Veronica Mars and Kristen Bell are back, and playing a huge role as he did on the show as Logan Echolls is Jason Dohring.
We caught up with Dohring for an exclusive interview to explore the phenomenon that is Veronica Mars, what makes it so special, his feelings about the Kickstarter campaign that essentially produced the movie and what is so truly special about the show creator, who is now the writer-director on the Veronica Mars movie.
Movie Fanatic: I have to start, you do a show, you hit your mark and people love it. It goes off the air and you go off and do your thing. What were your first thoughts when you heard that Veronica Mars was going through Kickstarter to try to become a movie?
Jason Dohring: I never thought, “Hey, that would be really cool?” It was a pipe dream that I never thought would happen. Rob (Thomas) is really cool with original story ideas, so, I’m sure he had them after the show wrapped. I brushed it off because it had been years and years and years. Even still, I always run into fans who tell me they’ve heard that there was going to be a movie and they’re asking me about it! I think the way we left it off with that final scene sure had everybody thinking that there could be more. It was kind of unresolved. So, I think the fans wanted it because of how it ended. Fans told me, “It’s not done for us.” I think that was the key to the Kickstarter thing.
Movie Fanatic: That’s what struck me, I feel like the show, and its premise, would be a natural fit for the movies. The fact that a Veronica Mars movie didn’t happen sooner was a bit of a surprise. Then again, Veronica Mars has always been a surprise. Thinking back to the show, what is the prevailing memory you have from it?
Jason Dohring: I think my love of acting truly arrived with this character. He is a character that you can truly sink your teeth into and he’s multidimensional. He wasn’t just a badass. He wasn’t just the love interest. It had all those elements in the show. That’s what's so cool about the whole thing is this was my first project right out of high school. I had a theory about acting and acting classes I took, but this was my chance to test those theories and practice the craft.
Movie Fanatic: I actually visited the set in San Diego for the show and the thing that struck me about the cast is that it felt like a family. You were so tight. Sure, the years have gone by, but when you showed up that first day on the movie set, was it like not a day had gone by?
Jason Dohring: About a week into it, we had a party scene and everybody was on the set and it was so fun. Because everyone was there that day, we had loads of press there and it started to hit us how big it had become and we realized that it had grown even more since the show ended.
Movie Fanatic: What do you think it is about Veronica Mars that it has only grown in popularity and resonance since it last aired?
Jason Dohring: It’s hard to put a finger on it. I have not done it yet [laughs]. You have a mystery aspect to it. You have an underdog leading lady and I think that people can relate to that. I think the brighter people, the dialogue matches up really well because it’s so witty and fun and the jokes are on a higher level.
Movie Fanatic: The movie is about to hit, and excitement was even through the roof when the Veronica Mars trailer arrived... What are your thoughts and feelings as a new chapter of Veronica Mars is about to start, even the buzz that went through the roof with the debut of the Veronica Mars first two minutes?
Jason Dohring: It captures everything our show had and possibly it's even more cinematic with the dark, rich colors. It is very true to our show. Boy, the thing about the show is it goes really deep. There was never any superficial storylines going on. We intertwine a lot of storylines and think that the movie written by Rob, it’s not just window dressing. It’s not just us getting back together. There is a heavy plot and it is going to get people going. There’s suspense and relationships grow, everything people like about the show.
Movie Fanatic: What is something that you're personally excited that your character got to do in the movie?
Jason Dohring: I had to drop 20 pounds, which was kind of cool [laughs]. I had to get in fighting shape, so to speak. I’ve never had to change my body for a role, which I really liked.
Movie Fanatic: Rob is such a visionary. What most impressed you about him working as a film writer-director versus him as a TV writer-director?
Jason Dohring: He’s a wizard with a storyline. He has a very amazing way of talking to us as actors about what you’re filming that really transcends. I think he was even more centered as a director on the movie. He could come up with lines that worked well, while we were shooting a scene. It was just perfect. The whole thing is.