So you've seen the Veronica Mars movie and now you want to know what Rob Thomas had to say about the ending. Or maybe you're curious about how Kristen Bell reacted when she found out she might not be the one to get to say a certain word? We're being careful with our wording here for those of you who may have stumbled into this article without having seen the movie yet. Please be advised, this article is full of spoilers from the movie and is meant for people who've seen it already. If you're looking for the non-spoiler conversations we had with director Rob Thomas and the cast, you'll find that here.
Up ahead, in addition to some not-so-PG-13 language, also find out why the voice-overs had to be rewritten, who might have gotten the sole F-word in the movie (if not Veronica), why Kristen Bell thought viewers might hate her after a certain scene and more spoilery tidbits about the movie!
'Fuck Me Running' was just one of the unused F-word phrases.
PG-13 movies are usually allowed one non-sexual F-word. If you were paying attention during the scene where Veronica's getting hit on at the club, you'll note that the film made good use of that one F-word when Veronica tells Justin Long to "Fuck off" as he's trying to hit on her (or hit on her on behalf of a friend). From what Kristen and Rob told us, it sounds like a fair amount of thought went into not only how the F-word would be used, but also by whom. "When I heard that it might not go to me, that other people were going to get to test it out, I threw a conniption fit," Bell told us. "I said 'No fucking way, Veronica will say the F-word and that is the end of the discussion,' but Rob didn't know how he wanted to use it yet, and he wanted to allow himself options in editing, because he's a smart director."
So how else might the F-word have been worked into the dialogue? For Kristen Bell, an alternative F-word scene would've been when Veronica first sees the Serendipity picture and she realizes that it's a clue to the murder mystery. "She sees the 'Serendipity' on the boat in that photo," Rob Thomas explained. "And originally at that point, she said 'Fuck me running,' and it's a pretty great line delivery."
They may have toyed with the idea of giving the expletive to another character, but Thomas says there was actually no doubt that Veronica would get the sole F-word. But he did have one in there for Krysten Ritter's Gia. "I had to pull this out," he said. "She talks about Cobb and she says, 'He was just this weird kid reading Guns and Ammo and eye-fucking me across the room,' and that had to become 'eye-screwing,' because Kristen Bell was going to get the 'fuck' in the script, and at the end of the day, I just heard her telling Justin Long to fuck off. It made me happy. It was the thing that made me smile."
Us too! Speaking of things that made Rob Thomas happy, he mentioned loving the scene where Max Greenfield's Leo pretends not to recognize Veronica. Thomas said that scene made him very happy.
Rob Thomas started with the ending.
Rob Thomas says when approaching the story, he started from the end of the movie and worked backwards. And the image of Veronica sitting at her father's desk, ready to embrace her destiny was one he thought fans would be united on. "I hear a lot of things from Veronica Mars fans and they are split on so many issues," Thomas told us. "But what I thought would work as a thru-line for the movie, the thing that I felt very confident about going in, was the idea that Veronica had moved away, that she'd given up being a P.I., that her life had gone onto 'bigger and better things,' but that she gets drawn back into her old life."
And that old life is one fans of the series were much more familiar with, as it's a major part of how Veronica is presented to us in the show. "The image of her sitting down in her dad's desk and sort of accepting her destiny," Thomas explained. "This is what's in her blood. This is what she's good at. This is what makes her feel alive, even when it may be the thing that is unhealthy for her, that was the storyline hat I had confidence in would unite almost all Veronica Mars fans."
They had to re-write all the voiceovers to work in the addiction theme.
One of the things we brought up during our chat with Rob Thomas was that great scene during the reunion after-party when Veronica's dancing with her friends and seeming as happy as ever, while inwardly her mind is busy working the case. "Sure it looks like I'm having fun," Veronica's voice-over says. "But even my alcy mom knew how to put on a show to hide her disease." It's one of numerous times throughout the movie where Veronica compares the allure of her work as a private investigator with addiction.
From what Thomas told us, the recurring addiction theme was worked into the film later in production. "We'd landed on the voiceover -- the thematic sort of recovering alcoholic AA stuff at the end," he revealed. "The voiceovers were saying something similar in terms of Veronica's headspace, but we hadn't locked in on this idea of she is being drawn back to being a P.I. like her mom to booze. Like she's the child of an addict and she's recognizing that quality in herself. We literally got down tot the end of the movie and the idea of acceptance, the idea of using the language of AA, the serenity prayer, came to us when we were writing that final voiceover. And we went back and rewrote all of the voiceovers to set up that ending."
Related to that dancing scene, Bell had some interesting insight into Veronica being interesting because she's a permanent paradox. "She is simultaneously vulnerable and confident," Bell said of her character. 'Externally, she's one of the gang, internally completely conflicted, utterly myopic on solving the case. There's nothing funny or interesting about perfection. Conflict is nice to watch. Conflict is interesting, so the fact that Veronica is often conflicted, I think is what makes the show so entertaining."
Logan found order, Piz found confidence.
Logan's in the military and Piz is willing to throw down! That's quite a contrast from bad-boy Logan and nice-guy Piz. If you recall in Season 3, Piz was more a lover than a fighter, but he throws down with the other guys when push comes to violent shove at the reunion. So why the turn around?
