Zachary Levi: I wondered if it was legal to hit Dame Helen Mirren while filming
Zachary Levi says he wondered whether it was “legal” to “swing at a Dame”, while filming with Helen Mirren for superhero blockbuster Shazam! Fury Of The Gods.
The US actor said Dame Helen was “really game to just jump in” with fight sequences, to the point that she had not told crew members that she had broken her finger.
The film sees Levi reprise his role as the superhero alter ego of Billy Batson who, along with his fellow foster kids, attempt to juggle their teen lives and super-powers before being confronted by a vengeful trio of ancient Goddesses.
Dame Helen joins the cast of the action packed DC sequel, alongside Lucy Liu and Rachel Zegler – as the goddesses Hespera, Kalypso and Anthea, respectively.
Speaking to the PA news agency at the London premiere of the film, Levi praised Dame Helen as “an awesome human being”.
Asked if he had been “beaten up” by the veteran actress in the movie he said: “I mean… yeah she does. But we beat each other up – it’s visceral.
“Honestly, when we were filming it, I was like ‘Is this legal? Am I allowed to swing at a Dame like this?’
“It’s like the coolest fever dream, something that you never thought you were ever gonna do in your life, and yet, here you are.”
He continued: “She’s such an awesome human being and so talented and all that but like, she was really game to just jump in. Have fun in the sandbox.
“When we broke her finger she didn’t even tell anyone. We all found out when the world found out when she was on Graham Norton.”
Dame Helen admitted that she had not done “all my own stunts” but tried to engage in “as much as I could”.
“There’s a long fight sequence that I’m a part of in the film,” she told PA.
“And obviously, you work with stunt people but I did a lot of it. I did as much as I could myself and managed to break my finger in the process.”
Dame Helen added that she had been “charmed” by the first Shazam film in 2019 and had been “very happy” to be asked to appear in the sequel.
“Then I read the first scene in the script and I said, ‘I’m in’,” she said.
Shazam! Fury Of The Gods is due for release in UK cinemas on March 17.