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Bones: Interview With Emily Deschanel

by Lynn DeVries on April 28, 2009 · 0 comments

in Bones,Interviews

[Photo: © 2010 FOX Broadcasting Co.]

Here’s a conference call interview with Bones star Emily Deschanel that I got to take part in. She was as friendly and personable with everyone on the call, as she always is and I think you will enjoy her answers. She clues us in on why Brennan has reversed her position about having children, tells us some tidbits of information about the upcoming season finale and tells us how she is similar to her character. It’s a great interview and I hope you enjoy it!

BTW – you gave me some of the best and most interesting questions! You are all wonderful! Thanks so much!

Q: Does a small part of Emily kind of – is she kind of waiting for Bones and Booth to finally get into bed, so that question can be put to bed?

E. Deschanel: Well, happily, for Emily, that’s already happened. People just haven’t seen it yet. Yes, I mean, that is a question, probably the most commonly asked question, either by just people on the street or by people interviewing me, so it is nice to tell people that it’s happening. I guess, on May 14th … said, so we already shot that, and it should be surprising and good. I mean, I guess it’s not surprising for people to know that it’s happening, but the way it happens is surprising, I guess.

Q: Anything with regards to the way that it happens, will that spawn a whole new question that people are going to bombard you with from here on?

E. Deschanel: Yes, I’m sure. I’m sure. But I can’t really talk about that part.

Q: Then what can you say about the dynamic with Booth’s brother when he returns? What’s going on with him and Brennan these days?

E. Deschanel: I’m trying to think. I can’t really talk about – what can I say about his role? Let’s just say like his feelings for Brennan haven’t really died, and so there’s some dynamic there, a little bit of a love triangle that happens.

Q: Okay, but her feelings for him, that spark has kind of been doused?

E. Deschanel: We’ll see.

Q: You know, obviously both you and David have voiced concerns over Booth and Brennan’s coupling. What made this a good time to go there, do you think?

E. Deschanel: You know, I think that it’s been four years. It’s something that everyone has been waiting for, for a long time. I think that, you know, Hart Hanson, the creator of the show, wanted to find a clever way to put them together that wouldn’t forever taint everything on the show, and I think he figured out a nice way of doing it that obviously affects things in the future, but doesn’t completely ruin the chemistry that we have. So I think that, you know, I’m glad we waited this long.

I don’t think we should have waited too much longer than this to have something happen, but I think he figured a very clever way to do it that, you know, the concern is always that it will dissipate the romantic tension between the characters. And, you know a lot of shows have died from that, so I think it was a matter of timing and figuring out the right way to do it so that it doesn’t ruin everything for the show. I think he was really careful about putting us together, so I think I’m happy about the way it turned out, and we’ll see how the audience feels, I guess.

Q: Now in the past two weeks, the show has been on Mondays, on Wednesdays, and on Thursday. Can you talk about the fans of the show and the loyalty to it, even with the constant schedule changes?

E. Deschanel: It’s incredible. I mean, we did better on an unscheduled night without a lot of promotion than the show that normally is there, and then even on our regular time slot, so I think it’s frustrating for a lot of people. Just friends of mine have said they didn’t know when the show was on. My grandparents were very confused. You don’t have to be in your 90s though to be confused by this timing, but I think they’re trying to make it up because we got postponed because it was like a chain reaction from an Obama press conference that happened, and I think they’re trying to make it up to us, but it did confuse a lot of people because people thought, oh, we’re on Monday nights now and not on Thursday nights, and we’re used to being bumped around.

But I think it says a lot about our fans and viewers who follow us from night-to-night, even in the same week, and we’re just so grateful for such loyal fans. If we didn’t have them, we would never have survived because we’ve been moved around so many times. It’s kind of ridiculous to think about, so we owe it to our loyal viewers that have stuck around from one night to another and made us even more successful on unscheduled nights, so it feels pretty good to have those kind of loyal followers.

Q: I was wondering about your personal life. Do you see any common traits with your character, so to speak?

E. Deschanel: You know, I think the characters kind of seep into you sometimes. I’ve gotten more particular about things and my attention to detail has become stronger. If you asked Hart, the creator of the show, he would say that I’m the least like my character of anyone on our show, and I think that’s probably true.

