Interview: JASON DOHRING from MOONLIGHT (Part Two)

Jason Dohring

Here it is finally, Part Two of our JASON DOHRING interview from our set of the late MOONLIGHT. I thought that some of you might still be interested in reading what else he had to say. (You can view part one here.)

Enjoy the interview!

What is like going from being in “Veronica Mars” where you played a young character to “Moonlight” where you play a vampire that is centuries old?

Jason Dohring: It’s tough, just because when you play somebody who’s been around one lifetime it’s a bit easier to understand, they have more of a limited experience than someone who’s been around eight lifetimes. That’s just been kind of the challenge. There is no new situation, everything is kind of you’ve seen before, so when you give advice to Mick or something like that it’s just “Please, this happened to me 200 years ago.”

How does it feel to be back on the set after the long break?

JD: It’s rad. It’s so cool, we’ve been doing some really awesome stuff. Really I’m not bullshitting, you guys are gonna love the next episode, it’s unbelieveable. I saw one scene of it in the editing room, and I was emotional for like the next hour and a half, and you know usually it’s like for 5 minutes. We have this score which is just amazing, a 30 piece orchestra. It was scored by the director and he got in there with those guys and he was like “play your instruments like you are never going to play them again,” and they just went crazy. It was so cool.

Did you use your break to work on your character?

JD: Yes, I did actually. I think that (episode) 13 and 14 I’m starting to get what this guy is really about. So I’m curious to know what you guys think, because I think it’ll be kind of different.

When do you think we’ll finally see that knock out fight between you and Mick?

JD: I think for the most part it’ll be me and him kicking somebody else’s ass, but at some point that would be kind of cool to see what it would be like. We both probably would get a little bit of a beat down. They just haven’t written that yet.

What was your reaction and that of the cast to win the People’s Choice Awards?

JD: It was unbelievable. It’s actually funny because from “Veronica Mars,” this (Moonlight) was nominated, “Gossip Girl” with Kristen (Bell) was nominated, and “Private Practice” with Chris Lowell was nominated, so it was like we had an alumni cast in all of the different things that were nominated. Obviously the best won.

Do you know how Josef first became a vampire?

JD: I don’t yet. But I know he’s from some kind of a good bloodline.

Did you ever run into fans who think they’re actual vampires or vampire hunters?

JD: I’ve had people go, “do you believe in vampires?” And I’m like “No, no.” And they’re like, “Do you believe in vampires?” So yeah, people are… I don’t know if I think they’re real or not or that sort of thing, but it certainly is interesting. I think there is a part of the human aspect of being an immortal and more powerful than you probably think you are, so I think that people see that and it turns them on because they’re like “wow.”

What are you a fan of?

JD: Good art, good acting but also I don’t know I’m kind of getting more into seeing that kind of, just artists, people that can change lives just with what they do, what they are, and the flow that they can put on or off, in their work or even in life. I’ve just kind of been noticing that with some of my friends that I’ve been hanging out with, and all of a sudden there’s music that’s so beautiful, you know what I mean and I’m just playing it in my room and it’s like “wow.” Stuff like that. I really enjoy and talking about acting with Sophia and Alex outside, we’re smoking a cigar and having a great time, it’s just life you know.

What made you want to become an actor?

JD: I didn’t want to become an actor until about four years ago and I’ve been acting since. I was about eight and I got in because I have twin brothers and twin sisters, they are both identical twins, and when they’re really young they just use one of them and then the other one because they can only work about three hours. So we got them into commercials and stuff like that and then when I was about – probably a year before “Veronica Mars” – I was like, I want to be awesome and that was kind of the start of it for me. I almost don’t know if it was so much about acting as it was about doing good work. I want to do work that would blow people away and I guess that is about acting in a way but it was just like that was kind of the product or the thing I was thinking of achieving. I want to change people’s lives and make it mean something to me, and I think that’s why “Veronica (Mars)” was so much. It was a character that you could really get into so much and you can take a little thing and make it mean so much to you and then it means more to the audience. It’s simple enough as an actor to dramatize things, I mean it could be a simple thing but if somebody has a huge backstory behind it, then they tell you something, and you’re like “wow.” Doing that type of stuff is fantastic and when you look at actors that do that it turns you on. You’re like “wow, that’s cool.”

If you ever became a vampire in real life, do you think you would follow Mick’s or Josef’s path?

JD: I think a mixed path I would imagine. I mean I’m not going to be hedonistic and go sleep with a bunch of women or something like that, I’ll leave that to my acting career. Yeah, I mean you got to find a way to do something good with it. I think he does.

Would you like to see Josef go to a lightside?

JD: I don’t think so. I think he is more interesting in that he does what he does. But I think there will be moments where it drops in. Because I always thought that once upon a time he was kind of like Mick and then kind of dropped over the edge that Mick is not over yet, as far as holding on to the morals sort of and keeping his life together and trying to make it work. Rightly or wrongly, I kind of like to think with that I guess.

What artists do you admire?

JD: Oh man, I don’t know. Everybody always says all the Brando and Dean and stuff like that, but if you really watch them, instead of watching the whole movie, say you watch one scene twenty times. I think that’s probably the best advice you can give to an actor because you would watch it and you’d be like “ok cool,” and then you rewind it and watch it again and you go “oh look at that look at the way he’s standing, that’s cool.” Rewind it again “Holy shit!” look at all that stuff he does in like three seconds. Everytime they’re on film, and especially the earlier years of Brando, he would do cool stuff in every bit of film and I’m always upset when people are like “yeah, but he got so fat and he’s just crazy,” and I’m like “Dude, in every film he was awesome.” Even if it’s one or two unbelievable choices or moments, it was never just walking through it. I think that that is so admirable, and the fact that he played so many different characters, it’s incredible. That definitely shaped my career, just studying those guys, because you get a style, and you kind of watch how they move and you’re like”dude that is so cool, I want to do that.” Don’t copy them, but you pick up on it. It’s just that they move with grace and beauty and I think that’s something that can be learned and you can use that in your work. It feels like Inside The Actors Studio doesn’t it? (Laughs)

Note: Since Jason Dohring made the joke about Inside The Actor Studio, he volunteered his favorite curse word: “c*&$sucker.”

What’s your greatest fear?

JD: My greatest fear is probably burning alive, I think that would be so bad. Because it would probably take a while and you’d be in extreme pain.

Who is your favorite person to work with on “Moonlight”?

JD: I’ve mostly worked with Alex (O’Loughlin), so I’d say Alex. But I’ve had a couple of scenes with Sophia (Myles) and I just like to watch her, because she’s very talented. Especially in real life, you watch her and you’re just like “wow.” She’ll have a line and it’s a hard line, something that I would probably have to work on to make it sound not artificial, but she just does it, just like that, like nothing. So I learn from watching her, she’s just in it. She just does it and doesn’t ever look in or question it, she just kind of goes and it’s very beautiful.