In its third season, “iZombie” has more zombies than ever — and that means there are plenty of brains to go around. As fans of the show know, main character Liv Moore must regularly consume brains to keep from going full zombie, but there’s a catch: she takes on the personality of whoever she eats. During a set visit, star Rose McIver divulged some of her favorite brains so far this season.
“There are all sorts of brains Liv has this season!” she shared, “I mean, one of the earliest ones we see — which I love so much — is Liv and Major on father/daughter brains. Liv is the father and Major is the teenage daughter, so it’s the part Robert Buckley was born to play: sixteen-year-old schoolgirl. He’s singing along to pop songs on the radio in just a beautiful falsetto.”
“We’ve got a dominatrix brain. That’s a lot! Poor Malcolm and Rahul! Clive and Ravi sort of bear the brunt of that. Especially now that Babineaux knows about Liv’s reasons for the way she behaves, he’s having to put up with things in a different way, so that’s a very funny episode, I think,” she continued.
“I think the brains of integrated very well with the overall storylines, in a way that is just kind of even more refined. The writing is so clever!” she explained. “Right now, Liv is on a ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ brain, like a dungeon master, which has been like learning a foreign language for me. I didn’t know it that well growing up. The good thing about that, because it’s somebody who narrates and who is able to command groups and has a sense of adventure and this imperious kind of voice throughout it, that flows into her own life and her ability to manipulate situations and make decisions for groups and encourage people to adventure. I think that lead-through of brain-to-storyline has been incredible this year and people will enjoy that.”
“So that’s a few of them! What’s one last one of them? Oh, a hot mess brain! That was probably my favorite. Very sort of Amy Schumer ‘Trainwreck,’ can’t remember where she’s left anything, hasn’t got anything together. I didn’t expect that to be as easy to play as it was! It’s been a confronting season,” she concluded.
For Robert Buckley, who plays Major, every brain is a blast — but one stands out above the rest. “I mean, all of them are fun for one reason or another. That [teenage girl brain] one’s going to be the standout, though, because it was like I said just… I’ve also been acting around ten years, and it wasn’t until this show that I ever got to do comedy. This was, hands down, the most very big, broad comedy I got to do, so I mean for me that one was a blast. There’s a couple more good ones coming up, but that’s my personal favorite.”
Executive producer Dan Etheridge praised McIver’s ability to transform into totally different characters week-to-week, saying, “[The writers] try and think up frankly sometimes the funniest, most outlandish brains they can come up with. The thing I find amazing about what Rose [McIver] has to do is… you know how these things work, we’re shooting eight days a week, she’s number one on the call sheet, she’s shooting all the time, you hand her the next script and the next day — on the first day, we usually try to do some brain scenes that we shoot right off the bat so we get a feel for the brain. The next morning, she’ll jettison that brain, come in the next morning, no doubt she’s got nine pages of dialogue, and instantly — first scene — develop a take on how Liv would perform that new brain.”
“So [executive producer] Diane [Ruggiero-Wright] comically talks about making it difficult for her to shift gears, but it’s built in that it’s pretty damn difficult no matter how hard the brain,” he added. “We do spend that first day of the episode, usually we have some good juicy brain scenes in there, and it is so — and I’m not saying it just because it sounds good to say this — I am blown away by how consistently she comes in on that first scene, she’s got a take, she’s not phoning it in like, ‘Oh, look! Well, crazy brain! I’ll just do it this way!’ She’s thought about it, she’s prepared, she’s stayed up most of the night doing it, she comes with this unbelievable take on it, and usually we go, ‘Oh, thank God! Once again, she’s done it. She’s dialed into the brain.’ We have a little bit more fun dialing it from excellent to a little more slightly excellent.”
“The process is so demanding for her, to figure out a new character to put on top of her character each and every week, and it’s not like she gets like a weekend or a couple days off to think about it. Nope! We shoot until 2 am, ten hours later she’s in, nine pages of dialogue, figure it out that morning! And I’m so blown away by the fact that she does it each and every week. I hope you all think as well. Consistently amazing job of finding that new brain every week,” he shared.
Based on the Vertigo comics series by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, “iZombie” follows the story of Liv Moore, a former medical resident who got turned into a zombie. In order to satiate her appetite for human brains, she takes a job at the Seattle coroner’s office and feasts on the cadaver.
Airing Tuesdays at 9 pm EST on The CW, “iZombie” is produced by Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright, the creators of “Veronica Mars,” and stars Rose McIver as Olivia Moore, Malcolm Goodwin as CliveBabinaux, Rahul Kohli as Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti, Robert Buckley as Major Lilywhite, David Anders as Blaine DeBeers, Aly Michalka as Peyton Charles, Andrea Savage as Vivian Stoll, and newcomer Jason Dohring as Chase Graves.