His character on Heroes Reborn, where he’s taking a turn as the villain, is a bit of departure for both Levi, and his many fans from NBC’s Chuck, where Levi played the likable nerd.
Here is the interview in full:
We caught up with Levi to ask about his new role on the show, and his thoughts on the hero culture we’ve all created.
I was definitely a fan of that world. I was fortunate enough that I started doing Chuck at the same time that Heroes was on the air. Their second season was my first season, so I was also unlucky enough that I was just so busy that I didn’t have time to shower let alone watch television. So I only watched the beginnings of the original Heroes, but I was definitely a fan of it and everyone involved and became friends with a lot of the cast. It’s a cool kismet, serendipitous thing that now it’s come full circle and I get to be a part of their world — to quote Ariel from The Little Mermaid.
We’re definitely going to learn more about what motivates Luke, and his relationship with Joanne. Was it the world or the character that drew you?
It was definitely initially the world. As a kid who grew up reading comic books and playing video games, and as a man who reads comics and plays video games, I love the world of superheroes and all that kind of stuff. I think it’s awesome. I really keep hoping that I’m going to wake up one day and have mutated DNA and be able to read minds, or teleport actually. I think that’d be more fun. So, I sat down with Tim Kring and we had a couple conversations. My only prerequisite was that I wanted to play something that was very different than Chuck. He came back to me with the role of Luke Collins , and was just a very dynamic and very different from the Chuck kind of character. That did it for me.
So, you’re a killer here. A semi-reluctant killer, but a killer nonetheless. Since you’re associated with more happy-go-lucky characters, how’s the change?
It’s been really heavy. I’ve never played a role that has been this twisted. He and his wife go through a really gnarly thing when they lose their son in what at the time was considered a terrorist attack blamed on evos and it just knocks them off the rails. They go on this vengeful bloodbath murder spree for a year, killing people with powers. All to avenge their son’s death and do what they think is the right thing to do: Just cleanse the world of people with abilities. It’s dark, and to sit in this role now for almost six months, it takes its toll on you. I think I need to go do some nutty screwball comedy after this just to catch my breath.
Can you name a power that we haven’t seen that you would like to see onscreen?
Somebody on Twitter suggested something super awesome: Pizzakinesis. That is the ability to create and control pizza. I think I’d like to see that; I think I’d like to have that. I do still like teleportation. Both! I’d eat so much and be really sad, but then I’d just teleport somewhere and not even worry about it. It’d be a great combination: teleportation and pizzakinesis.
With the hero culture so popular today, how does Reborn fit into the conversation?
I’m really stoked that pop culture has embraced the superhero movement. We all have in some way. I mean, Superman’s been established, but now a lot of people know who Iron Man is. A lot of people know who the X-Men are. Though it’s not as formidable in the annals of history, it has a presence already and people have embraced it. I hope they continue to with Heroes Reborn. I think it’s a fun opportunity to dive back into a world that people loved before. The whole broader genre has gotten so much bigger that I think more people will want to check it out.
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