The lovely @nvrpromise of TheNerdyGirls was find enough to let us use her Chuckfest3 post! Everyone give her a round of applause! It sounds like a great time was had by all even though sadly, this is the last season for “Chuck.” I admit that I’m late to the game and just started watching the show this season. Why? Because of how awesome Zachary Levi was at San Diego Comic Con and NerdHQ. The emotion and feelings he has for this show and it’s fans is amazing. Plus the fact he uses his celebrity for good by helping raise money for Operation Smile it just icing on the cake. Enough of my rambling, here’s the post!
ChuckFest3 – Saying Goodbye
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
It was a chilly and bittersweet day in Santa Monica, California. Sixty fans of perhaps the greatest show ever, came together to pay their last respects to a cast and show that has touched and changed thousands of lives. It took years of fighting, but the “Little Show That Could” was gifted with the opportunity to end on its own terms and give its fans the goodbye that they deserve.
Held at the Bodega Wine Bar with the proceeds going to benefit Operation Smile, the line to get inside wrapped around the building and every seat was eventually filled. The four block walk didn’t seem to dampen any spirits and the excitement inside was practically tangible. After a quick stop to check-in, those over 21 were directed to pick up their swag bag from the bar. Inside, a bottle of Charles Shaw (which was amusing since very few people care for Shaw) merlot with a label over it to make it read Charles Bartowski (although some would argue that it should have said Carmichael), a wine glass with “Chuck Fest 3” etched on and a couple of free drink tickets all inside of a black wine bag that proudly displayed the We Heart Chuck logo. It was a fun way to tie in the location to the event and the only downside was that there didn’t seem to be a non-alcoholic version for the underage attendees or for those of us who aren’t wine drinkers. But regardless, it was still the thought that counted.
A half an hour into the event and once everyone got settled, Mark Christopher Lawrence surprised the crowd with an impromptu trivia round and handed out Big Mike t-shirts to the winners. With excitement nearing its peak, the following writers and editors were introduced: Lauren LeFranc, Phil Klemmer, Alex Katsnelson, Kevin Mock and Matt Barber along with none other than the incredible Chris Fedak. While they each seemed a bit out of their element, they graciously chatted with the fans during the “Creative Cocktail Hour” and gracefully dodged any attempts to get spoilers. We were fortunate enough to speak with each of them and share their passion for the show.
LeFranc was an absolute delight to speak with and it was a joy to talk about her shipper love for Chuck and Sarah and how she was the sole creative genius in her pairing with Rafe Judkins. (It was all in good fun since Rafe wasn’t able to make it.) Barber made a good show of avoiding being grilled about Chuck vs. The Baby and whether or not the baby in question is Sarah’s illegitimate child. (This writer is sticking to it’s not and everyone needs to just calm down already.) Klemmer was also tight lipped but was kind enough to engage in some Veronica Mars season three discussion even though I can’t remember how the conversation moved in that direction. And then came Fedak who was gushed over and thanked for helping create such an incredible show. He assured us that episode 5.8 would become the favorite for all of the Sarah Walker fans and even dropped that the name to the untitled episode 5.7 is Chuck vs. The Santa Suit and was previously titled Chuck vs. The Grinch. We were also told that he does have another project in the works for next year but wouldn’t give us a name or any of the details. We’re sure it will be amazing no matter what.
Once the writers were called to the back for interviews and pictures, we were directed toward the viewing screen to watch a little something special. There really aren’t words to describe what it feels like to sit in a room with other fans and laugh and gasp together in unison. It’s one of the best experiences in the world. It was also at that point that the cast started to sneak in and congregate in the curtained off VIP area in the front of establishment. The excited whispers quickly circulated around the room and by the time the final scene had ended, everyone was on edge and anxiously awaiting what we had all come for, the opportunity to meet the cast.
