Zachary Levi reveals why TV’s geekiest spy, Chuck Bartowski, is about to toughen up…

Chuck Bartowski is arguably the world’s nerdiest spy, but as the comedy-drama Chuck returns for a third series on Virgin1 this week, life is about to change dramatically for the unassuming store worker.

The reluctant secret agent, played by Zachary Levi, originally became a spy when he accidentally downloaded a top-secret government database, known as an intersect, into his brain. At the end of the last series, he downloaded another system, which has unleashed some extraordinary new abilities.

As Chuck gets closer to being a proper spy, we caught up with Zachary Levi to find out more…

So, what’s going on with Chuck?
“The intersect has gone from being cerebral to being physical as well, so every mission has a physical element which he can now do – or in some cases, not. He could even take down some bad guys because his wrestling skills come out.”

Could Chuck evolve into a suave James Bond-type spy?
“Totally. From day one, I saw him as able to evolve into Bond. He’s on his way there.”

Does that mean he’ll stop being a nerd?
“It’s important that fans know Chuck is still the same show. No matter how good he gets at being a spy, he’ll always be that nerd at heart. Even now, while he is becoming a better spy with these new abilities, they’re fleeting and glitchy. They don’t make him Jason Bourne, but for a moment, they might. So it adds to the action, but it also adds to the comedy when the abilities falter and flail.”

What else do we see him doing?
“Martial arts, zip-lines, various acrobatic stuff, playing musical instruments, speaking foreign languages. It’s all a blur.”

Were you excited to finally kick some ass?
“So excited. When I started on the show, I thought, ‘We’re doing action, I’m going to have a gun’, but it wasn’t to be. So this season’s really fun.”

Will Chuck and his government handler Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) finally get together?
“Their dynamic has always been tumultuous and there is tension and other love interests this time. But fans fought hard to bring the show back when it was nearly axed, and they will be upset if Chuck and Sarah don’t get together.”

Do you feel you’ve made geeks sexy?
“If people think Chuck is a sexy geek, then rock and roll. I think nerds are popular now because we’re real people. There are more nerds and geeks in the world than there are bodybuilders. We are the new heroes and we know how to fix computers.”

Are you good at technology then?
“I’m pretty good at simple stuff. It’s always funny when a fan wants to take a picture with me, but their camera doesn’t work. I say, ‘Don’t worry, I do this on TV’.”

You are a big video game fan. Would you like to see a Chuck game released?
“It would be like getting the last thing checked off. That would be it. I could die happy.”