Wednesday, April 8, 2009

TheTVObserver: Zachary Levi

I have been a fan of Zachary Levi from his role on Less Than Perfect and his return to TV as the star of Chuck was a perfect gift to every fan. Less Than Perfect was the only sitcom I found way too entertaining and I still suffer withdrawal symptoms from its abrupt end. Can I cry now please…..(weeping..Oh why? ...why?......weeping)……….okay! Moving on....

Zachary used to crack me up all the time as the annoying and sarcastic Kipp Steadman. My favorite episode was the one where he finally got a chance to get back at Jeb Denton (played by Patrick Warburton) for all the years of on-the-job abuse, after Jeb lost his voice and could not do the roast. That scene was fun and it is still one of my favorites from the show, as Kipp made the crowd laugh from all his jokes about Jeb. I will leave the rest of my observations for our newly launched series, OnTheProgram, where I will bring you all the details why the show was cool. For now TheTVObserver's StarSpread presents Zachary Levi who is now the star of NBC's Chuck.

Birth Date: September 29, 1980
Birth Place: Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA
Height: 6' 4"
Nationality: American

After college, Levi moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue his acting dream. Initially, he worked in stage plays including a portrayal of Jesus in an Ojai production of Godspell, his performance in which caught the attention of Hollywood agents.

He began acting in theater at the age of 6, performing lead roles in such regional productions as Grease, The Outsiders, Oliver, The Wizard of Oz and Big River.
Birth Name: Zachary Levi Pugh

Levi had a supporting role 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 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. It was written by Andrew Reich & Ted Cohen, and would have costarred James Van Der Beek, Jama Williamson, and Jacob Pitts, but the show was not picked up.

Levi financed Kendall Payne's album "Grown" after she was dropped by her label, Capitol Records.

In 2007, Zach landed the role of his career as NBC tagged him as the title character in their "24-meets-The Office" series, Chuck. On the show, he plays Charles Bartowksi (Chuck), a superstore employee who downloads classified government information into his head, inevitably forcing him to become a government secret agent. Levi is single and continues to live in Los Angeles, California.

He landed the starring role in Chuck, a series that was given a 13-episode order for the NBC 2007 fall schedule and premiered on September 24, 2007, which was given a full season order a few months later

On August 2008, Zach made a contribution to Clothes Off Our Back when he donated jeans he wore on the show Chuck. The proceeds of the sale will benefit charities such as The Art of Elysium, Hope North, America's Second Harvest, and H.E.L.P. Malawi.

Along with fellow TV actors like Milo Ventimiglia, Hayden Panettiere, and Jorge Garcia, Zachary performed for charity at the Autry National Center of American West in Los Angeles as part of "Band of TV" on August 2008.

Zachary is friends with Reaper star Bret Harrison. They did a photo shoot together for USA Weekend as "Most Likely to Be Breakout Stars" in 2007

Like his character on Chuck, Levi is very much into video games. Show executive producer McG had to pull him and co-star Joshua Gomez from playing video games during the shooting of their pilot episode.

Zachary's best friend is Joel David Moore. Moore is also his business partner with the production company Coattails Entertainment.

Zachary was already offered a role in the theater production of Young Frankenstein in New York when Chuck pushed through with filming and got picked up. Roger Bart took his place instead.

While he was doing Chuck, Zachary admitted that having grown up doing theater, he would like go back and do some theater work at some point. He wishes to star and originate a role on Broadway.

Zachary who plays the title character in Chuck describes the show as "The 40 Year Old Virgin meets The Bourne Identity".

In 2007, Zachary was nominated for "Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical" at the Satellite Awards for his leading role on the NBC series, Chuck. He was also nominated for Choice TV Breakout Star Male in the 2008 Teen choice Awards for the same role

In 2007, Zachary executive produced the movie Spiral in which he had a starring role. Zachary, along with directors Joel David Moore and Adam Green, won the Gold Vision Award, one of the top three awards, in the Santa Barbara Film Festival in 2007 for the movie

Zachary has got a lot of experience of performing on stage. His starring credits include Grease, The Outsiders, Oliver, Godspell, The Wizard of Oz, Big River and Marvin's Room. It was during his performance in the community theater production of Marvin's Room that he was discovered by a veteran manager and was signed to an agency soon after.

Zachary: (on the reception "Chuck" received at Comic-Con in 2007) I almost cried. I couldn't believe it. It was the first time it was really shown to the general public. Two thousand people or something are there and giving a standing ovation. We're standing in the back and I just started tearing up a little bit! I was like 'Oh my God, these people actually liked what we did!

Zachary: I get to come to work in Hollywood and get paid - let's be honest - ridiculous amounts of money to do what I love to do, to play make-believe and be embraced by strangers who think far more of you than they ought to. It's ridiculous.

Zachary: As an actor, you hope for a role where you get to wear multiple hats and to do action, comedy, romance, drama, mystery, all in one little hour-long block on Mondays at 8 p.m. It's a dream, man. When you get to make people laugh and blow sh*t up, you know you've got something good

Zachary: (about working with McG) Working with McG was a dream. I love that guy so much. He's so talented and I love his energy.

Zachary: (about his character in the show "Chuck") It's so frustrating because the writers have vowed to not put a gun in Chuck's hands through the whole first season... I want to shoot a gun so bad!

By TheTVObserver
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