There was a bit of downtime while the cast went through the motions of getting photographed but finally we were all rewarded with a group picture with everyone who had been able to attend. (Bonita Friedericy and Ryan McPartlin unfortunately couldn’t make it but Ryan was kind enough to send in autographed photos to be added to the swag bags.) After each table was able to go up for their group photo, there was more unfilled time while people scrambled to get the meet and greet going. From where we sat, it seemed very chaotic and personally, I’m glad we didn’t get caught up in the madness.
The first up at our table was the devastatingly handsome Joshua Gomez (Note: I can neither confirm nor deny that I was paid to write that) who had everyone laughing in a matter of seconds. He spied the red Angry Bird plush that we had picked up for Yvonne and was quickly scolded for accosting the poor thing. Thankfully he took it in stride and we all got a good laugh at him trying to wipe it off on the sleeve of his suit jacket. From there, we discussed several random things and the “frosted tips” he’s rocking in this Friday’s upcoming episode. Since he had to go back and forth between the dark side and the light side, the tips in question were actually cut from a blonde wig and attached to his hair rather than actually having the frosting process done. As an actor, he welcomed the challenge of jumping from one extreme to the other and we can tell you, he pulled it off really well. It should also be noted that he agreed with the comparison of his character to Peter Parker in Spiderman 3.
The next person to grace our presence was the gorgeous Mekenna Melvin who has quite possibly the world’s greatest head of hair. The subjects of discussion ranged from who/what she was wearing (her cutest answer being that her shirt was just from Nordstroms) to what it was like for her to attend her first Chuckfest and some brief talk about her movie Amber Lake, which is very good and has an ending that will leaving you staring at the screen slack-jawed. Note: This movie is not for children and you could probably make a drinking game out of how many times the F bomb is dropped. Granted you’d be unconscious and drooling on the floor about fifteen minutes in but isn’t that all part of the fun?
What came next was a two-for-one type of deal and we were lucky enough to have both Yvonne Strahovski and Sarah Lancaster come to our table together. (Fangirl alert!) Both women were breathtakingly stunning and it’s safe to say that everyone was completely captivated by them. Yvonne zeroed in on the Angry Bird almost instantly and had there not been other tables waiting, I have no doubt that she would have helped me three star the one level in Rio that has been evading me. Alas. We talked more fashion, Yvonne admitting that she still gets help from other people when she has to get dressed up for events and that she had to borrow a necklace from Sarah for their first cast appearance, the origins of “tra la la” (she has no idea where it came from or why she decided to use it) and even a little Saved by the Bell: The New Class with Sarah. When asked about how she was enjoying motherhood, Sarah gushed and said that she was ready to go again even though her son is still under five months old. It was difficult not to just sit in awe but somehow we each made it through. Yvonne, completely in love with her new bird, left with it in tow and even tweeted a “thank you” for it later. The last question that we managed to get in before they walked away was to Yvonne about her character’s potential illegitimate child. I’d tell you her response but I’d hate to give out any spoilers. (Insert evil cackle here.)
“Upset” and adamant that she told everyone that it wasn’t fair to follow the blonde Aussie goddess (okay, not exactly what she said but it was implied), Linda Hamilton came in with a warmth and joyous demeanor that was infectious. She shared her love for the cast and the show was us as well as the sadness she felt for the end. Had she been able to have it her way, she would have had it continue on for many more seasons because it was such a joy for her to work on and she didn’t want to have to leave her Chuck family. When asked what was next for her, she told us that she was planning on cutting off her hair and going blonde and probably moving back east to her place in Sarasota. She also mentioned the possibility of being at MegaCon in Orlando so if you have the opportunity to meet her, do it! You won’t be disappointed.
Following right after his onscreen mother, Zachary Levi was up next and caused a collective swoon as he took his seat. The “problem” with Zac is that he’s just too damn charismatic for his own good. From his perfect teeth to delicious smell (Judge not, there is Twitter chatter about how good he smells!), he might just be on the verge of perfection. Always gracious and warm, (although he may have called Gomez an ass for signing over his face on one of the pictures) he is truly a pleasure to meet and chat with about everything and nothing. Things like how he doesn’t ever sleep to how his favorite thing about the show is that kids can watch it with their parents and is therefore able to bring a family together.