Chris Lowell credits Piz's choice to get into the fight this time around to increased confidence. "I think the biggest thing for Piz is his confidence has really grown since he was on the show," Lowell said, going on to talk about how eager Piz was to win Veronica's attention and affection. "The character was so nervous and desperate for her affection and her attention and validation. I think now he's gotten to a place in his life where he knows he's a good guy, he knows he's a successful guy. He's a lot more certain of who he is."
As for Logan's military life, Jason Dohring says that's his character's way of finding discipline and order in his life, which is something he really needed after losing his whole family.
Ryan Hansen did more dancing than you might have realized.
That flask-buckle pelvis thrust wasn't the only dancing Ryan Hansen did for the movie. Last Summer, Rob Thomas revealed to backers that he'd enlisted the help of Ryan Hansen in fulfilling the role of the dancing gorilla on the pier. So the story goes, Thomas kept the fact that it was Ryan in the gorilla suit from Kristen and Ken Marino, who were shooting the scene on the bench while gorilla guy danced. The prank that ensued involved Rob Thomas pretending to get angrier and angrier at the gorilla guy, whom he accused of upstaging the other actors.
We got a quick glimpse of Hansen in the suit during the SDCC preview:
Hansen told us Ken Marino tried to chat him up and check in on him while he was in the suit, not realizing who he was. "I was in that thing for like three hours without taking off my mask because they would've seen me," he said. "Ken even came up to me and was like, 'Hey, you good man? What's up?' You know, trying to talk to me."
Hansen also said there was more to the flask buckle scene, which was cut out. Hopefully that and the gorilla prank will make it onto the DVD!
New York vs. Neptune was set up to be an especially tough choice for Veronica.
It was probably a lot easier for us to want to see Veronica return to Neptune and her old life as a private investigator than it was for Veronica to see herself returning to that life. Rob Thomas says he intentionally created good reasons for Veronica to stay in New York, including a great boyfriend, a great job that would help her pay off her student debts, and support from her father. "I wanted the most important person in her life, Keith, to be pushing her towards New York," Thomas told us. "I wanted to make it very tough, and even at the end, I didn't want it to be like Wayne's World, happy ending. I wanted it to be bittersweet. I wanted to feel the things she was giving up."
Among the things she was giving up was Piz, the good guy who treated her well and probably would've offered her a stable romantic future. Thomas said Kristen Bell thought Chris Lowell's performance in that break-up scene was so good that viewers might hate her for breaking his heart. "You feel his pain," Thomas said. "She said 'Chris is going to make people hate me there,' because he is heartbroken and great in that scene, but I wanted it to be that hard. A lot of romantic comedies would put Bill Pullman sneezing in the kleenex on the other side to make the answer so crystal clear. I wanted it to be hard."
Piz pretty much knew it was over when he left Neptune.
Chris Lowell's final scene in the film has him standing on a sidewalk, breaking up with Veronica over the phone while his parents wait in the background. It's awkward and sad and hard to watch, but it was inevitable, and from what Chris Lowell says, Piz knew it was coming.
"It's all about his fears come true," Lowell told us. "It's kind of that moment where you realize that you may have won the battle but you're never going to win the war. It's a sad moment. It's a bummer. But I think he knows before he even leaves Neptune how it's going to go down for him, but answering that call, it's the nail in the coffin."
Jason Dohring had concerns about revisiting LoVe's iconic moment.
Those familiar with Season 2 of Veronica Mars remember Logan's somewhat inebriated confession to Veronica that he always thought their relationship was epic. It's a classic moment from the series, particularly for those who always wanted to see Logan and Veronica get back together. The movie takes a chance in revisiting that speech near the end of the film, as Logan is preparing to return to the military. Jason Dohring told us he felt a bit concerned about how that scene would play.
"I didn't know if it was going to be cheesy or not to make such a particular reference to a scene that's, I guess when people consider the iconic scene of that relationship, it's sort of that one," Dohring said. "So I didn't know how it would go. It was funny, coming into it as an actor, you knew it was something that really needed to work." Dohring says it was nerve-wracking doing that scene because he knew how private and personal it needed to be. "But those are the scenes that I love with Kristen," he said, adding that he likes being the asshole too. "But I think when you get a private moment like that on film, it's fucking awesome dude. That's what you like to act for, man, the real exchange."
Kristen Bell had a hand in casting.
Watching Bell's real-life husband Dax Shepard wag his tongue and show off his moves for Veronica's pleasure might have tipped you off that Bell had a little something to do with some of the casting for the film. Bell says she desperately wanted Dax to cameo and he very much wanted to be a part of the film, as was the case for Justin Long, whom she describes as a very good friend. "We just all called in favors," Bell said. She also confirmed that she petitioned her You Again co-star Jamie Lee Curtis to play the role of the interviewer at the start of the film. "She was the one I pictured in that role and I was so happy that she wanted to do it," Bell said.
It also worked out really well that so many cast members from the original series were able and willing to return for the film. Not only did we see regulars like Dohring, Lowell, Enrico Colantoni and others, but there were also more supporting players on board, like Max Greenfield and Sam Huntington, the latter of whom reprised his role of Luke. Bell noted that the cast is all still very close, and that played a part in getting people to return for the film. "I think it speaks to how we work well together, all of us. No one would come back if we didn't like each other. But I don't get to see Sam Huntington nearly enough, because he lives in Vancouver all of the time, but I love him. I love his kids. We're all genuinely still close."
Find out what the cast had to say about Kickstarting the film, the start of Veronica and Logan's relationship, the spin-off digital series that's in the works and more here!
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