After a seven-year absence, private investigator Veronica Mars has returned, and she’s come to the big screen with the help of a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign. In the film, Veronica (Kristen Bell) has come back to her seedy hometown of Neptune to help her old flame Logan (Jason Dohring), who has become the prime suspect in the homicide of his celebrity girlfriend. The film also stars Enrico Colantoni, Chris Lowell, Percy Daggs III, Francis Capra, Ryan Hansen, Tina Majorino, Martin Starr, and Krysten Ritter.
At the film’s press junket last week, I got the chance to sit down and talk with Krysten Ritter, who reprises her role as Gia Goodman. During our conversation, we talked about her reaction to the film’s Kickstarter, returning to the character, the “high-school reunion” vibe on-set, and more. We also talked about her top 5 films of 2013, Breaking Bad, her thoughts on the cancellation of Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 and desire to Kickstart a movie. Hit the jump to check out the interview. Veronica Mars opens on March 14th. Click here to read my review.
KRYSTEN RITTER: Yeah. Oh my God, yes! I think everybody was. It was insane. That was so crazy how they made $2 million by noon or something. I was watching. I got a text message in the morning being like, “Oh my God, have you heard about Veronica Mars? Are you in it?” And I’m not supposed to tell anybody… “Yeah.” I’m telling my dear friends, but I’m not supposed to tell anybody that I’m in the movie. And then I was watching it online, refreshing, emailing Kristen [Bell], like, “Oh my God, this is crazy.” And then emailing her again, “Now it’s up to this!” It’s just nuts.
Had Rob [Thomas] talked to you about this? Like, “We’re about to launch this thing, are you going to be available?”
RITTER: Well, he sent me an email, and I actually looked before coming on this press tour to see when it was, and it was February, a month before. He emailed me because, Gia, I don’t know if you’ve seen the film, has a pretty significant part. He was just like, “I wanna make sure that you’re interested and available, because in the script I’m working on Gia’s really important, and I want to make sure you’re down.” And I was like, “Look, that sounds great.” I would have even done a cameo to be a part of his dream in the making. So fucking cool.
So what was it like coming back to your character after a seven year absence?
RITTER: As soon as I read her dialogue — she’s got a specific cadence and rhythm when she talks fast — she’s specific. So as I read it, I was like, “Okay, I know what to do with this.”
Did she end up where you thought she would? Like, “I can see how she got here.”
RITTER: No. I never even thought about it. I never even thought about what would happen to Gia Goodman. Like, what would happen to her? I never think about my characters in that way, but it’s interesting.
Quickly getting onto this topic of a character who was influential — Jane in Breaking Bad – I was wondering what were your thoughts on the show’s conclusion, because it was kind of like the bullet in the gun that everyone was waiting to go off.
RITTER: I know. Oh, man, that show is so good. I was like, “Ahhh!” watching it, and like, pacing back and forth. I watched the season finale twice, maybe three times. I wanted it to go on. I cried. I felt it for days. I was just like every other crazy ass fan. It affected me in every way, and that’s rare that that happens. I feel like that happened for me with Six Feet Under as well, and also that movie All is Lost. Did you see that movie?
RITTER: That movie stuck with me for days.
At the press conference for that movie someone asked “Do you think it’s all a fantasy?”
RITTER: For sure he’s dead.
You think he’s dead? ‘Cause there’s nothing in the movie before that to hint that there’s a fantasy element.
RITTER: No, I know. I think that he’s dead, but I think it’s ambiguous, and it’s open to interpretation, and I think that’s really cool. I think that anything that sparks conversation like that is a good piece of art. There’s nothing in that movie that lends itself to any kind of fantasy, however, I just don’t think he was saved. The movie is called All is Lost.
There is a point where it’s like, wow, the Lord really has it in for Robert Redford, just with all the shit that keeps happening to him.
RITTER: I watched it at my house on a screener — thank God, because I would have been a really annoying person to be in a movie theater with. I watched it with my girlfriend and her husband, we were yelling at the TV. Just like, “No, what are you doing?” That movie was one of my top five. Not that anyone’s asking for my top five of the year.
I’ll ask for your top five. What are your top five?
RITTER: That. Her, I loved Her. Enough Said, loved that movie. 12 Years a Slave. And The Hunger Games [Catching Fire].
RITTER: Here’s the thing: never once in that movie was I like, “What time is it?” Ever. When it ended — I read the books too, so I knew when it was ending — I was like, “No! More!” I may watch it tonight in the hotel.
I read the books as well, and I love the political stuff.
RITTER: Me too.
The behind the scenes machinations.
RITTER: And she’s [Jennifer Lawrence] just adorable. She’s such a beautiful actress in her performance. Physically as well.
RITTER: All of that in her eyes. She’s not too terrible that girl. She’s pretty special. Last night when I got in, and you turn on the TV, it’s like, “Now playing in your hotel,” over and over and over, and I was in the bathtub, and I just heard they got The Hunger Games, they got The Wolf of Wall Street? I’ll be all right.
So another show I wanna ask you about is Don’t Trust the B—- [in Apartment 23], ‘cause I really liked ‘cause I thought it was so darkly comic, and you don’t really see that on network television in a sitcom.
RITTER: No, you don’t.
