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At first impression, he is very nervous and doesn't seem to have the courage to take on somebody as powerful as Casey.
But when you hear more of his story, you realize he is a strong guy who has just been screwed in life.
“Zachary’s like a better-looking version of me — the me I’ve always wanted to be,” says Austin Winsberg, the show’s bespectacled book writer.
While writing for “Gossip Girl,” which shared offices on the Warner Brothers lot with “Chuck,” Winsberg saw in Levi what he calls “the sweet spot — someone who could sing, dance, be funny and play the romantic leading man, the one women want to be with and the guys root for.
In “First Date,” opening next week, Levi plays Aaron — as awkwardly earnest as Chuck, but as bearded and bespectacled as a yeshiva boy, to boot. ” Backstage at the Longacre Theatre — backpack by his side, his 6-foot-4 frame ending in black Converse sneakers — the 32-year-old set the record straight, his conversation peppered with the words “journey,” “amazing” and “blessed.” He was born Zachary Levi Pugh — that Welsh surname’s pronounced “pewww!
“But if people want to lump me in with God’s chosen, I’ll take it!
We ended up talking for hours and had a really great time. I get to play Fandral the Dashing who is one of Thor's best friends and fellow warriors, and he' s just this kind of fun Errol Flynn, Lothario type.
That was one of the biggest things that sealed the deal for me. I'm so excited to be part of the Marvel [Comics] universe.
The show, which chronicles the first meeting of two strangers—the typical nerdy-cool finance guy, Aaron (Levi), and the edgy downtown rocker, Casey (Rodriguez)—as they go on an awkward blind setup.But after he “prayed about it long and hard,” he decided to simply lose the Pugh.That, Levi says, led to another difficulty: “I’ve had casting directors call my agent and say, ‘Yeah, you know — he’s a little too Jewish.’ ” As far as the creators of “First Date” were concerned, Levi was just right.Well, okay that's fun." Then I ended up in New York while I was still considering it, so I emailed her back and asked her to get drinks. We've been able to make our way through this journey together and really stand with one another, supporting each other.This is my first Broadway show, so I really needed someone to speak to me about the material, what it's like to do eight shows a week, living in New York, and the whole experience. I could not have asked for a better date to go on every night [laughs].