Teddy Dunn (Duncan Kane)

Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4 and comments. (April 12, 2005)

MI.net: We read in an interview where Kristen played a practical joke on you. Can you tell a little more about that?

Teddy: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. First of all, it was the first week of shooting in July.

MI.net: First week?

Teddy: Yeah, it was right off the bat. It was the first episode we shot when we found out that we got picked up for a season. And it was literally the second day on the set. It was the day that the scripts for episode three were getting handed out. And I got a script. And I was flipping through it to see what my role was. It was supposed to be the script "Meet John Smith." The one where I'm on medication and all that. And so I'm flipping through it, and it comes to the first scene in the back of the car, where Kristen and I are making out. And we're making out and whatever, and it says all of the sudden Kristen unbuttons my pants, and my pants come off, and my, you know, my...basically my ass is showing on the screen. It basically has me naked in front of the camera. And I was like, "Oh, nudity. Okay? I didn't know UPN would allow this sort of thing, but all right." I was just going along with it, whatever. So I'm flipping further through and it's the second time Kristen and I are making out. Actually it's my hallucination, where I think it's Kristen and it's actually somebody else. And when I go and say her name "Veronica" in the script I was reading, it says a cute 18-year-old surfer boy pops up. [laughs] So here I am, not only naked for the first time on TV, but I'm also making out with a guy. My thoughts were like, "Whoa! Whoa! Wait a minute! I didn't know Duncan was going to have all these sexual orientation issues, along with the death of his sister, and the break-up with Veronica, and all these other things going on." It was just like, "Whoa! Wait a minute. Nobody gave me the heads up about that." They were actually watching me the whole time as I was going through it, because I was going through it on set. And people were just cracking up. Kristen actually had the PA come to me and say, "You know what, go and talk to Dan Etheridge. He's one of the producers on the show. He really wants to talk to you about the more controversial stuff in the text." And I was like, "You know, okay, whatever, yeah." She did a great job of selling it. I mean the whole thing. She had the whole crew going too. At the very end, right as I was making out with the guy, she slips me a little card that says, "You've been punk'd by Kristen." And I was just like, I freaked out, I slammed the script down...[laughs] It was really good. She got me good.

MI.net: Have you gotten her back?

Teddy: No, I haven't gotten her back yet.

MI.net: Why not?

Teddy: I don't know. I haven't thought of a good way to do it. I'm also waiting, because, you know, I mean, people are talking. I probably could. I should've gotten her back by now for sure. But I haven't yet. I think I'm going to wait and get her back when she's least expecting it. Hopefully we'll get a second season, she'll think things are all good, and then all of the sudden, her dog disappears or something like that.

MI.net: Is that the only practical joke you guys played on each other?

Teddy: I'm sure Kristen's played many on other people. That's the only one she's played on me. She played one on Percy too, actually. It was a pretty funny one. When we were shooting on location somewhere, Percy shows up to report. He shows up and the hair stylist, Kim Ferry, and Kristen walk by. They look into his trailer as he opens it up, and there's this huge shrine with candles and everything to Kristen. As if he has this huge crush on her or something. And they walk by and they're like, "Oh my God. Percy, I didn't know. We need to talk about this kind of thing." They got him pretty good. I don't think Percy has gotten her back either. We're plotting, we're plotting. We're working on it, we're working on it.

[Editor's note: Dear Teddy and Percy, you guys have the entire summer to work on it. And please remember: photos, people, photos.]

MI.net: You live with Percy, right?

Teddy: We did, yeah. We don't anymore because the season ended, and we moved. I actually was in San Diego the whole year because I had moved out from New York. But Percy was from Long Beach, and he moved down to San Diego just for the year. We lived together for a whole year down in San Diego. We don't live together anymore now. I moved up to L.A. and Percy is back home in Long Beach.

MI.net: You spend all that time together and then you go home with the same person. Did that ever get on your nerves?

Teddy: Well, you know, Percy and I really never worked together. We have had one scene the entire year where we actually exchange dialogue. And that was when I come up to him in the hallway, it was "Betty and Veronica," and I say, "Hey, good game." And then Meg and Veronica have a little interaction about their hair. That was pretty much the only time we were on set together. So we really we just hang out at the house. I go off to work, and he'll be home or he'll go off to work, and I'll be at home. We never really had to run into that conflict because we weren't spending all this time together on the set and then at home. I don't think it would have been much of an issue anyway. We are both pretty easygoing guys. We hardly ever get to work together.

