You are here: Home » Current Series Info » Bones » Bones: Interview With Hart Hanson & Emily Deschanel

Bones: Interview With Hart Hanson & Emily Deschanel

by Lynn DeVries on May 12, 2009 · 0 comments

in Bones,Interviews

Yesterday, a number of us got to take part in a conference call interview with Bones star Emily Deschanel and Bones creator Hart Hanson. They filled us in on things we can still look forward to this season and were a lot of fun. Here’s the entire transcript of the interview. [You may also be interested in last week's interview with the inspiration for Bones, Kathy Reichs.]

Q: What kind of impact will the final two episodes have on the Booth-Brennan relationship?

Hart Hanson: We had an interesting dilemma this year. We sort of had two big finale type shows this year because we wanted the 100th episode to ring on the Booth-Brennan relationship. Lo and behold, the season finale has to live up to that or at least be as interesting as the 100th. I think we were fairly successful in getting an interesting episode out of our 100th episode. Emily, you’ll have interrupt me if I start to blab too much. I think our season ender, in its own way, has as much impact on the future of the show as the 100th episode did. Was that oblique enough?

Emily Deschanel: I think you said it accurately. “Was it oblique enough?” Yes. We can’t give too much away, you see. What happens in the season finale is as impactful for the relationship as the 100th episode was. There’s a lot to live up to after the 100th episode. I think Hart did a really good job writing the script.

Q: Do you usually hear anything from the fans about the storylines?

Hart Hanson: We definitely hear from our fans. I’ve talked to a few other show runners and I think we have the noisiest, most involved fans if my experience is any indication, and they certainly do not shy away from commenting. I don’t know how everyone feels, but I see that as a very, very positive thing even when I’m getting hollered at.

Emily Deschanel: I think it’s a positive thing too. It means that people care even if they disagree with something. I appreciate people caring so much. But Hart definitely has more experience with the fans directly than I do because he’s a tweeter. Twitters. He’s on Twitter.

Hart Hanson: Be careful there, Emily.

Emily Deschanel: He tweets. He’s twittering. Something. You get a direct line to the fans.

Q: How do you see the evolution of Brennan over the years?

Emily Deschanel: I think you’ve seen through the seasons Brennan opening up a lot more. She’s definitely had a hard time socially with people and knowing what to say and to be sensitive to other people’s feelings and where they’re coming from. That’s one reason why she chose science as a field. and she’s put up a lot of walls — because of being abandoned as a child and what she went through believing her parents were dead or missing as well as her brother leaving her.

I think that the walls are starting to come down. You even see at the end of the season she’s questioning her field — solving murders. It’s a pretty huge thing that she’s even thinking about that because it’s something she’s chosen to escape into. It’s mainly from her relationship with Booth who has opened her up and encouraged her to be more sociable. I guess a higher social intelligence. It was just fun to discover this character learning how to interact with people. I think she’s gotten better. She’s still the same person. She still has difficulty, but she’s making improvements for sure.

Q: Do you anticipate fan reaction to the season finale?

Hart Hanson: I anticipate a reaction. That’s for sure. The short answer is “Yes.” This is what we do. We try to keep everyone interested. A season finale is a very good place and a natural place to change the direction of a series. Fifth season. You know you got to do that. Yes, I think there will be — I hope there will be — some noise about it; otherwise, we’ll just go gently into that good night, which would be a shame.

Emily Deschanel: But may I just say that it’s very different from last season’s finale in that this episode is very much a Bones episode where that took place in alternate realty;  so people who didn’t like that aspect of that episode — which I thought was a lot of fun to do as an actor and I think it was a really interesting episode to do but I know people made noise about because it was an alternate reality and all that. This is definitely not an alternate reality. Can I say that?

Hart Hanson: Oh yeah. This is the real Bones world.

Emily Deschanel: here’s huge things happen in the episode that does change the course of everyone — the whole gang. It’s funny how subtle things can change people, but it changes people.

Q: Do you think there will be a season finale where you don’t try to stir controversy?

Hart Hanson: No, then I’d have to quit my job. [Laughing] I hope not. If that happens, I hope you’ll let me know then I’ll have to turn it over to someone else.

Q: What’s the story behind Billy Gibbons as Angela’s dad? Was it hard to get him to play along?

Hart Hanson: I always knew that Angela Montenegro was not Angela’s real last name, and I always knew she had a rock-star dad because it’s just funny to me that guys I idolized as a kid are now grandfathers.

I didn’t know who it would be. When you start going through the list of rock stars who are instantly recognizable. You don’t have to say “Hey, my gosh, look at that. It’s the lead singer of Journey” or something. It’s a very very small group of people. I made a list of about five people who I wouldn’t have to explain who they were

Not everyone knows Billy Gibbons’ name, but they would call him ZZ Top. That beard and things. And he responded. He was on that very short list and he responded. This man was Jimi Hendrix’s favorite guitar player when he was 19-years-old. He’s an amazing, amazing person. I selfishly used the fact that I had a TV series to meet one of my idols. And then he turned out to be a really interesting actor. It’s still, to me, one of the great thrills of the show to have Billy Gibbons appear from time to time on our show when he’s not touring the world being a huge rock star.

