Focus Film is pleased to release our highly anticipated interview with the leading male from Veronica Mars, Jason Dohring! We got to chat to the star of the wildly anticipated Veronica Mars movie, which hits cinemas across the states on March 14th, with a UK release still to be determined.
Fans of the hit TV show made history when the cast and crew launched it’s Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the making of the flick. On March 12, of last year, Rob Thomas who is directing, launched a Kickstarter campaign to turn the much-loved series into a movie. Thomas allowed himself two days to raise $2 million for funding the movie. That goal was met in just under 10 hours! As the Kickstarter account was still running, money kept pouring in from devoted fans, eventually raising a whopping $5,702,153 (which marked a new Kickstarter record).
If that doesn’t prove the dedication of the fans of this series, I don’t know what will! Check out our exclusive interview below:
Hi Jason, how are you today?
Good, thank you very much!
Now, this movie being made is a huge deal for the fans of the series… Did the fact they were so involved in the process of making the movie make it easier, or did it add a lot pressure to make the film the fans want to see?
No, we didn’t even think about the pressure until after the movie had happened, then we were like ‘oh yeah, pressure! We probably should have thought about that!’. They were a part of the movie, but it wasn’t like they were standing behind the monitors watching, like producers often do. They were in the movie, so in between takes you’d be goofing around with them and stuff like that, which added loads more flavor to the party scenes that were already quite intimate. I think it was actually a beneficial experience to have them there, and it just added to the charm. It was a real priveledge to have them on set.
How did it feel knowing you had such a following behind the movie after the kickstarter campaign reached it target?
Unbelievable! I didn’t even know we had so many fans! We only had a couple million people watching the show, so the fact that this percentage, you know 90,000 people, were involved is just incredible! I don’t know how we attracted that kind of support for the show. We certainly really enjoyed making the film, and we felt like we wanted to make something we could be really proud of, and you that fans will relate to that in turn. I think that was really a beautiful thing, because you want to make something that will appeal to people and I think we were really able to do that and put our hearts in the project. And I think that’s what people got when we launched the campaign, like ‘oh my goodness this means something to them!’. Its been very rewarding! I actually just signed autographs for nine and a half hours the other night so I hope that some people will get those soon.
Did you all have any kind of party to celebrate reaching the campaign target with the cast?
Yeah for sure! I was actually out, you know I was in the back yard doing some work on my house. I had the texts rolling in, because, you know, we’d heard for years ‘we’re going to reschedule but we’re going to do this!’. We were each doing our own projects, and we didn’t really know how it would happen, or if it would happen. When the news came out, it was pretty remarkable and I just couldn’t believe it. I was just kind of in shock. The fact that it was done by the fans shows the support that usually isn’t present. It was just unbelieveable, and I remember Kristen calling me that night saying ‘Can you believe this?!’ Then later my dad was sending me the write ups from Times Magazine. I think it was that time we started to go ‘this is really something special’.
You were present at the Veronica Mars comic con panel back in July. Was that the moment when it hit you that this was really a big deal?
I think when they told us we were going to Hall H, we were like ‘That’s 5,000 people how are we going to fill that up?’ You know we showed up and we had even done a smaller event that night with maybe even more diehard fans, and both events were really amazing. You just get to feel the emotion of the people. I guess there is a sense of pride from them, that they put in their own money to make it. They say ‘our movie,’ our movie is getting made!’ And its true. It would not have gotten done without the fans, and I think that’s something to remark on.
So what was like being reunited with the cast on set?
We did the show in 2007 but we had all stayed in touch, and we’re really great friends. We would go on vacations together with Kristen and Ryan, we’d be riding snow mobiles, with Ryan doing crazy jumps and flips and stuff like that. So we were all buddies, you know. I think that that never waned, even when the show had ended. Obviously we’re on set in a work environment and everybody’s geared toward creating something special. Then we had the fan interaction which was something very unique in a work setting, and it’s a great script. Rob had it in mind from the very beginning and he had the script all laid out before. He kept telling us bits and pieces, and we were on the edge of our seats. Its been so exciting, and I think because of that passion we were going to make a fantastic movie. It’s a fantastic story and has all the action the fans want to see, for sure.
Do you have any fun stories from behind the scenes on set?
Well, you would have fans standing in high heels for the party scenes for like 16 hours and they’d be like, ‘thank you so much for letting me be here!’ and we would be there like, ‘you’re in high heels, are you speaking sense?!’ One of the fans, for his engagement to his wife, had brought her and him out to be on the set of the movie, and we had people flying in from [as far as] Tokyo. On set I think, with the fans who were extras, we had the most active background that’s ever been seen in film!
How did it feel transitioning such a loved television program into a film? Because obviously its obviously a very different medium.
