Zachary Levi

In this article, Zachary Levi will be analyzed in detail, addressing its different facets, its impact on society and its relevance today. From its origins to its evolution over time, Zachary Levi has played a fundamental role in various aspects of daily life. Through a multidisciplinary approach, different perspectives will be explored that will allow us to better understand the importance and meaning of Zachary Levi today. Likewise, current trends related to Zachary Levi will be examined and its role in the future will be reflected on.

Zachary Levi
Levi at the 2019 WonderCon
Born
Zachary Levi Pugh

(1980-09-29) September 29, 1980 (age 43)
Occupations
  • Actor
  • singer
Years active2001–present
Spouse
(m. 2014; div. 2015)

Zachary Levi Pugh (/pj/ PEW; born September 29, 1980) is an American actor. He starred as Chuck Bartowski in the series Chuck, and as the title character in Shazam! and its 2023 sequel.

He voiced Flynn Rider in the 2010 Disney animated musical fantasy film Tangled, where he performed "I See the Light" with Mandy Moore; the song won a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media. He reprised the voice role in the 2012 short film Tangled Ever After and in the 2017 television series Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure, based on the film. He appeared in the films Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok as Fandral. Levi starred as Georg Nowack in the 2016 Broadway revival of She Loves Me opposite Laura Benanti, for which he received a Tony Award nomination.

In 2022, Levi published a memoir/self-help book titled Radical Love: Learning to Accept Yourself and Others.

Early life

Levi was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, the son of Susan Marie (née Hoctor; 1950–2015) and Darrell Alton Pugh (1946–2023). He is of English, Welsh, and German descent. When he was a child, his family moved across several states before returning to their home in Ventura, California, where he attended Buena High School for four years. He began acting on stage at the age of six, performing lead roles in regional productions such as Grease, The Outsiders, Oklahoma!, Oliver!, The Wizard of Oz, and Big River at the Ojai Art Center.

Career

Acting

Levi at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con

Levi first appeared in the FX television movie Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie. He played Kipp Steadman on the ABC sitcom Less than Perfect. He also portrayed a potential boyfriend of Charisma Carpenter's character, Jane, in the then-ABC Family television movie See Jane Date. Levi was slated to be a lead in an ABC pilot called Three for the 2004/2005 television season, but the show was not picked up.

He landed the starring role in Chuck in 2007. Levi and his Chuck co-star Yvonne Strahovski were both nominated for Best Action Actor and Actress Choice TV Series for the Teen Choice Awards 2010 where they both won and presented. In the summer of 2008, Levi was named one of Entertainment Weekly's Top Thirty People Under Thirty. He later starred in the film Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel in the lead role as Dave's cousin Toby Seville. He starred in the 2010 Disney-animated feature film Tangled, which is based on the popular fairy tale Rapunzel. He voices Flynn Rider, a bandit who finds refuge in Rapunzel's tower. He provided narration in the 2011 film Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story, a documentary about the game of Monopoly. Levi hosted the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards.

Levi at the 83rd Academy Awards in February 2011

BuddyTV ranked him #97 on its list of "TV's Sexiest Men of 2011". Levi landed the male lead in the 2012 TV pilot Let It Go, which would have aired on Fox, but was not picked up. Levi hosted the web documentaries Tomb Raider The Final Hours, going behind the scenes of the new Tomb Raider game. He was originally to portray Fandral in Thor, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Chuck. He did play the role in the sequels, Thor: The Dark World (2013), after original actor Josh Dallas had scheduling conflicts of his own, and briefly in Thor: Ragnarok (2017). Levi made his Broadway debut in a production of the musical comedy First Date in August 2013.

In January 2015, it was announced that Levi would be a lead member of the cast of NBC's 13-episode miniseries Heroes Reborn as Luke Collins. The show was not picked up for a second season. He also guest-starred as Abraham Lincoln in the Hulu original series Deadbeat.

