kind of every time we were approaching wrapping up it was sort of like we didn't know if we were saying goodbye for good, or if just for a few months, and it was always this very tumultuous time.

And now it's got a different feeling to it, it's bittersweet and kind of bummed and but some kind of positive aspect that we take away knowing that we know our fate, and so it makes it a bit easier to deal with. So we're just enjoying every minute of it and having a really great time as a cast and crew and just really kind of taking it all in. And so it's actually been a really fun season, I think for all of us. Despite knowing that it's coming to an end, just because I think we're all trying to relish every minute of it so.

Question:
Beyond just the kung fu aspects of being in Intersect, how are you approaching playing your new part, because your character is changing both from like a mental standpoint but now you are the Intersect, you are kind of the new focus of the show. How has that impacted how you play Morgan?

Joshua Gomez:
It's impacted it a lot actually and especially during this ark of sort of the Intersect, not quite working right. It's been a blast because, like I said earlier you can tend to you play the same character. Television I think is much like a comfort food for people. And when people find a comfort food they like, a television show they like, they want things to kind of stay the same. They want the always pizza should taste like pizza.

And so I think there's a chance obviously in television when you do enough seasons you can kind of become unchallenged you just have to learn the character you know it so like the back of your hand, it just becomes you just kind of go on cruise control. This was fun because it forced me to just switch everything up and so I was excited. I was nervous at first, obviously for so many different reasons just getting the Intersect I thought was just a crazy turn. And something I wasn't expecting.

And then as I started to get the scripts and I saw this character becoming what he's becoming and how it was affecting him, it's nerve-wracking. Our fans are really loyal and they love Chuck, and I'm like, ???Oh, crap, I'm going to get things thrown at me for being a jerk.??? But that being said it's your job, and I said I'm going to go full force and my job in these episodes as you'll see and especially in Frosted Tips, is you're not supposed to like Morgan, I think at this point. So, I kind of threw myself into that, and I said it was so much fun because it was a 180 from the Morgan of three or four seasons ago, so. As an actor, challenging and a lot of fu.

Question:
After four seasons of doing this, what has been your most memorable experience both on set and off, like at a Comic-Con, or out in the streets?

Joshua Gomez:
You nailed it for me it will always be the Comic-Con experience for our show. It made our show, and you're going down into the first season, Zach and I rode down in this car together kind of barely knowing each other, we hit it off instantly when we first met, and we tested together and got the roles together. But in this car ride with this guy I'm starting to get to know, that I'm going to be working with, or maybe not depending on how Comic-Con received our pilot.

So we went down there and low and behold it went over amazingly and kind of the rest is history. And so, for me, every year returning to Comic-Con has been just such an amazing, surreal experience, and such a big part of our show. And the fans are just some of the most amazing, incredible people I've ever met. And their dedication and enthusiasm and passion for the show I've never seen anything like it, so. That will always stand out to me, San Diego Comic-Con panel, things like that.

On the set it's just five years of a blur, of a bearded blur, honestly just the whole thing, it's just hard to kind of pick one specific thing. I love going to work every day that I go and our crew and the rest of the cast is such a joy to work with. Sometimes when I have to wake up at 4:30, 5:00 in the morning, I never begrudge it. I never feel like, oh work, I love going to work, so, it's hard to pick one thing. The whole experience has just been amazing.

Question:
Over these five years of being on Chuck, the show about nerds, have you felt your inner nerd coming out over the years?

Joshua Gomez:
It was out long before Chuck, that was always a big part of kind of who I was, and I am, so that's why I think the role appealed to me so much. Zachary and I always are pretty outspoken about that, and going into this Zach always joked that it's not Chuck and Morgan, people, we're playing ourselves kind of thing.

I think he's joking, but there's definitely a lot of the same thing as far as their love of just Chuck and Morgan's love of sci-fi and comic books and all that kind of stuff was very much a part of who I was. I love video games and I have a huge collection of X-Men comics and not a lot of things I have time for now, but just growing up.

So I related to these characters right from the very beginning. But, yes, it's been amazing and the sort of the sort of acceptance and the push for just how in the sort of lime light it is, you know. It's pretty funny.

Question:
Is there anything right now in terms of gaming or comics or anything that you've seen that you're particularly geeking out about right now?

Joshua Gomez:
Yes, I'll be picking up my copy of Skyrim tonight, Elder Scrolls. It's coming out and when it does come out it's the first time they're going to have trouble getting me to the set, because, I don't know, my life will be over for a month or two. Playing that game, very excited about it.

Question:
I'm curious to get your take on the malfunctioning Intersect in Morgan's head. Obviously him forgetting who Indiana Jones and Luke Skywalker are is a major departure from his personality. But in terms of the other stuff that's happening to him, do you think it's sort of bringing up stuff that may have been bubbling under the surface in Morgan but that he was afraid to admit that he was maybe a little jealous of Chuck or anything like that, or is it just kind of, completely reversing his wires?

