‘iZombie’ Cut-Up Rahul Kohli Brings Brains (and Sparks) to ‘Supergirl’

Supergirl - Rahul Kohli
Diyah Pera/The CW
Pictured: Rahul Kohli As Jack

As iZombie‘s Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti, Rahul Kohli gets to crack wise—and sometimes even save the day—with Liv and company. But tonight, he’s trading his cheeky coroner role for shadier scientific horizons with a guest spot on Supergirl as Jack Spheer, a tech mogul whose medical breakthrough could take a serious bite out of terminal illnesses. And while that may not help the undead Kohli usually deals with, we cannot wait to see how Spheer sends a certain Luthor’s pulse racing when they cross paths.

I was wondering when we were going to start seeing the migration from Vancouver show to Vancouver show.
Yeah, it’s been a long time coming. I’m surprised it took three years. [Laughs]

How did you fit this into your filming schedule at iZombie?
Well, I actually…because Supergirl is on a 22-episode arc and iZombie does 13, we’d already wrapped iZombie. I was back in Los Angeles on hiatus, shooting a movie for Netflix when I got a call from my agent who said they’re looking for actors to guest on a Supergirl episode. A one-episode arc. I went in and read for it, just like any other job, really. Booked it and went back to Vancouver.

So let’s talk about this Jack Spheer, because you’re getting to play somebody who’s actually in the DC comics universe...
He is, yeah. I think he was in the “Green Arrow” books, if I’m correct. This version does differ slightly from the comic-book version. As I understand it, that was a father-son duo behind the character Biomax…Jack Spheer was some sort of [sentient] gas. Unfortunately I’m not a skilled enough actor to play gas. [Laughs] This Supergirl take on it, he’s the CEO of Spherical Industries who comes to National City to talk about new technology, a new medical miracle called Biomax which is a nanobot technology that can heal people.

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Is this a good guy or is this a good guy whose product goes bad?
He’s a good guy. There’s a few grey areas, a few things about maybe human trials and there are some things along the way that spark the interest of Kara [Melissa Benoist] and others around the DEO. There might be more to this story and this person that meets the eye.

I know you probably get to work a lot with Katie McGrath’s Lena Luthor, correct?
It was awesome. My stuff wasn’t super action-heavy, but most of my work was pretty much with Katie. They’re ex-lovers and she hasn’t seen him for a while. So a lot of it was to do with being back in her life, how she deals with that, and the reasons why they weren’t together. It’s more about her journey, really, in dealing with someone from her past.

Supergirl - Rahul Kohli

Kohli’s Jack hands over a life-saving technology.

Can you tell us why they split up?
It was her own family. She left the project the were working on together because of family duties..she chose to go over and work for the Luthors. Jack and Lena never really had relationship issues; it was more external powers that drove them apart. So that’s why there’s still something bubbling there between them.

That must be nice to play a character who’s not the Villain of the Week.
Yeah, it was quite interesting because when I was reading for it, I hadn’t really seen the script or anything so I thought I was playing this evil gas! But it turns out, they weren’t doing that and it wasn’t the villain of the week kind of stuff, either. There was a lot more subtext in there and it was a nice treat coming off iZombie to play a completely different character. I can reveal that—and you can have the first exclusive on this—that I do not tell a single joke.

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[Laughs] I know! So that was new. Yeah, no comedy. Absolutely no comedy. I didn’t make one silly face or make a joke. It’s like I lost my crutch a little because I always resort to that on iZombie. If I can’t figure out a scene, I’ll just say something stupid. I actually had to act on this one. This was a real tough one! [Laughs]

Supergirl, Mondays, 8/7c, The CW