For Jason Dohring, the role of Logan on Veronica Mars has been a study in metamorphosis; starting in season one, Logan was a relentless antagonist for lead Veronica (Kristen Bell), played with an unnerving sardonic quality that both repelled and fascinated Veronica Mars’ fans from the moment he appeared on screen. With the surprising romantic twist that developed between Veronica and Logan, Logan switched lanes from spoiled sadist to good guy, hero, and romantic lead. Now the Logan / Veronica off-again on-again romance is part of Veronica Mars canon, and without doubt at the center of Mars' fandom. We were excited to have Jason join us for the following Exclusive interview.
What can you tell me about the audition process for Logan? What was that like?
Well, the audition process for Logan was originally Duncan. I remember there was just like this scene at the pool and I just put this really very dark spin on it for some very arbitrary reason and they were like, “No, no, no, that’s not really right.” I knew it wasn’t right too, I did it anyway cause I just wanted to be dark, and so they were like okay so here, read for this one [Logan]. It was maybe just one scene to start out and it was the bashing the headlights in with the crowbar, from the pilot.
It’s kind of a funny story actually ‘cause in the audition I crumbled up the paper and used that as if it were a crowbar and all that stuff. When I went to network to test for it, the director’s like, “Don’t, don’t do that thing with the paper.” And I’m like, “Okay, cool.” You know, “Why?” He’s like, “Oh, cause the executives don’t really read the script and they’ll wonder why you’re throwing the paper around or what you are doing with the paper.” And it was just kind of an interesting thing like to learn as an actor . So, I went in and I got to read with Kristen two times when I went in to the final auditions where you go meet the studio and you go meet the network. So it was great cause it was just like I just locked in with her and played the whole thing? And it was kind of cool because back then, I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I played the whole thing as if I had raped her, like that was my secret or whatever in the audition and I thought that kind of took me through, cause it gave you some evil kind of thing and then I just put fun on top of that and that was the character. That is privileged information my friend, I’ve never told anybody except for Kristen that.
You know, Logan in season one, was such an effective antagonist. Do you ever miss playing him that way?
Yeah man, I do, very much. And I think the fans do too. But to some degree, and I was talking with Kristen about this yesterday, after you’ve been with somebody like Logan and Veronica have, shared so much experience together and really seen the soft side of it, there’s no way you can go back to that. You know there is that, but there’s also underneath ‘I totally understand you’ and you know she understands, it’s such a funny thing man it’s like we had this kind of snarkyness but underneath it’s like you know I understand that you’re a nice person. It’s so funny, it’s a funny relationship.
Were you prepared for the character turn? Did you know Logan was going to become a good guy?
Oh my gosh man, No I wasn’t. I didn’t expect that, I guess, but it was done somewhat gradually you know so it wasn’t ‘okay all of sudden you have to do something that’s very unreal’ you know? But I do think you know at the beginning of the first season he was more looking out for number one and it’s like as these horrible things kept happening to the character, I think, I guess as an actor - this is also something I’ve never realized – but I think as those things happened I kind of developed somewhat of an understanding for other people’s situations, if that makes sense? Like all these horrible things happen and then it’s like you see somebody else and I think you would treat people a little differently, you know what I mean, it’s like I don’t think the Logan today would do bum fights particularly, and that sort of thing so I think that he’s grown in a way and also I guess from being in touch with Veronica you know? But ah, hopefully we’ll get some, get some fights on somewhere soon.
Any Logan centric episodes coming up, is he finally going to get out of the penthouse?
Logan centric…uh…in the episode coming up I think we do some Indian Kama Sutra moves. We’re on a scavenger hunt so we have some good old clean buying condoms fun, and ah it’s cool. It’s Mac and ah Parker and they invite me to come and be on their team as the fourth member of this scavenger hunt so we go around looking for various things and finding various things and doing silly things.
Does Veronica get the opportunity to rescue Logan this season at all?
Um, boy I think she has been his rescue, she’s always there you know what I mean? There was a scene we did a couple days ago where it’s like, why does he show up here? I guess she’s kind of a safe person for him to go to, not really judging him. She just understands and has such compassion and just understanding for this character that I think it’s kind of one of the only safe places he can go to, although there’s somewhat of a, I don’t know, I guess resentment cause there was obviously the breakup and stuff like that but I think they can relate to each other and they understand each other, even if nothing’s said, just being in the vicinity of that person just kind of calms things down you know cause there’s some understanding there. That was philosophical.
Definitely. So the big question, are Logan and Veronica going to get back together this season?
You know, I don’t know that there’s a plan for that to be honest. But I haven’t seen the last two scripts yet. I’ve heard some awesome things about it and I think you’ll see some dark stuff from Logan again which is cool like just big old brawls and stuff like that coming up so I look forward to getting my punch on and that sort of thing. But I don’t think that there’s any plan that I know of. I’m….action this season.
So we’re definitely going to be seeing some Action-Logan this season?
Yeah totally, especially towards the end of it. I like that stuff man and I think that I liked it when he was very volatile. That’s something that’s interesting to watch you know, so hopefully I’ll be able to get back to that and get some of that going cause that’s very very interesting I think and a very cool part of our show that you never know when real emotions are gonna come out all of sudden. Things happen. I appreciate actors that can do that with a scene that may not even require it or to add something to it that’s like damn, dude, that guys just like interesting. I look forward to doing some more of that stuff myself.