For most actors, landing the starring role in a big-budget film is a huge win and a big career boost. That’s definitely true for Shazam! star Zachary Levi, but donning his suit and cape on camera isn’t just an acting achievement—it’s a dream come true for a kid who grew up fantasizing about superheroes.
Shazam is an especially appealing role for the Men’s Journal April cover star, who oozes boyish charm. It follows a teenager who’s granted superpowers, and his heroic alter ego, played by Levi, is definitely still a kid at heart.
“I can’t think of any other superhero that has that kind of an origin story,” he told Men’s Journal behind the scenes at our cover shoot.
For Levi, Shazam is an incredibly fun role to play, and one that suits his own personality well. Unlike other superhero flicks, which often have characters who emphasize grit and poise under pressure, Shazam is full of childlike wonder, enthusiasm, and adolescent humor. It’s the perfect role for the child in him that “always wanted to be a superhero,” Levi says.
Even though shooting has wrapped and the film is in theaters, Levi is still riding high on the adrenaline rush of playing a superhero on the big screen.
“I have action figures with my mug on them,” he says. “It’s crazy.”
Watch the full interview in the video above, and don’t miss our profile on Levi in the April issue, on newsstands now.