Veronica Mars is a teen noir mystery drama, which aired on UPN (and later The CW) from 2004 to 2007. The show is about a girl who works as a private investigator along with her dad, solving mysteries on her own while attending high school and later college. Set in the fictional town of Neptune, California, the show deals with questions of morality and the classism, all through the lens of this dedicated gumshoe.
Veronica is a bright and sharp-witted girl who goes to the same school with the rich kids of Neptune, the 09ers (referring to their zip code). During the show’s three seasons, Veronica worked on several cases like the murder of her best friend Lilly, a mysterious bus crash that kills many of her fellow students, and incidents of assault on her college campus.
The series was created by Rob Thomas, and was originally meant to revolve around a male protagonist. Rob said he eventually decided to switch to a female lead instead, thinking it would be more interesting to see. Apparently, it worked, because the show took off and received accolades from critics and audiences alike, until its cancellation after the third season.
Veronica was one of the strongest female teens on television, proving once more that girls can be smart and fend for themselves. The show also featured other strong female characters, who truly made the show more engaging to watch. And apparently, the actresses who played these characters are just as amazing in real life.
Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars
The show’s main protagonist, Veronica Mars, is an extremely intelligent and witty high school student at Neptune High, who assists her private investigator (and former sheriff) single father with his work. After her best friend Lilly is killed, and her dad loses his job as sheriff due to accusing Lilly’s wealthy father, Veronica sets her mind to solving Lilly’s murder herself. This makes Veronica, who used to be popular, an outsider of her own choice. Despite resenting most of her fellow students, Veronica often does investigative work to help her classmates, thus getting herself into dangerous situations. But she’s also very good at fending for herself, and more often than not gets her way.
Kristen Bell – now
Kristen has been one busy gal since the days of Veronica Mars. In addition to being the voice of Gossip Girl, she also landed the female leads in the drama House of Lies and the NBC comedy The Good Place. In film, she’s been the voice of Anna in Disney’s Frozen, starred in the hilarious movie musical Reefer Madness, and has done a variety of comedies, such as The Boss, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Bad Moms – alongside Mila Kunis and Kathryn Hahn. In 2013, she married actor Dax Shephard, and since then the adorable couple has worked together on features like When in Rome, Hit and Run, and CHiPs. They have two children together.
Tina Majorino as Cindy Mackenzie
Cindy “Mac” Mackenzie is one of Veronica’s best friend. She’s a computer wiz, who uses her hacking and coding skills to help out Veronica with the various cases she takes on. Mac briefly gets involved with Cassidy Casablancas (nicknamed Beaver), before Veronica finds out he’s responsible for a bus crash that killed several Neptune High’s students – as well as intimately assaulting Veronica at a party after someone slipped an illegal substance into her drink.
Tina Majorino – now
Tina began as a child actress in the comedy show Camp Wilder, later participating in movies like Waterworld and Corrina, Corrina. After taking a break for a few years, she returned to the big screen in Napoleon Dynamite, and was later cast as Mac in Veronica Mars. Since then, she landed recurring roles in hit shows like True Blood and Grey’s Anatomy, and was also cast to play the role of Florence in the CBS action drama Scorpion.
Tessa Thompson as Jackie Cook
Jackie is a rich and entitled student at Neptune High, and the daughter of famous baseball player Terrence Cook, who formerly played for the Neptune Sharks. When she starts dating Veronica’s best friend, Wallace, it becomes apparent that she and Veronica don’t really get along. After her dad is falsely accused of being responsible for the Neptune bus crash, she becomes an outcast, which causes her to get along better with Veronica. She eventually leaves for New York, and we find out she has a two-year-old son, who’s raised there by Jackie’s mother.
Tessa Thompson – now
Tessa’s role in Veronica Mars was the one that kickstarted her acting career. She was later cast as Richard’s gravely ill niece in Grey’s Anatomy, and had recurring parts in shows such as Heroes, the mystery show 666 Park Avenue, and the action series Copper. The actress also appeared on the big screen, in films like the historical drama Selma, Rocky’s sequel Creed, and the Marvel superhero movie Thor: Ragnarok. She’s currently starring in HBO’s hit show Westworld as fierce businesswoman Charlotte Hale.
Alona Tal as Meg Manning
Meg is one of the popular girls, but she’s generally kind to Veronica. When Meg starts dating Duncan, Veronica’s ex-boyfriend and Lilly’s brother, Veronica is taken aback, but the two manage to stay friends. However, after Duncan breaks up with Meg to be with Veronica, Meg becomes hostile towards her. At a field trip, Meg deliberately causes Veronica to be left at a gas station, unknowingly saving her, as the bus crashes right after. Meg is the only survivor, but she’s left in a coma and pregnant with Duncan’s baby.
Alona Tal – now
Alona Tal is an Israeli actress who got her big break in America playing Meg Manning on Veronica Mars. She also had roles in TV shows like the drama Cane, Lie to Me, teen drama Pretty Little Liars, sci-fi show Supernatural, and SEAL Team, alongside David Boreanaz. Alona married actor Marcos Ferraez in 2005, and the couple welcomed their first child in 2017. The actress also hangs out with fellow Israeli actress, Wonder Woman Gal Gadot, who was one of the attendees of her baby shower.