Levi joined the cast of the Broadway revival of She Loves Me in the lead role of Georg, alongside Laura Benanti as Amalia. It opened at Studio 54 on March 17, 2016, after previews on February 19, 2016, for a limited engagement through June 12. The run was later extended through July 10, when it closed. The production received high critical praise, receiving 5 Stars from The Guardian and was selected as a Critics' Pick for The New York Times. Levi was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his performance. Critics praised Levi's performance of Georg, noting that his portrayal is "suave and handsome at times, disarmingly nebbishy at others," and that he " sweet modesty and just a pinch of hauteur." The production had a historic livestreamed performance on June 30, 2016, with Levi and the cast participating in the first livestreamed show in Broadway history.

In 2017, Levi reprised his role as Flynn Rider in a Disney Channel Original Movie titled Tangled: Before Ever After. This movie continued the story as a regular series titled Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure, which lasted for 3 seasons, premiering on March 24, 2017, and concluding March 1, 2020. The series is based on the 2010 film Tangled and features the returning voices of Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi.

In 2018, Levi appeared as Dr. Benjamin Ettenberg, a love interest for the main character, Miriam 'Midge' Maisel, in the second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. With the series' other principal cast members, Levi won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series at SAG's January 2019 awards ceremony.

In 2019, Levi starred as the title character in New Line Cinema and Warner Bros.' superhero comedy feature film Shazam!, an entry in the DC Extended Universe franchise. In the film, Levi's Shazam character (also known as Captain Marvel) is the superpowered alter-ego of a teenaged boy, Billy Batson (played by Asher Angel), who retains his childish personality in his adult form similar to the 1988 20th Century Fox comedy Big.

After a nearly two-year hiatus away from acting, Levi starred in a supporting role on The Mauritanian, which was directed by Kevin Macdonald and starred Tahar Rahim and Jodie Foster in the lead roles. He has starred in one film and is set to star in another upcoming film by the Kingdom Story Company: the leading role of Kurt Warner in the biographical sports drama American Underdog, and LaRette in The Unbreakable Boy. He reprised his role as Billy Batson/Shazam in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, released on March 17, 2023.

Music

Levi performs Jolly Holiday for Dick Van Dyke in 2023.

In April 2010, Katharine McPhee released a preview of a music video to cinemas for her single "Terrified". Levi duets with her on the song (which was re-recorded; the original album version features Jason Reeves) and appears in the music video singing with McPhee. On May 3, 2010, the song was previewed on the Entertainment Weekly website and made available for purchase on iTunes. The full video premiered May 7, 2010 on the music video website Vevo. Levi financed Kendall Payne's album Grown after she was dropped by her label, Capitol Records.

On the soundtrack of the movie Tangled, Levi sings "I See the Light" (with costar Mandy Moore) and "I've Got a Dream". In honor of the Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, Levi and Moore performed "I See the Light" at the 83rd Academy Awards. Levi has also been a guest member of Band from TV, a band made up of actors from various American television shows.

On 21 December 2023, Levi performed Jolly Holiday from the 1964 movie Mary Poppins on the primetime CBS special Dick Van Dyke: 98 Years of Magic.

Personal life

Levi about his time on Broadway

Levi is a sports car and motorcycle enthusiast and owns a 2009 Nissan GT-R. He is an avid gamer, having first played Super Mario Bros., and appreciates video games for their ability to provide interactive stories.

Levi lives in Bastrop, Texas, in the Austin area.

In September 2010, Levi started his own company, The Nerd Machine. He participated in the Celebrity All Star Game at NBA All Star Weekend 2011, playing for the team coached by Magic Johnson.

On June 16, 2014, Canadian actress Missy Peregrym announced that she and Levi had married in Maui, Hawaii. They filed for divorce in April 2015, with the separation date listed in court documents as December 3, 2014.

On May 21, 2019, Active Minds, a mental health charity, announced that Levi would be an ambassador for the organization.

Levi has been open about his struggles with mental health and suicidal thoughts, both on social media and in his 2022 memoir Radical Love.

