Marshmallows got more than they bargained for at PaleyFest’s opening night, where “Veronica Mars'” creator Rob Thomas surprised the audience with an hour-long behind-the-scenes documentary titled, “By The Fans: The Making of the Veronica Mars Movie.”
The documentary opens with the day the now-famous Kickstarter campaign launched, March 13, 2013, and continues throughout the entire filming process and then some. The audience got to see footage of the cast reuniting, goofing off and even giving Stosh ‘Piz’ Piznarski (Chris Lowell) a hard time.
Without a doubt, the theme of the film was the fans. Weaved throughout each segment were fans who traveled from all over the world to attend Comic-Con and other panel events. Some even crossed the ocean just to catch a glimpse of the actors filming. There were even a few fans who popped up at every single event.
Thomas couldn’t be any more appreciative of the fans who made the movie happen. The Warner Bros.-distributed pic had its premiere on Wednesday night, one year to the day after the Kickstarter push began.
“I want to thank the fans of ‘Veronica Mars’ for making this happen again,” Thomas said at the packed PaleyFest sesh at the Dolby Theater. “You are the best fans in the world. You have been put to the test. You all stepped up in such a huge and unbelievable way and we’re so grateful for that.”
After the screening of the documentary, the cast came on stage to participate in a panel discussion moderated by Hitfix’s Alan Sepinwall. One of the first questions asked was whether or not certain cast members feared not getting asked back for the movie.
“Obviously,” joked Lowell, Veronica’s season three love interest and fans’ second choice pick behind Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring). “I was dead in the water.”
Of course he was ultimately asked back, and even plays Mars’ boyfriend at the start of the film. Although when he first got a call from Thomas, he thought Thomas was going to tell him he would be killed in the movie, giving #TeamLogan fans a victory.
He wasn’t the only one nervous about his future in the feature film. Wallace Fennel, Veronica’s best friend, (Percy Daggs III) also wasn’t so sure how he fared. If he didn’t get offered a role, he had a plan.
“I had the NAACP on speed dial!” Daggs joked.
The panel discussion also included what it was like for the cast when they found out about all of the money raised. For Kristen Bell, who plays the title character, it evoked an ardent response.
“A lot of passion and a lot of hard earned pay checks went into this,” she said. “We’re not flippant about it. That’s fucking radical.”
So when it came time to reprise her role, Bell knew she had to perform for the show’s fans who had made the project come to life.
“I was a bit nervous but only because of how comfortable I was during those three years,” Bell said. “There’s always been a little bit of fairy dust on this project and I don’t know how or why.”
Sepinwall also asked the cast and Thomas what shows they would raise money to bring back a la “Veronica Mars.” Thomas immediately said, “Freaks and Geeks.” Dohring said “Party Down,” a Starz series that featured many “Veronica Mars” alums such as Ryan Hanson, who played meathead “Dick Casablancas.”
Very much in Dick Casablancas fashion, Hanson, when asked if his character had grown up at all in the movie, answered, “Dick is still a dick. Just a bigger Dick. It’s hard to beat Dick.”
Some things never change.
(Pictured from left: Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Enrico Colantoni, Ryan Hansen and Chris Lowell)