Dohring in the Veronica Mars movie

In 11 Questions, The A.V. Club asks interesting people 11 interesting questions—and then asks them to suggest one for our next interviewee.

Though he’s best known as Veronica Mars’ Logan Echolls, Jason Dohring has been working in Hollywood for over 20 years, having popped up on Baywatch, Boston Public, and Party Down. His latest project is golf-themed gambling drama The Squeeze, which is in theaters and on VOD now.

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1. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

JD: Oh, boy. I once had to get mouth-to-mouth from David Hasselhoff on Baywatch. Out of all the girls I could have gotten, I got him. I’d say that maybe that was it.

The A.V. Club: When was that?

JD: I was probably 12 years old.

AVC: That was probably the worst time to get David Hasselhoff, too.

JD: I know. It could have been so much better.

2. When did you first feel successful?

JD: When I was on the first season of Veronica Mars and we were at a mall, there were lines of people starting to ask for autographs, and [they’d] hate you or love you or whatever your character was supposed to do. It was just so fun and exciting, just a great time in my life.

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AVC: Were you guys on a mall tour, or did you just happen to be going to the Gap?

JD: No, that’s exactly right, a mall tour. We didn’t even know what that was, you know? We even did a couple tours before the show even aired. So people are lining up for your autograph and they haven’t even seen you. We were like, “What are these people doing?” It’s just funny.

3. If you were a supervillain, what would your master plan be?

JD: I think I would love to give knowledge to people so they could be in control and not in mystery on certain parts of their life. Like, just help them understand life. That’s what I would do.

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AVC: Can you give me an example?

JD: Well, I got into exercise and healthy eating and that sort of thing, and I realized a lot of people don’t understand what, like, makes a body big—you know, like heavy or whatever. And I was thinking it’s so sad sometimes, when I’m at the gym, and I’ll see people on the treadmill and they’re running a way, trying to work out, and then they go home and eat food that they think is healthy or whatever, and it’s not.

It’s just funny, because really it’s just knowledge. So if I can talk to a person for 10, 15 minutes, and just try to give them some basics, then all of a sudden now they can have a better quality of life. That sort of thing, you know. That’s the main thing I was thinking of, but I guess it extends out from there to be general as well.

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AVC: I was thinking you’d say, “I’d tell a wife about her cheating spouse,” or that sort of thing. But you took it in a positive direction.

JD: No, no, no. Yeah, no, no, no.

“Empowering” is such a weird word for me, but really just you’re helping somebody live a better life. It’s very funny. If you’re around people who understand a certain aspect of life and they’re teaching you about it, all of a sudden you can control it a little better yourself and be a little more responsible for it. I think, in the field of diet and exercise and healthy eating habits, that’s just something I really want to help people with.

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4. What were you like as a kid?

JD: I was really good friends with everybody in high school. I had a phase where I was mean to my siblings and stuff like that, but when I was 17, I began to understand life a little bit better, and I was just like, “What am I doing? These are my friends,” or “This is my family.” So I grew out of that, I guess you’d say.

I was the popular kid at school without being the handsome popular kid. I knew a lot of people and was friendly with everybody, but wasn’t the school jock that every girl was like, “Oh, man, that’s the guy.” I was the nice guy that finishes last.

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AVC: So, the student body president, but not the homecoming king?

JD: Yeah, but more of a slacker than that.

5. Who was your celebrity crush when you were younger?

JD: You know, young Britney Spears, I would have to say. My goodness.

AVC: You are not the first person to say that.

JD: Next to a Pepsi vending machine with her bright smile? I think it’s pretty irresistible.

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6. If you had entrance music, what would it be?

JD: In my mind, it’s “The Final Countdown” or something like that. Just anthem rock, you know what I mean. But I’m a dad of two, so maybe in reality it’s “Let It Go” from Frozen.

AVC: Have you talked to Kristen Bell about that? Or have you made her call your kids?

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JD: No, but my daughter dressed up as a Frozen character for Halloween last year. It’s a worldwide phenomenon. It’s unbelievable. I’m very happy for for Kristen.

7. What have you done so far today?

JD: I just got into gardening, so I actually put together a blueberry plant in some potting mix. And so my fingernails are still dirty. I’m trying to wash the dirt out of them before I go make an appearance. I have a little orchard that I tend, so I did that. I hung out with my kids this morning. Played tennis with my little boy inside the house when we’re not supposed to. That sort of thing.

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8. Have you ever been mistaken for another celebrity? If so, who?

JD: I get young Mickey Rourke. I get Edward Norton. I get Dana Carvey.

AVC: People think you’re Dana Carvey, or they just say you look like a young Dana Carvey?

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JD: I don’t know, or I look like him, or something like that. But young Mickey Rourke, I really appreciate, because I really like that dude. He actually blows me away. Have you ever seen the movie Barfly?

AVC: I have not, no.

JD: Oh, it is unbelievable. Unbelievable. So I’ll take it.

9. If you had to find another line of work, what skills would you put on your resume?

AVC: From what you’ve told me so far, it sounds like you’re prepared to be a farmer.

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JD: I’d be a rancher, you know what I mean? Farmer/rancher. Probably something like that.

I could be an entrepreneur. My dad has had a couple big companies, so I’ve been a party to his conversations. I could get into that. He’s got a full online education program for kids ages 2 to 6 right now, and I thought that was a more noble cause than, say, just a straight business job. That would be cool. Something like that. Something that benefits some people somewhere.

10. Do you collect anything? If so, what and why?

JD: I collected Magic cards when I was a kid.

AVC: Magic: The Gathering?

JD: Yeah. I hope people still think I’m cool.

AVC: How many did you have?

JD: I had all the best ones, man. Just tens of thousands, to be honest. And then I collected pogs. Gosh, what else? Stamps as a little kid, but I never really got into stamps. There’s just so many of them. What are you going to do, you know? You’re not going to get every one.

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11. What would your last meal be?

JD: There’s a restaurant in Las Vegas called Michael’s, and I would probably go there and have the Dover sole. Oh, man. It’s world-class. They fly it in from Amsterdam in a private plane or something like that. He was telling us all about it.

AVC: Any sides or anything to drink?

JD: Oh, man, creamed corn—unbelievable. To drink, water. Keep it somewhat healthy before I go.

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AVC: Dessert?

JD: I think they have a banana torte that’s pretty ridiculous.

Bonus question from Simon Amstell: Who are you really? What’s really going on? What are you hiding?

JD: Wow, that’s great.

Um, I’m hiding that I’m kind of a nerd, that I’m not as cool as I’m trying to be. But I’m a nice guy.

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AVC: What would you want to ask the next person?

JD: What is your favorite piece of candy?

AVC: What’s yours?

JD: I don’t know. I haven’t had one in years because I’m trying to be a little healthy. But Riesen, those chocolate caramels?

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AVC: Yeah.

JD: Dude. Unbelievable.

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