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Our Interview With Vik Sahay AKA Lester From The NBC Show Chuck

April 02, 2011

This week we had the great honor of talking with actor Vik Sahay from the tv show Chuck.  It was a great conversation, and I hope you enjoy it.  We are working with We Give A Chuck to remind fans of the tv show, that they need fan and viewer support.  Thank you to Vik for taking the time to talk with us on his day off.

If you are a fan of Chuck and want the show to continue check out the website for We Give A Chuck . If you missed our previous interview with Ryan McPartlin that playes “Awesome” on the series click here.

Don’t forget to follow us on facebook and twitter. I asked Ryan McPartlin, I’ll ask you about the same question. What are your thoughts on a season 5 of Chuck? Do you think they will be successful in bringing back a 5th Season?

Vik Sahay: Just the way you worded that. Let me answer it this way. I think I’m kind of a strange guy to ask about a prolonged television engagement here to be honest. I feel I’m more suited to the tense but isolated outting of a film shoot, you know. I come from the theater where we’re really vagrants, we’re nomads. At the end of your run you get drunk, you cry in your vodka together, you say you’re gonna stay in touch forever. You rarely do but you always have a special place in your heart for those people, you run into them through out the years. It’s a kind of bond that doesn’t go away. But being on a TV series for five years is beyond anything that I’ve ever done. I would be lying if I said I didn’t get restless for different creative challenges, different characters.

It becomes like a family. I read that while taping the last episode of “Everyone Loves Raymond” Patricia Heaton was sort of soaking in the moment and feeling all of this nostalgia about the end and she looks over at Ray and he goes ‘Don’t come in too early on that line.” It’s just very much like a family. And doing a film is more like having an affair, especially away on location. A film shoot, no matter, how low the budget, is more of an exotic experience, more fleeting, more intense. But the series, it adds up, you know.

Obviously you got me talking here when you say thoughts on a season 5. But there are bonds that accumulate over that amount of time, and life milestones you pass through together. People get married, have kids. And that kind of connection can easily be taken for granted and that is what always sort of inspired me about attending something like Comic-Con, the love of the show and the people on the show – it can wake you up a little and make you go – ‘Wow.’ This five year gig is indeed a moment, it’s special, and it too shall pass.  So I’m really grateful for what we have do so far on “Chuck” and the show’s really invited me into Los Angeles, it’s made me feel secure as I navigated this town and the American sets and network and studios. It’s an incredible experience. And one that I’m not going to forget.

Will they have success in bringing it back? I really don’t know. Based upon the past pattern I guess  there is an expectation that we will be ok but nothing in this business is certain. We’re certainly not certain. And I think it will a real shock to the system to hear of a cancellation no matter what the number or the projections say at this point.

BTT: Speaking of connecting with your cast mates, you and Scott Krinsky play off each other really well. Were you able to have input into your characters as the seasons went on and given the opportunity to do more?

VS: From day one I have always sort of allowed myself to feel like a colleague to everybody on the set and I always do. I don’t work well in kind of hierarchy situations. So I’ve always been kind of dealing back and forth with the writers, saying what about this or how can we change this, or how do you feel about this, and I improvise a lot on set. I said this before, even if doesn’t get on to the air, even if they cut it, or edit it out it gets in the air. It creates, I think chemistry with us. And so, that being said, I think as the years have gone on they’ve seen how Scott and I play off each other and they kind of have begun to very very, uh – very insanely write to it. So it’s in some ways also an unspoken input. By being you are kind of suggesting, you know what I mean?

BTT: Right.

BTT:  As far as the remainder of the season, is there anything in particular that we can expect from Jeff and Lester? Will you be involved with the wedding? Anything you can tell?

VS: Not much I can tell you. You know there are just various attempts on Lester’s part to bond, and they do kind of go on a kind of, pseudo road trip. But in terms of the rest of it I will refrain from revealing what all happens.

BTT: Because you have become more recognizable, if you happen to be at a Best Buy do people ever jokingly come up to you and tell you their computer issues?

VS: I think its very tricky for me to go into a Best Buy or ask for help for my computer because there is an assumption I should know what I am doing.

