We at Chuckthis pride ourselves on being trendsetters…er-maybe not. We pride ourselves on being the source of all the breaking news…ah not quite. We pride ourselves on having the pulse of the #Chuck fan, um not really. But seriously we pride ourselves with dynamic thinking expressed in articulate-schnook prose and through it all one thing has always intrigued us more than most: Sarah’s mom. The role itself is rich, meaty–full of endless possibilities & countless expectations. Is she good, or bad? Flawed or perfect? Does it matter? With and without our fondness for Sarah Walker, the role comes built in with the intrigue and likability that rivals Scott Bakula’s portrayal of Stephen Bartowski. In essence, whomever plays her will probably be among the annals of Chuck lore. With that in mind there will be a section in this thread with a spoiler so avert your eyes when warned but feel free to read on and vote before then. More after the jump.
We were actually planning on having this post up for you for awhile now but the names are so plentiful that it required more than just a quick post. Next to Chuck and Sarah getting together there really isn’t anything else fans want more. The names have been thrown about since the very moment we fell in love with Sarah Walker (to some that moment is Vicky Vale, to others, a minute later 😉 but we’ve always been intrigued).
First it was the low-key names, then fans openly dreamed and as geek creds started to make their mark on Chuck, more pop-culture icons started popping out. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, my dream pick is Lynda Carter and if she plays Sarah’s mom, I will die. But she isn’t the only person on our list. There will be a survey that will pop up with this post but for now here are some introductions/background:
Kim Basinger: Recent troubles aside, can’t go wrong with the original Vicky Vale. Blond, beautiful and an Oscar winner, she has the range to showcase all the things that Sarah’s mom could possibly have gone through or is going through. Her detraction? She’s not as active or as kick-ass as others on the list.
Lynda Carter: TV’s Wonder Woman, I can’t imagine anyone playing a better mom for Sarah Walker. Ok that’s my bias talking ;). In all seriousness, Carter has the height, the pedigree and geek cred to play this role. She’s 60. She doesn’t have as much range as others, but having played Chloe’s mom (one who abandoned her child) on Smallville, she has shown that she can deliver on tearjerkers. Her biggest detraction? Carter is mostly focusing on music nowadays. Plus she’s not blond.
Geena Davis: Davis has the strength and spirit to play Sarah’s mom. Best known for Thelma and Louise and A League of Their Own, she has since gone on to play a variety of roles, each one often featuring a strong, independent woman with a fighting spirit. At 6’0 she passes the height requirement (if there was one) to be Sarah’s mom but as a redhead, not so much. Edit: Per KG, she has also played a “kick-ass spy/assassin with Samuel L. Jackson.”
Carrie Fisher: With all the Star Wars reference in and out of Chuck, casting Fisher almost seems like a slam dunk. And now with Mark Hamill (Luke himself) starring in an episode, casting Fisher becomes even more tantalizing. Imagine, Luke AND Leia on Chuck! Plus she can most definitely showcase the emotional conflict that is endemic to the role of someone that abandoned Sarah Walker as a young child. But at 5’1 she may be too short to be Sarah’s mom (logically).
Erin Gray: Best known for Buck Rogers (TV Show in the late 70s-early 80s) she is a dark horse pick for fans of the genre. She has played strong roles in the past and she is quite beautiful. She’s 5’7. But she’s not nearly as well known outside of certain circles.
Melanie Griffith: Blond, statuesque and still active in the acting community (last seen in Hot in Cleveland with another blond, Betty White). She’s got the looks but not what you’d imagine for Sarah’s mom off the top of your head. Sarah’s more cerebral and throughout her career Griffith has played largely one dimensional roles.
Cheryl Ladd: If you’re looking for geek cred, Ladd certainly can boast those credentials. Formerly a Charlie’s Angel and most recently a mom of Delinda in NBC’s Las Vegas, she fits the role perfectly. Though she’s not as active as during her Charlie’s Angels days, she plays well as someone that could have borne the GBSM and have since been a loving mom. Her biggest detraction? She’s 60. With Jack Burton at 55, a bit of an age difference.
