Shazam's Zachary Levi Faked English Accent to Land Tangled Role

These days, Zachary Levi is best known for playing Shazam in the DC Extended Universe, but he's also had a vast career playing everyone from the titular role on the series Chuck to Fandral in the Marvel Cinematic Unvierse. However, Disney fans probably know him best as Flynn Rider from the animated film, Tangled. Recently, Levi had a chat with James Cordon and revealed he had to do a little lying to get the audition for the part.

"Well I'd like to say on behalf of my country: you guys would steal our roles for a long time, OK," Levi joked to Cordon. "The English and the Australians, you know what it is? Because Americans love your accent so much that you can just go and audition... you could bomb and be like, 'Oh it's great, I loved meeting you all!' and [the casting director would say] 'Oh my God you're so sexy!'" he joked.

"But no, yes, I did. I was in Tangled for Disney which was such an incredible film and experience," Levi continued. "They thought Flynn Rider – the role I ultimately played – they wanted him to have an English accent and they wouldn't even see American actors. Fortunately my voiceover agent knew that I did a decent English accent and she fought for me and I got in." He added, "I might've been one of the only Americans to get in there and then they gave me the job." 

The craziest thing about this story is that Disney ended up asking Levi to use his American accent for the role. Levi may have nailed the part in animation form, but back in 2019, the actor admitted he probably wouldn't be the best fit in live-action

"I mean, I think the obvious choice would be to play Flynn Rider in a live-action [Tangled]," Levi replied when asked which Disney prince he'd want to play. "But as much as I would love to play Flynn Rider in a live-action Tangled, by the time they get around to that, I don't think I'm gonna be the right guy to play that role [laughs]. I'll be there coaching that guy, I'll make sure he understands what that smolder means, but I think my hair will be like Steve Martin white by the time they do a live-action Tangled. So in lieu of playing Flynn Rider in a live-action Tangled, I would say, I don't know... Ariel from The Little Mermaid, maybe."

Tangled is now streaming on Disney+. Shazam! Fury of the Gods is set to be released on June 2, 2023.