MI.net: I didn't realize you guys only had one scene together.

Teddy: Yeah, same thing for me and Weevil, and me and Rico. I'm hoping that I get a chance to work with those guys a lot more if we get a second season. Which is kind of the way this season has unfolded.

MI.net: Yeah, Kristen kinda hogs all the guys for herself.

Teddy: She does, she does. She's a hog. She takes all the characters and keeps them for herself.

MI.net: I guess that's why she's the lead.

Teddy: Yeah, she is the star. Can't really complain about that. [chuckles]

MI.net: If you had one choice, and Rob Thomas says he'll write you any scene you want, what would you want Duncan to do?

Teddy: For Duncan...well I've actually had a lot of those scenes that I wanted to play desperately. I've gotten to play them in the last two episodes. And so I'm kind of anxious for people to see those. I won't—I can't really talk about them. But I guess now, I think the scene I am really dying to play, which would address a lot of people's criticism about the character, is a scene that happens before the murder or happened after a significant period of healing had gone on. I think it would be best played with Veronica obviously. I want to show some of that passion that I think people are looking for in Duncan. His kind of idealistic and romantic view on the world that he had before he became so jaded with everything that has gone on.

I tested with a scene....The funny thing about it is my screen test was a scene that Rob wrote for the character that never made it into an episode. And it was a flashback, one of Veronica's flashbacks, where we are both hanging out by the pool. I'm, like, desperately asking her to run away with me to Europe and go backpacking. Just to get away from all the wealth and material crap that I'm surrounded by. Which I thought was this awesome scene to play because it was an interesting take on the whole wealthy, teenage high school character. In a lot of our teenage dramas on television, we see these kids, like Duncan, who are given everything, materially speaking. They really don't question that, you know. They have this affluent lifestyle and they don't really acknowledge the fact that they're millionaires' kids and what that means.

But I think one of the things that really is an interesting side to Duncan that I haven't got to show yet, necessarily, is that I think he is very uncomfortable with that. I think he realizes that he comes from extreme privilege and I think he feels a responsibility given with that privilege. That's something he's uncomfortable with. He's unsettled by it. There's something that doesn't sit well with all this money with him. There's that scene that Rob wrote—actually he's quoting, you know, Eastern text, he's quoting Herman Hesse's Siddhartha—and he's talking about the materialistic illusion, and how all this wealth doesn't really mean anything, and let's run away together and find a deeper meaning out there in our lives together. And it was this really fantastic scene.

There have been some other incredible flashbacks between me and Veronica. Diane Ruggiero wrote a scene in an episode that got cut where Veronica and I tell each other we love each other for the first time. It was one of the sweetest things I've ever read. It was a really endearing scene for both of our characters; they just didn't have time for it, for whatever reason. I mean there was this A-plot that needed to get addressed. It just didn't have time in the script. I think the same thing happened. But I would love to play that scene or a version of that scene at some point or either one of those scenes actually, in the future. Hopefully we will get that opportunity. I think we will.

[Editor's note: Come on, Rob, if you can recycle the entire Snoops pilot for "Mars vs. Mars," you can find some way to recycle those scenes. Or at least include that audition scene in the DVD.]

MI.net: I hope so.

Teddy: Fingers crossed. But I think it would definitely add some depth to Duncan that I think people are looking for.

MI.net: I know. Because just hearing you describe it and seeing one of those promo interviews, it's like, "Yeah, Duncan sounds really interesting," but they just haven't really shown that side.

Teddy: You know, like I said, they've got so much to go through this year. I know for a fact it's my first experience working in television so, I can't really speak for anyone else, but I think the first season has gone really, really well. But they've had so much that they have had to do, to address, in terms of not only Lilly's murder mystery, but Veronica's mystery with her mom, with her paternity issue, with her rape and all that, and also the mystery of the week, and trying to establish those. There's just some things that have fallen by the wayside. Unfortunately, one of those things is some of those endearing scenes between Duncan and Veronica. And just Duncan in general that they haven't had time to get in there.

