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Zachary Levi has his devoted following to thank for the continued success of his small-screen hit, Chuck. This month, he jumps to the big screen in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.


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ZACHARY LEVI and I have a lot of important business to discuss. But right now, we’re chatting about the universal unifier between celebrities and mere mortals: Twitter. (You can follow him at twitter.com/zacharylevi.) I’m imploring him to give his loyal “tweeples” more, and finally, he concedes. “I’ll do better,” he insists. “I’ll twit more often.” When I inform him that tweet is actually the correct verb usage, he stands firm: “No, no, I like twit.”

Fair enough. Eventually, we get down to more pressing matters, such as his starring role in this month’s Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel and the upcoming season of his hit show, Chuck, which he wouldn’t spill many secrets about during our chat. But curious fans can always ask him directly on -- you guessed it -- Twitter.

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Chuck was rescued from cancellation in part thanks to a Save Chuck Subway campaign. Were you shocked at the fan enthusiasm? It’s funny -- I wasn’t shocked, simply because from the very beginning, when we went down to Comic-Con, we had an incredible standing ovation. I knew two and a half years ago that what we had on our hands was special. Our die-hard fans are just those kinds of people who will try to find some way to keep the show alive.

We know that Chuck has a new intersect in his brain in season three. What else can you spill about the new season without having to kill us? Well, yeah, not much. [Laughs.] I can tell you that Sarah becomes a bit of kryptonite for him and the intersect. The intersect doesn’t work when he’s emotional, so things don’t always work out as planned. If he’s able to collect himself, then he can go and do some great stuff, but if he starts getting flustered thinking about Sarah or seeing her schmoozing with some other guy, that starts to affect Chuck’s ability to use it. So, this allows Chuck to continue to be the everyman, not just this all-powerful agent.

How much of the action sequences do you do yourself? I do every fight scene and stunt within reason. Obviously, there are some things that the insurance policies won’t let me do. But it’s a lot of fun. Luckily, I’m pretty quick to pick up choreography.

That’s right! You’re really a singer/ dancer -- you were set to star on Broadway before Chuck, right? Yeah, I was going to be Young Frankenstein. Mel Brooks hired me, and I couldn’t do it. That was a crazy time in my life -- an embarrassment of riches. But, yes, I was a theater kid. I was just doing theater, theater, theater, more theater -- as much as I could get my hands on.

Any chance of seeing you back onstage in the future? I would love to.
You’re also starring in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. What can kids expect from it? You pick up with Dave [Seville] (Jason Lee) and the chipmunks in the beginning of the movie. But then, something happens that prevents Dave from being able to take care of the chipmunks, and so in lieu of Dave, Toby, his burned-out, socially challenged, stuck-in-the-state-of-adolescent- development cousin, steps in. That would be me.

I figured that’s where you were going with that. Yes, he takes care of the chipmunks, although it’s really more like the chipmunks take care of him. They go off to school and ask Toby, “What was school like?” But school was horrible for Toby because he was awkward and geeky and nerdy. He just likes to sit at home and play video games all day. So, that was an easy place for me to go. [Laughs.] I learn from the little guys, and they learn from me, and everyone’s better off in the end.