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‘Veronica Mars’: After 15 Years, Jason Dohring Reflects on His Journey

As the original series foretold, playing Logan Echolls opposite Veronica Mars was an epic story, spanning years and continents.

Jason Dohring and Kristen Bell, "Veronica Mars"

Jason Dohring and Kristen Bell, “Veronica Mars”

Hulu

[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from the “Veronica Mars” revival, including the finale.]

A week after the “Veronica Mars” revival was released on Hulu, star Jason Dohring was trying to stay cool in the sunlit Beverly Hilton garden while doing interviews at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. He’d stayed offline for the most part and wasn’t aware of the intense fan backlash to his character Logan Echolls getting killed off in the penultimate scene of the new season of the mystery series.

“To be honest, I haven’t looked too much at that, but I’ve heard that the show is great and I’ve heard that the fans are very pleased with it, and that it feels like our show,” he told IndieWire. “I think like when you’re doing reboots and revivals, people always come up [to me] and they’re like, ‘Oh, I’m a little scared.’ [Creator Rob Thomas] and his team have really kept this world alive and kept the quality up. It’s just something I’ve always been pleased to be a part of.”

It’s unsurprising that fans would mourn Logan, a character who was present since the 2004 pilot and had quite the journey from supporting privileged jerk to romantic leading man. He and Dick Casablancas (Ryan Hansen) are two of the original wealthy Oh-Niners who were prominently featured in the revival, amidst the ongoing mad bomber mystery that Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) and her father Keith (Enrico Colantoni) were investigating in the seaside town of Neptune.

Hansen hadn’t read about Logan’s fate in the script, and was shocked to learn about it on the set.

“I literally read my Dick lines and that’s it. Jason and I had a moment when he told me, and I thought he was joking and it was heartbreaking,” Hansen said. “And then we had our last scene together, and that’s our last Dick and Logan scene ever. We kind of hugged and took a picture. It was more emotional than I thought it was going to be.”

Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring, "Veronica Mars"

Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring, “Veronica Mars”

Hulu

It might be cold comfort for viewers at home, but in a way, Logan’s death fulfilled one of his most famous lines from the original series. Back when Logan and Veronica were at the height of their on-again, off-again relationship, they had the following exchange:

Logan: I thought our story was epic, you know. You and me. Spanning years and continents. Lives ruined and blood shed…
Veronica: C’mon, ruined lives, blood shed? You really think a relationship should be that hard.
Logan: No one writes about the ones that come easy.

The revival introduces a far kinder and calmer Logan Echolls than fans had seen previously, thanks to therapy. He’s working as a Naval Intelligence officer, and therefore is called overseas at a moment’s notice, for months at a time. When Logan and Veronica finally tie the knot, their love has truly spanned continents. But when it comes to the “lives ruined, blood shed” portion of his speech, it now feels ominous – no longer referring to the people broken relationships leave in their wake but his devastating murder.

Dohring has had the time to make peace with leaving the series. Despite Logan’s grim fate, he provided the actor with a character who developed and became more complex as the series grew older. “It’s been wonderful. This was probably my first real big project out of high school,” said Dohring. “It started out as this asshole or antagonistic character, which was a blast to play. Then you saw other aspects of his life with his broken family. And then that was also shared with Veronica, this kind of romance that started out of protection or care and became love. There were so many facets of him, it was a dream. It was like five characters rolled up in one.”

Through Logan, Echolls tackled and perfected the signature “Veronica Mars”-style of dialogue that mixed classic high-brow and pop-culture references to create lively banter and sick burns. Dohring worked to make these elevated lines sound natural and unpretentious. After all, he pulled off “our story is epic” and made it one of the show’s most quoted lines.

“On the way over here, I was working on a role, and I think the more you can work on something, the more free you can be, the more loose it comes,” said Dohring. “And for Logan, who was very loose, I would practice very hard. I would work hours on a three-page scene. Or a day, no joke, on a particular thing, and was pissed at myself if I wasn’t right on.”

Although he doesn’t have any regrets about his time on “Veronica Mars,” he does wish he had more time with one actor. “I really like working with guys that work their asses off. I was pleased to be in some scenes with Rico recently that I normally would not have due to the moral nature of Logan in the first several years,” Dohring said. “I’m always trying to learn. ‘How do you prepare for this? What do you do in the days before?’ I feel like there’s hard-won knowhow that took people five, 10, 20 years to earn. And he just told me little things that I can just keep in my back pocket.”

Dohring can next be seen opposite William Baldwin in the independent film “You Are Here.” “Veronica Mars” is currently available to stream on Hulu.

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