If you thought the Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer bromance was reserved strictly for the silver screen, watching a panel with them quickly dispels that notion. Dragon Con attendees saw just how deep the bromance goes at the “Shazam! Guests: Powered by the Gods” panel Friday at 1:30PM in the Hyatt Centennial II–III.
Since it’s been so long since there’s been a con in person, one audience member asked if they attended a convention, who would they dress up as. Levi had an immediate (deadpan) answer: John Krasinski in A Quiet Place. Similarly, another audience member asked how their characters would react if they attended Dragon Con. For Grazer, he thought Freddy Freeman would be totally nerding out and asking everyone for autographs. Levi thought Shazam/Billy Batson would run from all of “this” and would be completely swarmed for selfies.
Shazam! does a great job of keeping up the comedy. A Sha-fan asked how they preserved the comedy throughout the movie. Both Grazer and Levi agreed that it starts with great writing. Henry Gayden, who wrote the screenplay for both Shazam! movies, wrote a brilliant script. Next, comes hiring the right actors. Grazer said it helps when you have co-stars you can play verbal ping pong with and a director who gives a long leash. Levi agreed they had the space to really create and added that the experience was special.
Both Grazer and Levi have acted in a few fantasy worlds. One fantasy enthusiast inquired about the difference between acting in a movie without special effects and one that relies more heavily on CGI and effects. Grazer stated that people often dismiss the fact that acting isn’t always reacting to what’s happening in front of them, but he likes the challenge it presents. Levi replied with “Echo that,” which Grazer jokingly responded with “Have your own thought, man,” since Levi was agreeing with all of his answers. Levi went on to say that it’s a different kind of acting they’re doing, and he also appreciated being challenged to interact with things that aren’t there. For him, that shock came while filming Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. The props department had to craft fake chipmunks to use as guides. Guides that were stuffed animals on sticks with strings and waved around to simulate the hopping around Alvin and friends would be doing in the final cut. Once the camera rolled, the stand-in stuffies were whisked away, and he had to remember where all three were during the scene. But the experience also allowed him to use, for the first time in a long time, his childhood imagination.
“What’s a lair?” Turns out, it’s something we’re really going to enjoy in the upcoming Shazam! Fury of the Gods.