By Katie Atkinson
March 13, 2014 at 01:00 PM EDT
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
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On March 13, 2013, Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas asked Veronica Mars fans if they’d like to see the gone-too-soon TV series hit the big screen. Just one day shy of a year later, that film became a reality at Wednesday night’s Hollywood premiere of Veronica Mars at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

While the path from cult TV show to Kickstarter-backed film might have seemed far-fetched, Bell never had any doubt that the movie, in theaters Friday, would be made. “I felt in my bones that there would be some incarnation of her,” Bell said on the red carpet of her teenage private eye. “I certainly didn’t know that it would be like this, [that it] would go as smoothly as it has, that was certainly a surprise. But I’ve learned: Don’t ever underestimate a Veronica Mars fan. It’s not in your best interest.”

One of the things Marshmallows (the über-generous and gooey-sweet fans of Veronica Mars) have always loved about the franchise is the blurred line between where Kristen ends and Veronica begins. “This is the most effortless character I’ve ever played,” Bell said. “I’m 100 percent present when I play Veronica, and sometimes [in other roles] I’m 5 percent actor, understandably. But Veronica is very similar to who I am. I’m not as outwardly snarky, but I’m often thinking it.”

But Veronica is just one of the series’ beloved characters, so we asked the cast (and creator Rob Thomas) to name their favorite character outside of their own. (Spoiler: Dick is a cast favorite.)

Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars): “It’s a tossup between Keith Mars, who I love so much and I want in my real life, and Vinnie Van Lowe [Ken Marino], who I just find endlessly entertaining.”

Jason Dohring (Logan Echolls): “Dick is always great, but I think they’re all different in their own way. Veronica is just the best, you know what I mean? And her relationship with her dad is its own thing, and in the movie especially, it’s just so strong and really wonderful.”

Rob Thomas (creator): “You could poll all the writers, but I think Dick Casablancas lets us get our inner-id out. The things we’re not allowed to say in real life, Dick Casablancas lets us say.”

Enrico Colantoni (Keith Mars): “Dick is my favorite character. Because he is the alter ego, isn’t he? He’s the exact opposite of Keith Mars. He’s just funny. Maybe it’s because I have such a soft spot for Ryan Hansen. But I have a soft spot for all of them. He’s just, he’s unapologetic, and I love that very much.”

Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas): “Uh, besides Dick, and besides Veronica, Keith. Or Logan? I’m gonna say Logan. He’s such a dream. What a dreamboat. He’s dangerous, he’s handsome, he’s rich. Ugh! He’s my number one.”

Chris Lowell (Stosh “Piz” Piznarski): “I love Rico. I really love Rico. I mean, I love Rico as a human being, and I love Keith Mars. And I love Logan. That’s such a badass character. I know, it’s so self-deprecating for me to say that, but it’s true. I remember going back and watching the show before this whole campaign started, and I never really watched prior to when I started working on it, and I just remember being like, ‘This is the greatest fricking character ever.’ He just gets all the coolest sh–. It’s insane. I should be so lucky. Of course she wants to be with him, who wouldn’t?”

Francis Capra (Eli “Weevil” Navarro): “I gotta see who’s around first. [Laughs.] You know, I’ve always been a big fan of Wallace Fennel. I’ve always been a big fan of Percy Daggs’ work, what he’s done with the character. I think as you watch the shows again, there’s a lot of layers to my man’s acting, and he’s doing a lot of things for a lot of people on that character. I can’t wait to see what he’s doing these days. He and I both have grown up a lot. I can’t wait to see what Wallace is doing now. He’s my favorite right now.”

Tina Majorino (Cindy “Mac” Mackenzie): “I love Dick. [We suggest that maybe we should just run that quote without context.] Please don’t! [Laughs.] He always makes me laugh, because he makes me laugh in real life too.”

Percy Daggs III (Wallace Fennel): “I wouldn’t have minded riding a motorcycle and putting on some nice leathers; I don’t know how good I look on camera in leather. So probably Weevil. But you know, I’m a dad now, so I think my favorite character outside of myself is Keith Mars.”

Jerry O’Connell (Sherriff Dan Lamb): “I’m a Veronica fan. She sort of broke the mold of detectives a little bit. Look, everybody obviously did their part, but I think a big reason why we’re here is because of her. Bell is great — a good mom too. She brought her baby to set.”

Amanda Noret (Madison Sinclair): “Well, Veronica. She’s awesome, she’s rad, she’s brilliant, she’s quick-witted. And I think a lot of girls look up to her. I think that that matters a lot, for people to have that hero to look up to.”

Let’s not let the cast have all the fun: Who’s your favorite Veronica Mars character?

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