‘iZombie’ Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright Interview

Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero Wright iZombie Interview
‘iZombie’s Diane Ruggiero-Wright and Rob Thomas at WonderCon. (Photo by Richard Chavez / ShowbizJunkies)

Series co-creators/executive producers Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright joined iZombie cast members Rose McIver, David Anders, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli, and Robert Buckley at the 2015 WonderCon to talk about the new series that’s turned out to be a big hit for The CW. Airing on Tuesday nights at 9pm ET/PT, iZombie has caught on with audiences and even Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, the creative minds behind the Vertigo comics that inspired the series, have responded positively to the way the characters have come to life on the small screen.

iZombie follows Liv Moore (Rose McIver), a medical resident who was turned into a zombie while at a party and who now works at the coroner’s office in order to have easy access to brains. Her medical examiner boss (Rahul Kohli) knows she’s a member of the undead, and not only is he fascinated by that fact, he’s also sworn to keep the truth a secret. Complicating matters are an ex-fiance (Robert Buckley) who has no idea why she broke off their engagement and a police detective (Malcolm Goodwin) who thinks she’s psychic and that’s how she’s able to solve recent homicides. (It’s actually through visions she has after eating the brains of the murder victims.)

At WonderCon, Thomas (Veronica Mars) said the series has presented him with challenges he’s never faced before, including working with large amounts of blood, violent scenes, and extensive visual effects. “We’ve got zombies and blood and shotguns, and people in expensive zombie makeup,” explained Thomas. “We did our first full-fledged […]Romero zombie and I’m like, ‘This is like a $20,000 hit to do that.'”

Ruggiero-Wright joked that in The Walking Dead they actually kill people and make them zombies because it’s cheaper. “And people are willing to do it! They’re like, ‘I just want to be on the show. I’ll die,'” said Ruggiero-Wright, laughing.

If you’ve been watching the show, you know the zombie stuck in the well looked different from either Liv or the other main zombie, Blaine (David Anders). It’s all because of brain-eating, confirmed Thomas. “If Liv quit eating brains, that’s what she’d become. Marcy is the cautionary tale. If Liv could not get her hands on brains, or if any of them who want that specter, that fear…we don’t know exactly how many – well, we know how many zombies are wandering around Seattle but Liv doesn’t. If they quit eating them, that is what they become. And the potential not only for Liv to see her fate but the potential for a zombie apocalypse, we wanted to put that in people’s minds.”

So, how soon will the audience find out how many zombies are actually out there? “You won’t find out this season,” replied Thomas. “You will know there are more. You will meet more zombies.”

“But you won’t have an exact head count,” added Ruggiero-Wright.

But Ruggiero-Wright and Thomas did promise that by the end of the season, the audience may come a little bit closer to understanding what triggered the zombie outbreak. “We’re going to go down the path with Ravi developing the cure. That’s going to happen,” revealed Thomas. “You’re going to learn a lot more about Blaine’s business model. In fact you’re going to be learning about Blaine’s business model very soon.”

After a little discussion between the two about what can be disclosed about Blaine at this point in the series’ first season, Thomas said, “Blaine has a business model. He finds wealthy people who can pay top dollar for brains, turns them into zombies, and then charges them for delivery.”

“It’s like creating drug addicts,” said Ruggiero-Wright.

“And part of the question is where is he getting those people? And he tends to try to get people who will not be missed. And those people, and you’ve seen a bit of this as well, tend to be the sort of people that Major works with in his job at a home for runaway teenagers. So everything builds toward a showdown,” said Thomas.

Thomas also revealed that over the course of the season, the episodes will become less murder case-of-the-week driven. “There’s so much fun in the zombie mythology… I’m not saying that we threw out the case of the week, I would just say that maybe five or six pages at the beginning of the season have now been shifted over to the zombie world, the zombie mythology.”

– More iZombie interviews: Rose McIver / Robert Buckley / Malcolm Goodwin / David Anders

Watch the interview for more on where this season’s heading, what viewers can expect from season two, and story arcs:

-By Rebecca Murray

Follow Us On: