Zachary Levi is the actor who currently plays Chuck on NBC’s Chuck, and voices Flynn Rider in Disney’s Tangled. Zac is also the “real world” template for Neil MacGregor, one of the main characters in my novel The Quiet in the Land, which I’m still busy editing.
It had probably been twenty years or more since I wrote to an actor whose work I admired. I think I should do this more often; I’ve written to many writers whose work has inspired me, why not more actors whose storytelling talents have entertained, inspired, or blessed me? Is it because it seems like such a fan girl thing to do? Well then, call me a fan girl, because late last summer I wrote to Zac Levi.
I wanted to let Zac know how much I appreciate his work on Chuck, and also the person he is off screen (a committed Christian who isn’t shy about sharing his faith), as revealed in places like this interview in Relevant Magazine.
Then one day last week I opened my mailbox, and this was inside:
I hadn’t asked for a photo, so this was a fun surprise, and also quite lovely that he looks particularly like my character, Neil, in this photo. The only difference is, Neil has blue eyes.
This is Neil from the point of view of Willa, the other main character from TQITL:
In the shadows across the cabin Neil MacGregor turned, retracing his steps toward her.
The face emerging into the fire’s light was as different from her husband’s as one man’s face could be from another, yet still it was a pleasing one. He had a good jaw on him, and no one could say his eyes were anything but beautiful, rimmed in black lashes below brows strongly marked. His hair always seemed in need of a comb, as if he had run his hands through it, forgetting it was tailed, but the shorter wisps that curled over his scarred brow were pretty enough for a woman to envy. His nose was perhaps a bit long, but he had a kind mouth, with full lips shaped for smiling. Only they were not smiling now, nor pressed together in thought.
A prickle raced over the roots of Willa’s hair. Neil MacGregor had stopped his pacing and spoken at last, only she had not heard a word of it, and now he was looking at her in the way she had just been looking at him. At her hair, her eyes, her mouth. She was caught in his gaze, unable to move.~ from The Quiet in the LandCopyright 2010 Lori Benton
Thank you, Zac!
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