Zachary Levi Talks To ‘Parade’

Zachary LeviZachary Levi talked to Parade about his new role on Heroes Reborn.

Here is the full interview:

Can you talk about how you see the theme of the show? Is it about acceptance of people that are different? Is it about how mankind fears things that are different?

I definitely think that’s a big part of this story and how it plays out. Again, civil rights, human rights, that kind of thing, but, obviously, with a backdrop of people that fly, or teleport, or shoot heat out of their hands.

How is it working with Jack Coleman? Did he give you any advice?

Specifically to me, day one he said, “Suck less.” [laughs] I received that. No, Jack is a consummate professional, such a sweetheart, incredibly humble. I’ve known him since he was doing the original series. It’s really awesome that a guy that actually when Heroes started, was a guest star, I think, now he’s No. 1 on the call sheet, and he’s leading the charge.

We couldn’t be in better hands. He’s just such a good dude. I really do think, of all the characters they could have chosen to be the glue between the two worlds, he was perfect. But no, I don’t know that there was really any advice other than buckle up, we’re going for a ride.

So what you think is holding Luke and Joanne’s marriage together?

I do feel by the time you pick up with them, it’s been about a year of murder and vengeance. I do feel like the only thing that’s keeping them together is this common enemy that they’ve determined in avenging their son.

I think Luke is along for this ride, because he’s trying to save his wife, he’s trying to save their life together, and I think that he convinces himself, rationalizes to himself, after the grief that they’re experiencing, that once this starts, and he sees her coming back alive, “Oh, well, if we do this, that will be the therapy that she needs to finally get through it, and eventually it will end, and eventually we’ll get back to being normal people again.” But the deeper she gets into it, the more she wants it. So that is a problem.

Am I mistaken? Wasn’t their child an evo? Wasn’t that why they were at the Summit?

No, we were just there. More along the lines of civil rights movements, or human rights movements of the past. We weren’t necessarily the ones that were being attacked; we were the regular folk, but we thought, “Hey, we should embrace these other people, we shouldn’t be afraid of them.”

So I think that adds insult to injury even more, that we went in a spirit of goodwill, and then were attacked by these very people that we were supporting. So I think that’s even more what threw us off the rails.

When you were approached for the show originally, were you intrigued by the fact that you were going to be playing characters that didn’t have super powers in a show all about people with super powers?

Everybody wants a super power. Yeah, I definitely wanted a power, still do, still wake up every day hoping beyond hope that somehow my genes will mutate and I’ll be able to teleport.

Would that be your power of choice?

I’ve thought about this for most of my adult – no, no, just most of my life, in general, not just adult life. Yeah, I feel like because, look, flying, obviously awesome, everybody wants to fly, I’d love to fly, but then I started breaking it down and analyzing, “Well, what would go into that?”

If I wanted to travel anywhere, there’s flight time you have to consider, do I need oxygen or not, depending on how high I’m flying, do I need some kind of visor to keep the wind and bugs out of my face? Also, if I want to go anywhere with any of my friends, I have to carry them, and our bags, which means I need superhuman strength, as well.

I don’t want to deal with that. I want teleportation, whatever I’m touching comes with me, so friends, bags, Bermuda, that’s what it is. It’s instantaneous. No jet lag, forget that, so yeah, that would be my drug of choice.

Zach, you’ve been away from television pretty much on a regular basis since Chuck, so why did you want to come back with Heroes?

To be honest, I love working. Well, I love working, there’s that, and I love paying my bills. No, but it’s very interesting. You do a film and you’re working with a crew for, let’s say, two months or so, and I’m a very familial person. I loved my crew and my cast on Chuck. I loved going to work with them every day. I miss them. If I could work with the same people for the rest of my life, and just keep doing mini-series, after mini-series, after mini-series and playing different roles, that’s actually what I would do.

Kind of like a troupe of actors, and a crew, but most people don’t do mini-series. To me, I think it’s the perfect way to tell a story. I think that oftentimes movies don’t give you enough time, and I think that with a series, you’re kind of spreading things out pretty thin sometimes. I always cite Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan.

Both are amazing, but I tell you what, it felt like I was more connected to the soldiers in Band of Brothers than I was Saving Private Ryan, because I got to go on that many more missions with them. I spent eight more hours of my life with them, or so. So I was looking for an inroad back into series, but not a full-blown series.

Then when Heroes Reborn was announced, I thought you know what? a) It’s back with NBC and I love NBC. It’s been a family that has embraced me. Even when I wasn’t here, I would still see them, they would still say, “Hey, come by this thing, or that thing.” I always felt very loved and supported at the peacock.

b) I was a fan of the original show, and was always a little envious of the sandbox they got to run around and fly in, so I thought that could be cool. And c), dip back into television, and then simultaneously try to find, or develop whatever my next actual series was going to be.

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