A New Career For Zach Levi:
SR: Did you enjoy singing the duet?
ZL: Oh yes, definitely, I’ve sung my whole life…sang? Sanged? I did a lot of musical theater growing up, I sing in the shower, sing in the car, sing everywhere really, on set at Chuck, all the time. I like it, and I’ve always felt like I’ve had a knack for it, or a talent for it, on some level, I don’t know. But I never wanted to push it on anybody. You know, I started doing this and the acting was what kind of grabbed me first, and so I ran with that, and I continue to run with that. It’s just a really weird thing, you know, I have kind of very specific philosophies on work and Hollywood.
SR: Tell me.
ZL: Well I’ll tell ya! I think that it’s much easier for a recording artist to become an actor than for an actor to become a recording artist. There is this weird kind of…You know, the traffic doesn’t flow both ways. People are more willing to accept a singer as an actor, than an actor as a singer. I don’t know if it’s because their standards for acting or that medium are more lose or grey, whereas with actors becoming singers, I think that people might get a little more specific…I guess. I don’t know. I just remember that when Jennifer Love Hewitt released an album a few years back, it was like ‘Oh, why is Jennifer Love Hewitt releasing an album?’ But if Queen Latifah, or Justin Timberlake, or anybody else wants to be an actor, it’s like ‘Yeah, I’ll go check that out.’
SR: Does that bother you?
ZL: Well, I don’t know, it is what it is. I wish it was a little easier for an actor to later go into singing and have it be accepted, but maybe I can still do it.
[We later asked Mandy Moore what she thought of Zachary’s thesis about the cross-pollination (or lack thereof ) of singing and acting careers. She agreed that his was an “accurate assessment,” but admitted she wasn’t sure why that was so. She suggested Zachary “just not care and record a record, because I would like to hear it.”]
Those Comic Book Movie Rumors:
SR: Well, speaking of career choices, you were rumored to be up for a number of comic book Superhero roles – Captain America, Thor, Superman – is there any validity to these rumors?
ZL: I don’t know why there are so many rumors, but I wish they would be less rumor and more fact. Maybe one day. I mean, they’re all kind of different things. I had gotten the role of Fandral in Thor, but scheduling conflicts (with Chuck) prevented that from going forward. Which happens, you know, but it was a bummer; you know I would have loved to have worked on that.
SR: What about Superman? Is there anything to those rumors?
ZL: That’s nothing but rumors. That just kind of popped up and my publicist emailed me and said just so you know, this is floating around; and then I had a bunch of friends texting me, and I was like ‘I don’t know what this is about.’
ZL: Captain America would have been really amazing, but again scheduling stuff – and they were looking to go another way. I did read for it and felt like I did a pretty good job. And then The Flash! You know there was an April fools joke that I was cast as The Flash, but that was just an April fools joke. Although, I don’t know, I do think about The Flash often, and I know that they’re kind of in the process of putting that together at some point. I think that could be a really fun role to play at some point. That’s right up my alley. I just want somebody to believe in me that I could be a Superhero. (Laughing) God, I mean I am a huge comic book nerd and video game nerd, so to get to actually play one of those characters would be off the chain. It would be amazing.
SR: Which comic book character (in an ideal world) would you like to play the most? Is there one particular character that you love the best?
ZL: I mean, Deadpool would have been an amazing character to play, but Ryan Reynolds already did that. Even though I know he has moved on and he’s Green Lantern now, I think he’ll probably still play both…I don’t know what they are going to do with that. As far as comic books are concerned, I was always a Marvel guy for the most part, although I did follow DC a little. I don’t know, honestly I’d just like to play whatever role [that] not just the studio, but the fans think I fit the best into. Because I think, especially in worlds like that, you’ve really got to do right by the fan base and stay in tune with what they are looking for and what they desire. I would just want to do right by them.
ZL: So I don’t know. Flash would be fun, Superman would be…I mean it’s Supes, it’s amazing! But everybody has so many ideas about who Supes is. And when the whole rumor thing was going around, I saw a lot of people blogging about it or whatever. You know a lot of people think Jon Hamm should be Superman. A lot of people think that Tom Welling should be Superman – they think ‘Look if he has been playing Superman this long, then he should play Superman,’ and I can understand that. A lot of people think that Brandon Routh should reprise the role. I quite liked Superman Returns, I thought it was a very entertaining movie. But who knows, I mean – I just look at it all from a distance and I think, ‘Well, if I get the opportunity then I’ll go read for it. If they like me, then they like me.’
The Future of Chuck:
[There is a tremendous amount of fan support for Levi and his Superhero ambitions. There may come a time when the popular actor will be deemed a perfect fit for a comic book movie, even if it is not necessarily the title role, as happened in Thor. The question becomes, ‘Will the actor’s hectic television schedule allow it?’ Levi was directing the episode of Chuck that was in production during the week that we spoke to him; he had been up shooting until 3AM on Friday, faced a weekend of back-to-back interviews, and was set to return to the set to direct at 6AM Monday morning. To add to the puzzle of an already brutal schedule, as Chuck fans know, the series is on a consistent teeter-totter of renewal, so it is likely difficult for Levi to plan with any real level of certainty.]
SR: So can we expect to see Chuck renewed since it’s got 24 episodes?
ZL: I don’t know, it’s a good question. I mean when we started this season, I didn’t know what was going to happen with our back 9, and we ended up getting a back 11. I know that that puts us closer and closer to syndication, which is definitely a plus for the studio. So what happens after this season, I don’t know. Right now, I’m just trying to focus on doing the best I can with all this Tangled press and then going back to work on Monday morning, and working until April and whenever it is that we are going to go.
Though it is an animated role, Flynn Rider has a very different persona than Levi’s Chuck, and may in some ways open a doorway in the imaginations of the powers that be, allowing them to see a possibility for Levi to play a very different kind of character than we are currently imagining.
Tangled hits theaters next week, on November 24th.