I think I’m very different from my character. I’m certainly not as intelligent as she is. I’m a little more personable and able to have conversations with human beings, which she struggles with. But I think if you see David Boreanaz and myself kind of interacting while we’re filming, you will see a lot of similarities in Booth and Brennan. We very much have the kind of brother/sister/married couple/Booth and Brennan type. We’ll kind of talk back and forth with each other and bicker sometimes in a very loving way. We have a great kind of repartee going that kind of mirrors the characters that we have.

And I’d say that I get very focused on my work like she does. I understand kind of losing yourself in your work. I understand – you know, I can relate to anything that she does. It’s just that maybe it’s not as strong in my personality as it is in hers.

Q: Well, can you tell what the audience can expect or what might be a little bit different in the season finale?

E. Deschanel: You’ll see a very softer Brennan. I don’t know if it’s very soft, but Brennan, you see her in a different situation. Like you saw, there was an episode in the season where we went undercover in the circus, and this is similar in that you get to see these characters in a totally kind of different environment at times, and so you see a different side of the character, and so you’ll see kind of a softer side of Brennan.

You know, I was trying to talk to Hart about it, again, the creator of the show, about how my character, what’s different about Brennan in the finale, and it’s harder to put a finger on, and I don’t know how to describe it in words myself about how I chose to do the performance, but it’s different. It’s definitely a different side of her that you haven’t seen before. But it’s still the same Brennan. But it’s just totally different, in a different situation.

Q: Have you continued to resist visiting a real morgue and still have never been in the presence of a real dead body? And do you think you’ll ever give in on that front?

E. Deschanel: Yes, the status the still the same, I have never been to a real morgue.

I’ve never seen a dead body in my life, and just to fill anyone in, I chose not to do that. I didn’t – I knew that it would affect me. I’ve never … a dead body, and an actor told me that he went to the morgue when he was researching a part and it really affected him negatively, and I believe in using your imagination as an actor, and that’s the greatest tool we have. And my character is supposed to be very at ease with dead bodies, and so I didn’t want to risk changing that and feel all of a sudden uneasy, and so I chose not to go to the morgue, and I still have not been to a morgue.

You know, the forensic consultant who works on our show, Donna, she is always trying to get me to go either to the morgue or, I don’t know, go meet with some medical examiner. I met with a medical examiner, but that’s not really what my job is. I’ve met forensic anthropologists before, of course, but I’ve never seen them at work. I bet before we finish the show, in the end, I’ll end up going to one of these things, but we’ll see. You know, it’s like, once I start filming, I’d almost be open to it now on some level because I don’t think it would affect me as negatively as it would have in the past, but I’m so used to seeing fake dead bodies, but you just add the smell to it, and that’s all you do.

But who knows. It’s hard when we’re working because we work such long hours, and my weekends get filled up with a lot of different press things, etc., so maybe during a hiatus I’ll go, but we’ll see. Anyway, that’s my answer for you.

Q: Do you think that there’s going to be more big travel episodes like the London shows in future seasons? And, if so, if you had your choice, where would you want it to be, like maybe your favorite travel destination or just someplace that you’ve wanted to visit but never have?

E. Deschanel: I’d love to go to Morocco or Egypt. I think those would be appropriate places for Brennan to be at a dig, and then Booth has to come over because I suspect that there’s a fresh murder that we find or something like that, and I just have always wanted to go to those places, so I guess that would be a cheap vacation for me. But it’s not up to me. But other places have been discussed like Spain and France. I think it would really depend on what kind of stories they could create, and it would have to be a place where we’re popular, where people watch us a lot, so we’ll see.

Q: I was wondering if you could kind of tell us how the plan with Booth’s brother is going to play out? Is he going to stick around into next season?

E. Deschanel: I would imagine so. I haven’t talked to Hart about that because it’s more a question for him. They’re starting to write next season now, so they probably will know better, but I would imagine he’ll pop up there. It’s kind of a relationship that is not exactly resolved, so it would make sense for him to come back. We’ll see what happens.

E. Hochberg What do you think about Brennan’s decision to want a child after kind of being vocal against that? Is that a direction you were happy to go in?