As far as his plans for after Chuck go, he mentioned the possibility of moving to New York and doing something on Broadway. While this girl is devastated at the thought of losing him to the other coast, I can’t help but squee at the idea of having him do something live. His plans to record an album (originally mentioned during his conversation panel at NerdHQ) were brought up again and he informed us that it is still in the works. He’d really like to do a Sinatra/Michael Buble type album and bring back the more classic music and possibly even kick it off with a Christmas album. When the topic of NerdHQ came up, he assured us that it would be back for SDCC and possibly even Dragon*Con. He also assured us (me) that he would get on Dave Coleman about the hard iPhone cases that were promised back in May. (This is serious business, I’ve been waiting forever.)
After Zac was taken away, Scott Krinsky came up and asked what we thought about TOP SECRET STUFF and how we felt about it. (Sorry, you’ll just have to watch this Friday to figure it out on your own.) After we shared our thoughts, we moved on to talking about how he missed home and how difficult it was to get back for visits. He also touched on how he’s not used to being interviewed. When asked what song he would love to have Jeffster cover, he said something by Journey, maybe a little “Faithfully” to really go for an epic power ballad. Angie was able to share that Jeff was her friend’s favorite character and I admitted to loving him from back on his days on The OC. It was a little surreal being able to share small details like that because an opportunity like that is so very rare and precious when attained. Neither of us are going to forget being able to say those things.
And because you can’t have Jeff without Lester, Vik Sahay was the next cast member to come on down (you’re on the Price is Right!). The first thing that was brought up was his finger and the metal splint that covered the tip. Apparently while shooting a scene, he hit it with a hammer or skis (we can’t remember which) but like the true rock star that he is, he manned up, finished the scene and then calmly asked to be taken to the hospital. Of course, not to be taken out by something minor like a broken finger, he returned to the set to finish up his scenes before calling it a day. The guy is a stud, no question there. From there we talked about what he had planned for after Chuck and up first on the list is his latest movie “American Reunion” where he plays Stifler’s boss. It’s due out sometime next year and if Vik’s in it, you know that at least those scenes are going to be hilarious.
Last but never least, was the legendary Jayne Adam Baldwin came over to wrap things up for our group. To start off, we gave him some crap about not knowing about Chuckfest (he was completely surprised when we asked him about it the day before during the WB tour) and said that Zac had sent him a text telling him to get his ass to Santa Monica, which was why he was also late in arriving. Being a man of few words, he mostly grunted in response to our comments but did say that he thinks Dragon*Con is awesome but that he isn’t sure if he’ll be there next year. Personally, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that he is so that we can harass him again.
After that, it was a matter of waiting for the other tables to finish up before the “Thank You” video was introduced and played. If you haven’t seen it yet, grab a box of tissue and brace yourself for a good cry. Everyone got a little glassy eyed throughout it and when it was over, there was a sense of finality in the air. This was the last time we would all be together in this capacity. This was the last season of our favorite show. This was the last time we would ever have a chance to thank such an incredible cast for everything they had done for us over the years.
“..This is something you should take away from this, is how powerful you all are…You fought together and that was giant…” Zachary Levi
Zac wrapped up the night with a heartwarming speech that brought on even more tears. Never has there ever been a person so completely genuine, humble and gracious. It’s no wonder why so many have joined the “Nerd Army” and would follow him anywhere.
Lastly, to really end an emotional six hours, was a rousing game of trivia where our very own Angie dominated and left victorious as the winner. She’s got the green Buy More hoodie to prove it and I, personally, couldn’t be any prouder. That said, be sure to tune in live to watch Chuck this Friday night at 8PM. This episode will not disappoint.
And finally, to the cast and crew of the show that has personally touched our hearts and changed both of our lives: Thank you for five wonderful seasons. You will be missed.
Remember, remember the fifth of November
The cast pulled out all the stops.
I see no reason why this amazing show
Should ever be forgot.
Be sure to check out the photo gallery here.
If you attended Chuckfest and want to share your own thoughts and report, just let us know!