‘iZombie’ Rose McIver Interview: On Brains and Season 2’s Finale

Rose McIver from iZombie at WonderCon
Rose McIver at the 2016 WonderCon (Photo by Richard Chavez / Showbiz Junkies)

As Liv Moore in The CW’s iZombie Rose McIver portrays a zombie who picks up the memories and personalities of the person whose brain she eats. Liv’s cooked up gourmet meals featuring the brains of a stripper, basketball coach, erotic novelist, frat dude, Country singer, trophy wife, and even a cranky old man, taking on their talents and sometimes obnoxious personality traits. But with the second season of the popular series heading toward its finale, at the 2016 WonderCon Rose McIver said fans of the show can expect something completely different from the season’s final two episodes.

Rose McIver Interview:

What were the challenges of filming this season’s finale?

Rose McIver: “Well, the procedural element isn’t there so much for the final couple of episodes. It’s a sort of broader scope story that is challenging in other ways for Liv. There are still brains that are consumed, and she still is working in a morgue, but she finds herself in some really compromising positions. There’s lots of stunt sequences. We had a lot of fun working with that. The stakes in the last two episodes go through the roof. It’s pretty incredible. I don’t know what Rob [Thomas] is going to do with next season.”

What was your reaction to reading the script for the finale?

Rose McIver: “The one before – the penultimate episode – for me, for whatever reason, really spoke to me and really did something. Some of the revelations that happen… That was the one for me that sets up the big climax, and I love some of that story that comes through there. I mean, I cried. I cried reading the script and that doesn’t happen to me that often. I’m very visual and I’ll cry watching things, but when I read normally I’m okay. This time I wasn’t.”

Rob Thomas said there’s a paradigm shift for season three. Are you shocked at the direction that it’s going to take?

Rose McIver: “Yes, I was. I think now that our show is going into the third season there’s room to shake the structure a little bit and play outside the box. But there are certainly great things about it being a procedural as a device for her being able to eat those brains each week, and for it to hang on these very specific story hooks can be fantastic, too. I think it could kind of go either way at the moment, and I feel like story-wise and character dynamic-wise, relationship-wise, there’s really, really interesting stuff to play with.”

Is there a brain she hasn’t eaten yet that you’re hoping she’ll get to maybe next season?

Rose McIver: “Well, I want to see an episode…we’ve played with some music. Liv has sung a bit and Blaine has sung a bit. I want, like, a full musical episode. I want there to be just like brains, maybe something contaminated where everybody has to eat it and the whole episode is done in song. I remember I worked on Xena when I was little and they did that one episode of Xena, and I thought it was so cool when shows get to push that. I just want to hear David Anders sing for an episode, basically.”

Who do you not want to hear sing?

Rose McIver: “Robert Buckley. As I’ve told him, he has a beautiful tone; he has a beautiful sound. Like, his tone is fantastic but he’s pitch deaf. So, he gives a lot and it’s beautiful for the individual notes but they just don’t work together. They’re all over the map. I think he would struggle but he would give it a lot. He would definitely put some effort behind it.”

This season, which personas were very easy to tap into and which were difficult?

Rose McIver: “The Archie Bunker asshole was totally natural – just bigot, racist, just awful. [Laughing] That was actually the first episode back and I really struggled with it. Playing somebody who you really think is unpleasant isn’t fun. It’s like the magic isn’t there. It gives me a new respect for people who play really unlikable characters in television.

The gambler was a lot of fun. Some of that superstitious stuff. Yeah. I don’t know about a favorite. The magician was really, really fun, and the erotic librarian – I had a lot of fun with that too. Mainly just hitting Rahul [Kohli’s] ass like four million times, over and over again.”

How safe is everyone in the main cast going into the finale?

Rose McIver: “That depends how kind we all are to Rob Thomas! I think we’re all good. I hope so. We have built some really different dynamics,definitely. Certain revelations happen to different people, secrets come out. Things that we thought we knew about certain people aren’t the case. So there is definitely a shift, but everybody is still very integral to the story.”

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In addition to iZombie stars Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, David Anders, Robert Buckley, Aly Michalka, and Rahul Kohli, series co-creators/executive producers Rob thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright also participated in roundtable interviews at WonderCon. Check out what they had to say about the finale and plans for a third season: