To us, vampires, Frankenstein, and slippery criminals may seem like the things of nightmares, but to David Anders, they are just part of everyday life. With a career built on playing the bad guy, Anders’ characters define the “guy you love to hate,” and he seems pretty content with that. Although he hasn’t yet been offered his dream role, which he admits to being “Peter Sellers playing Daniel Day Lewis singing like Mandy Patinkin,” Anders has popped up in almost all of our favorite shows: Vampire Diaries, Alias, Grey’s Anatomy, and Once Upon A Time, to name a few.
On the subject of his past roles, he reflects, saying, “Any aggressive interest that I might have in genre TV, film, and the like exists because my characters and I keep on existing in these genres. And that’s not to say I don’t like me some sci-fi escapism—I do. But my team and I don’t seek out the vampires, zombies, and Frankensteins… they find us.”
His latest venture is no different and comes in the form of the CW’s latest hit, iZombie, which, following the success of its mid-season debut last year, returns this fall.
In this “zom-com-rom-dram,” Anders plays rich-boy drug dealer turned rich-zombie brain dealer, Blaine DeBeers. While the potential for Blaine to be written off as just a villain is certainly there, something about his character is terrifyingly likeable and makes you secretly dream of hanging out and grabbing a pint together. Anders credits this to the team behind the show. “I’m just saying the words and hoping something sticks, and the words on this one are pretty fucking special,” he says. “Rob [Thomas] and Dianne [Ruggiero] and the whole crew of scribes set the whole cast up for success and I guess my success is making Blaine a likable cocksucker.”
One would assume that spending long days on set immersed in a zombie universe would adequately prepare a person in the case of a real life outbreak of the undead, but Anders admits that even so, he probably wouldn’t do too well if he somehow found himself in that situation. He says, “I find I’m so careless in every hypothetical dystopian zombie future scenario, but here goes: I’d tag-team kill some zombies with a buddy—as has always been my dream. Then, in the heat of the dead becoming deader, I’ll tag a zombie on accident, thusly becoming a zombie myself.”
Given the sci-fi universe that his characters tend to reside in, Anders is no stranger to the uber-fan conventions that take place all over the world. “I love doing a few cons a year to rub elbows with the people whose viewership keeps us doing what we do,” he says. “And I live for the convention Q&A’s. I’ve done so many, I run the gamut of emotions. An event a couple of weeks ago in Houston was no exception. There were laughs, because I’m a blast; tears, because I’m a bitch; and many moments of silent introspective inquisition, because I’m brainy. In all honesty though, it was maybe the best talk back I’ve had in a long line of bests!”
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Photographed by Catie Laffoon