Krysten Ritter (Gia Goodman)
K-K-K-Krysten! Ms. Ritter's portrayal of lovable ditz Gia Goodman added some much-needed humor into a season involving mass murder, hidden pregnancies, daring kidnappings, and Steve Guttenberg. She never seemed to know what was going on, but at the same time, she showed some sleuthing savviness. But what makes this triple-threat model/actress/musician tick? We were going to conduct this interview over MySpace, but the thought was more horrifying than spending an hour listening to Gia talking about the way she's "evolving," so we settled for email.
MI.net: How do you pronounce "Krysten"? Did you and Kristen Bell ever fight about the correct spelling/pronunciation of that name?
Krysten: As for my name...Krysten is pronounced the same as Kristen. It's a thing in my family. All the girls' names start with the letter K, and then have some weird spelling thing going on. No, Kristen and I never fought about it. LOL.
MI.net: According to your IMDb bio, you grew up on a farm in Shickshinny, Pennsylvania and were discovered by Elite Model Management at your local mall. For some people, that seems like a dream come true. Why did you decide to stop modeling?
Krysten: I was scouted at the mall when I was 15. I traveled around the world, lived in models' apartments and did the whole thing. It opened a lot of doors for me and the best part was, it got me off the farm, for which I am incredibly grateful. It was a stepping stone for me, and it segued into acting, which is where my heart is. My guitar kept me company while I was traveling.
MI.net: As fans of the show, we just know you're going to say that being on Veronica Mars is one of the highlights of your career, but are there others you'd like to mention? How about low-lights?
Krysten: Veronica Mars is definitely a major highlight in my career thus far. Other highlights have been meeting a few of my favorite directors. I got to meet Robert Benton recently and I have had the privilege of working with Robert Altman and Kenneth Lonergan. Really any time I get to act is a highlight in my book.
[Editor's note: Probably not. But in case they do and to keep this begging-for-a-job thing going, would you guys like to do an interview with our site? Please?]
MI.net: Between your MySpace page and YouTube videos, you seem pretty internet savvy. Are you much of an internet surfer? Have you explored any of the sites about Veronica Mars or other projects that you have worked on? If so, what was your reaction to them?
Krysten: The internet is a great way to get things out there — sites like Youtube and Myspace make it so easy. It's cool getting messages from people from all over the world that like my music. It's totally badass. As for the VMars sites — I love them. I love that the fans are so dedicated and pay so much attention to detail.
About Veronica Mars
MI.net: Were you a fan of Veronica Mars before you were cast as Gia Goodman? [Note: a yes answer goes down really, really well with fans.]
Krysten: Truthfully — I was! And I was very excited to get the gig. It's awesome to work on a show that you dig and respect!
[Editor's note: Pretty, funny, internet-savvy, and great taste in TV shows...dude, you're like the most perfect girl ever!]
MI.net: What was the casting process like? Was Gia the first and only Veronica Mars role you auditioned for?
Krysten: I auditioned for a guest star in the first season. Which, I didn't get — obviously. But Rob Thomas and the casting director Dee Dee Bradley loved me and told my agents that I would be on the show at some point. I took it with a grain of salt of course...But sure enough a role came along for me! YAY!
MI.net: Do you remember what guest role you auditioned?
Krysten: I don't remember the name of the guest star character. But I think she was running for some kind of election? Does that ring a bell?
[Editor's note: Wanda from "Return of the Kane", maybe? Dunno.]
MI.net: According to your IMDb bio, you live in NYC. Did you do the bi-coastal commute during the season?
Krysten: Yes, I do the commute thing and I do live in New York, which I love. I go back and forth a lot for work. I get the best of both worlds this way.
MI.net: Lilly, Mac, Meg, Wallace — all of Veronica's friends are kinda on the short side. Were you worried that your modelesque height would prevent you from being cast as one of Veronica's BFF?
Krysten: I wear flats! And I slouch. Well — I try not to slouch because it's bad for you.
MI.net: Of all your scenes in VM, which was the most fun to shoot and, if different, which is the one you are most proud of?
Krysten: It's fun to go on location. I love to change things up and see new places. In the season premiere for example we really were on this cliff over looking the ocean. I love that stuff. I will say that I am most proud of "Look Who's Stalking" — for obvious reasons. The writers gave me a lot of fun stuff to do. I also really like the chlamydia scene in "Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner."
