Veronica Mars is making a comeback on Hulu, and a Kansas City actor has a key role
Making it as an actor in Hollywood is every young thespian’s dream. After countless auditions and months of acting classes, 30-year-old Kansas City native Spencer Ward may be catching his big break in a popular series making its return on Hulu.
“Being an actor is one of the earliest things I can remember wanting to be besides a spy or Indiana Jones,” he says.
Both of Ward’s parents were theater majors and influenced him and his siblings to perform on stage at a young age. Ward acted in high school but ended up pursuing a science and holistic health degree, pushing theater to the sidelines. After graduation in 2011, he stumbled upon the Commercial Actors Studio in Kansas City after connecting with former actor Brian Cutler. While he loved the experience, he wanted more opportunities to act in film. It wasn’t long before he was ready to chase after the Hollywood dream and make the big move.
“I packed up my Prius, followed the signs, and continued West,” Ward says.
The first few weeks weren’t easy, as he was completely alone and lived out of a family friend’s storage room. He continuously looked for opportunities to network with fellow upcoming actors in the area. Not all days were good days, he says, but he stayed hopeful.
“I think I was so gung-ho about it, I didn’t have time to have bad times,” he says. “It takes a really particular type of person. There’s a lot of really slow times and it’s very discouraging. You feel like you’re giving it your all and it’s not a matter of ability, it’s a matter of a lack of opportunity.”
Finally, Ward landed his first role in a commercial for an online college. He continued to build his resume after landing gigs for shows like Criminal Minds, Modern Family, Legion, and Idiot Sitter. His favorite character so far is his upcoming role as Blake Long in the fourth season of Veronica Mars.
Veronica Mars stars actress Kristen Bell, who plays a young high school student who also serves as a private investigator in fictional Neptune, California. The show aired for three seasons before it was canceled in 2007. Diehard fans of the show were so passionate about the story that they raised over $2 million for a movie reboot that came to the big screen in 2014. In September 2018, Hulu announced it was filming season four of Veronica Mars, which will be eight episodes.
It’s been the most dramatic and intense role that he’s ever gotten to play, Ward says, as he’s gotten the opportunity to show off some of his musician skills like singing and playing guitar while working with an A-List actress like Kristen Bell. Ward can’t reveal much about his role, as his character Blake is a big part of the plot. He hopes that this part is career-changing, since it’s the biggest role he’s taken on so far with the most screen time and lines.
While he says a lot of his success came from being in the right place at the right time, he credits his film success to his willingness to “stick it out” through the slow months of searching for acting jobs.
“There’s a quote I read somewhere from Harrison Ford,” Ward says. “When people asked him why he was so successful, he said ‘It’s not because I’m more talented, it’s because when all my friends in LA decided to go back home, I stayed. I stayed longer than anybody else,’ I relate to that.”
Veronica Mars season four will air on Hulu July 26th.