‘iZombie’ rises once more for its last CW season

CW series returns for its fifth and final round

Rose McIver and Malcolm Goodwin star in the season premiere of “iZombie” Thursday on The CW.

For several years, Rose McIver has enjoyed an actor’s ideal through a different role in each episode of a series.

Actually, all of those characters have been rolled into one: Liv, the Seattle-based morgue employee and member of the undead who assumes the lives of dead people … by consuming their brains. The feast is nearing its end, though, since The CW’s comic-book-inspired “iZombie” begins its fifth and final season Thursday, May 2.

“We’re all kind of pinching ourselves that we got five seasons of a show we loved, and that everybody got along,” says pleasant New Zealand native McIver. “It certainly has provided its share of challenges. It can be quite intimidating to play Liv and all of the things she’s thrown into, but at the same time, it’s what has kept the show so fresh and alive. It’s been a dream job, really.”

In her bid “to keep Liv grounded,” McIver credits executive producers Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright (“Veronica Mars”) and the “iZombie” creative team with also helping her keep Liv “someone you actually care about amidst the novelty. The writers are so brilliant, their wonderful imaginations have done a lot to help me, but I was concerned about finding the detail and nuance between (Liv’s alter egos). It’s been tricky, but I think we’ve pulled it off.”

Rose McIver stars in the season premiere of “iZombie” Thursday on The CW.

One side effect of making “iZombie,” McIver notes, is that she’s “incredibly respectful of people who work in morgues and deal with autopsies. Maybe I’m sort of (queasy) when I see a liver or a spleen sitting in a dish, but I’ve seen enough of those now to make myself bizarrely comfortable with it.”

Seen previously on “Once Upon a Time” (as Tinker Bell) and “Masters of Sex,” McIver also has been comfortable with many of Liv’s personalities, making her hard-pressed to name favorites. “It’s kind of like choosing favorite children,” she reasons. “I feel guilty, because all the writers have done so much to bring them to life. During this last season, I get to play a very codependent salsa dancer – and with any nod toward the dance direction, I feel like I’m five years old again. That was a lot of fun.”

Much like Liv may never die, “iZombie” could have future life if McIver has any say. ”Who knows? Down the line, I’d be the first to jump in for a spinoff film. In this final season, you see that the other characters also are able to throw their hats in the ring, so to speak. You start thinking of the combinations and dynamics you can put up. It’s a clever device, and I’m happy that we’ve been able to extend it so much.”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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