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Veronica Mars is one of the pivotal shows of the early 2000s. It was a critically acclaimed show with a dedicated fan base. Therefore, of course, many actors and actresses longed to be a part of it. The Veronica Mars actors were also talented and really helped give the show its identity.
Even the Veronica Mars actors who guest starred added to the show’s appeal. Some of these guest stars and recurring characters were once unknown on Veronica Mars and are now household names.
Let’s look back at some of the many now well-known actors who once appeared on the show.
Academy Award winner Melissa Leo appears in over a hundred film and television projects. The Fighter earned her her first Oscar but she received critical acclaim and award-season recognition for many performances, including ones in Mildred Pierce, Louie, Prisoners, and Frozen River.
Leo appeared in Veronica Mars Season 1 Episode 3, “Meet John Smith.” She plays Julia Smith, a transgender woman who reunites with her son after Veronica (Kristen Bell) helps him track her down.
You can’t think of Jane Lynch without thinking of Sue Sylvester from Glee. Sue is terrible but hilarious and often creates iconic moments with the main cast and the unforgettable Glee guest stars. In 2020, Lynch began hosting a revival of The Weakest Link. She has appeared in Two and a Half Men, Criminal Minds, Party Down (which is also co-created by Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas), Mascots, and The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
Lynch makes a brief appearance in Veronica Mars Season 1 Episode 6, “Return of the Kane.” She plays Mrs. Donaldson. a faculty member that Veronica approaches about voter rigging at a Neptune High election.
As one of the most respected actresses of the last decade, Jessica Chastain has won numerous awards, including an Academy Award. Her first Academy Award happened in 2022 for her performance in The Eyes of Tammy Faye. She also received Academy Award nominations for Zero Dark Thirty and The Help. Her filmography includes A Most Violent Year, Scenes from a Marriage, George and Tammy, and It Chapter Two.
Before Chastain could deliver one of her many great performances, she appeared in Veronica Mars. It was one of her first screen roles. She appears in the 7th episode of Season 1, “The Girl Next Door” as Sarah Williams. Sarah is a neighbor friend of Veronica's who goes missing.
Aaron Paul became a household name for playing Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad. He also played the character on El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie and Better Call Saul. Some of Paul’s screen highlights include roles in Truth Be Told, Westworld, The Path, and BoJack Horseman. He’s also had a great cameo or 20 in various projects and made plenty of guest appearances, including in Black Mirror and The Simpsons.
Paul plays Eddie LaRoche, the main suspect in a murder and disappearance case in Veronica Mars Season 1, Episode 11, “Silence of the Lamb.” His sketchy behavior makes him a likely culprit.
Anthony Anderson has created many memorable characters throughout his career. A few include Dre in black-ish, Detective Kevin Bernard in Law & Order, J.D in the Barbershop movies, and Antwon Mitchell in The Shield. He also appeared in Psych, Shameless, Beats, and Scream 4. Anderson has so many great forgotten performances as well.
He plays a gangsta rapper and former criminal named Bone Hamilton in Veronica Mars Season 1, Episode 13, “Lord of the Bling.” He hires Keith (Enrico Colantoni) to help him locate his missing daughter, who also used to be a friend of Veronica.
Adam Scott is best known for comedic roles in television shows such as Parks and Recreation, Step Brothers, The Good Place, and Party Down. He’s also the star of the AppleTV+ hit series Severance.
Scott takes on a much more serious role in Veronica Mars. He plays Mr. Rooks, a teacher that divides Veronica and Keith in Veronica Mars Season 1, Episode 14, “Mars v. Mars. He’s accused of having an affair with a student. Veronica believes that he is innocent, but Keith can’t ignore the evidence. It’s one of the best Veronica Mars episodes.
Leighton Meester’s performance is the reason Blair Waldorf is such a beloved Gossip Girl character. Her film and TV credits include The Roommate, Single Parents. Life Partners, Making History, The Orville, and How I Met Your Father.
Meester appears on multiple episodes of Veronica Mars as Carrie Bishop. Her first appearance is in “Mars v. Mars.” Her character accuses Adam Scott’s character of having a secret sexual relationship with her. The character of Carrie Bishop returns in the Veronica Mars movie, but Andrea Estella plays her.
Tessa Thompson’s fame really blew up when she started playing Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, she has been in many well-known movies and TV shows. Some of her most popular movies include For Colored Girls, Dear White People, Selma, the Creed franchise, Sorry to Bother You, Passing, and Men In Black: International.
Tessa Thompson may be one of the people on this list that you do remember from Veronica Mars because she was a main character all throughout Season 2. She plays Jackie Cook, the main love interest of Wallace (Percy Daggs III). The character immediately left at the end of Veronica Mars Season 2.
Taylor Sheridan is an actor, director, and screenwriter. He has written many popular movies and TV shows, including Yellowstone, Mayor of Kingstown, 1883, and 1923. He also wrote the screenplay for the films Sicario, Hell or High Water, Wind River, Without Remorse, and Those Who Wish Me Dead.
Sheridan’s few acting credits include Veronica Mars. He had a recurring role as Danny Boyd in Veronica Mars Season 2. The character first appeared in Veronica Mars Season 2 Episode 8, "Ahoy, Mateys!" His character is part of a notorious crime family in Neptune.
Michael Cera may currently best be known for playing Allan in the Barbie movie. Before being the best male in Barbieland, he appeared in Juno, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Arrested Development, Black Mirror, and Life and Beth.
Cera appears alongside his Arrested Development co-star Alia Shawkat in Veronica Mars. They appear in the episode “The Rapes of Graff” from Season 2. He plays Dean, a student at Hearst College who leads Veronica and Wallace’s tour of the campus
Armie Hammer first stepped into the spotlight by playing the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network. He then appeared in such popular movies as J. Edgar, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, Call Me by Your Name, Sorry to Bother You, and Death on the Nile.
Hammer appears in Veronica Mars Season 3 Episode 3, “Wichita Linebacker.” He plays Kurt Fenstermacher, a football player who may lose his scholarship if he can’t retrieve the team’s playbook that was stolen from him.
It’s hard to imagine anyone who hasn’t heard of Paul Rudd. He’s been in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Ant-Man. He was Josh in Clueless. Mike in Friends. He’s also been in many iconic comedies such as Wet Hot American Summer, the Anchorman movies, The 40-Year Old Virgin, I Love You Man. He has so many great movies. Rudd has appeared in TV shows such as Parks and Recreation, Party Down, iZombie, and Only Murders in the Building.
Rudd appears in Veronica Mars Season 3 Episode 17, “Debasement Tapes.” He plays Desmond Fellows, an aging rock star who Piz (Chris Lowell) gets to interview. However, the man is a disaster.
There are a lot of other great actors and reality stars that you may have forgotten appeared on Veronica Mars, including Paris Hilton, Lisa Rinna, and Dianna Agron. You can catch all these stars and more by rewatching Veronica Mars. It’s definitely worth another rewatch.