Aly Michalka of Easy A, The Roommate and Hellcats fame plays Peyton, the best friend of Rose McIver’s character on The CW’s new “zomedy” iZombie, which premieres tonight (March 17) at 9PM on The CW.
We spoke with the former Hellcat about her character on the show, and how she relates to the many situations we will see within.
KSITETV’s CRAIG BYRNE: Can you talk about the history between your character Peyton and Rose McIver’s character of Liv?
ALY MICHALKA: Peyton and Liv have known each other for a very long time. They’ve gone to college together; they were sorority sisters… they also grew up as kids together, so there’s definitely a long history between the two of them. She’s always been there for Liv; they’ve always done double dates, and after school activities, and woking out, and obviously, now, a lot has changed, so she’s had to get used to this new version of Liv that she hasn’t grown up with at all.
How is Peyton relating to Liv’s sudden changes in attitude and style?
I think she takes it hard. I think you’re going to see throughout the show that there are definitely moments of her feeling like she’s connected to the Liv that she always thought she really knew, and that you’ll also see her kind of revert back to being confused and frustrated with the fact that Liv is different, and she doesn’t have the same energy or the same enthusiasm as she once did, because of being a zombie, although she doesn’t know that.
What was the most fun of Liv’s behavior changes to play against?
There was an episode that we did where Liv plays, like, a cheerleader kind of stoner girl, and it’s really funny, and there’s a moment where she comes in and she wants to help fix my hair, and it kind of brings Peyton back to old times. But then, she’s asking for weed and all these weird out of the norm things that Liv would never normally ask. That was a funny character that she was able to play, and that Peyton plays against.
How does Peyton react to some of the talents that Liv suddenly has?
I think she’s just kind of confused, and I think she’s thrown off by it. I think she thinks it’s completely bizarre, but I think because she is used to Liv suddenly having new versions of herself, that she almost takes it as ‘oh! This is just another weird stage of change that she’s going through.’ She doesn’t really put any puzzle pieces together when it comes to these strange outbursts of personality change or talent.
How does Peyton’s legal expertise help Liv at times?
Their paths cross because of Peyton being a young assistant DA, and obviously Liv having now started working with Detective Babineaux. You’re going to see an episode where the two worlds kind of cross. A lot of the time, Liv will have visions of the suspect and she’ll talk about it to Peyton, about the specific person that they’re looking into, and obviously it’ll change the way that Peyton is actually taking the case. So, you’re definitely going to see that there’s a connection between the two of them.
Do Peyton and Major (Robert Buckley) connect at all, since they were both so close with Liv before she changed?
Yeah, totally. I think that she relates to him because she understands that he’s in just as confused of a state as she is, if not more, because he’s the ex-fiancee. You can tell that they’ve been friends for a while, and she always approved of Major when it came to him and Liv being together. So, yeah. I think there’s definitely a friendship there between the two of them.
What is it like to work with Rose?
It’s cool, because Rose and I already knew each other. My sister (AJ) and her had done a film together called Lovely Bones, so I had met Rose multiple times, and I was definitely excited about us being able to work together, just because I already knew that she was cool and was a fun girl.
We actually have been able to get close on this show. I haven’t been up there every time that they’ve been shooting the episodes, but every time that I am up there, I’m kind of the only other chick that’s on the show, so I think that it’s a nice break from the rest of the guys for her.
As the first season goes along, does Peyton have any romantic interests?
Yeah, she does. You’ll see her have some romantic interests towards the end of the season. In the beginning, she’s very focused on her job, and the last thing she has on her mind is guys.
How is doing a Rob Thomas show different from other things that you’ve done before?
Rob is a really cool dude. He’s very personable, and he’s really invested in the show and the characters. He is obviously someone who has done great shows before, and ran shows that have been successful, so he really knows what he’s doing, which is awesome. You feel taken care of when he’s around on set, and he’s very collaborative, so if you come up to him and are like ‘hey, I’m not totally understanding what this means’ or ‘can I maybe try it this way?’ he is cool about it.
The CW has a project coming up called Cheerleader Death Squad. Do you think the Hellcats could have cut it as secret agents?
[Laughs] That’s funny. I think maybe Marti might, because she’s pretty smart. Maybe, the rest of them, not as much, because they’re not quite as academic as she is. I think to be a secret agent, you have to be pretty smart. So, maybe just her.
Why should people tune in to the show when it premieres?
If you want to get wrapped into a great storyline, and laugh, and kind of be spooked and scared too, this is kind of a perfect show.
iZombie premieres tonight (March 17) at 9PM following a new episode of The Flash.