Joshua Gomez:
Intersect based. I think, here's the thing, in the next episode or two, I think you're going to find out a lot of that stuff, so I don't want to spoil anything, or go too far into it. But I will say that yes and no, I think that whatever's happening to him is obviously the Intersect is to blame, it's clearly not in Morgan's character to act the way he has been acting and is going to continue to act as you'll see tomorrow night.

But I think like anything it's pulling out certain things that are inside of him, you know what I mean, so there are things that are definitely Morgan, that are now bubbling to the surface. So yes, yes and no and like I said, and your question does absolutely get answered in I think it's tomorrow night, so, Frosted Tips, you'll kind of find that out. But just, it's definitely malfunctioning and definitely a huge part of it. But obviously his own personality is sort of interwoven into the madness.

Question:
There was a segment of the Chuck phantom that was not pleased with the idea of Morgan having the Intersect, so have you had anything thrown at you or do you just trust that Chris and the other writers are going to lead you down the right path eventually?

Joshua Gomez:
To me it's out of my hands, I have a job to do. I was a fan of tons of things like this, I was a passionate fan of stuff. When I read comic books and writers in comic books decided to take the thing to a different to a different, I'd be like no come on and you throw the comic book across the room.

And then our fans are wonderful, and passionate, and they have every right to either go, no I don't like this, or I do like this, or this is better than I thought, or worse than I thought, they can think whatever they want. I try to stay clear of it only because in some respects it's not my business. I have a job to do I try to do it the best I can and like I said this is something that was kind of handed to me and like this is where we're going.

I'm sure there's a lot of people don't, like I said people love Chuck, man. And that's just a testament to what Zachary does and from the very beginning, people just love that character, he's such a sweet, honest, cool, character. And so, and the show is Chuck and the show is still, it continues to be about Chuck. They, I think, as the writers and Chris felt that this was just a way to kind of inject some fun and a new perspective. And it's like getting to watch one of your favorite movies with somebody who's never seen it before. It's just, you're going to see it through some new eyes, and so.

But everyone's actually been really, really, cool. We had a Chuck-fest recently and everybody was really supportive and really happy, especially after they had seen a special sneak peek, a screening of 503, the Chuck versus the Frosted Tips. And so everybody was really, really, happy and so it was cool to kind of see that, because I knew I had some a little bit of a job ahead of me winning people over at the idea of Morgan with the Intercept.

Question:
Do you think this overall arc is going to get played out in the next episode or is it part of a larger game plan for the finale between Morgan versus Chuck?

Joshua Gomez:
Yes there are effects from this earlier arc with Morgan that are important to the rest of the season. Dark Morgan, bizarro Morgan, it's not the sort of storyline for the whole season, this is a part of the first act if you will, about 13. So yes, and I think because we had our last season, 13 episodes, it does feel, that was my only real issue with the whole thing was, like I said, I was, when I read all the stuff, I was like oh wow, this is going to be fun to play and I get to do some really different stuff, and that was all great, but it's very fast.

But that's no fault of anybody's that's because we have 13 episodes, and to tell the story it's sort of like okay first episode we're up and running, second one, oh something's wrong, third one we come to a head, and you know what I mean? It's just like, come on, we have a limited number of episodes to kind of tell this whole story.

So that was the only thing, I would love to have done this sort of, I think that there's something fun about that Morgan and Chuck could've become some sort of odd Luke Invader kind of thing. Of friendship and family and I know there's good in you, and I know you that could have played out over many number of episodes, but given our calendar...

Question:
Chuck and Morgan are adamant about not killing people and only use darts on the baddies, I was wondering, what if all the people that they've darted start a class action lawsuit against Charmichael Industries?

Joshua Gomez:
Then we're finished because, as it stands right now, we're not doing too well. So I think we'd be in trouble. That's a funny question though. I will ask Chris Fedak actually, because he's the man, so.

Question:
Now that Morgan has the Intersect, do you think that he'll return to his teppanyaki training for Benihana?

Joshua Gomez:
It's funny in the course of a television show what I love to be in those writer rooms sometimes when they're throwing things up at the board and it's like let's make Morgan a chef. And I think that's kind of, I think that was a little fun dip in some weirdness, but I haven't heard them talk about his culinary skills recently.

Question:
What's Morgan's jam?

Joshua Gomez:
Motley Crue, Wildside is probably what it is. You know what I mean. Sure he's got the frosted tips, he thinks he's Hollywood, you know Sunset Strip.

Question:
What's it like having Carrie Anne Moss on set?

