Interview with Charisma Carpenter
Veronica Mars' Illicit Lovers Bare It All
Source: TV Guide, Wednesday, November 16, 2005
If things are heating up in Neptune, the fictional seaside town of UPN's Veronica Mars (Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET), blame Jason Dohring and Charisma Carpenter. Dohring's Logan has been hooking up with Kendall, his best friend's sexy step mom (played by Buffy and Angel alum Carpenter), ever since Kristen Bell's Veronica gave him the boot. And in tonight's episode, their on-screen affair takes an even naughtier twist. While Dohring and Carpenter crackle with chemistry, fans — we should say Logan-and-Veronica fans — are hardly thrilled. "After Veronica, Logan may be the most adored character on the show," says creator Rob Thomas. "But we're having fun with those two broken up."
TV Guide: What do you think the attraction is between your characters?
Jason Dohring: There's a little bit of that Mrs. Robinson thing. For a kid in high school to be in a relationship with an older woman, a hot girl like that? Damn, man.
Charisma Carpenter: I think when you have somebody like Logan puppy-doggin' after you and giving you all that attention, it just feels good. Besides, I don't think Kendall is the most well-adjusted woman. [Laughs] And since I'm married to an older man [on the show], I suspect the sex is a little longer and better with Logan.
TV Guide: How did the two of you first meet?
Carpenter: We sat next to one another at [the fan convention] Comic Con. Jason was very polite. He lent me his microphone. But we didn't formally meet [until we were] on the [Mars] set.
Dohring: She was naked [for the scene] and I was like, "Hi, I'm Jason." It's weird to see her with her clothes on. [Laughs]
TV Guide: Have you two gotten comfortable shooting all those love scenes?
Dohring: Every time we're with each other, we have our clothes off! The first time kind of breaks the ice. Now, we just fire back and forth with the banter. She plays a great bitch, and I play a great man-bitch, so it's cool.
Carpenter: We have a running joke. Every time we get into bed with each other, Jason and I ask how our spouses are doing.
Dohring: Charisma's like, "How's your wife?" I'm like, "She's fine. How's your husband?"
Carpenter: It helps me trust [Jason] a little bit more. I know there's no funny stuff and we're both fully committed [to our spouses]. And our spouses have met, so we're all good.
TV Guide: Some fans really don't like Kendall and Logan together. How does that feel?
Carpenter: I always get that. [On Angel, Cordelia] was Angel's second love and the fans wouldn't have it. They were like, "There's only one love and it's Buffy!" And that's exactly how it is again. "There's only one love for Logan! It's Veronica." So I'm used to it.
Dohring: [With Logan and Kendall], it's just physical. I think Veronica's the only one who can fill the hole in Logan's life.
Carpenter: Are you really thinking about Veronica right now?! [Laughs]
TV Guide: Do you pay attention to what the fans say?
Dohring: I check it out. Not recently, though, because I started changing my acting based on what I thought they would like and I was like, "No, I can't do that, man."
TV Guide: Kendall's wardrobe is either skimpy or, uh, skimpy. Charisma, have you kicked your workouts up a notch since landing this role?
Carpenter: Yes! Are you kidding me? Somebody told me, "You're gonna be in a bikini a lot." When I heard that, let me tell you, I started double workouts. Cardio every day.
TV Guide: Your former boss, Joss Whedon, has recently come out as a huge Veronica Mars fan and even did a cameo in the Nov. 9 episode. How does that feel?
Carpenter: I have a tremendous respect for Joss. He's sort of like, well, not my dad, but I do want his approval. I worked for him for seven years and I think he's a genius. So when I see him giving Veronica Mars the stamp of approval, it makes me even more excited to be a part of it. It makes me feel like I made a very good choice, and that my instincts were right.
TV Guide: What can you tell us about the upcoming death of a major character on the show?
Carpenter: It's got to be Duncan. He's just too nice! [Pause] No, he's too valuable.
Dohring: Anybody, save Veronica, could be gone. It's destabilizing when all of a sudden you get news that someone's going to die and you're like, "That's gonna happen? Whoa." [Most of the cast has] been on this show together since the beginning, and it's hard. But [the death] is done in a very classy way.
TV Guide: Hmmm. Give us some more scoop. What's going to happen between your characters?
Carpenter: My husband left me high and dry so [the Nov. 16 episode] is about me trying to figure out how I'm supposed to survive.
Dohring: Kendall tries to get me to be her sugar daddy and I'm like, "No way, baby. No way." The stuff I say is ridiculous. It's so funny.
Carpenter: [The Nov. 30 episode] shows you just how low I'm willing to go. It's totally salacious, bitchy fun. The claws really come out. Look out!
Veronica Mars' Charisma Carpenter
The Buffy vet dishes on playing the vamp – when she's not busy playing Mom
Friday Nov 04, 2005
Charisma Carpenter is sparring with another blonde out to save the world on UPN's Veronica Mars. Carpenter joined the teen-sleuth drama this season as Kendall Casablancas, a former Laker Girl turned adulterous trophy wife. "She has no shame," says Carpenter, 35. Carpenter talked with PEOPLE about keeping in touch with the Buffy gang, filming racy scenes and making time for family.
What made you want to play Kendall Casablancas?
The name is really spectacular. My manager was like, "It's the best name in prime time." I just laughed at him.
She wears a lot of skimpy clothes. Did you have to step up your workouts?
There was a lot of extra work involved to get bikini-ready. I don't want anything to wiggle. Most of the time I meet my trainer at the gym and we do a lot of everything: weights circuit with cardio, football drills, sprinting with weights on the treadmill.
Would you ever do another Playboy spread?
I don't know. I did Playboy for a very specific reason. Not only was it a good financial move, but it was about the place I was at in my life. I had just had my son (Donovan, 2) and I'd gained 50 lbs. during pregnancy. I wanted to get back to my old self. I wanted to feel desirable and sexy. So I thought, "What if I went full throttle?"
How is it shooting Veronica Mars in your hometown, San Diego?
The beaches in La Jolla are the best, and fortunately my husband (psychology student Damien Hardy) surfs, so there's not a lot of bribing going on there. Today my son and I went for a stroll and saw the sea lions and watched the sunset and played ball in the park with our dog. It was an awesome day.
A lot of Buffy alums have new shows this season: Alyson Hannigan on How I Met Your Mother, Nicholas Brendon on Kitchen Confidential ...
It was a talented group and we have a built-in audience. I follow all of their careers and try to catch some of the shows, but we're not all hanging out and having viewing parties. Many of us are married, three of us have kids, and everyone is busy shooting. But I text message Nicky all the time, and Alyson just invited us to a party.
You also recently completed a Lifetime TV movie.
It's called Flirting with Danger, and I'm Danger. She's a femme-fatale type. I had a lot of sex scenes. I was shaking like it was the first time. I really had to remember that it was not me.
What makes the sex scenes so difficult?
I'm shy, and I'm in love with my husband and sex is something I only do with him, yet I have to believably pretend that I'm in love with some actor. You want to look good, so there are some self-esteem things as well. I wasn't comfortable, but I had agreed to do this and it was showtime, so you just do it. No pun intended.
How do you balance career and family?
Delicately, for sure. The distance is hard. This week I asked my husband if my son could stay with me longer (in San Diego), and now I'm on the road, headed back home (to L.A.) and doing an interview while my son watches a movie in the back seat. But this job provides in a way that other lines of work can't. Let's just talk about how expensive nursery school is. That bill was a rude awakening for me.