Thanks to crazed fans who donated over $5.7 million to the Veronica Mars movie, Chris Lowell is back as Stosh "Piz" Piznarski and ready to take on Team Logan. The underdog in the Piz-Veronica-Logan love triangle that amped up the cult-hit series, Piz kicks off the film living in New York with Veronica (Kristen Bell), only to find himself struggling to keep her in his life when old flame Logan (Jason Dohring), trapped in a murder trial, comes calling for her help.
Complex got a chance to speak to the actor (who also stars in FOX's underrated sitcom Enlisted) about breaking up an OTP, the hype around the Veronica Mars movie, and what Piz would've done if he took the gig at Pitchfork.
Interview by Tara Aquino (@t_akino)
In the show, Piz got offered an internship at Pitchfork. What could've you imagined him doing there?
They have an online radio, right? I feel like I would be the guy going to as many underground shows as possible and I would be like the biggest fucking music snob on Earth. I would be that person so painstakingly ear to the ground that it would drive people crazy, I think because I am already kind of almost that person.
Those people exist, so you're not alone.
Those people definitely exist!
Where are you in the film?
In the film, I am still working on radio, and that was the idea—that my character was a radio geek. Actually,Rob Thomas—not like “It's 3am Rob Thomas," like the creator of the show Rob Thomas—he's a major audio snob and so am I, so that worked really well for us. We use to argue—and it is so embarrassing to think that I was arguing with the showrunner—butwe would argue about what songs should be placed in the show. But also like, I didn't even know how expensive songs could be.
You know when a Veronica Mars fan recognizes you. Usually, there are tears or some sort of foaming at the mouth.
What kind of music do you listen to, personally?
Right now, my little brother got me this crazy record compilation, which is called Delta Swamp Rock. It's kind of obscure Leon Russel and old broken Johnny Cash and this sort of, like, early southern weird rock, like Jim Ford.
Have you ever been to smalls down in the West Village? I love going to fucking Smalls. I feel like that is one of the coolest things I like know about.[Laughs.]
If you want a New York underground jazz experience, you gotta go there.
Yeah it's not very glamorous. You can tell that they just like jacked all these chairs and benches from wherever they could find them. And then the stage smells like sweat, and smoke, and pot, and the stage has mirrors over the drummer, and the piano and the priority is the music. Sunday is jam night, so it's just 40 different instruments laying around that everyone is kind of chomping at the bit to play. Which reminds me actually, I saw one of y’alls covers that I loved, and it was Drake. It was the Kinda Blue cover. That thing was fucking rad. That was one of the coolest covers I have seen.
No problem! And I mean, I can get down with Tom Waits, especially Nighthawks at the Diner. And like Johnny Cash Live at Folsom Prison. They play these songs in whole new ways with live audiences, and the screaming in the background just adds to the music. If you want to listen to Tom Waits' "Warm Beer and Cold Women," you have to listen to it with this one hysterically freaking out fan who won't stop hootin' and hollerin' throughout the whole thing, which I think is pretty badass. It's super experiential, like as an audience member like you are going to be an instrument. I love that. That's why I love Smalls.
Speaking of screaming fans, how do you feel about the cult status of Veronica Mars?
I'm afraid. What's inconceivable, because no one watched that show when it was on, or so we thought, is the fact that we've got a fanbase that's so big that they're able to resurrect this after six years. And you know when a Veronica Mars fan recognizes you. Usually, there are tears or some sort of foaming at the mouth. I was always a really controversial character 'cause I essentially broke up the big romance. I always get happy when people don't shiv me.
I remember when I got the job, Rob Thomas was like, "OK, here's how it's gonna go: Everyone is going to fucking hate you." Thankfully, Kristen's one of my favorite people in the world. She's such a good homie. Everyone is.
I feel like it makes me cooler that I'm on a show that had a cult following. [Laughs.] It does make me a little nervous that the word cult is involved. But it makes me feel like I'm "in the know."
Like street cred.
Mega street cred.
So when you saw the Kickstarter go crazy—
You know, I was on the phone before with Kristen and Rob and they were just saying, "This could be the biggest embarrassment in history," because we could publicly not make our goal. I remember the next day emailing Rob a million times throughout the day. I was working when they launched it and I didn't get back 'til later that night, so I remember sending him emails being like, "Fifty bucks! We're on our way!", "$500! Don't worry! We've got a whole month!" And then I get a call from Ryan Hansen later that night and I was like, "Woo! What number we at?" And he was like, "We passed it two hours ago you nimrod."
I know it's controversial to fund a studio movie through Kickstarter, but I think it's more that Rob tried for six years to get it made and he went down every avenue. Warner Bros. didn't think there was enough of an audience. Essentially Rob was like, "I'll prove it to you." And then it exploded.
It was amazing to see all the fans come together. But also like, "Where were all of you when the show was on?!" [Laughs.]
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