This past fall, a group of journalists were invited up to Vancouver to visit the iZombie sets and talk to the cast about Season 4. At that time we had a lot of questions about what this new season would bring, especially given Season 3’s cliffhanger ending. Since then a little more has been revealed in promos and trailers, but Season 4 sounds like it’s really going to dig into some big socio-political themes about living in a city filled with zombies. How does that look on an organizational level? What does it mean for Liv and our heroes?
Series star Rose McIver answered some of that and more for us in our roundtable interview, including some discussion of Rapper brain and Rom-Com brain, Liv’s love life, the show’s balance between seriousness and humor, and much more:
QUESTION: We know that you are rapping this season. Can you talk about how you prepared and when you got that script, what your reaction was to it?
MCIVER: Yes, gosh. I still do enjoy really good rap music, but I had a phase as a teenager when I got really into it and thought I could rap myself. I was definitely not a good rapper. I definitely had listened to a lot and have a fairly good understanding of it and reference points. I worked a little bit with friends I knew. Again, on this show, we don’t really get a lot of time to prep, so there wasn’t a way to do a rapping boot camp or anything. Good conversations with people who knew a lot more than I did about the field. Then, working with Bisanne [Masoud] and Talia [Gonazalez], who wrote the episode, and kind of tweaking and adjusting and making sure I felt comfortable with the flow of the lyrics. It’s cool. We want to have a little bit of a twinkle in our eye about it the whole time. I don’t want Liv to be a bad rapper, but I also want it to be clear that it’s not something she would naturally have had a grasp of.
So, Liv is on the police force side or the law side. Major is on the Fillmore-Graves side. How does that work for the two of them, to be on two opposite sides?
MCIVER: It’s really challenging. They love each other dearly. There’s a world in which they could have been a great couple and maybe ultimately are able to get to that place. But, right now, politics are very much in the way. The way I think about it is in my life, not so much with romantic relationships but with friends and loved ones, there’s a lot of political activity that people feel very strongly about in various different ways. It’s very, very hard to maintain your cool and connect and respect each other, when there’s such a decisive situation going on. There are many decisive situations going on. I think Liv deals with that with Major. She doesn’t think his approach is the right approach, or that Fillmore-Graves is, and really struggles to respect him in that time and has to assume a healthy distance in order to protect any friendship they may have in the future, or dynamic that they have.
What has been the most difficult brain they have given you to do in the 50-plus episodes you’ve done so far?
MCIVER: I don’t even remember half of them, honestly. The most unappealing one was the bigoted, racist brain … the Archie Bunker-style brain. I just didn’t love coming to work and playing that everyday, albeit a clever way of serving a certain storyline. It wasn’t as much of a joy as, for example, coming to work and playing an erotic literature writer. That was fun. That was challenging in that respect. Hockey-goon brain was challenging in a physical respect because I had one official day to spend on the ice in hockey skates for the first time. I hadn’t picked up my figure skates since I was 14, but hockey skates ever, so it was completely different. And, that was a very challenging thing to try and seem proficient and knowledgeable about the mannerisms and the little bits and pieces. That was a new world for me. That was challenging, but I had great support around me. We had an amazing stunt team that was also involved.
Now that the truth is out there, are we going to see Liv reunite with her family, because they’ve been gone since Season 1?
MCIVER: You know, I’d love that. You and me both. We have so many storylines that we are servicing in this show, and we have so many regulars with their own storylines, that it hasn’t made sense quite yet for that to be a focal story point. It’s definitely hovering there. I hope we come back to that soon. I am fascinated by Liv’s Dad, who he is. There was talk about trying to bring it in this season, but it’s been such a dense plot. I think the writers have focused, at the moment, on what’s going on in Seattle.
Liv’s love life got quite complicated last year, especially towards the end. What’s in store in that respect in Season 4?
MCIVER: She gets a new boyfriend, at some point, during the season. His name is Levon. I was very excited that their shop name would be Livon, which was clearly no accident knowing our writers. He’s completely different to her boyfriends we’ve met in the past. I fear for his safety, as I do for all Liv’s love interests. It’s different, it’s new and he’s a documentary filmmaker. It’s a version of a person Liv connects with that we haven’t seen before, which is cool.
This season seems to be much more serious in nature. The show in general has a lot of humor. Is there going to be a balance to that or is this season going to be much more serious?
MCIVER: Weirdly, I think it’s funnier than our seasons prior. I really do. I think that they’ve heightened that contrast quite a lot. There’s strong drama and there’s strong comedy. It’s like I believe we have to. In the times of the most conflict and grave situations, you have to have a sense of humor about things, because how else do you get through? We feel that in this show this season. You can look forward to Major on wrestling brain and Liv on romantic-comedy brain at the same time. There’s plenty of humor that finds its way through this and I think its some of the funniest writing that I’ve experienced on the show.