MI.net: Kristen Bell is a singer. You and Tina Majorino are both in bands. Forget about the Faders: how about Veronica, Gia, and Mac forming an all-girls band?
Krysten: Yeah, we could be a Go Go's cover band and wear cute outfits or something. LOL.
MI.net: We're sure you love the cast and crew to bits, but is there one person in particular who knocks your socks off?
Krysten: You really couldn't ask for a better cast and crew. Most to knocks my socks off? Hmmm... Since I have to pick I would have to say Ryan Hansen. We get along really well. That guy cracks me up. We would goof off between takes — secret handshakes and what not — and then the cameras would roll and it's like OK STOP LAUGHING.
MI.net: Just how crazy is Steve Guttenberg? Did you ever refer to him as "The Gutt"?
Krysten: Awww, Steve's not crazy. He's awesome. He's kind and charismatic and self effacing and genuine and I loved the days we were on set together. We would gab non-stop about the biz and whatever else. Of course I referred to him as "The Gutt." But I don't think ever to his face.
MI.net: Playing a ditz can be difficult because you want to avoid making the character a one-dimensional caricature. Did you and the writers ever discuss the fine line between being ditzy and likable vs. dumb and obnoxious?
Krysten: We actually never did. The writers on the show are really strong, so they infused Gia with a real quality that hopefully I brought to life.
MI.net: So, like, Gia was a total ditz, which we totally loved, like, a lot. When your family and friends saw your performance as Gia, did they say, "OMG, that's totally you!"
Krysten: HA! Not at all. I mean — yes — and — no. YES it's me — but I'm not a dtiz.
[Editor's note: Dtiz? Hmm...]
[Krysten's note: Oh my god — I actually did not purposefully miss-spell ditz. But that's funny. LOL.]
MI.net: In the season premiere, the Goodmans seemed like a pretty normal family. In episode seven we learned that Gia's home life was a little dysfunctional: mother some kind of control freak, dad apparently hen-pecked, brother Rodney a nervous wreck. And of course later we learn of Woody's true nature. How much of the Goodmans' backstory were you told going in? When did you find out that Woody was a child molester? How did you see the impact of these forces on Gia and her personality? As the writers revealed more and more dark secrets about the Goodmans, did you feel the need to alter your performance?
Krysten: They keep things pretty tight lipped around the set. No one knows — of course there is always speculation but you never knew anything for certain until you got the next script. I did find out that Woody was a child molester about half way through the season, and I was pretty freaked out by it. I was however looking forward to getting some juicy stuff to do. It was unfortunate for me that I couldn't be in the finale episode (I booked a pilot) because I was looking forward to showing how everything that went down affected her. On a side note, I did start to think that I was responsible for the crash. I really wanted to be a bad guy. HA HA.
MI.net: We've noticed that the writers sometimes explain certain plot details to the cast, but because of time constraints don't reveal these details to the audience. On the day of the bus crash, Woody told Gia not to get on the school bus returning to Neptune. Why was that? Exactly what was the deal with Mrs. Goodman?
Krysten: You know what, I don't know why he told Gia not to get on the bus. I never heard anything about that. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful. I do know that Gia was off at boarding school before Neptune so whatever was going on at home, Gia might not have been aware of it.
MI.net: In "Look Who's Stalking," you show a great comedic flair, particularly in the scene with Kristen where you marvel at her computer skills and fail to recognize sarcasm. Is comedy something you enjoy doing? Many say it's tougher to get right than drama. Do you find it so?
Krysten: I love comedy but I also enjoy drama. "They" do say comedy is harder than drama, but I don't think about it that way. Comedy is all about timing, and playing the truth of the moment. I have always been obsessed with comic actors like Jim Carey, Bill Murray, Adam Sandler, Tracy Ullman, Steve Martin, Lucille Ball, Ginger Rogers, the old school SNL people, In Living Color, etc. But I would never put myself in a category with these people. Maybe someday.
MI.net: Gia's fashion sense might be described as eccentric. It is certainly very individual. Was that wholly created by the writers and crew or were you able to contribute to the character's look?
