SAN DIEGO — In NBC’s “Chuck,” Ryan McPartlin’s Devon Woodcomb is more than just a secondary character, he’s “awesome.” As the newest member of Chuck’s family (he married Chuck’s sister Ellie in the second season’s finale), Devon went from being the often joked about “Captain Awesome” who lived with Ellie and Chuck to an integral part of the “Chuck” family. Blast got a chance to chat with McPartlin, who is just as awesome in the flesh, during the “Chuck” press room at Comic-Con.
BLAST: How are you doing?
RYAN MCPARTLIN: Awesome. Awesome. I am doing great.
BLAST: I think it’s about time Awesome needs to get his own superhero symbol.
RM: You know what’s funny, is there were t-shirts made on, I think it was Cafƒ©Press.com or something, they started a year ago, it’s a lightning bolt. A yellow lightning bolt with a baby blue t-shirt and “Captain Awesome” across it. Of course, I had to buy a few for my friends. I can’t personally wear them; I should, but I can’t personally wear them because just in fear of being too tacky and not being awesome, because I don’t think you wear that you’re awesome if you are awesome. But I don’t know who’s getting money off that because we’re not.
BLAST: Do you ever get that where people see you and then just go, “Awesome!”
RM: Actually, I was auditioning for something else, the first season, I remember being on the street thinking I don’t know what’s going to happen with this “Chuck” show and there was some movie I was going in for and I just hear, “Awesome, we effin’ love you!” and I look around and go, “Oh my god” and that was kind of the first moment for me to go, this might be catching on here. The fans are coming out, they’re just screaming “Awesome!” And now it’s become, I’d say a few times a day I just get stopped, like, “You know, I don’t want to say” or “I didn’t want to bother you” or something, but I always love being bothered, I don’t care, at dinner, if they watch the show I’m a fan of theirs if they’re a fan of ours, you know, whenever somebody comes up and they go, “We love the show, it’s awesome” and then they catch themselves saying awesome, and they go, “Oh, well it’s not”¦ well yeah, it’s awes”¦ but” and I’m like, “It’s okay, I know, I use it all the time, don’t worry about it.” But yeah, there’s people coming out of the woodwork now. It’s fun.
BLAST: It’s kind of funny how it developed from being an inside joke on the show to that basically being your name now.
RM: What’s funny is they never establish it. The writers will sometimes write themselves into a corner or not really realize the rules they’ve created for the world. And I remember like the second episode or the third episode I said, “Hey guys, I’m being called Captain Awesome, and I’m in the room and I can hear them calling me Captain Awesome. Is this intentional? Like, do I know I’m being called Captain Awesome or is this like a dig on me?” And then I remember Schwartz and Fedak look at each other and go, “Good question.” I don’t know. Here’s the deal: I think I know, and maybe they think it’s a little big of a dig. I think it’s flattering. I think it’s something like a great nickname, and that’s how I’m going to play it. And that’s always how I’ve played it and it just went from this small little two-dimensional character to now being a really significant part of the show. That’s so exciting for me. Like I said, I didn’t know what was going to happen with this. First episode I was like, I don’t know, this little part, I say awesome a couple of times, I take my shirt off, and I leave. And now it’s become this essential character that’s so fun for me and the cast.
BLAST: You’re actually the only person in Chuck’s personal life who knows about the spy world.
RM: I’m like Chuck in the first season now. I have to carry that weight of knowing his secret and keeping the home life intact. So it’s kind of a great part for them, because there’s only so much they can do with that before the fans become exhausted with Chuck carrying that weight and doing it. Now to see Awesome and how he’ll react and how all the people around him will react to that, it’s a whole new life for the show and that storyline itself because it’s such a fun thing. My favorite part of any superhero movie is the first act when they find out what their power is but can’t let anybody know. The third act is always disappointing in every superhero movie compared to the first act. And I feel like I get to carry that first act again that Chuck got in the first season.
BLAST: Do you think he can handle that weight?
RM: Oh, I don’t think so (laughs). I used to get to phone it in; come in, say “awesome” a few times, take my shirt off, do a few crunches-
JOSH GOMEZ: Do you ever stop? My god!
RM: [laughs] And then he takes his shirt off and I stand next to him and it’s fine. And then it got to the second season and I looked at the script and thought, oh my god, I have to act now. What is happening? I have to know Chuck’s secret? I was like, what is going on here? It’s a great thing. It’s a great thing. And I was very excited that I was trusted as an actor with carrying this weight on my shoulders.
BLAST: We heard earlier a Casey/Ellie romance might be brewing?
RM: Yeah, I don’t approve of that at all.
BLAST: What do you think would happen from Awesome? Do you think he’d let that happen?
RM: I think there would be a lot more fist fights between Awesome and Casey. It would be tough, because I know how strong he is now.