SAN DIEGO “" The last “Chuck” fans saw of Big Mike, the ousted manager of the Buy More, he was stuck doing dirty work for Tony Hale’s Emmett Milbarge to the point that Joshua Gomez’s Morgan Grimes quit the Buy More. Mark Christopher Lawrence sat down with Blast to talk about how he hopes season three picks up for Big Mike’s story.
“Well Big Mike has to get his job back first, because right now he’s got a green shirt” said Lawrence of the Buy More storyline. “I mean clearly he’s got to take Emmett down, so we’ve got to set that up, so I’m looking forward to the first few episodes to see how that works out.”
“I’m just hoping that there’s a slow, painful death for Emmett” he added with a laugh.
When asked who would win in a fight, him or Tony Hale, Lawrence replied immediately, “Tony Hale wouldn’t have a chance. I’m thinking he’s screaming, crying. He wouldn’t want a (wrestling match). I was second in California “" twice.”
As for what else he would like to see in season three, Lawrence said he’d like to see what’s new in Big Mike’s love life.
“Morgan is uncomfortable” said Lawrence of the relationship Big Mike had been having with Morgan’s mom, played by Patricia Rae. “Of course, if my mom was in the next room with one guy who’s her boyfriend, I’d sleep in the car before I listened to that (laughs). Yeah so I don’t know, she did catch the bouquet at the wedding, so there’s the possibility that she’ll be around for a while, and she’s really funny. They really haven’t given her enough to do so you can really see how funny she is. It could be pretty cool.”
Lawrence was still giddy from the Jeffster performance he had just seen on stage. In “Chuck” Lawrence plays the manager of Vik Sahay and Scott Krinsky’s characters, Lester and Jeff.
“(The performance) did make me want to get up and dance” said Lawrence. “It’s so funny because Vik is so different outside of that character. It is amazing to see his transformation. (“¦) I’m going to try to talk them into opening for me on tour.”
In “Chuck” Big Mike has a giant swordfish figurine which he loves that has played a significant role in several episodes. Lawrence said he does have a giant swordfish figurine himself, but it doesn’t have a place in his home.
“Here’s the funny thing though” he said. “I was in Tommy Bahama’s and one of the guys that works there, he’s a fan of the show, and he goes, “ËœHey, in our other store we’ve got a bunch of stuff that we’re throwing away and one of them is a copper silhouette of a swordfish. I’ll get it for you!’ I was like, “ËœWell how big is it?’ He’s like, “ËœI don’t know, about seven feet?’ I was like, “ËœNo, that’s alright. My wife is not going to go for a big copper swordfish in the house.’ Baby, I think we’ll put it right over the bed, it’ll be alright (laughs).”
Now going into its third season, the fan following for “Chuck” has taken on a life of its own.
“After I saw the pilot, I thought, wow, this show could be huge. It’s the first time I’ve been on a show where I thought, this show has legs” said Lawrence of the popularity of “Chuck. “I didn’t know what to expect (after the pilot). It’s like you look at this type of material and it’s the opportunities are limitless because what’s going on in the world you can tie right into stuff that is happening now, or you can make stuff up. And I think they do a good job of doing a little bit of both.”
With Krinsky and Sahay giving interviews together after the Jeffster performance, and Zachary Levi having confessed the Joshua Gomez, who plays his onscreen best friend Morgan, is his best friend in real life, it was clear that there was a lot of love going around between the “Chuck” cast.
“It’s the only time I’ve worked on a show with a cast this large, and one of the few times that I’ve worked with a cast that everybody gets along” said Lawrence. “Because, you know, there’s a lot of ego in Hollywood, and everybody’s ego is bigger than the next, so it’s great to be able to go to work and do what you do with people that you love to work with, and with people that you love outside of work, so it’s pretty cool.”
Lawrence said he is finally beginning to get recognition for his role as Big Mike.
“In LA people see stars all the time so it’s no big deal, but being down here, I get stopped a little more often because of “ËœChuck.’ (“¦) But now (people say), “ËœHey, it’s Big Mike!’ or people go, “ËœThat’s the dude!’ So that’s kind of odd. But life goes on” he said.
As for whether he fits in to the nerd-friendly tone of the show, Lawrence said the answer was a definitive yes.
“I went to USC on a debate scholarship, so (laughs) so I think I qualify as a nerd” he said.