Becoming Shazam: Here’s How Zachary Levi Made It Big In Hollywood

Tony Award nominee Zachary Levi has been in the industry for two decades as an actor, director, and producer. He rose to prominence with his impeccable comic timing during the late 2000s after starring in the lead role in the hit Comedy TV show Chuck. Apart from mainstream acting, he has also lent his voice to Disney’s animated biggies like Tangled series. Apart from movies and TV shows, Levi has been quite active in the theater, with his most notable works being in She Loves First Date and Me.

Zachary Levi has appeared in various prominent movies and TV roles in the last two decades, including Chuck, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Alvin, and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Big Momma’s House 2, MCU’s Thor franchise, and in the latest Shazam! Fury Of The Gods.

3 Zachary Started Acting At The Age Of 6

Zachary Levi was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and his family moved throughout the country during his childhood before finally settling in Ventura, California. At just the age of 4, he realized what it meant to entertain someone, and he intentionally used to make people laugh and derived pleasure from doing so, quickly realizing his potential as a performer. He attended Buena High School and started acting, singing, and dancing at age 6. Levi starred in substantial roles in various local productions.

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And like every aspiring actor, Zachary Levi immediately moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Buena High School. He started participating actively in local theater renditions of famous plays like Godspell, Grease, The Outsiders, Oklahoma!, Oliver!, The Wizard of Oz and Big River at the Ojai Art Centre. His performance as Jesus in the musical Godspell brought him into the radar of Hollywood, as mentioned by IMDB.

2 His Big Screen Debut

Zachary Levi got the hang of playing lead roles way back in his school days and continued the same even after his TV debut. Owing to his extensive theater experience Levi made his Television debut in 2002 with the ABC sitcom Less than Perfect, playing the titular role of Kipp Steadman alongside names like Sara Rue, Andrea Parker, Eric Roberts, Andy Dick, etc. He then starred opposite Charisma Carpenter in another ABC venture in the 2003 TV movie See Jane Date. He was set to head another titular role in ABC’s Three, but the project got shelved.

Levi went on to star in more TV shows like The Division and Curb Your Enthusiasm, finally making his big screen debut in 2006 with the crime comedy Big Momma’s House 2. But Levi tasted success in 2007 after he landed the lead role in the action comedy TV show Chuck. He played the role of Chuck Bartowski, a geek-turned-unwitting government agent, and floored the audiences and critics alike with his outstanding performance. The show was a huge success and propelled Levi to immediate stardom, as per Rotten Tomatoes. He was soon tagged as a rising star and received several accolades for his role, including multiple Teen Choice Awards and Saturn Awards, thus opening all the gates of success for him.

1 The Impact Of MCU And DCEU 

Zachary Levi was named one of Entertainment Weekly’s Top Thirty People Under Thirty in the summer of 2008, and he established himself as a credible actor after his role in Chuck, which ran for five seasons and while also making his directorial debut by directing three episodes of the hit comedy show. After Chuck, Levi’s career trajectory went just upward. He landed roles in several hit movies like Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Tangled, etc. he also hosted the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards. Further that year, BuddyTV ranked him #97 on its list of ‘TV’s Sexiest Men of 2011’ as per Wikiwand.

Zachary Levi originally planned to make his MCU debut with 2011’s Thor playing the role of Fandral, but he could not do so due to scheduling issues with Chuck. He eventually entered the MCU with Thor: The Dark World replacing Josh Dallas as Fandral and reprised his role in Thor: Ragnarok. Apart from a booming movie career, Zachary Levi returned to the theater and made his Broadway debut in 2013 with the musical comedy First Date. He went on to play the lead role in the Broadway revival of She Loves Me alongside Laura Benanti, for which he earned a Tony Awards nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.

In 2018 Zachary Levi appeared on the hit TV show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was the love interest of the lead character and later won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series in 2019. Levi’s extensive success in the movie and TV industry landed him the biggest movie role of his career in 2019 with DCEU’s Shazam! The film was a major critical and commercial success grossing over $363 Million worldwide, as reported by The Numbers. Levi’s nuanced take on the superpowered alter-ego of a teenage boy received widespread acclaim, with particular praise for his comic timing.

Zachary Levi, as of today, has established himself as a full-fledged Hollywood A-lister, delivering critically and commercially successful performances time and again. He replicated his success in TV shows in his movie career, which is quite a rare feat to achieve. He is next going to be seen on Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Spy Kids: Armageddon.

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Source – The Numbers, Wikiwand, Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB

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