The CW’s breakout zombie hit, iZombie, had their panel at San Diego Comic-Con in front of a hugely excited crowd. The critically loved series, which currently holds a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, is heading into its fourth season this fall and doesn’t show any signs of stopping. The panel included Executive Producers Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright, Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli, Robert Buckley, David Anders and Aly Michalka.
After the panel Fan Fest had the opportunity to speak with the cast of the show and writer Diane Ruggiero-Wright. They got all sorts of intel and behind the scenes details so check out the interviews below!
Rose McIver – Liv
What are you most excited for this season?
RM: The political over/undertones. I am pumped. I bet a bunch of other people have said that too, but to be on a show, which will still be funny, I’ll still have a case of the week and I’ll still eat brains, but it’s really important right now to be making material about what’s going on in the world and to kind of convey that information in an entertaining manner is really powerful.
What is Liv doing in post-discovery day Seattle.
She’s still solving crimes and eating brains. She is working at the PD still and now every detective works with a zombie to help them solve crimes, so she’s kind of been a pioneer to a whole new criminal force, which I think is really interesting. So, she will still be ticking along. We will get to see her family very early on. We get to deal with what’s happened to them in the interim and pining after Major.
Malcolm Goodwin – Clive
As you continue to explore your character is there anything you were surprised to learn about yourself?
Every episode I find things that I had no idea. Pink Floyd dark side of the moon, I had no idea Clive had a perspective on that. Dungeons and Dragons, him being so caught up into that, had no idea. If you’d asked me season 1, I would’ve been like ‘hmm?’ we find out so many things that are like ‘wow!’ The Flash surprised me, with him being a flash fan.
Whats been your favorite character that Liv has portrayed?
The dungeon master and the dominatrix. The dominatrix brain was just so funny and it was fun to shoot. You’re just sitting there trying not to crack up. And Rose with that whip, it was so hilarious. Also, the school teacher too. Rose kept walking around with that damn sock puppet. This was the season that was the toughest, being that Clive knows what’s going on, I no longer have to pretend and be like ‘Stop, why are you acting this way?’.
Are there any characters or actors you’d like to interact with more in the next season?
I always say David Anders. We are tight in real life, but we’ve only had like 2 scenes together. Also, Aly (Michalka), I don’t get many scenes with Aly except the scene that we had this year.
David Anders – Blaine
So what’s up for Blaine post discovery day?
He’s back to his old Blaine ways, giving up the girl. He’s thrown his father in a well and taken over his business, which now becomes a cemetery to table restaurant for zombies and business is good. I think it was good for us to humanize him with the fake memory loss because it got the audience back on his side a little bit.
How much do you know about the new season?
We do have bullet points to talk about. So Seattle is a walled up city now. Now ins or outs. People are trying to get in, like the terminally ill, so they can become a zombie and they can live. The landscape has changed a lot. It’s going to be a completely different show. It’s still got the heart, the blood, and the brains in there, but I think we are going to edge more to a darker iZombie.
What has it been like for you to watch the fandom for this series continue to expand?
It’s great. I always say when people come up on the street, it’s not Heroes, Alias, Vampire Diaries, or Once Upon a Time, it’s more and more iZombie, which is great. I always say ‘thank you for being one of the five people that watch my show’ because we aren’t some juggernaut hit, we are more of a cult hit. I think the Netflix coverage and being in the UK and worldwide is a big thing for us.
Robert Buckley – Major
So Major has volunteered to be a zombie again. How’s that going to go in the new season?
Tell you what, it does say a lot about what you have going on in your life when you’re like ‘you know what would be better than where I’m at now? Being dead.’ We do a three month time jump and we see that Major is now heavily invested in Fillmore-Graves and their cause so I think we are going to see him and his role there having stepped up quite a bit. We also see him and Liv having a little casual dalliance.
So as you continue to delve into this character is there anything you’ve been surprised to learn about yourself as an actor?
This show has pretty much been the first opportunity for me to really do comedy and I love it. I’ve done almost exclusively drama for the eleven years I’ve been acting and the comedy is so much closer to who I am in my normal life and it’s a straight up joy to do.
Who is the biggest jokester on set?