BTT: (Laughs)

VS: But I do not. So, you know, I gotta tread carefully. But I will say that what’s nice, I think for me that’s happened over the last little while is that more and more people are realizing that I am very very separate from the character. Maybe more so then others, and people are saying very nice things about my work rather than confusing me for him.

BTT: Hoping that there is a new season of “Chuck,” if you were to write your own character what would you like to see him do?

VS: A love story, I think for sure. I think that would be sort of high adventure and very challenging for Lester. He is so consume with putting himself out there, his image, his self expression, how he comes across – I think it would be amazing to have a woman come along and say sit down, sit down and be quiet for a minute.

BTT: (Laughs)

VS: And bring him a bowl of mozzi ball curry.  I think that would be a very profounding experience for him.

BTT: I always joke when we watch the show that Chuck and Sarah’s spy work is probably the worlds worst kept secret.

VS: (Laughs) Ok

BTT: And did you ever secretly want to get involved as far as your character getting involved in some kind of spy work?

VS: You know, it’s an interesting question. I don’t really take it as part of my job description to think in terms of plot. All I want to do is breath life and pour blood into the bones of Lester Patel and whether or not that leads him into the spy world or not, is not something I try to embrace. I think having a person like him in the spy world could be amazingly dangerous.

BTT: (Laughs)

VS: And amazingly insane and could potentially open up incredible storylines. But I would want him to be full-blooded and three dimensional in that world rather than kind of being in background of it doing little jokes. That’s how I would want it to transpire.

BTT: Yeah I can see that.

BTT: I asked Ryan, I’ll ask you also. Do you have a message or advice that you would say to the campaigns like “We give a Chuck” that are trying to save the show?

VS: I would say you know you have done so well by us. I don’t know. Of the fans, by the fans, for the fans. That is “Chuck” and I’ve never been a part such a thing before and if you want a fifth, I feel you can get it. I believe that. But it is, I feel, up to the fans and we are in a precarious situation right now in terms of a fifth season. And so a rallying cry is very very needed right now. There seems to be an assumption we will be ok, but I think now is the time to dig in deep.

BTT: Yeah, actually Ryan said the same thing. There is an assumption things will be ok and people really need to double down on their efforts if they want to see the show back.

VS: I think that is exactly right. Double down. Did he say that, or you are saying that?

BTT: He said that.

VS: Damn it, it’s so good

BTT: (Laughs)

VS: It really is. If a fifth season is what is desired, then this is a most important moment for that to occur, fans need to be themselves and dig in deep.

BTT: How did you get involved with the TV series “Chuck”?

VS: I auditioned with the masses in a typical pilot season fashion, but I auditioned for the character Morgan. They narrowed it down and down, and it was down to me and to that boy –

BTT:  (Laughs)

VS: and I got cut. No I was crest-fallen and broken and horrified and upset and then this call came about another very vaguely sketched character named Lester and I shot one day on the pilot and I grew his strange life from there, that scene.

BTT: When you first heard about the concept of the show, what were your thoughts?

VS: I thought it was an incredible idea. It’s a little nostalgia in the 007 sense. People have grown up with spy being up there with superhero and rock star and tennis champ in my case, so deep in their imagination. And then whole tech world has taken over our culture, so much so that people that know computers have more cache then they did the past.

BTT: (Laughs)

VS: You know computer geeks may not look like James Bond but they can move and shake in today’s culture like never before. And somehow, “Chuck,” when I read it, it just hit at exactly the right time. The transcendence of the nerd.

BTT: Do you have any projects coming up that you can tell us about?

VS: I have a couple of things in the fire. Some Indie films that are kind of in different stages of development, which is really enticing work for me. And I am waiting for a release of a film I did on my last hiatus called “Afghan Luke and the Burgundy of Hash.” There is some stuff that is more in my world that’s being lit up but I don’t want to say the names yet because nothing is locked in.

BTT: Yeah, I understand

VS: Superstitious and what not.

  • harvey weinstein

    This guy is incredible, so so thoughtful and intelligent.

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