Joshua Gomez:
It's amazing. So cool and I've got to say man, that was the one. We've had some amazing guest stars and sort of icons, and just, you know; all these kinds so that as far as being an actor on Chuck is was always kind of a fun aspect. It'd be like, oh, you know who's coming by to play with us? Carrie Anne Moss I was like wow and we had Mark Hamill, and Zach and I had when it was Luke Skywalker was coming to the set it was ridiculous, but with Carrie Anne Moss it was, I think just because Matrix is so, for me it's just like one of my favorite movies, I think one of the greatest action sci-fi movies ever made.

And she is so amazing in that movie, I mean she is the quintessential, sexy, badass so. So much fun and she's an absolute sweetheart and just a fantastic actress and a wonderful mother. She just talked about her kids the whole time. So it was beautiful, she was great and it was a lot, a lot of fun to have her around.

Question:
Over the last four seasons, what was the biggest highlight for you inside the show?

Joshua Gomez:
Comic-Con was just going down as a part of the show to Comic-Con is, it's just a highlight for me, it always stands out. I think it made our show, and so, for me that's a huge one. But another memory for me is just simply getting the role, I mean it's, I look back and I think to myself, I look at all these steps and if you never go through this game, to get a role to do anything in Hollywood, it's just an exercise in frustration.

So, you get these scripts and you get - some of them you don't like, some of them you do and with the Chuck one it was very exciting, oh this is really cool, this is so up my alley. This is really unique, and then you start the whole process. And for me I look back and I go, it's just a little like walking into a deli and buying a lottery ticket and the process of just going through all these auditions and then having the show get picked up and then having it go five seasons.

I mean it's just I look back and I go, wow I think about those original auditions and I say, that's amazing that this happened, you know? It's just such a fluke in some respects, you know. I've been doing this for 15 years, 16 years, so. Obviously it's the first time I had a show literally go to air and then had this kind of run, it's just, it's nuts. So that to me is the standout.

Question:
What would you like to see happen with Morgan?

Joshua Gomez:
I get asked that too, how would I like it to end and what I think I've got to be honest I have these thoughts a lot now because we're wrapping up and we're close now. I mean you guys are going to see episode 3 airs tomorrow night, but we're shooting, right now, episode 11, I think we're in the middle of, so we have like two more left.

So every time I get dressed and I put on whatever kooky Morgan sneakers I have to wear and I'm getting dressed, I kind of think to myself that I'm really kind of satisfied with what I got to do with this character and it's sort of a nice, it's sort of satisfying idea that I kind of took him where I wanted to go and I feel satisfied.

So, I don't really know, I don't think I have a specific thing in my head of what I want, I think I was so glad to get to do this run that he did this kind of start out as just sort of a goofy best friend occasional comic relief, blah, blah, blah. And then kind of be able to be an integral part of the whole set up and to do some of the cool things that he's done as a character. I'm really kind of happy and I feel good, I can get closure and kind of feel like cool, you know. I'm satisfied, I keep saying that, so I apologize.

Question:
With all the guest stars and all throughout the seasons, is there any one that you enjoyed doing scenes with the most?

Joshua Gomez:
Everybody was always sort of interesting, you know you have like I said, you have all these sort of icons and you have from Chevy Chase, to you know, so it's always different, and you know, giant personalities and different things coming on to your playground to play with you. So it's always very interesting but, I think the ones that stand out for me, I think, Scott Bakula's just so awesome to work with and such a pro and so good and so funny and just a great actor and he's a great dude. And so that was always a pleasure and I always wish I just kind of had more to do with him.

And Carrie Anne Moss like I said, just recently kind of stands out because she's just again, same, similar reasons. You know, a total pro, total sweetheart, and the whole time I'm in a scene I'm trying to remember my lines because all I'm thinking of is like Trinity, you know in her black leather outfit or whatever it was, vinyl, yes, exactly. So it was great, it was a lot of fun.

Question:
Now that it's the last season, are you guys a little bit more playful in between shots, do you ever play, do pranks on one another?

Joshua Gomez:
Yes we've never been a huge like prank show, or cast. But we have been, like I said, we've definitely been enjoying I think the whole thing as a group a lot more. You know when you're kind of trudging along in season three and four, and you just we all have our own lives, and you go about your lives and you go about work.

I think now, we kind of return to season one where it was this sort of it's just become this playground and fun again. And we're just all spending time in each other's trailers, hanging out and talking and reminiscing. And so there's probably more of that happening then like pooping in each other's trailers. That was so season one. And I never got Zach back for that.

Question:
Do you have anything lined up after the season? Do you have maybe another TV series or video games, or making another short, producing another short or anything?

Joshua Gomez:
Yes, I am actually, I have a few, I have another short slash kind of pilot that I co-wrote, and it stars me and my brother, Rick Gomez, who's also been in a ton of stuff. And so I'm really excited about that and we're in kind of post right now, editing and getting it up and running, so I'm excited to kind of see what we can do with that thing.

