Shazam!: Zachary Levi’s Journey to Superhero Status

Zachary Levi
Photo by Jeff Brazier

Loveable and geeky CIA agent, Disney prince and teenager-turned-adult-and-back-to-teenager superhero, Zachary Levi enchanted the audience at the Shazam! panel Friday in Hyatt Centennial II-III.

Levi aficionados know he’s played multiple memorable roles, which makes for some pretty entertaining fan questions. When asked which of his characters he identifies with the most, many in the crowd were surprised to learn it’s Chuck. “I wasn’t acting. It was me.” Levi also has a soft spot for Shazam “Chuck and Shazam share DNA with heart.” According to Levi, that heart is what makes the characters heroes.

Out of all of the characters Levi has portrayed, which three would he invite to dinner? Levi replied Chuck, since they’d get along really well being the same person, Shazam, because he’s really cool, and possibly Eugene (Flynn Rider), but he’d talk about himself the entire night.

Levi has been outspoken about his passions, and one fan asked what passion projects he’s working on, besides Nerd HQ. Laughingly, Levi replied that he’s working on making the world a better place. Ambitious, but he really is working on building his version of Disneyland. A safe and loving community where everyone is welcome.

Two years ago, Levi attended Dragon Con. What you may not know is that he was in a really dark, bad place. Levi opened up about the experience and the importance of mental health awareness. At that time, he didn’t want to live and thought he’d failed at life. About a month after Con, he went into intensive therapy for three weeks. One of the most eye-opening moments while there was when he was asked how he talks to friends while they’re down. He replied that he’d be there for them and love them. Then, he was asked how he talks to himself when he’s down. “It was like a smack in the face. Why do I talk to myself that way? I went from suicidal to superhero.”

“We’re all a little broken and all a little crazy,” Levi stated from the heart. Levi asked the crowd: Have you ever been stressed? Most of the room raised their hands. Have you ever experienced anxiety? Most of the room raised their hands. Have you ever been depressed? Most of the room raised their hands. The next time you’re feeling down and out, he wants you to remember that you aren’t alone.

Author of the article

Not everyone can say they watch television for homework, read novels for inspiration, and are paid to follow what’s trending. For Alicia Pack, it is all part of life as a writer and media enthusiast.  When she isn't lost in the world she is trying to create, you can find her with her nose in a book or catching up on her favorite supernatural shows.  She has a Master’s degree in Mass Communications and a Bachelor’s degree in Radio, Television, and Film.  Her nine years of diverse media experience include news writing, copywriting, website content management, social media, promotions, television production, and teaching.