The 29-year-old actor stars on the upcoming series as Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti, the medical examiner and Liv’s (Rose McIver) boss.
We love Rahul‘s story of nabbing the role through a self-tape audition he sent from London, so we had to catch up with him and chat about the new show.
“It’s been an incredible experience working on this show! One of the biggest draws to this character was his dialog and I instantly fell in love with him and his relationship with Liv, their friendship is something I enjoyed working on and it also helps that Rose McIver is just wonderful to be around, we became like brother and sister on the show,” he told us.
Rahul continued, “My approach for the character came from a focus on his choice of career, working in a morgue and performing autopsies takes a certain kind of individual. I was lucky enough to interview a few pathologists and get a sense of their day to day routine. One thing that seemed like a constant pattern was their quirky sense of humor, something I felt they used in order to cope with some of the darker elements of their work.
“I spent a great deal of time watching videos of live autopsies and pouring over old cases where forensics was essential in solving a case – It was quite grim but at the same time I have such respect for what these guys do, their attention to detail and the fact that they are fighting for justice for voiceless victims. During the prep for iZombie,I also visited a morgue and was lucky enough to be given a tour. That experience was hugely beneficial for my work – inspecting the tools and observing the bodies was definitely an experience I’ll never forget!”
(Click inside for more of our exclusive interview with Rahul Kohli…)
JJJ: What are the biggest similarities and differences between you and Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti?
RK: I’d say the biggest similarities would be we’re both gamers and sci-fi fans. Throughout the show there are numerous references to Dr. Ravi’s gaming habits and love of 4K TVs, 7.1 HD Surround sound as well as his love of Star Wars (there’s some Obi Wan Kenobi beard play littered through the season). Where we differ are our energy levels, he is extremely positive and high energy and I’m far more low energy and darker as a person. It takes a lot for me to be enthusiastic about anything that isn’t a new trailer, game, or football match!
JJJ: We hear that you’re an avid gamer, tell us about when/why you got into games and what you’re playing at the moment.
RK: I am indeed! I got into gaming at a really early age, my Father actually got me playing on his old computer – the kind where the games came on cassette tape and took about 15 minutes to load. Since then I’ve been hooked, for me they’re escapism at its purist. Games have always managed to keep me engaged. I also believe that they can rival any other medium when it comes to the storytelling experience and with the rise of the indie gaming scene it’s never been a better time to be a fan. Right now I’m rotating between titles like FIFA, Grand Theft Auto V, Halo, Battlefield and Alien: Isolation but really I’m just killing time until I can get my hands on Bloodborne, The Witcher 3 and Batman: Arkham Knight.
JJJ: You’re from the UK, what are some of the quirky things you miss now that you’re living in Los Angeles?
RK: Oh that’s easy, I’m a huge Liverpool FC supporter and having to watch games live from as early as 4am has been crushing me – you can’t beat watching a match in the afternoon with a cold beer! Also tea. I really, really miss my tea, I still managed to get the tea bags I like here but its just not the same, its probably to do with how different our milk tastes, I am however happy with the Lucky Charms situation in America as they’re a nightmare to get hold off back home so…every cloud!
JJJ: Why should people tune into iZombie?
RK: I think people should tune into iZombie simply because there’s really nothing out there like it right now. Obviously having the word zombie in the title immediately draws comparisons to The Walking Dead but we’re so different. iZombie reminds me of Buffy, it’s great fun, got a strong female lead and it’s the return of the awesome tv intros!
JJJ: What was your experience like on-set?
RK: I had a great time on-set, I was one of the lucky cast members who rarely had to shoot on location so I was nearly always in the warm morgue set during those cold Vancouver winters like the Princess I am. We are extremely lucky to have the people we’ve got on iZombie, we really became a family as a cast and crew, there was a lot of giggling, a lot of fake blood and singing hiphop/dancehall songs with Rose between takes. There was also a period of time where Malcolm Goodwin and myself couldn’t look each other in the eye for a couple of episodes without laughing – we still never got to the bottom of it, I just deliver all my dialog to his forehead now.
JJJ: How did you get into acting?
RK: Truthfully I got into acting because I wanted to be in Star Wars – as a child I desperately wanted to leave our Galaxy and spend the rest of my life onboard the Millennium Falcon. Things came crashing down when I realized my life goal was ever so slightly unrealistic, the next best thing was to become an actor and try to get a part in future Star Wars projects. As a teen I developed a deep love for movies, particularly sic-fi and fantasy, I just wanted to be a part of those mythologies, make movies that people enjoy. I auditioned for theatre school at 18 and began my training in London – to be more precise, in a town called Ealing which is where the original Star Wars movie was shot.
JJJ: Tell us about your work prior to iZombie?
RK: I spent the early portion of my career in theatre, which was never a passion of mine but something I grew to enjoy – particularly Shakespeare. I’ve always wanted to act on screen so I spent most of my time auditioning for television and commercials. Commercials were my bread and butter in the UK, they were all I ever seemed to book, occasionally I had a small guest roles on British dramas but it wasn’t until iZombie that I finally had a character and a show that I could really sink my teeth into.
JJJ: Anything you want to say to the readers of Just Jared Jr?
RK: We’re really excited about iZombie, it’s one of those rare shows that can appeal to both sexes and most ages. Most importantly it’s entertaining, I hope you guys manage to catch a few episodes – you won’t be disappointed.
iZombie premieres NEXT Tuesday, March 17th @ 9PM ET/PT on The CW.
FYI: Rahul is wearing G-Star Raw jeans, tie, and jacket.