"IZombie's" Rose McIver Talks Tasty New Brains and an Epic Season 2 Finale

Tue, March 29th, 2016 at 11:28am PST | Updated: March 29th, 2016 at 11:34am

TV Comic Books
Scott Huver, Contributing Writer
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It's well-established by now that "iZombie's" Liv Moore, more than most, is what she eats. More specifically, she is who she eats.

As the undead heroine of The CW's hit series continues to work her way through her second season tasting menu of various crime victim brains, star Rose McIver held court with the press at WonderCon. In an afternoon session with the press, including CBR News, McIver revealed that before the season is over, Liv will be walking in both the very high stilettos of a gentleman's club dancer as well as the sensible shoes of an uber-organized go-getter.

And then comes the season finale, where all the rules as Liv -- and viewers -- have come to know them will be thrown out the window.

On the upcoming episode in which Liv consumes the brain of an exotic dancer:

Rose McIver: It was very funny. I was nervous about the costumes. As soon as I got a call from [Executive Producer] Diane [Ruggerio-Wright] saying, "You're having a stripper brain" -- it was an interesting conversation, actually. She was like, "She's white trash, she's sassy, she's going to be kind of aggressive and just wears it all on her sleeve. Basically, channel me." That was what she said.

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McIver discussed her favorite personalities Liv's eaten so far, and looked ahead to those coming later this season

I was like, "Okay," I was feeling demeaned until the point where our writer just completely took ownership over it. We had a lot of fun. The dancing element -- I used to dance -- not like that. Although -- let's spread that rumor! Let's get something going!

No, I did used to do ballet. I love the dance world. But it's a very specific art, and one that I don't know. Honestly, we were filming in these strip clubs. These girls on the poles are so strong. They are gymnasts. They're incredibly athletic. We all, Aly [Michalka] and I especially, who were in there a lot, were just like, "What is the point anymore?" Like, "These girls are like holding themselves upside down. I haven't been to Pilates in months. What am I doing?"

I had to shoot some stuff before we worked with them, so that was kind of even worse. The whole time I was watching them be so good, I was living in regret with what I had already filmed.

On some of the other new brains that Liv will sample:

In the next few episodes, she eats the brain of a Type-A personality, which is what she was. She was so structured and so disciplined, and so knew exactly what she wanted, then [she] became a zombie and all of that went out the window. And she glorifies it a little bit. "I had Major, I had all that stuff." She was boring as hell!

Like, she just didn't know herself yet. She hadn't faced adversity. She hadn't gone through big character-building experiences. I think Liv, now, is so much better. She's so much more engaged and alive and real about everything. Yeah, I think I would say, just don't think you know more than you do. Let yourself be open to experience [new things].

On the personas that came easy this season, and those that challenged her:

The Archie Bunker asshole was totally natural -- just bigoted, racist, just awful. [Laughs] That was 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 unlikeable characters in television.

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McIver at Wondercon
Photo by Caitlin Holland

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.

On the challenges Liv faces as the season finale approaches:

Well, the procedural element isn't there so much for the final couple of episodes. It's a sort of broader-scope that is challenging in other ways for Liv. There are still brains that are consumed, and she still is working in a morgue. 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, the series creator] is going to do with next season.

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On the unexpected buildup to the finale:

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. 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.

On how the finale sets up the paradigm shift planned to play out in the next season:

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 coming to play with.

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McIver would like to see an "iZombie" musical episode
Photo by Caitlin Holland

On how safe the current cast of characters feels about their prospects to make it to the third season alive:

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. 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.

On the kind of brains she hopes are part of the upcoming menu:

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 their [boundaries]. I just want to hear David Anders sing for an episode, basically.

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TAGS:  izombie, izombie (tv), rose mciver, wondercon2016

 
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