I think it came across as more cinematic than our show. Although the show had its own aspects and colours, I think they are even more present here. Its darker, and generally looks more cinematic. We shot similar days to what we did on the TV show as far as pages covered in a day. I guess it basically just felt the same as the TV show, because I was there with all the same people. It felt like a new project, but it felt like an old project at the same time. It was like, ‘oh we’re back on set, I know the characters, I’m not unfamiliar. I know the relationships (generally speaking) and whats going down,’ so in that respect it was a little bit more care free which was nice.
So did you find it quite easy getting back into the role of Logan?
Yeah for sure, I mean this is probably one of the most fun characters I’ve ever done and obviously you jump at the chance to be able to do it again. The character is written with such depth and great jackassery. From his comedy to sarcasm, its all present. Then you have his relationship with his father that is very strained and bitter. The relationship with some of the most touching scenes that I’ve gotten to do, is with Veronica’s character. So I think it was just a dream role really, just coming out of acting school you’re like ‘please just give me a character to explore that isn’t in a commercial!’
So perhaps the most anticipated part of the movie is Logan and Veronica’s relationship. How central is Logan and Veronica’s previous relationship to this movie? We understand you cant give too much away, but the fans wanted to know!
I think what’s cool is the way they've set it up. Its not like they've seen each other in seven or ten years, they’re kind of cold. The film picks up where they haven’t seen each other in so long, so you’re gonna get to see them see each other on film for the first time. That scene is written into the movie where they first see each other, so that’s cool. There’s definitely some kind of underlying tension [between them] or their relationship. Its cool, because how often does it happen that you get to make a film, and you already have 16 hours film experience with that character?
It’s a pretty unique thing…
Its so unique! So its like, ‘ok cool, I got it’. And in a way its like when you think of Game of Thrones, where all the books exist so you can just read them, and now you’re starting with the first book but you have all that experience and knowledge of what the character has gone through. It just gives you a wider sphere in which to play the character, so its great to play part of a relationship that has already been established and that we know really well.
How much, if anything, will we get to hear about what happened to Logan over the past 9 years?
You’ll definitely hear some things! He was able to find some discipline in his life, but even so he’s still going to be himself. He still has a lot of witty dialogue, and Rob always writes these great one-liners which I’m ashamed to take all the credit for. I wish I did have wit!
So we saw how badly Logan dealt with breaking up with Veronica the first time around, how did he cope with her leaving Neptune?
I think that’s when he got more disciplined perhaps. He needed to find something to direct his interest into, and I think that’s what you wind up seeing. That’s what Rob is so good at, he just writes things that make sense for the characters.
Did you return to San Diego for the filming of this movie?
No! We were mainly going to shoot in Vancouver or Louisiana, then when the money rolled in we were like, ‘hey manybe we can do Hawaii!’ We finally decided on Los Angeles, which is great because Kristen has her family here, and we were all from here so it was just great to be able to come home at the end of the day. Instead of going to a hotel room, we got to go home, so we’re indebted to the fans for that as well, because I think that we didn’t really want to shoot in Vancouver. We wanted palm trees in our shots and such, and that’s what made Veronica Mars Veronica Mars. We really wanted to bring that stuff into it, because that made Neptune. I think we’ve done a good job – well I hope!
You seem to mainly gravitate toward TV, are you interested in getting involved more in movies?
Yeah, I just shot a movie in LA and I did Woke Up in Canada just before that so I think I will get into films as well, but I guess even in retrospect having done TV at a time when TV was really getting good has sort of made me realize that TV is pretty good! I work every week, if you're on a show with good writing that just kind of a dream. I want to get to explore a character for 40 to 100 hours instead of two hours when you introduce all the characters, have the middle and then end in two hours. I will definitely do more films, you never know which way it goes. I certainly never thought we’d get to make a Veronica Mars movie in the way we did it but you cant say you wouldn't be open to more experiences like that which are such unique experiences. I’m thankful for any opportunities that come up in both areas.
What do you have lined up after the release of Veronica Mars, any more movie work?
I just did a TV show up in Canada, then a sports movie called The Squeeze coming out later this year or next year. Then we have all the premiere stuff for Veronica in March, so it’ll be quite busy. We got to rent out an exclusive golf course in Las Vegas [for The Squeeze] which is usually off limits so it was really cool. It’s a really great true story, and I play a professional golfer.
Do you know if there is going to be any kind of Veronica Mars international press tour for your European fans?
I don’t know, I haven’t heard one way or another on it. I guess that’s what we’re thanking you for – spreading the word. I've been to the UK a couple of times to meet fans, and it's wonderful. We’re always warmly received, and we really appreciate your efforts to help us support the movie!
We hope you enjoyed Jason’s interview. He shared some pretty interesting stuff about the movie, so let us know what you think in the comments section below! You can watch the trailer right here too, to renew that excitement for March 14th!
I didn't get to fix all the spelling, grammar, and punctuation issues in this article, but I'll try and edit it later. I'm cringing just reading it. The interview is really awesome, so I had to post it regardless. :) HOPE this puts to rest the rumors that the cast members are not friends...
Don't forget to vote for Veronica Mars in the MTV Movie Brawl. They're in the final 4 </i>