Forget about that looming zombie outbreak in iZombie. Its containment is front and center in Season 4. After the walking dead were exposed in last season's finale, Seattle’s become a walled-in city where zombies and humans coexist. However, the socio-political climate has polarized many residents, including Liv and the Z-Gang. One bone of contention lies with Major working for Chase Graves, a morally corrupt individual out for power.
When SYFY WIRE and other press visited the iZombie set back in November, it seemed fitting that at least one interview transpired in the series’ morgue. That honor went to Major actor Robert Buckley, who discussed Major’s shady employer, wacky brain antics, and mounting tension with Liv.
What brain are you most excited for fans to see in Season 4?
Robert Buckley: They gave me another fun brain, like particularly fun, which is I eat the brain of a professional wrestler. I swung for the fences on this one. I tried to go even bigger than teenage-girl brain, which is pretty easy if you watch wrestling at all. [I watched it] especially when I was coming of age... the Macho Man Randy Savage and those guys. It's not hard. You kind of have to go big. So, that was a ton of fun. I haven't seen it yet. And then I eat a cowboy brain. Those are the two standouts that I can think of at the moment.
Do you and Liv share brains at all this year?
No, not in the same way as the dad/daughter. That was fun. This time, you will have interactions like when I'm on wrestler's brain, she's on rom-com brain. So, when she's having her Truly Madly Deeply moments, I'm screaming at the top of my lungs and gesticulating wildly. They definitely paired brains, but we didn't actually dine together off brains that knew each other.
What is Major up to at Fillmore-Graves? Why is he bonding so much with it this year?
We're seeing him sort of rise up the ranks. Initially, we saw him just being like a grunt, right? Just kind of going on missions and whatnot. This year, we're seeing him rise in rank a bit, so now he's sort of become responsible for a unit. He has his own unit. In addition to that, he kind of gets closer with Chase Graves, so you start to see an unlikely relationship blossom there and, via that relationship, get some new interesting tasks.
What does Major's involvement with Fillmore-Graves mean for his relationships with his loved ones?
It creates some conflict. I mean, I think what we started to see last season - the trend of Liv not being particularly enthusiastic about him siding so heavily with Fillmore-Graves. That continues to happen. You know how you get those jobs in high school, where you work at Hotdog on a Stick, so you can hook your buddies up and all your friends are like, "Hotdog on a Stick is the best ever!" Fillmore-Graves is no Hotdog on a Stick.
Can you talk about how Major has returned to his roots and is helping teen zombies?
One of the things that we see early on at Fillmore-Graves is Chase Graves asked Major, "Hey, we have some sort of at-risk youth within the city. Would you be willing to talk to them?" It's very smart because that's what Major used to do. Major is very enthusiastic, thinking, "Holy crap, this was my calling and now I can kind of combine my old love with my new love," and he begins working with some of these youths. Some of them eventually get brought into the Fillmore-Graves fold, and so we see some of those relationships grow from there.
Do you enjoy iZombie's tendency to deal with real-world issues?
Yes. This is my favorite season, hands down. I felt a sense of excitement from the writers' room when I started getting the scripts, and something that I loved right off the bat was that everyone's story had stakes. It really was like new Seattle is a powder keg, and there's so much volatility because there are zombies having to coexist with humans.
You're like, "Wow, this is not far off from what I read on Twitter every three hours," you know? Which is fun! Anything where you can kind of tie it back to the real world is great, but also it helps you sort of identify with this totally unbelievable world that these characters are living in. You're like, "Oh yeah. I get that. I know what that's like."
Do the characters end up coming in conflict with Angus' cult?
Yes, but I can't go much further than that. But, it's Angus. C'mon, man! He's not going to be just passive and dull and friendly. His character arc is fantastic, and [Robert] Knepper absolutely kills it. I'm excited for y'all to see that. That was a storyline I didn't know was coming, so I didn't know what to expect and it's so good. It's fantastic. Everyone has run-ins with them. It's Angus, you know what I mean? He's “that guy” at the party.
Is there room for romance in Major's life this season?
God, I hope so. That guy's life is the worst. He would be a good friend to have, I think, because Major is not only a nice guy — like, he's that guy who would show up to help you move — but isn't it always nice to have a friend who's doing worse than you in life? I love having that one friend who's just making terrible choices because even when I mess up, I'm like, "Oh, yeah, but I could be Dave and I'm not! It's good! It's good!" So, I think everyone needs a Major in their life.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.