Krysten: Sal, the costume designer on VMars is FABULOUS. We talked about the character in the beginning and what she would wear, etc. For me, wardrobe is very important in finding the character. If I'm going to play silly and ditzy, I need to feel and dress silly and ditzy. The clothes were pretty out there sometimes, and I usually felt like an explosion of color, but it worked for the character. I did get to wear a lot of my favorite designers — Marc Jacobs for example — and I got to keep a few things. I love Marc Jacobs!
MI.net: The scene in "Plan B" at the Sadie Hawkins dance between you and an increasingly irritated Logan was very funny. Was all that scripted or did you and Jason ad lib? Did you and Jason work out what Logan was going to say to Gia if Veronica hadn't intervened?
Krysten: That scene was so fun. If V hadn't intervened? I think I could have had him. LOL.
MI.net: Did you have a hard time keeping a straight face during some of your scenes?
Krysten: Are you kidding? Of course. It's kind of hard to keep a straight face when your trying to pretend chlamydia is a flower.
About You Again
MI.net: Will you be returning to Veronica Mars for the upcoming season?
[Editor's note: Krysten talks about a role she landed on another show. If you want to know, highlight the blacked-out text. If you don't want to spoiled about that other show, then for goodness sake, don't highlight the blacked-out text.]
Krysten: Actually this year I am going to be on Gilmore Girls. But I love VMars so much — I would LOVE to go back!
MI.net: It's so cool that you're going to be on Gilmore Girls. A couple of team members are fans of that show. Is it a one-time guest role or a recurring character?
Krysten: I'm going to be on Gilmore Girls a lot! I will first appear in episode #4 and then I will be on through out the season. The show is very fun. Everyone talks so fast! It's the same night and same network as VMars. What are the chances...
[Editor's note: Awesome!]
MI.net: You've been getting some pretty good reviews for All This Intimacy. Have you done theater before that? How does this experience compare to working on TV and films?
Krysten: Doing a play is very different from doing films or TV. In theatre, the medium lends itself to allowing you to have an arc with a character, you start at one place and end in another and it all happens right there, where with camera work you might shoot the last scene first and the first scene last, etc. My goal is to do a little of everything in my career. Actually I'm pretty greedy for work — so in truth I would like to do A LOT of everything.
MI.net: What are some of the projects you have coming up? More movies, music, TV, theater?
Krysten: I am going to be on Gilmore Girls this season. I also have a TV show that I wrote and created currently in development, recording, acting, recording, acting, writing blah blah blah. I am definitely looking for a great film or theatre role that will really challenge me. I want to do something I haven't gotten to do before.
MI.net: How did a northerner like yourself ever get interested in becoming a country singer? What does your band name Ex Vivian mean? Have you tried to strongarm Rob into putting an Ex Vivian song on the show?
Krysten: I was always exposed to country music — I mean, I'm from a farm — in the country it's what my parents and my grandparents listened to, my dad drove an 18-wheeler...I think music transcends things like location and age; I love all kinds of music. I wouldn't necessarily say "I'm a country singer" but I do think Ex Vivian has a hint of it here and there. As for the meaning of Ex Vivian — well — I have to hold something back — you'll have to wait until the next interview.
Hitting up Rob to put a song on the show is not a bad idea!!!! I think I will call right now!
[Editor's note: Next interview? Oh, when, when, when?]
MI.net: How much taller are you than 5'1" Kristen Bell?
Krysten: A LOT! I'm 5'9" barefoot. Which isn't THAT tall...is it? I'm not a big scary beast or anything.
[Editor's note: Of course you're not a big scary beast. And we're not saying that just because you are taller than half our webteam and could probably kick our butts.]
MI.net: Which is your favorite Backup: the white dog from the pilot or the current brown dog?
Krysten: I like both dogs equally. I love dogs.
MI.net: Can you describe the cast members in one word?
MI.net: We know all actors are big-hearted philanthropists. Is there any particular charity or movement you'd like us to learn more about?
Krysten: I haven't found a specific charity to get involved with yet, but it's definitely something I want to do in the very near future. I'm a huge animal lover, and I'm really concerned about the environment as well as its effects on endangered species, so that is something I am looking into.
Krysten, thanks for the interview. Keeping on rocking.