'Veronica Mars' Movie Q&A: Jason Dohring
“Veronica Mars” makes its leap to the big screen thanks in large part to fans who funded it through Kickstarter, but that didn’t put any additional pressure on the actors.
According to Jason Dohring, who returned to playing Logan Echolls for the project, the set was so much fun that pressure was an afterthought.
“I seriously had that thought, like two months after we made the movie. … I was like, ‘Oh s**t! Maybe we should have had some pressure there. It seems like it’s very important,’” Jason told Access Hollywood. “I’m so happy that I didn’t have that until after.”
Jason said a couple of his co-stars – Ryan Hansen (he plays Dick Casablancas), and Chris Lowell (Piz) kept everyone – especially some of the film-funding extras – very entertained on set.
“In between takes, we were all talking and laughing and Ryan Hansen and Chris — they were the gentlemen keeping these girls happy and comfortable and laughing. … There was such a carefree attitude the whole time we were filming that I think it actually lifted our movie to like a new level of, I guess, playfulness,” Jason added. “There was such a joy being on set that I think it was sort of infectious throughout the movie and I think you’re actually gonna see that. There’s something very light-hearted about the movie, while still keeping with our noir sort of concept”
With “Veronica Mars” hitting the big screen this Friday, Jason told AccessHollywood.com about his experiences on the project, and what to expect – including more trouble for Logan.
AccessHollywood.com: Did you guys do anything to save money since a lot of the money was raised by folks out there in the world? This doesn’t have the budget of, say, the new ‘300’ film.
Jason Dohring: We didn’t even think we’d raise the kind of money that we thought [we would]. … We were actually supposed to raise two million bucks and I don’t know why people kept donating beyond that, ‘cause we wound up at like $5.7 [million]. I was like, ‘Guys, we already made the movie. You don’t have to donate anymore.’ For whatever reason they did and I think it even enabled us to shoot like in Los Angeles as opposed to Vancouver or Louisiana or something like that. And I know that we had different sponsorships… but I’m sure the money went into getting us some good locations and when you see the movie, you’ll see a sort of – there’s a lot of production value in our sets. It’s going to look very cinematic, more so than the show, but still a similar quality as far as the director of photography and the way the show looks visually.
Access: I was thinking more lightheartedly – like did your wife come on set and cook? Something fun like that.
Jason: Oh I got it. Yes, I was the caterer. I did wardrobe, I did makeup. Kristen Bell would do our makeup every so often (said jokingly). … To be honest, I love shooting on that kind of set … when everybody’s kind of pitching in [and] doing a little bit more than they normally do. … I think it feels more like a community effort and I think that that’s more fun so everybody’s kind of like chipping in and everybody knows that they’re there for the joy of the work. That quality of being a part of the show that all the cast – you saw — all the cast wanted to come back and do this because we really like coming to work with each other and for these storylines, and it’s just something that we would do for free and damn near did.
Access: Did you get a backstory from Rob [Thomas] on the years between when the series ended and when the movie starts?
Jason: Yeah, for sure. He’s always got ideas for that and I think it’s funny… I think every character in the movie starts off different than where you think he would be. … which is very interesting. Veronica — you think she might be a private eye; she’s totally straight, went to law school. Logan you think might be off the deep end; now he’s on the sort of straight and narrow, found a little discipline in his life. Wallace might be one thing and he’s another. Weevil might be one thing and he’s another for sure. It’s just interesting. Almost every character … starts in a very different place from where you found them on the show.
Access: What can you tell us about Logan’s (departed) girlfriend? It seems like that is the central plotline here – Logan has a girlfriend who is dead, [he is accused of her murder] and Veronica has to help him. What can you tell us about his girlfriend, his late girlfriend?
Jason: She’s sort of — the way it was described to me — like a Katy Perry-type pop star girlfriend. Big headlines wherever she goes and he always sort of finds himself dating these kind of girls because he was sort of, I don’t know — a bad guy or he’s rich or whatever and [when] Rob first told me the story, I just thought it was a great story, where he’s accused of her murder… and he asks Veronica’s help to clear his name. And that’s where it basically starts and she hasn’t taken a case in seven to 10 years. And she’s the only one he can ask because he’s just in trouble and he’s got lawyers swarming around him. He has no [one] who actually can help him, so he just needs her help just at the beginning and then it sort of takes off on our whole story.
Access: Parker (Julie Gonzalo), in the last season of the show, dumped Logan.
Jason: Good for her.
Access: And she was like, Veronica’s your ‘the one.’ Do you think that’s true? Do you think that these characters are each other’s ‘the one’?
Jason: I think so, yeah.
Access: It doesn’t always mean they’ll be together. You can be somebody’s ‘the one,’ and life takes different turns.
Jason: Yeah, for sure, and I think that’s what’s interesting about our story and the way that Rob and company wrote it — whenever it was like all great, we just put in another thing and [he’s] breaking her heart and then it was like, ‘Oh no!’ And then [we] give you something to travel back to and I think we certainly played it like that and Kristen is so very good at these emotional scenes. … That’s how I played it, for sure, and think that they had an underlying, sort of, respect for each other’s intelligence level and stuff like that and then, when you added in they both have these sort of family troubles and they were both sort of there for each other in different parts of their life as support for their family troubles, I think that’s what really cemented their sort of ideas together. I think they trust each other and they really bought where each other was coming from. … And I think that was the real thing that was like, ‘Oh sh**,’ like these guys belong together because they’re similar and they love each other.
Access: Dax Shepard (Kristen’s husband) is making a cameo in the film. Was it fun to have him on set?
Jason: Oh yeah, for sure. Dude, this guy is so funny. I’ve never met anybody who can just crack up a whole set. He just says a couple comments and the whole set is just dying. I just don’t know if I’ve ever met anybody so funny. Him and Ryan, and it’s just game over. There’s nothing else you need. … Having him on set, like he’s dancing, he’s ‘overenthusiastic club boy’ is sort of his [movie] name… You can imagine how much freedom he would get with a role title like that and he just had everybody dying. So funny.
“Veronica Mars” hits movie theaters on Friday.
-- Jolie Lash
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