Exclusive: Vik Sahay on Lester's "Nerd-Herd Diaspora"

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Simply put, Lester is on a nerd-herd Diaspora this season on Chuck.

That's how Vik Sahay described what's in store for his character on the NBC favorite this fall when he spoke to TV Fanatic this week. Here's a lot more of what the actor had to say...

What will Lester be up to this season?
Last season the Buy More was burning down and Jeff and I were the suspected arsonists, or felt we were. So we had to hit the road out of our safe Burbank lives, leaving us very naked out there, no employee name cards to tell us who we are. We’re on our own nerd-herd Diaspora. We’re out there, and in the meantime we’ve had a blast exploring the possibilities of life off the map.

Lester and Chuck

What direction would you like Lester to go in?
I feel like last season I went through a rock and roll boot camp as Lester. I would do folk, a rock ballad, it was wild. Every new song was a notch in Lester’s belt, regardless of how his job on the floor of the Buy More was going; he could walk with a wider stride now because he has this other life as the front man of Jeffster. That’s certainly what I’ve always tried to put into him and his journey.

I think that wherever we go with Lester, what I would like is for whatever he learned out on the land, whatever he’s doing now, that he becomes that animal. That there is a feral quality in him that his constant anger and rage and hurt and broken innards manifest and focus something for him that allow him to change the world he’s in. These are the broader strokes that I’m thinking of. In terms of specifics, I’m not sure. Spy World…not Spy World…those are questions that I try not to focus on.

Do they allow you to do improv?
They don’t give me any input. I improv a lot, a lot, a lot. It’s not about making a funny joke or getting a funny button on a scene. I believe in it as a technique to creating chemistry and atmosphere and exploring the character. Breaking it up and mashing it up. When the camera is rolling, you want to capture accidents, things in the moment. I believe in keeping things off-kilter and a little unknown. Even if it doesn’t get on the air, it gets in the air. This season, there’s more of my improv than last season, so that’s exciting.

Will Lester have a love interest this season?
I would like that. I think that’s something he needs at this point. It would be interesting to see him venture into that world with his defensiveness up and his hurt relationship with his family, which is what I believe is causing all of this. It’s something that I would love to explore.

Will Lester ever like Chuck in even the smallest way?
I think that it’s not about not liking Chuck. I think it's admiring him so much that it turns bitter. It’s about wanting what he has so much that it turns into malice. It’s resentment. Chuck is a nerdy guy, but he’s effortlessly charming and effortlessly gets the girl and everyone looks up to him. Lester kind of wants that and needed that, and is hurt by his own neglect in life and it just comes off as pushing too hard.

I always believe he has this crippling kind of hurt inside him that he overcompensates for that and goes too far out there with his bravado and can’t back it up. Will he ever put down his guard to someone like Chuck? I don’t know, it would take something, though. It would take a moment of compassion from Chuck or a moment of easing the frightened little boy in Lester. Maybe that would come through that love interest.

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This guy -- Vik Sahay -- is so intelligent and thoughtful. I'm very impressed with him.

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