"Mr. And Mrs. Smith Meets The Office"
CB: But it was necessary for the next episode, so how was that planned?
PK: You know, sometimes you get lucky and the episode's prepping, or it hasn't gone to production draft, so that while you're outlining or finishing up breaking your own, you can sort of take stock, and have somebody insert something behind you so that your own episode will make sense. It's really cool when it works, and it's such a drag when somebody asks you to do it, because it's like, "Why do I have to write this line in the Sheriff's Department?" But it's really cool that you mentioned it, because that's exactly how it happens -- it's just like this mad scramble, it's like, "Oh my God, have you shot the scene in the Sheriff's station? You have to do this for me!"
CB: So you guys threw in this sort of afterthought that maybe felt a little bit off, in order to solve a problem in the next episode.
PK: Yeah. Exactly.
CB: Cool. Well, I was going to ask you if you, as a writer, ever pay attention to casting, but you mentioned you're doing casting. But going back to when you didn't do that, when you were in sort of the ivory tower of the writers' room, did you ever pay attention to the casting, or did it ever…once you saw the actor, did that influence how you wrote the character at all?
PK: Well, I mean, we would still get to go along for sessions…we'd audition people in Los Angeles, so on our own episodes we'd get to go along for that. But, you know, you're not casting somebody until your script is…not locked, but there's a production draft out, so you're not able to hugely write to their strengths and weaknesses. The thing that happens more often is that somebody shows up and does something extraordinary -- that's the sort of Ryan Hansen model.
CB: Sure, and I'm talking more with recurring characters.
PK: Yeah…it's weird working on Episode 5 of Chuck where you really haven't seen your cast of characters interact outside of the pilot, you don't really know people's strengths and dynamics that you enjoy.
CB: Sure, it seems very abstract -- I'd imagine it's a lot easier once you can match a face to the name. But I guess you do your best until you get to see dailies and episodes and things take shape in your mind.