Most people would be horrified to join the ranks of the living dead, but not “iZombie’s” David Anders. As drug dealer turned zombie Blaine DeBeers, he’s used his supernatural mojo to run Seattle’s first brain delivery service, an unusual but growing business that proved to be an unmitigated success — even if he had to kill in order to obtain fresh product.
Of course, Blaine’s dastardly deeds came to a screeching halt when Liv (Rose McIver) injected him with an experimental cure, reverting the undead entrepeneur back to human form. However, just because Blaine is mortal again doesn’t mean he’s changed his wicked ways.
With “iZombie” Season 1 arriving on Blu-ray this week, CBR News spoke with Anders about playing a witty villain, Blaine’s gameplan for Season 2 now that he’s no longer craving human brains, his previously-ghoulish appearance and his hopes for a rematch with Major (Robert Buckley).
CBR News: with “iZombie’s” Season 1 Blu-ray arriving in stores, I think it’s a good time to ask, what were some of the elements that initially drew you to the show?
David Anders: I’d say the humor ,more than anything. When I read the title, I was like,”Oyeee.” Then, two pages in, I was like, “Ohhh — we have a winner on our hands with a suspect title.” You read on, and read about it, and learn it’s based on a comic book that is a ripping ride in its own right. It was an opportunity for me to again play the villain, but play a lighter villain in a funnier show. I think “iZombie” is the best zom-com-rom-dram in the history of television.
What’s the trick to rocking the platinum blonde undead look?
I don’t know the trick. I’m trying to sort that out in life, like walking around Vancouver and Los Angeles and just being me with the platinum blonde. People look at me like I’m fresh off skid row, looking for a needle exchange. That’s a trick I haven’t quite mastered yet.
On screen, when I’m in the Blaine clothes and the Blaine boots and the Blaine guy-liner, it’s pretty easy. It’s not a mask, but it’s a hat. It’s fun. Perfecting it, you need the whole package — the clothes, the shirts, the jacket, the boots and the arm tackle.
Blaine has done some pretty despicable things, but the murder of Lowell was probably the most shocking. How surprised were you by the fan reaction when Blaine killed Lowell?
I knew that was going to be tough. I was at a convention in Houston a few weeks after that episode aired. One after another, fans were coming up saying, “I don’t like you. You killed Lowell.” I had to turn to Bradley [James’] agent and say, “I’m sorry. I apologize. I’m sorry I killed the cheek bones.” The cheek bones are doing fine and starring on “Damien.” You’ll be able to see that pretty face again. Bradley did such a wonderful job for us on the show. He and Rose had a strong dynamic. My answer to all of those fans who were hurt about it was, “What were they going to do? Kill me? No.”
What were your thoughts on the season finale and the implications it could have for Blaine moving forward?
When I read the season finale and we shot it, I was interested as to where we’d go with Blaine being human. Producer Rob Thomas had mentioned there would be side effects for people that had been a zombie and now cured. We are playing with that in Season 2. I assumed he was going to remain on the wrong side of the law, or the right side depending how you looked at it. He does have a different vocation. His place went up in flames. I was excited to humanize him, quite literally, and that’s what we’re doing. He’s still a charmer.
Is a human Blaine deadlier than a zombie one?
I don’t know if he’s deadlier. He still surrounds himself by former defensive linemen. Even when he was a zombie, with whatever zombie powers he had, he still had big zombies to protect him and hide behind. He’s less deadly, because he doesn’t have the zombie power.
In what ways have Blaine’s priorities changed now that he’s human? Have they changed?
He’s running a whole game on Seattle. You’re going to meet his father in this season. We’re introducing the big crime boss of Seattle. Blaine has a real long con to jump those guys on his way to the top.
What is the dynamic between Blaine and Liv these days?
It’s the same as it ever was. There’s some awareness on Blaine’s part whenever Liz is around, because she still remains a zombie. He still taunts her and dangles his humanity in front of her and the fruits of being a human in front of her, knowing she’s had the opportunity to kill him, but didn’t. That’s not in her make-up.
In Season 2, they are going to put aside their rocky past, so that maybe they can have a rocky future. They have to team up. They don’t like each other. She doesn’t like him. He doesn’t like her. That’s fine. Teammates don’t have to like each other. Teammates don’t have to be friends. Teammates just have to win.
After everything that went down between the two last season, what can you tease about round 2 between Blaine and Major?
I think that’s coming. Haven’t shot it yet, haven’t read it yet, but that is coming. We have to fight. We have to settle the score. I know I’m looking forward to it. I love working with Robert in what little I’ve done with him. I love him as a human being and as an actor, so I welcome any chance to work with Robert.
“iZombie” Season 1 is available now on DVD and Blu-ray. Season 2 debuts Tuesday, October 6 on The CW.
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