Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen the Veronica Mars movie yet, avert your eyes. Everyone else, read on…
Veronica Mars‘ on- and off-again boyfriend Logan Echolls is…reformed?!
If you caught the big-screen continuation of the TV series this weekend, then you know that the former bad boy joined the Navy since last we last saw him (punching an enemy of Veronica’s, natch).
TVLine chatted with his portrayer, Jason Dohring, to get his reaction to the surprise twist, and to find out what prompted Logan to turn his life around.
The actor also talks about Veronica and Logan’s reunion and what the future holds for the once-again separated lovers while he’s serving abroad.
TVLINE | What was your initial reaction when you read the movie script?
I thought it was so cool that [creator] Rob [Thomas] put me in the [dress whites], made me in the Navy. It was cool that [Logan] actually got more discipline in his life and was kind of a badass. That sort of stuff is obviously fun to play. It gives him somewhere to go in the future other than just depression from losing his parents and the relationships that he’s been in. And Rob made me look really heroic, which is really awesome. I’m still paying him off for that.
TVLINE | The first time we see you in the uniform in the movie, I was so shocked.
I know, right?! I think I almost look silly in it, to be honest. I feel like, “Oh my gosh. Take that stupid costume off.” But some people think it’s great. I think it’s a great idea. I just felt a little silly wearing it. But it’s cool for the story.
TVLINE | When you were shooting that scene, did you get some ribbing from the cast and crew? Or was everyone swooning?
I walked out and [Kristen Bell] went, “Hubba hubba.” I couldn’t hold it together. People were taking pictures and they were like, “No, you can’t take pictures! You can’t release this.” … I did take some selfies and sent them to Ryan Hansen. I’m just going to put that on the record.
TVLINE | Logan has a very respectable career now. He’s cleaned up his act. What do you think was the turning point for him?
He had to put his life in order or he would have gone down to the point where nobody could have helped him. He took charge of his life and had to make something of it because there’s just too much to deal with, man. Like all the s–t he had to go through, especially with nobody by your side, no girlfriend or anything like that. It just would have been too much. So he goes off and does something that’s ballsy… He could have a purpose in life, helping out. Those are the parts that resonated with me.
TVLINE | Did you and Rob talk about what happened to Logan in those nine years?
Yeah, a little bit. It was mostly the discipline [and] the couple tours [in the Navy], that general idea. That was [Logan's] driving force to keep him sane. That was what I played.
TVLINE | One of the other big surprises in the movie was that Logan was with Carrie Bishop. What was your reaction to that?
That was cool. That was so exciting. When Rob was telling us the initial story, when he was breaking it to us, “Your pop-star girlfriend is murdered. You’re the No. 1 suspect. You need Veronica’s help to clear your name.” All these things were very exciting to me. Obviously, he would be with a Katy Perry-type person. It suited [the movie] very well. It makes for a very big story, a big press splash, which is even more horrible for Logan [because it means] that he needs even more help to save his skin.
TVLINE | Was there anything you wish you’d gotten to do in the movie that you didn’t get a chance to do?
I thought they wrote a cool mix of stuff. The coolest thing that I appreciate about the movie probably is the Keith/Veronica relationship. It was very good on the show. I think it’s even stronger in the movie. I’m just in love with him as a dad and their relationship together. I was trying to think of what exactly it is about our show that strikes people, and I think it boils down to heartfelt emotions and relationships between friends, lovers, parents. There’s a particular relationship between each of these characters that’s very unique. To watch them all interplay is our show.
TVLINE | I was craving a Keith and Logan scene.
Oh, I know. There’s been so few.
TVLINE | Did you miss playing the darker, snarky side of Logan?
Yeah, I love that side of him. I love both sides. When you get to do a love story, it’s unbelievable because you have those intimate scenes that are so fun to do. At the same time, at least on the show, Rob would write something totally counter to that or that would break you up and he can be the asshole again, which is also fun. So it was a dream world just coming out of high school and getting to play something that I could work so hard on and sink my teeth into and practice everything that I learned in acting class in every single scene that I got to play with this character.
TVLINE | Were you happy with how Veronica and Logan’s story ended?
Yeah, you couldn’t ask for more. To be in the dress whites, going away like Richard Gere, that’s the best. Rob couldn’t have written it better. He’s just always made me look like a hero. He’s just very kind to actors and how they’re going to look. He’s a good dude.
TVLINE | If you had to write the future for Veronica and Logan, what would it be?
It’s cool to watch as an audience when there are ups and downs, there’s trouble and then they work it out. The underlying love story, exactly as it’s been playing out, is [what] I would hope for the future. Obviously, you’d like them to live happily ever after and that sort of thing. But they both have their explosive characteristics… As long as the underlying love stays there, I’m cool with anything going down. That will, hopefully, bring them back together.
TVLINE | Have you talked to Rob about what a potential sequel would hold for the characters?
I know that there’s a lot of Skype involved in the military overseas. So there’s conversations with Veronica and that sort of thing. Maybe it’ll be like Top Gun Part 2 or something. You can only dream.