“I’m more Chuck than I’m not Chuck. Pretty much my whole life, actually, I’ve felt like a nerd. Growing up I was always the best friend to the girls, never the boyfriend.” Zachary Levi
Acting on stage in community and regional theater when he was just 6, Zachary Levi began acting on television in his early twenties and got his first big break portraying the quick-witted, scheming Kipp Steadman in the ABC sitcom "Less Than Perfect" (2002-2006).
However, it was his role of the twenty-something computer geek by day and government secret agent by night in the NBC action-comedy series "Chuck" that launched his name toward prominence. Premiering on September 24, 2007, the show received a full season pickup in November 2007 despite the fact that the writers' strike was still in play. The series was eventually picked up for a second season in 2008/2009. Zachary received a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical for his work in the show.
He also guest starred in "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "The Division," as well as appeared in the pilot of the American version of the British sitcom, "Worst Week of My Life" (2005). Moviegoers could also catch him in such films as "Big Momma's House 2" (2006) and "Spiral" (2007), which he also executive-produced. Levi will soon star in the upcoming films "Shades of Ray" and "Wieners."
The 6' 4" rising star was chosen by People Magazine as one of the "8 Hottest Guys on Fall TV" and one of their "Sexiest Men Alive" in 2007. He also ranked #22 on Entertainment Weekly's “30 Under 30” actors’ list in 2008.
“The money and the power and the fame and all of the things that come with Hollywood, they can twist up real quick.” Zachary Levi
Video Games Freak
Childhood and Family:
Zachary Levi Pugh was born on September 29, 1980, in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He is a middle child (has an older and younger sister) and began acting, singing and dancing in school and local theater productions at the early age of six. He later packed for Los Angeles to pursue his dream of acting after graduating from Buena High School.
Zachary is a good poker player and likes to ride motorcycles (he owns two motorcycles, a Harley-Davidson FXDX and a Ducati Monster), play video games (he had to get 14 stitches on his hand after putting it through a light fixture in his living room during a game of tennis on his Nintendo Wii), go snowboarding, skydiving and spend time with his family and friends.
Zachary, whose icon is the late John Ritter, enjoys TV shows like “Lost,” “Heroes,” and “Seinfeld.” As of 2007, he resides in Los Angeles and remains single.
“I have simple jeans tastes: Gap 1969, Guess, Banana Republic, and Diesel.” Zachary Levi
Less Than Perfect
“I can destroy the dance floor. I think life should be a musical. I always hate it when people watch a musical and they go, 'Oh, it's so unrealistic. No one just breaks into song in the middle of their day.' Yeah they do - if they're me.” Zachary Levi
Zachary Levi moved to Los Angeles after graduating high school in an effort to pursue a career as an actor. He began performing in theater, playing roles in such regional productions like “Grease,” “The Outsiders,” “Oliver,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Big River.” However, it was his portrayal of Jesus in “Ojai's Godspell” that brought him to the attention of Hollywood. Meanwhile, the struggling actor also worked as a busboy and at a car wash.
In 2002, Zachary made his television debut in the made-for-television movie “Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie,” alongside David Krumholtz, Jennifer Morrison, and Nicholas Turturro. That same year, he landed the role of the quick-witted, scheming Kipp Steadman, Sara Rue's enemy at work, in the ABC sitcom "Less Than Perfect," where he stayed until 2006.
During his "Less Than Perfect" stint, Zachary also portrayed Grant Asher in the TV movie adaptation of Melissa Senate's novel, "See Jane Date" (2003), and guest starred in an episode of the HBO sitcom starring Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm." He also appeared in two episodes of Lifetime’s "The Division” and played Ian in the short-lived comedy series "Three" (2005). He then appeared in the pilot of the American version of the British sitcom chronicling the week leading up to a couple's wedding, "Worst Week of My Life," which was not picked up by the networks.
On the big screen, Zachary made his film debut in writer/director Mark Douglas Miller's 20-minute short comedy "Reel Guerrillas" (2005). In the following year, he scored his first major motion picture role in John Whitesell's comedy movie "Big Momma's House 2" (2006; starring Martin Lawrence).
“I went from everyday scraping-it-out to Chuck on a show called 'Chuck.' Getting this show was like Chuck getting government secrets implanted in his brain. You just kind of fear it and embrace it.” Zachary Levi
After the demise of "Less Than Perfect," Zachary received a starring role in "Chuck," an NBC action-comedy television program created by Josh Schwartz and newcomer Chris Fedak and produced by McG. In the show, he portrayed the title character of a twenty-something computer geek by day and government secret agent by night, for which he was nominated for a Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical.
"I’ve been doing pilot season for the last nine years. Every year I wasn’t on a show, I got a pilot. They don’t always pan out. The first couple of years, I did pilots for NBC, oddly enough. Then I did the pilot for ‘Less Than Perfect’ the third year and we got picked up and ran for four years. Then I did a few pilots after that that didn’t go anywhere. Then, ‘Chuck,’ it’s really only the second pilot I’ve ever done that’s gotten picked up - which is crazy. It’s a great one to get picked up. It’s the greatest job I’ve ever had." Zachary Levi
Premiering on September 24, 2007, on NBC, "Chuck" received a full season pickup in November 2007 despite the fact that the writers' strike was still in play. The show was eventually picked up for a second season in 2008/2009.
Zachary also starred as the head of an automobile parts factory in the romantic comedy TV movie "Imperfect Union" (2007; co-starred with Ashley Williams) and continued acting in films in Adam Green and Joel Moore's well-received thriller "Spiral" (2007; he also served as an executive producer) and as a telecommuter boss who has a dysfunctional friendship with his reclusive telemarketer employee (played by Joel Moore) in Robert Kirbyson's short comedy "Ctrl Z" (2007).
Zachary has completed his upcoming film with writer/director Jaffar Mahmood, a romantic comedy called "Shades of Ray" in which he starred as an American who comes home one night to find his Pakistani father on his doorstep. He has also wrapped up Mark Steilen's road trip comedy movie titled "Wieners," in which he shares the screen with Jenny McCarthy.