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Zachary Levi on Returning to Comic-Con In a New Role For Syfy — IndieWire’s Turn It On Podcast

The star on why his Nerd HQ took a year off, plus his hosting ambitions, what's next – including a meaty role in the new "Psych" movie – and the status of a "Chuck" reunion.

Zachary Levi Portrait Studio, Comic-Con International, San Diego, USA - 21 Jul 2016

Zachary Levi

Lovekin/TVLine/REX/Shutterstock

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Zachary Levi first attended San Diego Comic-Con 11 years ago, when his NBC series “Chuck” first premiered. Not only did he fall in love with the fan event, he soon found a way to put his own stamp on the gathering with his Nerd Machine brand. That led to Nerd HQ, an annual fan event that traditionally was held simultaneously with Comic-Con in San Diego.

But don’t call him the “King of Con” – a label that Levi thinks only comic book royalty have earned. “I don’t know if I love that title,” he said. “Even though I’ve been a nerd my whole life this will only be my 11th year at Comic-Con. You gotta be Stan Lee status. Every one else is vying for dukes and earls and baron titles.”

Due to events that he’d rather not get into, Nerd HQ isn’t happening this year. “I gotta be a little politically correct here,” he said. “I’ll say this: The stars did not align, there’s always a ton of moving pieces, and this year, I did everything I possibly could to make it happen and at the end of the day was not just incapable, but I was unable to do Nerd HQ. That’s as much as I wanted to say.”

But Levi is still down in San Diego, hosting Syfy’s nightly “Syfy Live from Comic-Con” series, including guests and coverage of the big confab. Levi’s relationship with Syfy has included his own show, “Geeks who Drink,” as well as new things currently in development. IndieWire spoke with Levi on the eve of Comic-Con to discuss this new opportunity, plus his career philosophy and what’s next.

Levi said he hopes Nerd HQ is just on a one-year hiatus. “I care so much that I’ll lose money. I have yet to make money on Nerd HQ. But that’s fine. If you’re going to invest in anything invest in people. The money comes.” Here’s how he announced it to fans:

In the meantime, Syfy has given Levi the chance to still hold his Nerd-themed dance parties, host panels and even auction off memorabilia like he traditionally does in support of Operation Smile. Levi said the “Live from Comic-Con” gig may also lead to more permanent hosting gigs on the channel: “Without saying too much I’ve been in deep talks with Syfy, USA, Universal Cable Productions in general about possibly parlaying my time and talent into doing some host-type things. I do hope it works out.”

Next up, Levi appears in the Netflix/CBC drama “Alias Grace,” and will also play the villain in this holiday season’s “Psych” movie. “[Star] James Roday asked me to show up, and if I didn’t pee myself at that moment I peed myself later.”

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by NBC-TV/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5884881x) Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin Chuck - 2007 NBC-TV USA Television

Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin, “Chuck”

NBC/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

As for the possibility of a “Chuck” reunion movie, “I’ve told everybody since the show ended, I’ve been on the record saying I have every desire and intention to make a ‘Chuck’ movie. I just got to wait on the right time for it. I do believe whole-heartedly there will be a day when it happens.”

“Syfy Live from Comic-Con” will air Thursday, July 20, through Saturday, July 22, at 11 p.m. on Syfy. Here’s a teaser:

Comic-Con Turn It On

Michael Schneider and Zachary Levi

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