Politics

Levi identifies as a libertarian. In January 2023, he agreed with a tweet that said "Do you agree or not, that Pfizer is a real danger to the world?", leading to allegations of echoing anti-vaccine sentiment.

Religion

Levi was raised a Christian. In a 2002 interview with Relevant Magazine, he said:

My job on my set, I believe, is to first just love people and gain that trust with people where they know that I really do love them and care about their well-being, so that when they are running into problems, they will hopefully, at some point, come to me and ask me, 'What is your peace all about? What is your comfort all about? Where do you get your love? Where do you get your talents?' And I can turn to them and say without blinking, 'Jesus Christ.'

In a 2018 interview, he said, "I'm very spiritual, but not particularly religious."[citation needed] While avowing belief in God, he said, " is, in my opinion, very destructive to what I believe the true heart and spirit then essence of who God is."

In a 2021 interview with The Christian Post, he said working on the movie American Underdog bolstered his Christian faith, and in getting to work on this project, "it feels like God's fingerprints were all over it."

Though he has no Jewish ancestry, Levi is often incorrectly perceived to be Jewish due to his stage name. In a 2016 interview, he claimed that he had been turned down for a number of roles because he was considered "too Jewish" for the part.

Filmography

Levi at the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy in July 2014

Film

Zachary Levi's film roles
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Big Momma's House 2 Kevin
2007 Spiral Berkeley Also executive producer
2008 Wieners Ben
An American Carol Lab Tech 1
Shades of Ray Ray Rehman
2009 Stuntmen Troy Ratowski
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel Toby Seville
2010 Tangled Eugene Fitzherbert /
Flynn Rider
Voice role
2011 Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story Narrator
2012 Tangled Ever After Eugene Fitzherbert /
Flynn Rider
Voice role
2013 Remember Sunday Gus
Thor: The Dark World Fandral
2016 Apex: The Story of the Hypercar Narrator
She Loves Me Georg Nowack Filmed production of musical play
2017 Thor: Ragnarok Fandral
The Star Joseph (voice)
2018 Office Uprising Adam Nusbaum
Blood Fest Himself Cameo[citation needed]
2019 Shazam! William "Billy" Batson /
Shazam
2021 The Mauritanian Neil Buckland
American Underdog Kurt Warner
2022 Apollo 10 1⁄2: A Space Age Childhood Kranz
Teddybjørnens jul Teddy English Voice role
Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again Larry Daley / Laa Voice role, replacing Ben Stiller
2023 Shazam! Fury of the Gods William "Billy" Batson /
Shazam
Spy Kids: Armageddon Terrence Tango-Torrez
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget Rocky Voice role, replacing Mel Gibson
2024 Harold and the Purple Crayon TBA Post-production
2025 The Unbreakable Boy Scott LeRette Completed
TBA Not Without Hope Nick Schuyler Post-production

Television

Zachary Levi's television roles
Year Title Role Notes
2001 Untitled Sisqo Project Michael Golden Unsold TV pilot
2002 Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie Adam Television film
2002–2006 Less than Perfect Kipp Steadman Main role
2003 See Jane Date Grant Asher Television film
2004 The Division Todd 2 episodes
Curb Your Enthusiasm Bellman Episode: "Opening Night"
2005 Brody & Friends Zac Episode: "The Hollywood Lifestyle"
2006 Worst Week of My Life Nick Unsold pilot
2007 Imperfect Union Clark Television film
2007–2012 Chuck Chuck Bartowski Lead role; also director of 3 episodes
2011 Team Unicorn Young Lover Episode: "Alien Beach Crashers"
2011 Spike Video Game Awards Host Also consulting producer
Vietnam in HD Karl Marlantes Voice role; 6 episodes
2012 4 Points Himself Episode: "Zachary Levi"
2012–2022 Robot Chicken Various characters / Shazam Voice role, 4 episodes
2013 Remember Sunday Gus Television film
2014–2015 Hollywood Game Night Himself 2 episodes
2015 Deadbeat Abraham Lincoln Episode: "The Emancipation Apparition"
Heroes Reborn Luke Collins Main role
Geeks Who Drink Himself Host, also executive producer
2015–2016 Telenovela James McMahon Recurring role, 5 episodes
2016 The $100,000 Pyramid Himself Episode: "Zachary Levi vs. Teri Polo"
2017 Tangled: Before Ever After Eugene Fitzherbert / Flynn Rider / Prince Horace Television film, voice role
Alias Grace Jeremiah Pontelli Miniseries
Psych: The Movie Billy McGoldrick Television film
2017–2020 Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure Eugene Fitzherbert / Flynn Rider / Prince Horace Main voice role
2018–2019 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Dr. Benjamin Ettenberg Recurring role, 8 episodes
2022 Who Do You Think You Are? Himself Guest
Family Guy Seymour Voice role, episode: "Hard Boiled Meg"
2023 The Masked Singer Himself Guest, episode: "DC Superheroes Night"

