We caught up with New Zealand actress Rose McIver to chat about the second season of her hit show iZombie, how her character Liv maintains her perfectly pale complexion, and why she hates eating fake zombie brains.
From Night of the Living Dead to the Walking Dead, zombie depictions in television and film have come a long way. Rather than being bloodthirsty or even trying to overrun the world, Rose McIver’s character Liv Moore in iZombie—from Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas and loosely based on the Vertigo comic book—is a crime solver whose characteristics skew more human than monster.
Liv became a zombie after being bitten at a party, and now, she must find brains to eat in order to remain undead. Naturally she goes where brains are in excess—a police morgue. The twist? She takes on the personalities and memories of the people whose brains’ she eats, helping detectives solve their murders.
We rang McIver to talk about Liv’s beauty secrets, how a zombie finds love, and what those brains really taste like.
The new season of your show iZombie premiered in October. What can we expect from your character Liv during the rest of the season?
ROSE MCIVER: Liv finds herself dealing with some serious villains this season and Blaine is actually the least of her concerns. We get introduced to a couple of baddies very soon. With a couple more players knowing she is a zombie she has more support than she felt in season one.
Rob Thomas also worked on Veronica Mars. Are you a fan of the show?
RM: I am! Kristen Bell is so wonderful. I actually knew quite a few people who worked on that show who had such a great time making it that I knew coming on to iZombie would be one of the best experiences I could ever ask for.
Your character eats a lot of brains to satisfy her cravings, which means you have to take on the mannerisms of various types of people. Is there a trope you’ve enjoyed playing the most?
RM: I enjoy them all for different reasons. The variety is what is such a blast to play. I really love the magician, who I channel in a couple episodes’ time.
Can you talk a little bit about the romance on the show? How exactly does a zombie find love?
RM: It’s certainly not easy. Liv is still human enough to want to be loved and to be complex and have needs, but the nature of her changing temperament makes it so hard to be consistent. Move over PMS, this knocks it out of the park. She is lucky that Major, who adores her, has incredible patience. But he has limits too.
Liv has some pretty great white-blonde locks and a super porcelain complexion. Any insight you can offer up on her beauty routine?
RM: Sunscreen and hats. I have to be very sun-smart. Luckily growing up in New Zealand where there is a hole in the ozone layer, I was already very careful. The hair is a wig! So for me it’s just about trying to find enough time to sleep and taking care of my skin. Amber Trudeau, our makeup designer, does a fantastic job of finding the balance between zombie and pretty.
One last question, do you actually enjoy eating those fake brains when shooting?
RM: No way. Gelatin and vegetable juice and hot sauce. Yuck! But it’s a tiny, tiny price to pay. I am so lucky I get to do this job.