Fans of The CW’s iZombie should prepare themselves for a wild season two finale. While at the 2016 WonderCon in Los Angeles, the cast and executive producers Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright said this season’s final two episodes are going to be game-changers. Sitting down with Robert Buckley who plays Major Lilywhite in the zombie drama/comedy, we asked him about the season two finale and how he feels about what Major’s been up to over the course of the season.
Robert Buckley Interview:
We’ve heard the season two finale described as a crowd-pleaser. Do you feel that way?
Robert Buckley: “I feel like that’s an undersell. Like, it’s such an understatement. Yeah, entirely. I thought last week’s episode was a crowd-pleaser. I enjoyed it. My mom and dad enjoyed it. Three makes a crowd. But the finale, listen, it takes us eight business days to shoot an episode and we had to stretch to 10 days doing 14 hour days using literally every minute to get the episode. It’s huge in scope. I had heard zero feedback until just a couple of minutes ago when Rob Thomas got here and he was so giddy. He pulled me and Malcolm [Goodwin] aside and said, ‘I’ve got to tell you guys if you thought last year’s was big, this thing puts it to shame.’ He’s like, ‘By the second act, it’s like an action movie.’ It’s big. I’m still bruised.”
Is there a story you can tell behind the bruise?
Robert Buckley: “It happened from a zombie. [Glancing over his shoulder at David Anders.] That, or I tripped at craft services and hit it on a hard pretzel. Who knows?”
How much do enjoy the action scenes?
Robert Buckley: “A ton. I’m very much an eight-year-old at heart so any time I hear that, like the season one finale where there’s this huge shoot-out and Major gets a shotgun and a grenade, I was elated. And then this year, there’s been some fun action to do and the finale doesn’t stop. It’s wall-to-wall. We got to do a lot of roughhousing.”
Did you anticipate Major’s arc for this season because he’s really changed from season one to season two?
Robert Buckley: “No, I didn’t. And I was actually kept in the dark to a pretty good degree actually in terms of what all was happening. I knew in a very, very broad stroke basically just that Major wasn’t killing these people. But that’s sort of kind of almost implicitly you understand that because it goes against his code at his very most being. And if that’s the case, then we’ve completely changed the character because that is his whole thing is that that’s not what he would do.
So, outside of that I didn’t know was he freezing them, what was happening. But I like it because to me watching a happy person have things go their way is pretty boring television. We don’t watch reality shows because people are making good choices and not yelling at their friends, you know? So I liked when I heard where they were going with it. My only thing is I was curious how long it would take before the internet starts to turn because it was a while before there was that reveal. It looked like he was killing people and tearing these families apart so I was curious to see if the sort of love affair with, ‘Oh, sweet Major,’ is going to go away.”
Did you have to defend him a lot online?
Robert Buckley: “No, because I really couldn’t without like really, really kind of tipping my hand. It would be like, ‘Hey, just trust me guys. It’s not as bad as you think.’ It’s like, ‘Okay, they’re obviously not dead.'”
Would you say the finale is a game-changer in the way you’re going to tell the stories moving forward? Are you going to move away from the procedurals?
Robert Buckley: “That’s a great question and I really can’t give you a very informed answer because I don’t know what they have in store. But going off of the script, it’s a game-changer certainly in several ways. In the procedural aspect, I don’t know if it’s going to be a game-changer there. But in the relations between the characters and the dynamics of those relationships, absolutely. Big changes.”
How relieved were you to get the third season?
Robert Buckley: “Huge. It’s such a gift. First of all, employment’s great. But that’s not it at all. This show is so much fun to work on and our writers room is our greatest strength so I can’t wait to see what they come up with, especially after the place we’re left at the end of the second season. I can’t wait to see how they decide to make a world out of that and what that world looks like.
I think you can kind of see in the group dynamic that everyone enjoys each other’s company. We have a really, really great crew. I know it sounds so cliché but I’ve always said I love acting because I’m my favorite version of myself when I’m on set. I like being around creative people. I’m just very happy. And on this set in particular, there’s no bad apple. Everyone is just very grateful and happy to be there. We’re very, very fortunate to have this job, so I was beyond excited. And the fact I wasn’t fired because that was immediately my first question. I’m not even going to lie. I’m like, ‘We got it? That’s great. I’m still around, right?’ I was very happy to hear that.”
How safe is everyone?
Robert Buckley: “We’re getting a little Game of Thrones-y here. You know, I probably shouldn’t say it but at least one player in this is not going to make it out of season two. That’s about as much as I [can say]. I’m not going to say which group I’m referring to, but someone in the mix is going down.”
Watch the full interview with Robert Buckle on iZombie season 2: