Dead to Life: An Interview with iZombie's David Anders
Based on the Vertigo comic by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred, The CW’s
is a hard show to categorize. Part comedy, part horror, part romance and part procedural, it’s a show that thrives on keeping its viewers on their toes, never quite knowing what to expect from week to week. It’s a trait that extends to its characters as well, perhaps none so clearly as Blaine DeBeers, the brain-dealing psychopath that clashed with protagonist Liv Moore throughout Season 1. A killer who was more than willing to murder for profit, Blaine somehow still manages to come off as likable, even sympathetic at times.
now available on DVD and the second season set to kick off in exactly a week, we thought it was high time to speak with David Anders, the charismatic actor behind Blaine, about what makes his delectable character tick and what lies ahead for the frosty-haired foe. (The interview does contain a few spoilers if you haven’t yet seen Season 1. Consider yourself warned!)
Looking back at Season 1, what would you say is your favorite thing about it?
I think my favorite thing about Season 1 is that we so clearly developed the world and all these characters so clearly. We also developed the lore of our show because if you watch the show you know that we don’t abide by every zombie show that’s gone before us. We create new rules, which I think is great because there’s no science or scripture when it comes to a zombie show.
Is it hard making your character both charming and terrifying? How do you do that?
They say that a man’s only as good as his word. Well, I am only as good as the words that Rob Thomas, Diane Ruggiero and their team of writers write for me. All of that smarm is really on the page. I can add a strut here and a look there, but it’s just a treat to get to say all of these great lines and words that they come up with for Blaine. I’d like to take credit, but I can’t.
One thing we haven’t gotten much of is Blaine’s backstory. Do you know it, or have you created a backstory for him?
We get into that in Season 2, so it’s interesting you bring that up. Robert Knepper is playing my father, Angus, so we get into Blaine’s daddy issues and his whole family history with his grandfather and mother. In one scene, you learn a lot about Blaine and why he is the way he is. Yeah, I was looking forward to getting into that origin story of Blaine, so I’m glad we get to.
Do you think fans are going to be surprised by it? Will it really shed some light on the character?
Yeah, I think the fans might develop a soft spot for him. They’ll see why he is the way he is. It gives him a new hue.
One of my favorite Season 1 episodes is “Patriot Brains” because I felt like we got a glimpse of Blaine being genuine near the end with Lowell, until he’s forced to kill him. Am I right about that?
Yeah. Blaine’s a bit of a fanboy. He’s a real rock snob. The chance to get to chill and hang out with a rockstar was just a massive treat for him. He thought he had made a new bro, and then the new bro tried to stab him in the head! So yeah, decisions, decision. He’s quick on his feet. He had to do what he had to do.
How would you describe Blaine’s relationship with Liv? She seems to hate him, but I’m not sure he feels the same way about her.
Yeah, she hates him. He hates certain aspects of her. But he taunts her with kid gloves. Now that he’s human in Season 2, he taunts her by holding his humanity in front of her. Though he’s a bit hesitant and a bit wary at first around her. This is the first time he’s seen her since the gunfight at the Meat Cute corral. She is a zombie and she still has that power and he does not. Not anymore. But she’s had opportunities to kill him in the past and she’s chosen not to, and he knows that.
We’re at a point now in Season 2 where Liv and Blaine team up. They put aside their rocky past so that maybe they can have a rocky future. They don’t like each other, but teammates don’t have to like each other.
Is there anyone’s brain that you feel Blaine wouldn’t be willing to sell? Does he have a line?
I don’t think so. If he could turn a profit, there’s not a brain he won’t touch. No.
Yeah, I think if he had Kurt Cobain’s brain, he would be the only one who gets to eat that.
We know how Blaine DeBeers reacts to becoming a zombie. If David Anders woke up one morning and discovered he was a zombie, how would you react?
I am a zombie most mornings, so it wouldn’t be that different!
So what else is next for Blaine? What can you tease about Season 2?
Blaine’s got this whole long con that he’s trying to pull over on Seattle. He’s got a new vocation. He’s trying to get to the top of the Seattle food chain, and along with introducing my father, we introduce the Seattle crime boss.
That’s his season to this point. Of course, Liv keeps eating brains and taking on the traits of these people. In the first three episodes we’ve got a frat boy, an old man and a housewife, I think. Like a “Real Housewives” sort of housewife. We’ve got some fun stuff planned for you guys.
iZombie: The Complete First Season is now available on DVD. Season 2 of iZombie debuts on Tuesday, October 6
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