While Zachary Levi's unlikely spy tries to make the best of an impossible situation – none to easy when your CIA handler is as smokin' as Sarah! – it's up to Adam Baldwin's Casey to keep everyone in line and on target. The Firefly alum gave TVGuide.com a sneak peek at what's ahead on NBC's buzzworthy Chuck (airing Mondays at 8 pm/ET). Plus, what is Zachary Levi really like when the cameras stop rolling?
TVGuide.com: It's nice to see Chuck ticking back up in the ratings.
Adam Baldwin: Yeah, yeah, I mean we have really tough competition on Monday nights. The sports guys [watching Monday Night Football], hopefully they'll be finding us [when the NFL season is over]. So we're all full of high hopes. And then… there's the writers strike.
TVGuide.com: And then there's the writers strike. How many episodes did you get done?
Baldwin: We will complete the initial order of 13. They banged out Episode 112 just before the midnight deadline, and we're now three or four days into [production on] Episode 111.
TVGuide.com: Will Chuck happen to leave us with any kind of a cliffhanger?
Baldwin: Er, that's above my pay grade to comment on. [Laughs] But yeah, I think so. There's something.
TVGuide.com: Is Casey developing a kinder gentler attitude toward Chuck?
Baldwin: Yeah, he's finding a way into Chuck's humor somewhat, and he's becoming a little more sympathetic. He's kind of an intolerant guy. They do delve into a bit of his back story in the episode we're currently shooting, so that explains why he's so screwed up. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Casey's support of the military is becoming a bit conspicuous. Is that part of his tough-guy image, or is some sort of statement being made here?
Baldwin: There's nothing wrong with supporting the U.S. military as far as I'm concerned.
TVGuide.com: Of course, Firefly fans are excited to see you in another Jayne-like role. How much did that character inform your take on Casey?
Baldwin: That's a good question. You carry around that gruff attitude as much as possible. My background in films and acting really begins with my dad taking me to tough-guy, shoot-'em-up movies, and I guess that sensibility was sort of ingrained in me at an early stage, with guys like Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach…. Those are the guys I watched growing up. And character-y actors like William Holden, The Wild Bunch….
TVGuide.com: What's been your favorite episode of Chuck thus far?
Baldwin: I really liked the Halloween one, "Chuck Vs. the Sandworm" – that's a personal favorite of mine. I love the one we're doing now, "Chuck Vs. the Undercover Lover." I just love watching Zach Levi perform. I don't know about you, but to me he seems like a modern-day Dick Van Dyke. You don't get to see him sing and dance on the show, but he'll do that when the cameras aren't rolling. This guy is a song-and-dance man, a crooner and a comic genius. It's wonderful to follow along in his wake. He carries us on his shoulders.
TVGuide.com: Maybe an upcoming mission will fully tap into his propensity for zaniness.
Baldwin: Well, during the upfronts they had an impromptu competition of Singing Bee, and he won by far. Hands down.
TVGuide.com: How many of your own stunts are you doing on Chuck?
Baldwin: Um, most of the fight scenes. I try to stay away from the high falls, and any explosion work I'll stand clear. [Laughs] I don't really like fire and impact.
TVGuide.com: I know that Yvonne Strahovski (Sarah) has enjoyed doing as much on her own as she can – even in the "Swiss Miss" outfit.
Baldwin: [Laughs] Exactly! What kind of underwear is she wearing for those high kicks?
TVGuide.com: She says that outfit makes it all very comfortable.
Baldwin: Oh, she's so hot.
TVGuide.com: She's one of the most searched-on terms on our website.
Baldwin: She's hotter than Hansel right now.
TVGuide.com: Were you glad that ABC gave Day Break as much of a chance as it did, letting it wrap up its run online and thus give fans closure?
Baldwin: Yeah, yeah…. It was a really cool show and it was hard for us to see it go down. Bottom line, we didn't catch an audience. It might have been too dark, a bit too complicated.
TVGuide.com: It may have been too much of a good thing. At the time, a lot of serialized stuff was on….
Baldwin: Right. It's so hard to predict what's going to catch an audience or not. I'm looking for the DVD set. I need one of those for my archives!
TVGuide.com: Was your character going to fit into subsequent seasons/"days"?
Baldwin: I think so. He had turned to the dark side, so….
TVGuide.com: What else do you have coming up?
Baldwin: I did a little movie called Gospel Hill, which Giancarlo Esposito directed.
TVGuide.com: Will that be playing the festivals?
Baldwin: I think that's what he's targeting. It's about a small Southern town where local businessmen re trying to develop this old civil rights-era community into a golf course.
TVGuide.com: Are you an evil developer, or one of the small townsfolk fighting it?
Baldwin: I'm actually sort of caught in the middle. I'm the local lawyer who uncovers some underhanded dealings.
TVGuide.com: Any undying rumblings on the Firefly/Serenity front?
Baldwin: Everyone asks me that. I know that Alan Tudyk got into a bit of hot water speculating on that, so I'm reluctant to go there. It's always up to Joss [Whedon] and whether he can raise whatever it would take to shoot a [sequel]. But it's getting kind of past it. I don't want to be a 60-year-old Jayne Cobb!
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