As usual, David Anders is up to no good on your TV screen.
To wit: On the first season of The CW’s iZombie (now out on DVD), his undead bad guy Blaine DeBeers ran a black-market brain-selling industry out of the butcher shop Meat Cute and was a weekly foil for crime-solving zombie heroine Liv (Rose McIver), who in the season finale tested a cure on him that made Blaine human again.
Not that that’s helping his demeanor any, although he is looking a little less pale.
The second-season premiere on Tuesday (9 ET/PT) finds Blaine with what Anders calls “a fun new vocation”: director of a funeral home with the fantastic name Shady Plots Funerary. “We have no shame with the names, of businesses and/or characters.”
Anders, who was also Elena’s uncle on The Vampire Diaries, checked in with USA Today from Vancouver — where the Oregon native’s scooting between iZombie and an upcoming return to ABC’s Once Upon a Time — to give us the rundown on the new year.
So how are the events of the season finale affecting Blaine?
“We’re humanizing him a little bit, quite literally, with the cure now in him. There’s some fun new little things to play with the character. There are some side effects to this cure — he can sense when zombies are near — and there’s going to be some new stuff own the line that isn’t so easy to handle.”
Dude’s always got something nefarious going on.
“He has no qualms about being on the wrong side of the law. (Laughs) He kind of revels in it, and maybe he learned that from his father, who’s well-to-do businessman-ish. He’s done some pretty criminal things to get to where he is, so it’s a chip off the old block.”
Blaine showed his monstrous side often violently in the first season. Any favorite scenes?
“There was pulling the kid into the meat slicer and that blood spatter right on my visor. That’s pretty heavy for an episode. Or jamming his henchman in the neck with his sweet, sweet butterfly knife. That was fun to do. We kept doubling down on the nefarious Blaine and the smarmy charm. That’s what I think brings it back from people just outright hating the guy. You don’t know whether you want to kill him or cool out with him.”
Was there one role that really put you down this villainous path?
“We have J.J. Abrams to either thank or blame for me being the bad guy for my entire career. Sark on Alias was the beginning, when I was just fresh off of a destroyer with nothing but a dance belt and a tube of chapstick. (Laughs) He tapped me as a bad guy and I never thought I would get that part in the many auditions I had for it. But I somehow pulled it out. Ever since then, no one ever believes that I can be a good guy or believes that I can do an American accent.”
Do people just assume you’re European?
Yeah, absolutely. You do 10 years of playing an Englishman and people are going to think you’re English. I’m made to feel like a monkey when people say, ‘Do the accent!’ And I’m like, ‘Come on, guys… ‘It’s funny, especially when English people ask me to do the accent. I’m like, ‘You’re asking a kid from Oregon to do an accent you’re doing flawlessly. You sure you want to hear me butcher your language?’ ”
What do you love about that Blaine/Liv dynamic?
“Blaine really tests the waters with her because he eggs her on one line after another, and it’s surprising she hasn’t taken out her fury on him. It’s a cat –and-mouse thing and a pissing-contest thing. In this season, there’s some teaming up between Blaine and Liv where they put aside their rocky past so maybe they can have a rocky future. They have a common foe, so they don’t have to like each other, they’ve just gotta be teammates. And teammates don’t have to be friends, they just have to win the game.”
Other than them, who’s your favorite character?
“Watching the rookie Rahul Kohli (the British actor who plays Ravi the chief coroner) do his thing, plucked from obscurity, is a joy to watch. He makes these great choices and a lot of it’s modeled on Ricky Gervais from The Office.”