The Season One finale of The CW’s “iZombie” introduced a working prototype of the zombie cure and left two characters forever changed. For Blaine DeBeers (David Anders), his burgeoning zombie empire would need a change of pace when he suddenly found himself alive and human again. Major Lilywhite (Robert Buckley) was transformed into a zombie by Liv (Rose McIver) in order to save his life, and subsequently received the cure — the last of the serum that had been developed.
Season Two saw each character head in new directions, with Blaine continuing to operate as an underworld force, now the head of a Seattle mortuary, and Major hitting rock bottom, becoming a zombie bag man for Max Rager, the energy drink manufacturer that may also be responsible for unleashing the zombie problem on the city.
At WonderCon 2016 in Los Angeles, CBR TV’s Kiel Phegley spoke with Anders and Buckley about what their characters have experienced in Season Two, what will change as the season finale arrives tonight on The CW, and how they each reacted to the news that the series had been renewed for a third season.
In part one, David Anders and Robert Buckley discuss the ups and downs of the show’s many relationships, whether Major is headed for another fall, and if Blaine has been humanized — in addition to regaining his humanity — in Season Two. Anders also comments on whether Blaine is more dangerous now that he’s human and explains just what the show’s brains taste like, as well as whether or not they’re paleo.
On whether Buckley wants to see Major continue to rebuild his life or hit another low:
Robert Buckley: Selfishly I’d love to see things go well for him, but as a viewer I think it’s far more interesting to watch him just get shattered and his dreams be destroyed. It makes for good TV. No one wants to see happy people do well. [Laughter] That’s why you flip past anti-depressant commercials. We know how it ends. The gray cloud disappears, they’re in the park, they’re happy.
David Anders: You’ve perfected the sad face.
Buckley: I have?
Anders: It’s one of the best sad faces I’ve ever seen.
Buckley: Thank you growing up Catholic. [Laughter]
On Blaine’s smarmy charm and whether Anders wants viewers to empathize with him or love to hate him:
Anders: I think it’s important to round the character out and give him as many different hues as possible rather than just that mustache twirling villain — that I can do, but I can also do other things. I obviously can do other things and I think that appealed to the fans in different ways this season. I’d like to thank Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright and the rest of the writers who I forget the names of.
Buckley: They don’t matter. [Laughter]
On how the introduction of more Seattle crime figures changed the way Anders played Blaine in Season Two:
Anders: I’ve been given a lot of great stuff to do, and Rahul [Kohli] really — he’s over there, you’re gonna talk to him in a second. He really laid it down for me. [Imitating Kohli] “It’s important to like build up like a real Big Bad so that guy can go down, he can die, because he’s not gonna kill you. You’re not gonna die, you know what I mean?” Not to say that anybody’s gonna die.
Buckley: But you can hear anything with that French accent and you think, “It just sounds right.” [Laughter]
Anders: I was pretty sure I wasn’t gonna survive past two seasons of the show. And you know what, who knows if I do.
On how Blaine feels about being a zombie versus being a human:
Anders: I think there’s aspects of zombie-ism that Blaine liked, but I think he really likes being a human. He likes being able to taste food and do the sex. [Laughter] He’s capable of awful things, human or zombie.
In the second half of the conversation, the “iZombie” stars explain how their post-zombie journeys have mirrored one another and how they’ve become aligned again now that the cure is failing. They also offer their thoughts on what’s to come in Season Three, and whether either of them will be around to see it come to fruition following the events of this season’s finale.
On how Major and Blaine’s respective storylines intersect and factor into the season finale:
Buckley: I think in a sense we’ve really become unlikely bedfellows in that we’re both stuck in this position with the cure seemingly wearing off, what are we gonna do. As we saw in the last episode that aired it seemed as though Blaine was gonna be the one to make the first move in giving himself this potential cure that we don’t know whether it’s gonna work or not. It’s kind of, I don’t want to say an unlikely friendship, but it’s this sort of bond the two of them have where I’ve never rooted — I think Major’s never rooted for Blaine — but in this case it’s a situation where I really hope he pulls though because, if he does, that really bodes well for Major. And if not then it’s like, “Oh well, it’s a shame we lost him, but shit for me….
On both actors thinking it was bad news on the other line when they got the news about Season Three:
Buckley: The morning I got the call about Season Three, my first honest question was — normally this Executive Producer doesn’t call early in the morning — so it was like, “Oh my god, what have I done?”
Anders: He said, “Call me back. It’s not bad news.” And it was my birthday and I was like, “Is he wishing me a happy birthday?”
Buckley: Oh my god, that’s right. And my first thought was that obviously I’m fired or he’s telling me that, “Hey, it’s been a real ride with Major, but now it’s over.” And then it was funny he told me the good news and he was like, “What’s with you guys? Every single one of you answered the phone with fear [Laughter] and thought that something terrible was happening to you.” So I don’t know if that’s just an actor thing or the fact that, sort of like on “Game of Thrones,” you never know on “iZombie,” someone could go at any minute. But I think that we all, to some degree or another, shared that worry of like, “Hey, that’s great for the show. How about number one?”
“iZombie’s” Season Two finale airs Tuesday, April 12 at 9 p.m. on The CW.
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