I think if you asked them, they’ll say me. I would say myself or Rahul probably. Here’s the thing about me, though. I’m a giant child and Malcolm is an absolute professional and when I’m around someone who is very professional and composed, it drives me nuts, like I have to break them. So every time I work with Malcolm I do my best to try and ruin a take…for some reason that brings my twisted heart lots of joy.
Rahul Kohli – Robbie
How does this new Seattle affect your world?
Well, he lives there. So, new Seattle is Berlin. There’s such a wall around Seattle. There’s a mass exodus of humans, so it’s population is very heavy. Immigration- there’s a lot of illegal immigration going on where terminal ill humans are trying to sneak into Seattle to be scratched. It’s illegal by Fillmore-Graves to scratch a human so there’s a whole big shift. The new character for season 4 is Seattle. It’s a new world, there’s new rules, and I think it deepy affects every single person who inhabits that city.
What about the zombie vaccine that your character was working on at the end of the season?
I can’t talk about that. He did take a vaccine when he got scratched by Liv, but the only thing I can say is the results of that you will find out in the first episode. There’s no waiting around, we will address it almost immediately.
How is your character different from season 1?
His hair is shorter, his beard is thicker. There’s been a few and a few that only I know. His accent’s changed – I changed it because when you start on American TV, the audience, the network, the producers, they’re not used to your accent so it has to be clean and like real Downton Abbey. But that’s not me, I wanted a real London representation, so if you watch over three years I’ve turned his accent into my accent. In terms of him, I think he’s become a bit more cynical. He become less a ball of energy and a little bit sarcastic and sassy. He’s gotten braver.
What keeps your character going everyday?
I think it’s hope. He and Liv have always operated on hope and since day one he even tried to give her a reason to carry on. That was that ‘we can fix this’ that ‘this is treatable and something that we can do.’ I’m sure it was easier when he knew he only had to cure about three people, now we are talking about thousands, but I still believe that same thing from episode one. He’s trying to rid the world of this disease.
Aly Michalka – Peyton
What are you most excited about this season?
I’m excited about this city that’s been walled off from the rest of the United States. I think it’s so fascinating and interesting and talks so much about immigration, which has been a hot topic for many years, but especially in this last election. I think that being able to parlay a lot of our political commentary in America is going to be really interesting in the iZombie world because they both connect.
How does all of that affect your character?
It affects her in a huge way because she is kind of torn between these two worlds. She obviously understands what it’s like to be a human – she wants to protect those rights, but she also understands that she’s lost two friends to this now, Major and Liv. I think that she has an understanding for both worlds but she almost in a way is going to be torn this season in trying to defend one but staying true to the other.
What has it been like for you to watch the fandom of the series continue to grow?
It’s really exciting. It’s super encouraging to us as a cast that there is this hardcore fan base out there that watches week to week religiously. It’s very flattering because we have a lot of fun working on the show, we work really hard, we all moved out to Vancouver and transfer our lives out there…but then we get this fantastic amazing reward of the fans coming up and telling us what their favorite episode is or who their favorite character is, or coming in and creating their own cosplay. It’s a huge compliment to all of us as a show.
Diane Ruggiero-Wright – Writer
What excited you the most about this season?
It’s a very exciting season. We start off three months later, but the cool thing to me is that you have new Seattle as this walled city and there are humans stuck in there and people outside who now know across that wall, ‘if I have cancer and I’m dying I can live. Salvation, my life is across the other side of that wall.’ And the people who are stuck behind the wall are like ‘I’m stuck behind a wall with zombies. if I want to live I have to get on the other side of that wall’. So, in our pilot we had Liv and she was just trying to hide the fact that she was a zombie and get through the day, now there’s this global issue that she’s still kind of immersed in and it add this really interesting topical layer to it, which is really exciting. To still be able to do jokes with that, and do brain of the week, and have humor and all the stuff we still like about the show, but have that kind of incredible backdrop is really interesting and exciting to me.
Having studied Media & Writing at James Madison University, I always knew that I wanted to do some type of creative writing, but being able to write about zombies, Starks, and superheroes on a daily basis for Fan Fest is my actual dream. While I probably shouldn’t be as proud as I am to be so similar to Nick Miller, I do hope to one day write my own “Pepperwood Chronicles’.