Having played a 400-year-old vampire, a serial killer, mass murderer Timothy McVeigh, and most recently a murder suspect, actor Jason Dohring is no stranger to playing bad boys. Reprising his role as Logan Echolls, Veronica Mars's emotionally volatile ex in the silver-screen adaptation of hit TV show "Veronica Mars," Dohring is confident that longtime fans and newbies alike will enjoy watching teenage detective Veronica Mars all grown up and cracking another gripping case. "Veronica Mars" is currently playing in theaters nationwide.
The "Veronica Mars" film has become one of the most successful Kickstarter projects of all time, raising over $5.7 million dollars to make the movie. How did you learn that "Veronica Mars" was a go?
One day I was in my backyard doing yard work, and I got a text that rolled in that said, "You've got to check this out, man. You're at $750,000 of your $2 million target, and it's only 11 a.m. in the morning. We never thought we'd make that kind of money, but by the end of the day, we made $2.2 million in 24 hours. We ended up with $5.7 million, which enabled us to shoot in LA, where we were all based, and which kept the beach vibe of our original show. So Rob finished the script, and we all went to work.
To someone who was not a fan of the original series or maybe doesn't remember it, what would you say to convince them to come out to the movie?
Dude, I'm so bad at this. When I told my friends it's about a young teenage detective, they were like, "I'm not seeing a movie about a young teenage detective. Who cares?" Then I somehow strong-armed them, so I made them watch the show, and they were like, "I'm 12 episodes in and haven't slept in two days, and I'm just watching it straight." They love it.
Whatever you hear about it, believe some of the hype, and watch a couple episodes and see if it's your thing. I try to tell people the writing was nominated for awards, so it's well written. When you get a teenage show that has real emotions and real-life teenage situations and play them with reality, it's timeless. Even though we shot the show seven years ago, it holds up, because it's real, dude. It wasn't just the typical "I'm a pregnant teenager" or "I just broke up with you" bullshit, and fans appreciate that.
You've worked with many different actresses. What's unique about working opposite Kristen Bell?
We're both really watching what happens in the scene and seeing what the other person is doing and changing with that. Most actors work on their own lines and just do what they do, so to have someone giving back to you and really playing is amazing. Whether it's love or anger -- this exchange of emotions -- I think that's the chemistry that the fans respond to.
Did you shoot any scenes with James Franco?
He has a cameo, and he plays himself, of course. I didn't have any scenes with him, but whenever you get an actor of that caliber on set, who knows his shit, I just like to go in and watch. He probably thought I was the creepy guy in the corner of the trailer, but I didn't give a shit. I just wanted to watch him work.
I think when you see any professional, there's been hard work and hard-won knowledge there, and you can see in the way he was working, how humorous and how natural he was.
When your little daughter comes of age, which of Veronica's many suitors would you want her to date?
Piz and then Leo, and then way down below copyright is Logan.
You're the older brother of two sets of identical twins. You always hear that twins have an impenetrable bond. Did you ever feel left out growing up?
I never felt left out. Maybe if they were older, I'd feel like a third wheel that squeaked. But because they were my younger brothers, I was always doing my own thing with my own friends until they got older and we became friends.
Did you ever wish that you had your own twin?
Well, I think it would be hard to get someone who looks as good as me, if that's what you're asking [laughs]. Yeah, it would obviously be cool. My sisters were the little girl on "Growing Pains" for a while, so we all grew up in the business, and I'm the only one still doing it. We're a tight family that has done great things already, with hopefully more to follow.
Your dad founded Neopets, where users could adopt a pet and care for it, back in 2000. How cool is that?
I think it was the world's stickiest Web site, which means people spent more time on it than most other sites. I have to say that because my dad was the boss of the company, my brothers and I took unfair advantages where we collected some rare items under the table, so to speak, and flashed them off to our friends. I think we were later reprimanded for it by my pop. He has another company right now that's a full online education program for kids, ages two to six, called ABCmouse.com. He always wanted to do something educational, so I think this one will surpass the last one.
Even though he's a big business guy, to see his son on the cover of "Entertainment Weekly," he bought every copy they had on the newsstands and brought them into the office and showed all of his executive friends. He even donated quite a bit to our Kickstarter project.
You were married at 22, which is fairly young, especially in Hollywood. How did you know that she was the one?
I think people don't look at long-term aspects as much as they could, like thinking about it in terms of long-term survival. Maybe there's another girl that would be fun for a month, but who do you want that's going to be your partner for the long term?
She was a best friend of mine from high school; and when we graduated, we started dating. I think that's such a cool thing. What percentage of your life is sex? If you thought of that, then for 99.5 percent of the rest of your life, you better have someone you'd like to be with. You want a friend, and we both enjoy hanging out with each other. We have two beautiful kids, and we enjoy raising them and all that. We're so comfortable. I don't know if there was ever a moment where I thought that she's "the one." I just always liked her.
One of your earliest roles was on "Baywatch," at age 13. What was it like being on set with all those bodacious women running around in swimsuits, at the height of puberty?
All right bro, as soon as David Hasselhoff gave me mouth-to-mouth, I lost all interest. I got on the show and didn't know what "Baywatch" was. Then all my friends were like, "You're going to be on 'Baywatch,'" and there was this beautiful girl, but I never saw Pam Anderson. I drowned, and David Hasselhoff gave me mouth-to-mouth. So my experience wasn't the one you were lining up, but it was cool to have on my resume.
Switching gears, what are your top five mobile apps?
1. As a shameless plug for my dad, a couple of ABCmouse.com apps. My little boy likes Search and Explore: The Golden Gate Bridge.
2. My girl likes the Zoo Set 1 app.
3. I lost 20 pounds for this movie using an app called Lose It, which is a calorie-counting app where it tracks your food, and you can bar-scan what you're eating. I have yet to find a food they don't have. It's easy to use, and I had great results with that.
4. I like to look up a lot of words that I don't understand, so I use Merriam-Webster Dictionary. That's always handy in case you talk to smart people like you.
5. Shazam is kind of cool, because if you listen to a song in a bar and want to know what it is, that helps. Then I can go home and add it to iTunes or whatever.