Heather Locklear: I know what you’re thinking, really? Locklear is best known for Melrose Place where she played (for lack of a better word) a bitch. She works well if the role requires Jack Burton’s wife to be equally devious as he is, and maybe all the more. She has played a mom before and at best, it was an ok portrayal. She’s 5’5.
Michelle Pfeiffer: Pfeiffer has played many roles, diverse roles, though not many as a mother. Still she has compassion (Dangerous Minds), she can kick butt (Batman) and she can play darker, less likable roles. Depending on the exposition in Sarah’s mom’s past, Pfeiffer fits well with most of them.
Rene Russo: Though not a blond, put Rene Russo in a blond wig and she can pass for Sarah’s mother. At 57 she’s actually older than Gary Cole and boasts quite a resume. If we’re looking for someone that can kick ass (Thomas Crown Affair), brings geek cred (Lethal Weapon) or can be funny Russo can act those roles, and do them pretty well.
Meg Ryan: At 50, and playing mostly younger roles Meg Ryan may seem like an unlikely pick but she brings with her some of the qualities needed for Sarah’s mom. Best known for When Harry Met Sally, she can do comedy, particularly romantic comedy very well. Plus she’s just so likable. It’s not hard to imagine her as the quirky mom that fell in love with Jack Burton.
Cybill Shepherd: In terms of television, few women have accomplished what Cybill Shepherd has. The original half of WT/WT in Television’s most infamous pair in Moonlighting, she brings with her history and a wink and a nudge to today’s epitome of WT/WT couple in Chuck and Sarah. She’s 5’8 and works as a mom-type, although without nearly the range or the geek cred and physicality than others on this list.
Emma Thompson: Another dark horse pick, and one that not many considers but she could play the role. An Oscar winner, she can play a variety of roles and can act her way through anything. She can be witty, strong, motherly and quirky–less kick-ass, but that’s certainly not the only requirement.
Kathleen Turner: Must admit I’d love this pick for the Undercover Blues connection–where she played a married spy, with a baby. Most recently she’s been seen in Friends (playing Chandler’s sex-change post-op Dad). Needless to say she’s hilarious.
Lindsay Wagner: Best known as TV’s original Bionic Woman, we know she used to kick butt. Most recently she does a lot of commercial work, but she stays active and could kick ass if needed. Unfortunately she’s not known for dramatic acting so that doesn’t help her case. Edit: Per MyNameIsJeffNImLost, she’s been in Alphas and Warehouse 13 of Sci-Fi.
Sigourney Weaver: Former Alien, Weaver recently has been seen in Baby Momma playing, a mom! She’s quite funny, quite devious (Heartbreakers) and is one of the most kick ass women of the ’80s (a cred that another Chuck vet boasts: Linda Hamilton). Needless to say if you were making a female expendables movie, Weaver (once upon a time) would be in that film. She’s not blond though, but tall (5’11) and at 62, same deal as Cheryl Ladd.
Stephanie Zimbalist: If you’re familiar with Remington Steele, you’ll recognize Zimbalist. She played the lead (technically Pierce Brosnan was the lead, but since the heroin in that story created “Remington Steele” that really makes her the main protagonist) and did so admirably. She hasn’t been in much since then but she has done some guest starring roles since, most recently Judging Amy with Amy Brenneman. Same as with Gray, she’s not nearly as well known for a stunt cast.
So many names, so many intriguing possibilities. In the end it comes down to how you see the role and what qualities you deem essential to the role.
With that said (Spoiler area coming up, avert your eyes if you’re phobic, but please take the poll and feel free to comment below).
Ausiello posted today’s latest tantalizing tease: we meet Sarah’s mom (in recurring episodes) this season. Though we’ve been scooped (seriously this post was supposed to come out before this!) we’re happy that it’s finally confirmed. Her name is Emma and she is, “beautiful blonde who is, in essence, a walking hug.” May not be exactly what you’d picture as someone that would abandon her child, but therein lies the intrigue. Obviously the actor being cast is largely responsible for the portrayal so it becomes even more essential the right person gets cast.
(Spoiler area end). Vote now! Or sound off in the comments if there’s a name we’ve missed. For the record among the choices are a Bionic Woman, a Wonder Woman, a Charlie’s Angels, an Alien and Star Wars’ Leia. Pretty kick-ass list, if I may say so.