E. Deschanel: You know I like this decision because I like that one thing I loved about Hart’s characters from the beginning was that they have contradictions, and I think that I always look at that in a script because people have contradictions. You know, so many people write a script and say, well, this character is rigid, and she never changes her mind, and then they will never have her change her mind. But in real life, people do change and surprise you and, whether you like it or not, they change direction in their life sometimes. And they have contradictions.

I kind of love it for that reason. I like the fact that this character – at the same time, I really did like the fact that this was a woman who said she did not want children, and you don’t see that many represented very much in television or film where a woman says vocally she doesn’t want to have children. And, you know, how many times have I talked to many women who do not want children and are very happy with that choice, so I love the fact that that was represented, but I also love the fact that she’s a character who changes her mind…and you’ll see there are some twists and turns in that episode that will surprise everyone.

Yes, I’m happy with it. I thought it was very interesting. And I don’t think it’s like a kind of situation where Brennan just changes her mind, and it’s done in a very interesting way, and then, like I said, there’s twists and turns, so I guess I don’t want to say much more than that.

Q: I wanted to ask you a little bit about Zack coming back for the finale and what was it like to have Eric back on the set and work with him because he was back, I think, only once before this season?

E. Deschanel: It’s wonderful to have him back. I enjoy his company so much. I became friends with him over the years, like I have with most of the cast, and it was really hard to not have him around all the time. But that said, when he came back for the finale, it was as if no time had past. He just walked, and it was great to act with him again and hang out with him on set. It was a breath of fresh air. I was really happy that we have him back for this season finale, and it’s very fitting because we have so many of the people that have been on the show are back in the finale. So many people – I don’t know if there’s one person. You know, there’s not many. There are some, but most of the people who are on our show have been on the show before in that episode, and I love that about that episode. They’re familiar faces.

Q: And this season, you’ve had the device of having recurring people rotating through in Zack’s position, kind of that rotating. What’s that been like, even just as a device for you to have a new actor that you’re kind of working with not always consistently? What’s that been like on the set?

E. Deschanel: I’ve been enjoying it. As hard as it is to see Eric and Zack go, I have been enjoying the way that they’ve done it because I love that they have a new dynamic every week. Of course, we rotate, so we’ll see the same ones here and there, but I’ve been enjoying that. You know, you have a character, the wacky character of Daisy who wants to be like Brennan, and is so kind of bubbly and kooky, that I just love. And then you have the character of Fischer who is kind of suicidal, and just negative about life in general and just can’t see the bright side of things. Then you have Vincent Nigel-Murray, the English – kind of the neurotic English young grad student who likes to state facts when he gets nervous. You know, it’s a great, different dynamic. It’s great to have all these different dynamics every week and to play against them, so I’ve been enjoying that, as sad as it’s been to not have Eric and the character Zack around. I’ve been enjoying that.

Q: Do you think we’ll see a resolution to that? Will Bones finally hire someone permanently, or do you see this kind of as a device that goes into next season?

E. Deschanel: I think, eventually, but I think they’re enjoying this right now, and it probably will continue to next season, as far as I know, because I think they’ve been enjoying it so much, and having the different, you know, rotating the different people, and it’s been working well, and people have been enjoying it. So I think they’ll continue that. But I think there’s a limit to how long you can do that, I suppose, so we’ll see. I don’t know where that limit lies, but I guess we’ll find out.

Q: What can you tell me about the Stewie Griffin guest appearance? Will it look the way we think it’s going to look? Is it going to be like a Mary Poppins kind of thing?

E. Deschanel: A little bit. A little bit, but it’s like so much more modern and cooler. Not that I don’t love Mary Poppins, but yes. I mean, I thought it was such a brilliant crossover kind of episode, and that episode should be – I mean, I haven’t seen the end result, but the script was so funny and moving and, you know, it’s kind of got emotion and drama. Basically, in that episode, I ask Booth to father a child with me, and he starts to hallucinate and sees Stewie from Family Guy.

The way it’s done has to be believable. I mean, you know, if you’re going to see a hallucination, it might as well – it could be a cartoon as easily as it could be another human being, so I think it’s done very well. I thought it was great. It’s a funny show, Family Guy, so I was excited to have Stewie join our cast for an episode.