Video games

Zachary Levi's video game roles
Year Title Role Notes
2010 Halo: Reach Trooper 4 Voice role
Fallout: New Vegas Arcade Gannon Voice role
Tangled: The Video Game Flynn Rider / Eugene Fitzherbert Voice role
2013 Tomb Raider Himself Voice role
2018 Lego DC Super-Villains Billy Batson / Shazam Voice role, Shazam! DLC Level Pack
2019 Kingdom Hearts III Eugene Fitzherbert / Flynn Rider Voice role
2020 Grounded Dr. Wendell Tully Voice role

Internet

Zachary Levi's internet roles
Year Title Role Notes
2011 The Guild Himself 1 episode (5.8)
2011–2016 NerdHQ Host San Diego Comic Con Special
2012 Video Game High School Ace 3 episodes
2013 Tiny Commando Tiny Commando 7 episodes
2019 Good Mythical Morning Himself 1 episode

Theater

Year Title Role Notes
2013–2014 First Date Aaron Longacre Theatre
2016 She Loves Me Georg Nowack Studio 54
Sunday in the Park with George Jules / Bob Greenberg New York City Center Gala Concert
2023 Gutenberg! The Musical! The Producer Broadway
One night cameo

Discography

Live performances

On February 27, 2011, Levi performed "I See the Light" with Mandy Moore at the 83rd Academy Awards. On June 12, 2016, Levi performed the title song from She Loves Me, as part of the medley presented on the 70th Tony Awards. He has also performed live in various programs from childhood.

Awards and nominations

Film

Zachary Levi's awards from film roles
Year Nominated work Award Result Ref.
2010 Tangled Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Song Nominated
World Soundtrack Academy Award for Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film Nominated
Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Voice Nominated
2019 Shazam! MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Comedic Performance Nominated
MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Hero Nominated
Teen Choice Award for Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie Actor Nominated

Television

Zachary Levi's awards from television roles
Year Nominated work Award Result Ref.
2007 Chuck Satellite Award Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical Nominated
2008 Chuck Teen Choice Award for Choice Male Breakout TV Star Nominated
Online Film & Television Association for Best Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2009 Chuck Ewwy Award for Best Leading Actor in a Comedy Series Won
2010 Chuck Saturn Award Best Actor on Television Nominated
Ewwy Award for Best Leading Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Action Won
Online Film & Television Association for Best Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2011 Chuck TV Guide Award for Favorite Couple (shared with Yvonne Strahovski) Won
Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Action Nominated
2012 Chuck Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Action Nominated
2016 Heroes Reborn People's Choice Award for Favorite Actor In A New TV Series Nominated
2018 Tangled: Before Ever After Behind the Voice Actors Award for Best Vocal Ensemble in a TV Special/Direct-to-DVD Title or Short Nominated
2019 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won

Theater

Zachary Levi's awards from Theater roles
Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2014 Theatre World Award First Date Honouree
2016 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical She Loves Me Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated

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