How ‘iZombie’ Got Rose McIver Ready for ‘Ghosts’

Rose McIver is no stranger to the undead. She’s killing it on the new CBS comedy Ghosts. And she credits iZombie for helping her prep for the role. 

Rose McIver as Samantha wearing a neckbrace in 'Ghosts'
Rose McIver as Samantha in ‘Ghosts’ | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

Rose McIver was on ‘iZombie’ for five seasons

The CW supernatural series iZombie stars McIver as Liv Moore, a medical examiner who becomes a zombie. Liv discovers she has an appetite for human brains. And when she eats them, Liv adopts the personality traits of the deceased.  Ravi Chakrabarti plays Rahul, Liv’s boss, friend, and confidant. 

The series premiered in 2015 and is credited as McIver’s most notable role. It ran for five seasons and was eventually canceled in 2019.

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‘iZombie’ helped Rose McIver prepare for ‘Ghosts’

McIver’s new series, Ghosts, tells the story of a young couple, Samantha and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), who move into a haunted house they inherit. When Samantha takes a spill down the stairs, she dies for three minutes. Upon awakening from a two-week coma, she returns home to discover she can see and hear ghosts

Lik iZombie, Ghosts is a supernatural show. And when talking to Collider recently, McIver joked that she feels like she’ll never do a show about the living again. “ I’m starting to doubt I’m ever gonna get a show without undead characters again now.”

The actor also talked about her experience working on iZombie. And she suggested it influenced her performance on Ghosts.

“There are very technical components when you’re acting to people who visually might appear or not appear to be there,’ McIver said. “We had divisions and all the ins and outs with iZombie.”

“It actually really did help me, technically, in preparing for this, which is pretty complicated on set. We’ve dealt with ghosts and without ghosts, and with various clusters all over the room,” she added. “It’s certainly set me up as a bit more of a technical actor than I would’ve been otherwise.”

‘She was drawn to the comedy in ‘Ghosts’

The undead isn’t the only thing iZombie and Ghosts have in common. Both shows are character-driven. And they each have light, fun-hearted moments. And in her chat with Collider, McIver revealed that these similarities are what drew her to the role of Samantha. 

“When I read the script, it was one of these scripts I’d read in a few years now where I really laughed out loud with each page,” she recalled. “The jokes popped for me and I could imagine this ensemble of such different personalities and such a disparate crew of motley housemates.”

“I’m all about the collaborative process and knowing that I would be working with a bunch of comedians,” McIver added.  “I found out how many of these people had improv experience and were great at devising character. It just seemed too fun to be true and a really, really nice way to spend potentially months or years on set — I thought that at least being able to laugh every day would be great. With iZombie, I had such a great time doing that, so the humor was the biggest draw.”