WARNING: The following answer might be spoilery since Teddy talks about his hopes for the next season. For you spoiler-free people, go to the next page. Click to see his answer.

Teddy: But I suspect, if we get a second season, we'll get more opportunity to delve into more of Duncan, more of all the characters. I think it would be great to learn more about Wallace's backstory as well and Weevil's backstory. We get tidbits here and there. We've gotten more of Logan's backstory, probably more than any of the other regular teenage guys. But even his backstory is really fascinating and warrants some more attention as well. So I think we'll get that if we get a second season.

[Editor's note: This interview took place Wednesday, April 6th, two days before UPN confirmed the show's renewal, so the following question is kind of old news by now. But his answer is so sweet...]

MI.net: When do you guys find out?

Teddy: We're waiting to hear. We'll probably find out when you hear. When it's announced, when UPN announces their fall lineup, we'll either be in it or we won't. [chuckles] We'll probably know a couple of days before that, but yeah, I think some time in May is the date. Sometime in the beginning or middle of May. So we're all on pins and needles like everyone else. I mean all indications are positive. I know that Rob has said that, many times. He would bet on us, instead of bet against us. And all indications are positive. Certainly the network loves the show. But you know anything could happen in television. And it's certainly happened before, so I'm not saying with any degree of certainty that we're definitely coming back, but things definitely look good.

MI.net: Yeah, the fans are really nervous and anxious. It's like "Oh my God!"

Teddy: Well, if anything, that's the reason why we will come back. Our numbers are not fantastic, obviously, as everybody knows. But we have the devotion of people like yourself who go on to make these really wonderful websites. Mars Investigations is a wonderful website. I would like to congratulate you on it.

MI.net: [blushing] Oh you actually saw it?

Teddy: Yeah, I've seen it. I read Muhney's interview and Brad's interview, and it's great. The devotion you guys show to the show, and Television Without Pity, and everybody else out there. What is it? Neptune...Neptune High...

MI.net: And Neptune Site.

Teddy: There's Neptune High and Neptune, right? Temple of Veronica Mars. I know there are several out there. It's incredible to know that we have such a loyal following, no matter how small it is. It's important to know that our performances and our show are getting watched. Thanks for everything.

MI.net: The fans really appreciate you guys doing all these things for us. You know, all the signings, the interviews, and Rob actually reading stuff and responding. It means a lot.

Teddy: Oh good. We're more than happy to do those kinds of things. I mean, interviews like this, or going to the malls, that's really the only time that I get to interact with the audience. And coming from the live theatre, you're interacting with them as you're performing so it's a very different feeling in television. And really, one of the only reasons I'm attracted to this job is for what we are able to do for an audience, potentially. I mean it doesn't always work out. Sometimes you're part of a show that people really hate. It's not received well, but in this case it is such a great experience both professionally and to see the feedback that we get for the show as a whole. It's been really fulfilling. And you know those opportunities that we do get to meet our audience, they are really important to me.

This weekend, we fly out to Boston which is going to be fun, because I went to high school there, so I've got a bunch of friends that are going to come to our signing on Friday. It will be funny. It will be like all these 14-year-old girls waiting in line to meet Kristen and then there's going to be some sketchy-looking twentysomething guys. [chuckles] Then on Saturday we go to Macy's in New York, so we're going to have a couple of more appearances and maybe more to come. Hopefully.

MI.net: Yeah, because people in the Midwest are like, "What about us?"

Teddy: Well, we went to Minneapolis in December. That's pretty far north, but it's in the Midwest. We'll hit the Midwest too, I'm sure. I think Chicago would be a good place to go. And Kristen's from Detroit so we might get a chance to go back there as well.

MI.net: That will be good because one of our website team members lives near there. He's like, "What about Detroit? Kristen lives here, come on. Do something."

Teddy: Yeah. [laughs] I've got family in Detroit too. So that would be a fun place to go for me as well. I'll lobby for Detroit.

This concludes part 1 of our interview with Teddy Dunn. We could've posted the whole interview this week, but we don't wanna. There's tons of interesting stuff left, including Teddy's thoughts about the DVDs, HoYay, and Bayliss. And Teddy will finally answer the question that has been plaguing fans all season long: how much taller is Teddy Dunn than Kristen Bell? Find out next week! Dunn Dunn DUNNNNNNN!

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