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'iZombie': Rahul Kohli on bromance, cure breakthroughs, and upcoming brains

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Diyah Pera/The CW

The CW’s iZombie follows Liv Moore (Rose McIver), a former doctor-in-training who made the mistake of attending a boat party that was crashed by a herd of hungry zombies. Now she’s working at the coroner’s office with Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli) in order to have access to her new favorite meal—brains. But even with extra hot sauce, the whole brain-eating thing doesn’t come easily to Liv. Especially since every bite of a new victim’s brain comes with the unique personality traits and memories of that victim. Ravi is the only one who knows her secret, and he’s eagerly in search for a cure. 

Ahead of the series’ fifth episode, “Flight of the Living Dead,”—which has Liv embracing a “YOLO” state of mind after ingesting the brain of her recently murdered sorority sister, Holly (guest star Tasya Teles)—Kohli spoke with EW, assuring fans that we have new characters, cure breakthroughs, and even more bromance heading our way. 

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You and Major seem to be developing a bit of a bromance. How will that play out in future episodes?

RAHUL KOHLI: They wanted to flesh Liv’s life out a little bit more, and give the characters things to do other than interact with Liv. With Major’s character being the ex-fiancé, it could be very easy to become disconnected from the rest of the group. Me and [Robert] Buckley[, who plays Major], on a side note—we were very good friends, we got on very well on the show, as did everyone. But we especially geeked out over comic books and video games. I’m going to do the worst pun—I’ve said this like six times—it was a no-brainer to move us in together.

Will the relationship complicate things with Liv at all, especially since she has these lingering feelings for Major?

In later episodes, Major’s character starts to really spiral out into a different path. And it actually benefits Liv, having a friend still close to Major. It was a smart move on her part. It came from a selfish place why she wanted Ravi to move in with him, but it works out to be the only way she’s able to keep some form of tabs on him. 

Will Ravi make any sort of breakthrough in his search for the cure?

Yeah, there’s definitely some breakthroughs. Ravi develops a better understanding, as does the audience at the same time, toward the actual infection itself and is able to make certain leaps throughout the season.

Can you tell us more about this case coming up? It involves a sorority sister of Liv’s. Is it more personal for her? Does it affect her more than it normally does?

Yeah, this is the first brain she eats [from] someone she knew. That definitely adds a new spin on it. And it’s a very emotional moment when she has to do that. But yeah, the next episode is—oh, what can I say without spoiling? Well, the next episode is kind of a key turning point in our season. So far from [episodes] one to four, the procedural elements have obviously been a huge through-line throughout each episode. And there have been moments where they [the writers] have dropped serial storylines—like, hinted at them, and promised what’s to come. [Episode] five’s that turning point when you start to really see where each character’s going in terms of the supporting cast, and there are some new characters as well that turn up. So it’s a bit of a turning point in the season, where it’ll give you an indication as to where Rob [Thomas] and the writers are taking it. 

A new charcter, Carson, is coming in played by Veronica Mars alum Ryan Hansen. How would you describe him? Will he be in more than one episode?  

Our characters don’t have much interaction, but I did spend a lot of time with Ryan Hansen. And it’s funny, because I was the new boy on set and I’m the newest actor out of the crew. Everyone would tell me, like, “Oh my God, wait till Hansen gets here! You’re not ready. He’s the most amazing person, and he’s so funny and so much fun!” And I grew to hate him. I was like, “Who’s this dude? I’m fun—you don’t need him! Who the hell is Ryan Hansen?” The minute he came, I fell in love with him. He was everything everyone said he was. He really is the most awesome dude, and I wish I’d had a chance to work more with him. Obviously, he’s in episode five—I don’t want to say whether he’s in more. But it would be amazing if he was.

What’s it like to work with a character who changes from week-to-week, as Liv does?

As an actor, it’s great. Particularly with comedy, a lot of the humor comes from reacting, and it’s never stale simply because we’re always reacting to something completely different. Rose’s character takes on all these characteristics from different victims, and at the same time, it also changes who we interact with. So the brain has a sort of ripple effect in each episode for all the actors that interact with Liv.

It’s refreshing and fun as well. Each week, we get a new script and we’d find out, “Oh no, she’s got to do this this week.” She has to learn kung fu, and then there’s one that I think people are excited about already—so I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler—but at one point she eats the brain of someone who’s a gamer. When we found out, we thought it was hilarious because Rose is like our little sister, and all we do is talk games around her and bore her to death. Now she had find out about it and dive into it. It’s just really fun, anything that keeps things fresh. I guess that’s why a lot of us became actors; it’s a job that constantly changes. Within this show—it changes almost weekly.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I just hope everyone is having fun. It was really fun to make this show, and I know this sounds like one-word answers but whenever someone asks us “What can we expect?” I always just sort of say “Fun.” I really hope that that’s what’s happening. That people are tuning in and being entertained.

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