NBC’s ‘Chuck‘ (Mondays at 8/7c) this season has uncorked not just the mother of all storylines, but two of ’em, as Chuck seeks out the long-MIA Elizabeth Bartowski while sister Ellie deals with impending parenthood. Sarah Lancaster previewed for Fancast the big adventure awaiting expectant Ellie in this week’s episode, shared her thoughts on “mom” Linda Hamilton, and reacted to this reporter’s vote for her to play TV’s new ‘Wonder Woman.’
Congratulations on your on-screen pregnancy!
Thank you very much! [Laughs] I think I’m gaining some off-screen sympathy pounds.
When you got wind of the storyline, did a small part of you bemoan having to don a pregnancy pad?
It was only bemoaning for the month of August. But now that the weather here [in Los Angeles] is not 100 degrees in the Valley, I don't mind wearing the bump.
In this week’s episode, Armand Assante‘s Generalissimo reenters Ellie and Awesome’s world….
That’s right. Ellie and Awesome (played by Ryan McPartlin) are expecting, and Awesome – in Awesome fashion – is too involved and too overbearing, and Ellie feels overwhelmed. Already they’re overrun with baby stuff around the house, so she really wants to go away and feel like a young married couple. With all that going on, they get an invitation from the Generalissimo to come to Costa Gravas for a reception in honor of Awesome saving his life [last season]. Ellie asks Chuck if it’s safe to go down there, and they determine it would be if Chuck and Sarah went as well. And of course, this being ‘Chuck,’ it is not safe.
Right, I saw a promo where some lady is going all ‘Scarface’ with a machine gun.
Yeah, Tia [Texada, ‘Third Watch’] has her ‘Scarface’ moment. It’s a fun episode because Ellie is all caught up in the adventure and romance – she thinks of it as a second honeymoon, so she and Devon sneak off to dark corners of the palace – until everything starts to go horribly wrong. And there’s a neat bit where the Generalissimo reveals that he’s had a statue made of Awesome to be put in the town square, so you have this huge statue of Ryan McPartlin that’s hilarious. At one point the writers talked about putting it in front of the Warner Bros. production offices, but I guess because of [how it was made], it would melt in the sun. But we were really happy to have Armand back. He really commits to the role, he’s really present, and he’s generally excited to be there.
What's the timetable for the birth of Baby Awesome? February sweeps, season finale…?
That's the thing with our show - we never have the luxury of knowing if we're coming back, let alone if were getting a full-season pickup. Right now, all we have is Episodes 1 through 13, and we're hoping to get the back 9 anytime now. That's where the writers' hard work comes in, because it's difficult for them to structure everything [not knowing]. I don't know if Episode 13 is the end of 'Chuck' -I hope it's not - or, "OK, here's your back 9."
What is Ellie’s reaction if and when she learns that Chuck is tracking down their mother?
In the next couple episodes, Chuck is going to talk to her more about their mom, to see if [Ellie] has any interest in knowing what happened to her. In seasons prior, Ellie was very cut and dry with regards to her mother, but now that she's pregnant and thinking about a family of her own, it's softened her a bit. She's thinking, "Do I want my child to know her grandma? Do I participate in this?" It's bringing up a lot of stuff.
Yeah, there was that recent moment where Ellie was flipping through scrapbook full of great Photoshopped pictures of Linda Hamilton and Scott Bakula.
It’s funny, they did use one of my photos of my mom and I, where her head is kind of turned. My mom had her big moment where she told everyone she was going to be on TV! [Laughs]
Regardless of what’s happening on screen, have you had a chance to meet Linda?
I have, and she’s got so much energy. It’s nice when you get people that genuinely want to work. She doesn’t have to work, but she’s a fan of the show so she’s putting a lot into it. She’s got a great spirit – a lot of spirit [Laughs] – and she’s a love. She’s intimidating at first, but that’s quickly cast aside. She’s so warm and gracious.
Speaking of women who kick butt, you have my vote to play TV’s new ‘Wonder Woman’ [being developed by Warner Bros. and David E. Kelley].
Aww, you're very sweet! But Sarah Lancaster is engaged with 'Chuck' until she's not engaged with 'Chuck,' so… That's nice of you to say. So far it's just you and my grandmother.
Would you have any tools to bring to that role? Do you have skills?
Do I have any tools, do I have any skills…? I work out, and I'm a pretty athletic individual. I don't know how I am with the lasso and stuff, so I'd have to work on that!