"I Really Appreciate What You Guys Do"
CB: Rob told me that when he was down to three guys for Logan, the first guy went in and read with Kristen, and afterward, she told Rob she didn't think he was intense enough. Rob's response was, "Wait 'til you see the next guy," referring to you. You mentioned the monologue you used to get in character, but tell me a little more about what you were feeling when you went in.
JD: Well, let's see. There were three scenes originally -- it was kind of funny, because one of them was the headlight-smashing scene. I was using a paper to "smash" out the "headlights," and Mark said that when we went in there, I shouldn't do the thing with the paper. I asked why not, and he was like, because these execs haven't read the script, and they won't know what you're doing. They'll be like, "Why is this kid swinging that fucking paper?" It was kind of a reality adjustment. Then in the second scene, Rob said he wanted someone who could play an asshole, but a guy who feels, too -- not just the asshole. Someone you could sympathize with, too. So we had a second scene with my dad burning me with a cigarette lighter. We did that, I guess, when we tested for the studio -- it was a pretty fucking cool scene...I loved it. It was pretty intense, and then the next one we did was the scene where I drive up to Veronica. When we went in to test for the network, Rob said we weren't going to do that second scene because the guys would get a little freaked out or whatever.
CB: Yeah, I read the original pilot script, and Rob told me he originally intended it to be a cable show, so there was a lot of dark stuff in there that didn't make it to the network version.
JD: Exactly. So yeah, it was intense. But I loved working with Kristen. Every test that we did, it was just like...just to look at her and bear down...it was great.
CB: So what was working on a pilot like, as opposed to doing an episode of an established show?
JD: So fucking exciting, man. My acting teacher told me a story about this one guy who couldn't get a job, but every time he would get close to a job, he would tell his friends and family, "I'm up for this thing," and then he wouldn't get it. So this one time my teacher told him not to tell anyone until he had a part, and he came back the next week and he'd booked something. I took that advice with the pilot -- I'd tested for a bunch of things and never done anything. When I got it, then I told everybody, and it was just so fucking cool. And I think about it -- if I had missed that audition, how different my whole life would have been.