And then it's just business as usual, you know I have to kind of go out and try to get another job. And I'm excited there's that excitement, it's like Rocky returning to the gym where he grew up, you know. It's like get back into the gym and kind of get back to work, you know. Get out there and try to get another job.

Question:
With this big change for Morgan and all the fighting you get to do now, how much training do you have to do before you have to film one of those scenes?

Joshua Gomez:
There's not much training, as I don't know if most of you know, it's like, we have about seven days to make an episode of Chuck. And our episodes are just, just dense, you know there's so much to them. Just a lot of layers from actually trying to pull off action scenes and comedy scenes, and you know, it's a very stylized show. And so, seven days is not a lot of time to do an hour show what with explosions and gun fights, and then things like that, so, and of course kung fu scenes.

So there's not a lot of training, there's not a lot of time. In fact in this episode coming up Chuck versus the Frosted Tips, It's one of the biggest things I've had to do is pretty much fight, kind of, there's a pretty big fight scene, you know where I fight a lot of dudes, sort of Enter the Dragon style. And I remember showing up to the set that day, and there was a sort of miscommunication, and just sort of a - no one's fault but just, they didn't bring me in for a little bit - you usually get a little bit of a fight rehearsal. You know, to kind of work out the deeds and do all this kind of stuff, and I show up and they're like okay we're ready in five minutes. And I was like five minutes of what it's kind of like what? And I have to fight nine dudes.

So, bam, you just got to roll with it and it's just what we've kind of become accustomed to, and so, you know. Fortunately I have a decent memory - I'm pretty good at memorization so that's all I could really rely on. Not the physical side of it, because that I'm just awful. But just memorizing steps and just kind of doing all this, it's like a like a dance, it's obviously choreographed like a dance.

So you get through it, and I thought it was one of the I thought it was one of the best things I've done up to this point. So I was pretty proud of it. And I didn't have much time to kind of learn it. So, yes, I guess that's the long answer to your question is no, not really a lot of training or a lot of time. But it's fine, it all works out.

Question:
So you said you have a good memory, so when you get a script, you can basically memorize it like that?

Joshua Gomez:
No I wouldn't say it's definitely not like photographic or anything like that, but I'm not bad at like I can look at it. You know, depending on what it is, I'll look at it and I'll see my scenes that I'll have to do and they usually one or two reads and it's in there. And then I'll leave it alone and then like maybe and then we rehearse five minutes before the scene I'll have my sides they have these sides printed out for the day, what you're going to shoot that day. And you look at those and kind of go, oh yes, right okay.

And then boom one or two more reads just kind of. It doesn't take me too long, Zach I know is like that as well, we kind of had that, he's even probably better. I mean, he'll literally just look at them and he might be closer to photographic because he gets it quick. So it's kind of a cool tool to have.

Question:
You've done this now your fifth season, do you still get nervous before you do a scene?

Joshua Gomez:
Sure I mean it depends, especially this season because like I've talked about it was sort of a departure from what I've been doing which was great, you know. I love to be able to shake it up and rattle it, and kind of go, cool, man, this is going to be new. So yes, when I had the first, when I first walked out and got ready to shoot my first fight scene, or whatever I was very nervous just because I'd never really done it before.

And you know, the first time I had to really use my zoom face on camera. You know, but yes, so I would say up to this point, no, not really, probably during like seasons three and four you kind of it's very rare that you - there's any kind of real nerves or anything like that. But this season, sure and I wouldn't say I guess it's a cross between nerves and excitement.

You know that thing as being an actor you just kind of, it's kind of all gets intertwined you know, nerves and excitement and all that stuff, so. It's fun, I was glad to, that's I think is another reason I'm really enjoying this season because it's after five years, it's kind of fun to be excited and nervous again, you know.

Question:
What's the geekiest thing you've ever done or ever bought?

Joshua Gomez:
I don't know man, nothing is jumping out at me I'm an avid, avid gamer so I've had, geez, I don't know, I've had every system, you should see my game collection, it's a bit ridiculous. I try to keep that hidden you know. But yes, I'm trying to think, nothing is jumping out at me right now. Geek fail I guess.

Question:
Can you think back in any sort of film that you've watched in the past and you could be a character in it, which character would it be and you're not allowed to pick Star Wars?

Joshua Gomez:
I would probably be Lord of the Rings, actually over Star Wars. Even if you included Star Wars, I'd probably still pick Lord of the Rings. Because, again, I think that is, it just seemed like such an amazing experience to be out there in New Zealand and to be a part of that focus. I have the hairy feet already they could save on the prosthetic budget. Yes, so Lord of the Rings.

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