Warner Bros.’ year of “Veronica Mars” resurgence continued last week with the launch of “Play It Again, Dick,” the hotly anticipated CW Seed digital series that focuses on actor Ryan Hansen’s attempts to capitalize on the show’s hardcore fanbase (known as Marshmallows) by creating a spinoff series for his “Mars” character, Dick Casablancas. Although the CW doesn’t release official numbers for its digital series, the network confirmed that the first episode — which featured guest appearances ranging from Veronica Mars herself Kristen Bell to CW TV president Mark Pedowitz and CW’s exec VP of development Thom Sherman — was the best-ever premiere for an original CW Seed series.
We asked Hansen what he thought about the series, as well as his relationship with Dick and with series creator Rob Thomas (whom he also worked with on Starz’s “Party Down”). Innuendos follow.
New episodes of “Play It Again, Dick” air Tuesdays on CW Seed. The first two episodes are embedded in this story.
How did the conversation go with Rob when you first talked about this idea?
Warner Bros. Digital came to me, before the movie even, and they were like we want to this little Dick — or well, this big Dick — web series and pitch it before the movie to promote it. And Rob was like I want to write it. Basically, everyone on the cast was on board when they read it too.
When did you film it?
I think we shot it at the beginning of August. It was an eight-day shoot. It was very quick and we shot like 14 pages a day.
Had you had much experience working with YouTube or another digital property before this came along?
I did a web series years ago for Warner Bros. actually with Josh Schwartz. It’s called “Rockville, CA.” It was right when web series were coming out. I just did a Hulu TV series. I’ve worked on the web a little bit, but this is my first “Veronica Mars” web series.
Is it weird to adjust from the TV to the movie to doing a small scale version of Dick?
You kind of know what it is. Everyone involved is so passionate about what we are making that it’s almost more fun.
I know you all have a soft spot in your hearts for the characters you played on “Veronica Mars,” but I don’t know how different you are from Dick in real life. Was it hard to get back into that space?
Once you play Dick, he develops inside of you. Dick is so fun to play and even an enhanced version of myself is more fun to play than playing yourself. I guess there’s parts of me who are like Dick. I forget what I’m saying.
Well, that’s kind of Dick-like …
I know. Sometimes it’s like am I playing Dick, am I playing myself. And [my “Party Down” character] Kyle is kind of a mix of all of those guys.
Are you doing “iZombie” too or will you have a break from Rob Thomas for awhile?
I am going to try with all my heart to jump on that show. I’m doing “Bad Judge” right now with NBC, so during a hiatus or something I’d love to jump over there if he’d have me. Maybe I’ll just kind of go to Vancouver and be like hey is there anything for me guys? And just kind of show up.
Where there any cameos or anything special with the upcoming episodes that we should be aware of?
Every time they were done shooting, I would dance with each person individually. Mark Pedowitz and Thom Sherman from CW, I would dance with them. There’s this whole dance montage that’s going to be pretty fun to watch.