We know who killed Lilly Kane. We know who crashed the school bus. We know who murdered the Dean and the identity of the Heart College serial rapist. But there's one question still plaguing Veronica Mars fans: What the frak happened to Duncan Kane?!
Teddy Dunn was a core cast member for the first half of Veronica Mars' run -- until he was abruptly written off and never directly acknowledged in the series again. But now that Veronica Mars is experiencing a renaissance — not to mention its 10th anniversary — the questions surrounding Dunn's exit have resurfaced.
"It's funny 'cause with the movie and all the other stuff that's been coming out ... people have asked me about it and I talk about it. It's a good ice breaker, for sure," Dunn tells TVGuide.com. "So it's not exactly been out of sight out of mind, but it's definitely pretty far back in the past for me. I've gone with a different direction in my life and a different career."
Now, for the first time since leaving the show, Dunn opens up about his experience playing Duncan, his feelings about getting written off the series, whether he'll ever return to Veronica Mars and more.
The real reason Duncan was so catatonic early in Season 1:Almost as soon as Veronica Mars premiered, it became clear that fans didn't like Duncan, who was originally slated to be Veronica's OTP. He came off as vacant, distant and just sort of... there. Duncan later became much more dynamic, but this isn't because Dunn's talent improved exponentially overnight. It's because Dunn was originally under the impression Duncan had a mental illness.
"I was told early on that Duncan was bipolar, so when I got the role I got some books, starting researching it and looking into it," Dunn says. Since psychosomatic drugs used to treat bipolar disorder often leave the user emotionally distant, Dunn made the conscious choice to play Duncan that way. However, once it became clear that viewers were having a hard time connecting to Duncan, "I was told to leave all that behind and go back to being the gregarious big man on campus," Dunn says. "I had a hard time reconciling the two and I think I struggled with the precedent we had set with the character in the first few episodes versus what they wanted to get out of the character later down the line.
"I understand there's a commercial aspect to it too, he continues. "You know, just this comatose brooding dude in every episode of your show. I get it. That was something that they don't teach you in acting school, you know? Just the sheer business side of it."
Life after Mars: Following his departure, Dunn's only credits include Jumper, guest spots on CSI: NY and Grey's Anatomy and two films no one has ever heard of. But seeds of his decision to leave acting were planted long before his IMDB page began to stall. "[Veronica Mars] was a very eye-opening experience in the business side of it," Dunn says. "I had always pursued it as an art form, as wanting to tell great stories to the world ... And everything I did became more and more of a business calculation up until the point that I had the realization that if it's going to be just a business, there are a ton of other things I could do and a ton of other things that maybe interest me more as a business than the entertainment business." Dunn eventually decided to go back to school and in 2013, he graduated cum laude from Boston College with a law doctorate. He's now working as an associate at a New York City law firm and plans on staying as far away from entertainment law as possible.
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