And I was wondering, were you frustrated when the network started airing them out of order, like the way it was trying to finish it out?
RITTER: Absolutely. One of the producers said it best. He said that we were being dragged around by a shit-smeared dog, and I was like, “Yeah, that’s what’s happening. That’s exactly what’s happening.” We premiered pretty good, and when we were coming back, they didn’t tell anybody. They didn’t tell anybody we were coming back, they didn’t tell anybody we moved nights, and then the election, and then there was the hurricane. It was just one thing after another. The odds were not in our favor. It was just a disaster. And then for some reason they aired them out of order. We couldn’t get the support. We couldn’t catch a break. But people love that show, and the fanbase is crazy for that show too. It’s kind of nice, because the gift that keeps giving is everyone’s finding it on Netflix. I mean, so many tweets daily about that show.
It’s frustrating, because ABC, they have Modern Family, that’s their big sitcom, and they don’t understand, but you’ve gotta let the other ones find their audience, like Cougar Town and Happy Endings. These shows have really devoted fan bases.
RITTER: The network games is gonna evolve. It’ll change. It has to. It only takes one thing to change that. Yeah, it’s kind of a weird system. Not a lot of people are watching these shows in real time.
No, we don’t do that anymore.
RITTER: I don’t remember the last time where I was like, “You know what? It’s 9:30. Gotta get home to watch my show.” It’s just an antiquated system. There’s no way to count your viewers.
I did that for Breaking Bad.
RITTER: Fuck yeah you did. It’s Sunday nights.
RITTER: I need to get on that. I’ve been so busy, and normally I’m a pretty aggressive TV watcher. I’ll watch stuff and binge it. But True Detective I have lined up on my TV.
You’re gonna lose eight hours of your day, which is fine, because it’s like an eight hour movie.
RITTER: That’s fine. I don’t feel guilty about that at all.
With Don’t Trust the B—-, one of the things I liked about it, some sitcoms kinda take a while to find their voice, but that show just knew what it was out of the gate. Was that one of the things that appealed to you?
RITTER: Yes, yes. That’s a credit to Nahnatchka Khan, the writer, who’s just a genius, and a really specific brand and point of view. She is so specific in her taste. Just one of the mostly wildly talented writers I’ve ever encountered. I love her. And we’ve become so close that if you can get Nahnatchka Khan to laugh, then you know you’re actually saying something pretty funny. So you wanna be on your A game when she’s around.
If there was a way to Kickstart the Don’t Trust the B—- movie, would you be interested in that?
RITTER: To say I would be interested is the understatement of the year. I would love to do that. I would love to see where Chloe was. I think there’s so many different ways to go. There’s so many things because she’s so nuts. I love playing her, and it’s exciting that people love her so much. I mean, people are sending me quotes of shit that I said on that show every day. That’s rare, and it’s a beautiful thing. It’s exciting.
Did you know where she was gonna go after?
RITTER: When we got cancelled, we finished our second season already.
RITTER: I don’t know, exactly. We were kind of in between. Who knows? I think what they wanted to do was make something less serialized so that they could air them out of order. Which is weird to me, because when I watch shows, what I gravitate to is serial. You need to come back, you need to know what’s happening.
Well, that’s the tricky balance. You wanna get more viewers, but you wanna reward the people who keep coming back.
RITTER: Yeah, and I think that’s who you should be servicing, is the fans. Yes, of course, you don’t wanna alienate new people from coming in, but you gotta first and foremost service your fans.
That was like what you were saying earlier, no one watches these on a schedule anymore, so you can binge. You can download, you go to Hulu, you can do all this stuff.
RITTER: That’s what I did with Breaking Bad actually, because I watched the first season when I signed on, and I watch my season, and then I don’t know what happened. I didn’t have TV or I moved or something, I kinda got behind, and then this show just became this phenomenon, and people would ask me questions all the time, and I was like, “Fuck, man. I need to be able to answer questions, and I need to watch this.” And I watched the rest of the show in a couple of days, and I cried at the end. I binged on Netflix. The final eight I watched along with everybody else.
It was one of those things where if you missed it, you didn’t even wanna risk someone saying anything.
RITTER: Here’s the thing: it’s cultural jury duty. If you haven’t seen Breaking Bad, just go home.
RITTER: You better stay indoors.
And I’ll talk about it on record now, but when Gus gets his face blown off.
RITTER: That blew my fucking mind.
And then later that night, people are posting gifs of it. It’s an entertaining moment for sure.
RITTER: You’re, like, ruining it for the whole country.
To bring it back to Veronica Mars, when you came back, what was it like on set with everyone? Was it just easing back in? Was it like a high school reunion?
RITTER: That’s what it was, exactly. That’s exactly what it was, it was a high school reunion. And everyone looks good. Everyone’s like, “You look exactly the same!” “Oh no, you do!” “You’re beautiful, you’re so thin!” It was all a vanity fest, but I think that was the most exciting part of all doing this movie, just spending time with these people. This is a great cast. Ryan Hansen, obviously. Our first five minutes is me bummed that I didn’t get to spend an hour with him. And Kristen is so funny. She’s a grown up now and she’s got a baby, and’s that exciting — to stay a part of each other’s lives. That was so cool. I was so happy to be there.