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The Funny Way Zachary Levi Lied To Land His Tangled Role

Zachary Levi's Flynn Rider in Tangled
(Image credit: Disney)

Before moviegoers got to know Zachary Levi as Shazam, one of his most memorable roles was being the voice of Tangled’s Flynn Rider. He provided the wisecracking thief’s suave but goofy persona. According to Levi, he almost didn’t get the chance to play the beloved Disney character. The Shazam! Fury of the Gods star opened up about the funny lie he told to get the role.

Becoming Flynn Rider was a bit of a challenge for Zachary Levi. He revealed how his Disney audition came together while appearing on The Late Late Show with James Corden. The House of the Mouse was looking for a specific characteristic when it came to casting the lovable rogue. According to Levi, his talent for doing accents led to him and his agent producing a white lie to get him in the room.

But no, yes, I did. I was in Tangled for Disney which was such an incredible film and experience. 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. I might've been one of the only Americans to get in there and then they gave me the job.

Thankfully, Levi’s agent had the foresight to use his voiceover skills to become Flynn Rider. Being a Disney fairy tale film, Tangled’s aesthetic leaned into the Medieval era, which a British actor would’ve been great for. So the House of Mouse wanted someone to match the time. Fortunately, the producers gave Zachary Levi the chance despite his small lie.

While British might’ve been Disney’s original concept, that isn’t the direction they ended up going in for the character. Everything worked out for Levi as he revealed producers wanted Flynn Rider to sound American, not British. It was easy for Zachary Levi to make that shift much to the company’s delight.

Zachary Levi’s voice acting made Tangled one of Disney’s better post-Renaissance offerings. Along with Levi, the cast bolstered the likes of Mandy Moore, Ron Perlman and Jeffrey Tambor. As the multimedia conglomerate’s 50th animated film, the fairytale reimagining won over critics and audiences, grossing over $592 million worldwide. Levi got to show off his singing talent by duetting with Moore on the Oscar-nominated song “I See the Light.”

But his voice work didn’t end as he is part of Richard Linklater’s Apollo 10 1/2. While the film is in the works, viewers will get to see Zachary Levi in the sports biopic American Underdog, which arrives in theaters on Dec. 25. Hopefully, audiences will get to hear Levi in more animated films in the future.

Tangled is currently available to stream Disney+.

Adreon Patterson

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).