Q: Yes, I thought it was interesting because usually the crossovers go the other way. You guys would be animated on…

E. Deschanel: Yes, and we haven’t done that, so it’s nice to do it this way. I thought it was really clever of the writers to think of that and really think outside the box. I mean, really think outside the box with casting and storylines, but it’s done in a very, for lack of a better word, realistic way, and I think that it plays in the world of our show. We have a kind of goofy, crazy side, and I think that works with that. We’ll see, though. I haven’t seen the final episode.

Q: I can’t wait to check it out. Now with her request that Booth father her child, how do you see that panning out, best case scenario? Over time, will a serial killer grab the kid and hold him hostage or her hostage, or something like that?

E. Deschanel: Yes. No, that’s absolutely possible. I think that that is definitely a possibility. I think that, you know, just seeing Booth and Brennan interact with a baby in the future, I mean, we did this one baby episode last season, The Baby in the Bough, and you saw Brennan interact with a child. She changed a lot during that episode. At first holding the baby at arm’s length, you know, just trying to give the kid away as much as possible. And then by the end, she really, he kind of grew on her, and she was really sad to see him leave. You know, you saw that side of Brennan, so we’ll see.

I don’t think Brennan, if there’s such a thing as a perfect mother, I don’t know if Brennan is anywhere near that, but who is, I guess. That’s the beauty of the show is you see hopefully somewhat honest, real characters interacting and things that people can relate to, and that’s something a lot of people can relate to, being a parent.

Q: I wanted to ask you a little bit about something you were talking about earlier, and Brennan’s sort of inability to relate the way regular people do. Do you think after this long playing the character that she almost kind of just doesn’t – refuses to kind of learn that, or she just really can’t see the world in that way?

E. Deschanel: No, I would say if you look at some of the episodes, even especially this season, we have an episode, the one that David directed. Now what is that called? I forget. I’ll think of it in a moment. Sorry, The Bones that Foam. You see Brennan asks Sweets, the character that John Francis Daley plays, who is the shrink. She asks him to help her interact with humans, and she admits that she’s not good at it, so she asks him to help her, and he tries to teach her what different expressions look like: what happiness looks like, what sadness. And she’s just, you know, she kind of fails at it.

It’s not a lack of trying that gets her here, and I think that if you actually look from the beginning of season one to now, she has warmed up a lot, and I know that sounds crazy because she still has a long way to go, but she has definitely changed. And I think that she’s opened up with her emotions. She’s learned to interact with people a little bit.

I’ve talked to some psychologists who work with people with Asperger syndrome and basically Brennan kind of has some form of Asperger’s in a way because she’s a genius, but has a hard time interacting in social situations. People have success, you know, in moving forward helping people with Asperger’s interact with people in social situations. It’s a long way to answer your question, but basically Brennan has not given up. Brennan is really trying to learn how to relate to people and to open up her emotions and become more sympathetic and all of that. I mean, I think that that’s one of the things that I love about the character is that she is trying to be better, trying to grow and learn, and that’s one reason why I love playing the character.

Q: Completely switching gears, can you talk a little bit about how Mötley Crüe is involved in the season finale?

E. Deschanel: Well, it turns out that Booth and Brennan have a little connection to Mötley Crüe. I guess they go back, go way back, and Mötley Crüe ends up actually playing in the lab, which was totally crazy…kind of transformed the lab so they could play there. I don’t want to reveal too much about the episode to say how that happens, but basically it turns out that Booth and Brennan have known Mötley Crüe randomly.

Yes, and that was pretty crazy to have Mötley Crüe on set. There was pyrotechnics and smoke and everything. They didn’t understand continuity because they played once, and Tommy Lee had his shirt off, and then he had his shirt on again. You know how you have to – you know, you shoot it many times, but then he put his shirt on. I, of course, notice that, and I had to tell everyone, but I’m going to notice when a man has his shirt off. I’m just kidding. But I do have attention to detail, just like Brennan. But, yes, it was kind of crazy to have them on set, but it was pretty wild.

So there you have it. That was the full conversation Emily had with all of us on the conference call interview. Now all we have to do is wait to see how terrific the finale is going to be….that’s the tough part: waiting!

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  3. Bones: Interview with David Boreanaz
  4. Interview With Bones Star John Francis Daley
  5. ‘Bones’: Interview with Eric Millegan

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