Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

EXCLUSIVE: Asher Angel Talks ‘Shazam’ and His New Single ‘One Thought Away’

Shazam! might be the name of the hero in the new movie Shazam, but the true heart of the character is the young Billy Batson who is portrayed by Asher Angel.

Angel is a young actor known for his role as Jonah Beck in the 2017 Disney Channel series, Andi Mack. From there, Angel went to score his first big movie role as Billy Batson in the new movie Shazam. Angel also has been dabbling in the music and released his new single called “One Thought Away,” featuring Wiz Khalifa.

We had the chance to chat with Angel about his new role in the movie Shazam and about his new single with Wiz Khalifa.

You recently released your song “One Thought Away”, what was the creative process of that like?

The ability to work with Hitmaka and his team and be invited to participate in that creative process is memorable.  And then to have Wiz’s collaboration on top of it is just the icing on the cake.  The recording process itself went pretty quick.  We all just vibed and everything came together magically. 

Can fans expect a full album later this year? Maybe a tour?

I’m in the studio working hard and creating new music.  We are getting ready to film the music video for “One Thought Away” – and I’m really excited about that.  I’ll continue to release new music and am excited about the prospect of a tour.  I really want to get out there and meet my fans.  Some face time to create memories together.

What was your first love; acting or music?

Both.  I can’t pick just one.  They both feed my need to be creative and different and complimentary ways.

Do you feel like music is a way to escape from your characters you play on TV and in movies?

Music allows me to express myself, my life observations and my momentary realities.  I don’t think of acting in terms of escaping.  Both give me an outlet to be expressive and creative.  

Congrats on Shazam! How did you land that role? 

Thank you!  Just like any other role there was a series of auditions.  At the time, I was filming in Utah so I had to send in self-tapes at first.  That led to a meeting with the executives and David F. Sandberg – our incredibly talented director.  I learned that I booked the part when I was at the airport travelling back home.  We all started screaming and jumping around.  I was very excited.

How would you describe young Bill Batson? 

Billy has had a tough life after being separated from his mom and placed in the foster care system.  He has bounced from one foster home to the other, mostly because of his search for “family.”  Through the course of the film, he learns that family takes many forms and ultimately he finds the family he has searched so desperately for.  It is a real coming of age story for Billy and the relationships he develops through the film.

You play the younger version of Zachary Levi’s character, how did you guys prepare for that?

We actually did not have a lot of time to prepare for it because I was still filming in Utah. We did spend a number of hours together with David F. Sandberg reviewing the script and scenes and discussing the material.  After that we just had to trust the vision of David – and that was easy to do.

Are there a lot of similarities between your character and you in real life? 

Actually, no, not really.  I am grounded in a family that loves and supports me.  Billy unfortunately spends most of his life searching for that. 

Do you have a favorite scene you filmed? 

One of my favorite scenes would have to be when Billy finds and confronts his Mom, how he deals with that rejection and then jumps off the roof and turns into Shazam to go and save his family.  

If you could have one superpower what would it be? 

Flight.

Do you have a favorite superhero? 

Superman.  He was my go to Halloween costume and still holds a special place in my heart. 

Finally, as 2019 continues what are your goals? 

I plan to just keep working and creating.

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Written by Will Heffernan