iZombie’s Rahul Kohli Is Coming to Supergirl and Lena Luthor Might Not Be Too Happy About It
Prepare for an extra dose of Rahul Kohli on your TVs this week, CW fans.
The iZombie star is doing double duty with a little visit to National City on tonight’s new episode of Supergirl, guest starring as Jack Spheer, a tech wizard who just so happens to be Lena Luthor’s (Katie McGrath) ex-boyfriend. His presence in town, however, might not exactly be a welcome one. Not only is there his unfinished business with Lena to contend with, but the presentation of his life-saving nanobot technology Biomax will have Kara (Melissa Benoist) wondering if it’s too good to be true, prompting the budding investigative journalist to do some digging.
Ahead of Kholi’s big episode, E! News got on the phone with the actor to discuss his appearance, what Jack’s presence means for Lena and Kara, and what might happen if Jack and Ravi, his character on iZombie, were to ever meet.
E! News: First of all, how did you coming to Supergirl to play for a week even come about?
Kholi: So, I wrapped iZombie. A lot of people think I just literally walked across to the Supergirl set. But no, we were actually done. So I was back in Los Angeles shooting a movie and my agent sent me the casting breakdown for Supergirl. I went into the office and read with other actors and got the call. They were like, “Hey, take off your shorts and put on some warm clothes. You’re not on holiday now. You need to back to Vancouver.” Which was awesome. I was back in the snow.
Tell me a little bit about Jack and what brings him to National City.
Jack is charismatic, flamboyant CEO and he is debuting this new technology. The next medical marvel, which is Biomax. It’s a nanobot technology, like microscopic robots, and they’re able to heal injuries. So, if you cut yourself, these nanobots are able to literally just repair, in real time, your skin. They’re also able to cure diseases, and that’s literally where we meet Jack—him doing a presentation, showing off this new technology.
We know that he’s Lena’s ex-boyfriend. What does his presence in National City do to her?
It kind of messes with Lena a bit. They kind of have unfinished business. They never left each other because their relationship was done. It was external circumstances that pulled them apart. namely, the Luthor family and the Luthor business. She decided to leave their research and move over to their camp. So him coming back in town shakes things up a little bit. They still have feelings for each other. Where she has her guard up slightly, I think Jack is chipping away at it a little bit.
We know from the episode description released by the network that Kara attends the presentation out of support for Lena. What does Jack’s arrival mean for this friendship?
Well, initially, I think Lena asks Kara to come for support simply because this is an ex-boyfriend and for any awkwardness, you have a buddy with you. It’s out of friendship. What then develops is, for Kara, there seems to be a few breadcrumbs left in terms of there’s a story brewing and she’s led to believe that maybe not all is as it seems with Jack and this technology. And she gets her journalist on. They kind of do split to a certain degree where Lena is dealing with the relationship side and her own feelings and Jack. Kara on the other hand is digging and digging and trying to find what the deal with Jack is. Are his intentions pure? Is his technology dangerous? So they’re both involved in the story, but they’re coming at it from different angles.
You mentioned Kara getting her journalist on. How does Jack react when she begins digging into him?
He’s actually not that concerned. As far as Jack’s concerned, there isn’t anything to find. Everything’s above aboard. This is a wonderful technology that’s going to save millions, if not billions of lives. There’s no story here. So Jack is pretty transparent with that. That’s not to say that that’s the case, but Jack is transparent.
Fans of DC comics will recognize the name Jack Spheer, whose invention mutated him into the villain Biomax, giving him the power of mind control. What can you tease about how much of that Jack Spheer was used to create the version you played?
Well, immediately, anyone who knows the character will know that that iteration is purely in the comic books and this is a different take on that character. The name still exists, but the alter ego, the name Biomax, is actually now the name of the technology of the medical robots. So it already is in a different world. So, any fans who have any sort of knowledge or preconceptions of what this character is going to be like will find themselves surprised. It’s a new take on the character. And I was quite pleasantly surprised too because while it’s fun to portray someone—the work’s almost done for you when you’re trying to step into someone else’s shoes. With the character Jack Spheer, it’s not a huge character. It’s not really well-known, so it was interesting to be able to put your own stamp on it and be able to introduce new fans and new people to this person.
How does working in the Supergirl world compare to your day job over on iZombie?
The hours are longer! And I can’t get away with as much. On iZombie, I’m kind of a bit boisterous and immature, because I can be. Rose [McIver] is like my sister, the boys are like my brothers and the crew are like our family. We just muck around and tell jokes. Here, you’re a guest, you’re an employee. You’re here to do a job and you have very little time to do it because you’re literally jumping into a one-episode arc. So, it was time to be professional. And I think I did alright. We still had fun. It was cool. It’s a much bigger show. That was very apparent from the start. The scale of it was very obvious. Had Supergirl been my first job, I would’ve been petrified, but iZombie kind of gently brought me into the fold of making TV and kind of trained me to deal with a [Greg] Berlanti universe show.
And last question: What do you think would happen if Jack and Ravi were to ever meet?
They would both find themselves chatting away with their complex of saving people. Ravi has a god complex where he’s trying to save the human race from zombies. Jack is trying to save the human race from injuries and disease. And I think there’s a similarity there. I think that Jack wouldn’t find Ravi funny, though. [Laughs]
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on the CW.