On opening day of Wondercon 2016 we got a fun look into the dynamics of the iZombie cast and creators at the iZombie panel. Present at the panel were stars Rose McIver (our lead zombie Liv Moore), Rahul Kohli (Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti), Malcolm Goodwin (Detective Clive Babineaux), Aly Michalka (Peyton Charles), Robert Buckley (Major Lilywhite) and David Anders (Blaine McDonough) as well as executive producers/writers Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright. Finding out that the show was continuing into Season 3 was a great moment for the audience and for the cast. Ironically, McIver said when she got the call from her executive producer in Vancouver, it was from a number she didn’t recognize, all her alarms went off and she thought something awful had happened from, who died, to who got fired. She was very relieved to find out they were renewed for another season. David Anders said when he found out it was on his birthday. What a great birthday present!
The iZombie panel was moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s editor Danielle Nussbaum. She and the audience members asked some great questions: Here are some of the highlights.
When the producers were asked what their vision was going into Season 2 and how has it evolved along the way, Rob Thomas answered. “We really like to think of seasons as each being a big story. Going into the writers room at the beginning of the year, we want to have a season finale, that feels like a completion of the story, and we want each season to end with a bang. We knew it was going to be a big Max Rager season and we were going to have Blaine try to take over Seattle’s criminal world.” He explained. “I just finished the cut of the season finale and the thing I will promise is that this years finale is huge, it dwarfs last years season finale. It is an action packed episode, most Season 2 questions are answered and we even tee up what we’re going to be dealing with for Season 3 in the final scene. The final two episodes will be back-to-back on April 12th, so please tune in. It will be a big iZombie night!”
When asked about the flavor of the brains they use for the show- Anders and McIver were the best qualified to answer. “It’s a Japanese gelatin, Agar, Agar” Anders shared. “It’s pretty disgusting. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear. It’s like rubber gelatin-tasting stuff,” McIver revealed. “But it’s what you hide it in that’s better or worse. We’ve come up with a few recipes now, we had clams casino and that was good. It was no clam, just a little bit of gelatin but the spices and the flavors that Juno our amazing cook puts with them hides it in a way that’s more edible.” she said. “If it tastes bad enough – the raw material – then I’ll put more hot sauce in there.” Speaking of eating brains: When an audience member asked whose brains they’d eat and why, Thomas joked that he’d eat his cohort Ruggiero-Wright’s brain, “So I wouldn’t have to keep sharing story credit.”
Interestingly there are rules for zombie sex. The show has set rules that Ruggiero-Wright called “legitimate science” about how a dormant zombie can have sex with whomever they want. “It’s very clear that when zombie-ism is dormant, you can freely have sex – with protection – with whomever you like,” she said. “It’s in the book, guys.” That doesn’t solve any of the romantic problems of the show’s cast, including the love triangle between Ravi, Blaine and Peyton. McIver joked that the final decision on what man wins her heart will be which actor “gets more ripped” for shirtless screens. And the actors pretended to arm wrestle for her. Michalka was more serious saying that her character’s attraction to Blaine is more physical. “I think Peyton brings insight to Blaine that is more honest…he’s not out to screw her over. She finds herself in this situation she can’t keep herself from.” Kohli joked that the conversation was veering towards “Friendzone” talk, but Michalka noted that true relationships were built on strong friendships, so the triangle could really go either way.
The show has set rules that Ruggiero-Wright called “legitimate science” about how a dormant zombie can have sex with whomever they want. “It’s very clear that when zombie-ism is dormant, you can freely have sex – with protection – with whomever you like,” she said. “It’s in the book, guys.”
The cast seems to have a lot of fun together. In this weeks episode Liv ate the brain of an “erotic, exotic dancer – ok stripper” and she was told by Ruggiero-Writer to channel the writer herself to get the character right.” It was alot of fun, I mean the physical comedy of me trying to lap dance, that’s kind of enough.”McIver said. Kohli commented, “We all actually pitched in with research for Rose this episode, we really went method….you even get a scene where you see Ravi shake his thing!” McIver agreed. “I actually noticed the boys showed up to set on days where they weren’t required, suddenly they were dropping off coffees.” she laughed. She also shared that trying to dance in a sexy way, in a morgue with a bloody sponge, with a whole crew watching her made her feel vulnerable and was one of the most awkward things she’s been asked to do on the series.
I got a chance to briefly talk to the cast members earlier in the day. I said to Rahul that sometimes I feel sorry for the rats that he dissects, and he said not to feel sorry for the gross disgusting little things. Rob Thomas leaned over and said to look back at early episodes, because they could hardly get Rahul to touch the rats, he is that afraid of them, but that Rose would have them crawling all over her! I asked Rose if it was amazing as a actress to get to do her character every week and then add another fun character on top of that. She responded that her job was a gift and she is very lucky. Later, during the panel, when an audience member brought it up she said, “You know I was thinking about that, someone asked me earlier is it fun playing two different personalities each week and yeah it is, its amazing. I’m able to explore these different characteristics honestly as a actor. One week I’ll be very zen and very calm, this is life and then the next week I’m very focused and this is what I have to do.” McIver shared her feelings. “I think it’s fun to play because its a heightened version of an experience we all have. We all have these avenues in us that can be awakened by different people and by different things, because we’re all big contradictions and Liv is really an overt version of that. It’s so much fun, the variety is great and I’m really lucky we have these brilliant writers who give me so much to play with.”
iZombie airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. The two-part finale airs back-to-back episodes on April 12, 2016
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