Zachary Levi Wasn't Sure If He Wanted to Live Anymore, Battled Feelings of Failure Before Shazam! Role Changed His Life

Zachary Levi may have had a super hero save his life. The actor previously best known for NBC's Chuck was cast as Shazam! in the DC Comics big screen universe and now admits that the casting helped him find a new will to live. After struggling to find work while chasing his dream of being an actor, Levi began to doubt himself and look down at his failures along the way. When he seemed to be reaching rock bottom, he turned down an opportunity to try out for the Shazam! role out of fear of failing, however, a little bit of self help through therapy and other avenues convinced him to give it a shot -- and his life is changed forever for it.

"This last year has been fascinating. The last few, actually," Levi said on Instagram. "Two years ago today I was moving to Toronto, for the 4th time 3 years, to begin working on [Shazam!], one of the single greatest gifts I’ve ever been handed. Ironically, just 4 months prior, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to live anymore. My goals, and visions, and hopes, and dreams, and therefore expectations for myself, have always been a lot."

Holding himself to a high standard was a bitter sweet experience, as the failures started to pile up and consumed Levi's focus. "When I surveyed my life a few years back, I genuinely felt like I was failing it," Levi wrote. "Failing myself. Failing my family. Failing the world. I didn’t feel worthy of the love that was around me. I didn’t feel worthy of any of the things I had achieved up to that point. And, when presented with an opportunity to audition for Shazam! the first time, I turned down the opportunity as I ultimately didn’t feel worthy of such a role. Then came therapy. Then came the beginning of finally loving myself. And then came the miracle that was me stepping into this life changing role. I will no doubt be on the journey of self love for the rest of life, and I’m so grateful for the lessons and strength found thru the darkness. But I will also be forever indebted to [David F. Sandberg], Peter Safran, [Richard Brener], and everyone at [New Line Cinema] and [WB Pictures] and [DC Comics], for believing I was worthy of wearing this cape, even while I was still learning to believe that myself."

He also thanks DC Comics greats Jim Lee for the artwork used in the post. Check it out below!

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This last year has been fascinating. The last few, actually. Two years ago today I was moving to Toronto, for the 4th time 3 years, to begin working on @shazammovie, one of the single greatest gifts I’ve ever been handed. Ironically, just 4 months prior, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to live anymore. My goals, and visions, and hopes, and dreams, and therefore expectations for myself, have always been a lot. So much so that when I surveyed my life a few years back, I genuinely felt like I was failing it. Failing myself. Failing my family. Failing the world. I didn’t feel worthy of the love that was around me. I didn’t feel worthy of any of the things I had achieved up to that point. And, when presented with an opportunity to audition for Shazam! the first time, I turned down the opportunity as I ultimately didn’t feel worthy of such a role. Then came therapy. Then came the beginning of finally loving myself. And THEN came the miracle that was me stepping into this life changing role. I will no doubt be on the journey of self love for the rest of life, and I’m so grateful for the lessons and strength found thru the darkness. But I will also be forever indebted to @ponysmasher, Peter Safran, @rbpix, and everyone at @newlinecinema and @wbpictures and @dccomics, for believing I was worthy of wearing this cape, even while I was still learning to believe that myself. 🙏 . (Thank you, @jimlee, for this incredible artwork. You’ve always been one of my favorite comic artists. And now you’re my friend. 🤯🙌)

A post shared by Zachary Levi (@zacharylevi) on

Levi's first Shazam! movie was adored by critics and fans alike. The film was not exactly a blockbuster at the worldwide box office but was well-enough received and sold enough tickets to earn a sequel which is set to be released in April of 2022.

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Before Shazam! 2 hits theaters, Dwayne Johnson will take on the role of Black Adam in December of 2021. Eventually, Black Adam and Shazam! will come face to face on the big screen. Are you excited for the future with Shazam!? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Instagram and Twitter!

Shazam! 2 is set for release on April 1, 2022.

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