Charisma Carpenter as Kendall Casablancas
Kendall is a former Laker Girl and the wife of the rich and influential real estate Magnate, Richard Casablancas. She’s also the stepmother of Dick and Cassidy, who go to Neptune High, and has a brief affair with Logan Echolls, Veronica’s on-and-off love interest. Cassidy hires Veronica to investigate Kendall, and she finds out Kendall and Richard have been committing real estate fraud. Veronica and her father, Keith, later find out that Kendall’s real name is Priscilla Banks, and she’s actually a con artist.
Charisma Carpenter – now
Charisma Carpenter is mostly known for her role of the fan favorite snob Cordelia Chase on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and later in its spin-off, Angel. Other than Veronica Mars, she also appeared in sci-fi drama Supernatural, the dramedy Greek, and mystery series The Lying Game. She also had roles in movies like The Expendables and The Expendables 2, the horror drama Crash Site, family drama Heaven’s Door, and a thriller called Girl in Woods.
Jessy Schram as Hannah Griffith
Hanna goes to Neptune High, but is two years younger than Veronica and her classmates. She’s very sweet, but also extremely naïve and trusting. Her parents are very protective of her, so when she begins dating Logan, who has a bad reputation, her parents disapprove. Logan indeed uses Hanna to get to her father – who’s about to testify against Logan, in a murder trial, in an effort to prove his own innocence. Logan really does care about Hannah, however, and although she forgives him, her parents ship her off to a boarding school in Vermont.
Jessy Schram – now
Jessy started her way in a series of mystery TV movies called Jane Doe. Besides her role in Veronica Mars, the actress landed roles in other television shows, including medical drama House, Mad Men, musical drama Nashville, action series Falling Skies, and the crime mystery show Life. She also played the role of Cinderella in ABC’s Once Upon a Time. In 2017, Jessy had a role in the crime action film Shot Caller, alongside Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
Julie Gonzalo as Parker Lee
Parker is a character in season three of Veronica Mars, where Veronica attends Hearst College. Parker is Mac’s roommate, who’s very friendly and kind. She’s one of the first victims on campus, of a person who slips illegal substances into girls’ drinks, rendering them unconscious and intimately assaulting them – also completely shaving their hair off. After Parker is assaulted, Veronica begins investigating the identity of the assailant. Parker also briefly dates Logan, before realizing he still has feelings for Veronica.
Julie Gonzalo – now
Other than her role in Veronica Mars, Julie Gonzalo is mostly known for her role of Pamela Barnes in the 2012 revival of the show Dallas. The Argentine actress had several other roles in television, on shows like NCIS, legal drama Eli Stone, Lucifer, and the ABC crime dramedy Castle. Julie appeared in films as well, including the sports comedy Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and romantic comedies like A Cinderella Story, Must Love Dogs, and I’m with Lucy.
Alyson Hannigan as Trina Echolls
Trina is Logan’s colorful and flaky half-sister. She’s not a very successful actress, with some financial trouble. She turns to Logan after borrowing money she was unable to give back from her boyfriend, but Logan refuses. When her boyfriend physically abuses her for not giving back the money, Logan’s father, Aaron, assaults him, nearly killing him in the process. Trina also tries to find her biological mother who gave her up for adoption on the night of the prom, and finds out it’s actually the lunch lady at Neptune High.
Alyson Hannigan – now
The talented Alyson Hannigan is known for several roles in her career. She played the loveable witch Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as the band camp lover Michelle in the American Pie movie franchise, and last but not least – she was Lily Aldrin in the hilarious comedy How I Met Your Mother. Other than her recurring role in Veronica Mars, the actress has also made appearances on shows like Roseanne, That ’70s Show, and the animated comedy Robot Chicken. Alyson is married to Angel actor Alexis Denisof.
Krysten Ritter as Gia Goodman
Gia is daughter to Woody Goodman, the owner of a professional baseball team and later the mayor of Neptune. Gia is somewhat quirky and people don’t always like her, but she does her own thing. She’s friends with Veronica, but their friendship suffers when Woody is investigated for the bus crash. Eventually, Veronica finds out that while Woody didn’t cause the crash, he had intimately abused children in the little league team he coached in the past – including Beaver, who crashed the bus to keep this secret from coming out.
Krysten Ritter – now
Other than appearing on Veronica Mars, the actress had roles in several other shows, like Gilmore Girls, romantic comedy ‘Til Death, Breaking Bad, and the dramedy Gravity. She also starred in the show Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, and is currently the role of Jessica Jones in the series of the same name and in Marvel’s The Defenders. The talented actress also sings and plays guitar in the band Ex Vivian, and is an animal rights activist.
Amanda Seyfried as Lilly Kane
Lilly was Veronica’s free spirited best friend, the daughter of billionaires Jake and Celeste Kane, and Duncan’s sister. Lilly’s death influenced not only Veronica, but everyone who knew her, including her boyfriend, Logan Echolls. Lilly’s killer was believed to be Abel Koontz, but Veronica learns he was paid by the Kanes to take the fall, since Duncan was also a suspect. She eventually finds out that Lilly was having an affair with Logan’s dad, Aaron, who killed her once he discovered she had videos of them together.
Amanda Seyfried – now
Amanda began her way as a model when she was only 11, and later landed recurring roles in daytime soaps As the World Turns and All My Children. She rose to fame when she was cast in the cult teen comedy Mean Girls, and then went on to appearing in films like the musical romantic comedy Mamma Mia!, period musical Les Misérables, romantic dramas Dear John and Letters to Juliet, Fathers & Daughters, Red Riding Hood, and most recently the action comedy Gringo. She’s set to appear this year in the Mamma Mia! sequel.