Q: Do people ever make the mistake believing that Billy Gibbons is really Michaela’s dad?

Hart Hanson & Emily Deschanel (in unison): Yes.

Hart Hanson: Because we never really say who he is. We never identify him. In the script we just call him Billy F. Gibbons or the Reverend Willy G from time to time. but within the dialogue nobody’s ever said “Hey, your dad’s the lead guitar player and singer and song writer for ZZ Top.” No one ever says that. He just appears. People have often asked if there’s truth there. No. He’s playing himself, but he’s playing a different version of himself. I’m sure that Michaela’s father would like me to say that Billy Gibbons is not her father.

Emily Deschanel: He told me that people that he knows personally believe that he is her father. He didn’t correct them because they thought it was so funny that they believed that.

Hart Hanson: Billy is a good actor because when the camera’s not going, he looks at Michaela — who’s an incredibly beautiful woman — the way that a rock star would look at an incredibly beautiful woman. Then we yell action and then he has to be fatherly. He’s a better actor than people give him credit for.

Q: Will get closure on anything in these last two episodes?

Hart Hanson: What do you think Emily? I don’t think there’s a lot of closure.

Emily Deschanel: Yes, there isn’t a lot of closure. Maybe the Gravedigger. There’s some closure there.

Hart Hanson: Yes. There’s some closure and some not closure. Closure is not the word I would use as we barrel forward into Season 6. What do you think Emily?

Emily Deschanel: Agreed. I think it’s overrated. We don’t need closure. We have a whole other season at least to go.

Hart Hanson: Billy is a good actor because when the camera’s not going, he looks at Michaela — who’s an incredibly beautiful woman — the way that a rock star would look at an incredibly beautiful woman. Then we yell action and then he has to be fatherly. He’s a better actor than people give him credit for.

Q: Did you throw your more impatient fans a bone with the Hodgins-Angela marriage?

Hart Hanson: I don’t think of it that way.

We’ve always known that Hodgins and Angela belong together. I just thought we’d do it not in a season finale. We’d already done them getting married in a season finale. I thought “Let’s just pop it in when no one’s expecting that these two will get back together.”

The scene where they talk about how they broke up has existed since they broke up. It wasn’t in a jail cell. I didn’t know where it would happen. That scene has existed. It has been written for a long time, where they realize how they let each other go. It felt like the right time to get them back together.

I do sometimes think of the Hodgela — the Hodgins-Angela relationship like a steam valve. It lets off some pressure. It’s not small beer. It’s its own story. We wanted to go into Season 6 now with them married. That will be fun.

Q: Is Ryan O’Neal in the episode for moral support, as the promo indicated, or is there more to it?

Hart Hanson: He’s not there just for moral support. How’s that Emily?

Emily Deschanel: Yeah, I think that’s accurate.

Hart Hanson: It’s a bit more than that. He’s a mysterious and multifaceted character. He’s not an onlooker at heart.

Emily Deschanel: No, never an onlooker.

Hart Hanson: I don’t want to say anymore than that. That’s a good question.

Q: At the beginning of Season 6, will both Booth and Brennan be in Washington, DC?

Hart Hanson: I’m not going to answer that.

We will not start Season 6 without Booth and Brennan working together. I’m not willing to say that they’ll be in DC. I’m not willing to say they won’t be.

Every time I give any amount of spoilers, I get hollered at by people who invent their own story off of what I say and then they yell at me. So I came up with a story; so I’m gun shy. There. There’s my answer.

Q: Are you we going to revisit Brennan’s wish to have a baby?

Emily Deschanel: We were just discussing that yesterday. We had lunch yesterday and we discussed many things, but that was one thing that came up. You want to take that?

Hart Hanson: The short answer is “Yes.” I always found it interesting that Brennan’s interest in having a baby faded when the possibility of Booth being the father faded. I always thought that said something about her and her relationship. The fast answer is “Yes.” Ee will revisit that facet of Brennan in season 6.

Q: If there was one character trait you could give Brennan, what would you give her?

Emily Deschanel: Wow. That’s so interesting. The things you think of immediately like being more socially aware and things like that. I don’t know if that would be helpful to just give somebody. I think it’s better for someone to learn — maybe slowly — but to learn themselves how to grow in that way. I think that life lessons come from learning how to either accept your limitations or to grow as a person and strengthen things that you have or learn new skills. I think that builds character so I don’t know if I would just give her something.

Hart Hanson: If I were you I would say to have the power of invisibility, but that’s just me.

Emily Deschanel: She said character trait, not super power. I immediately went to super powers in my mind and then I thought that wasn’t really the question. Invisibility is kind of awesome, just generally, for anyone to have that. Although it could be dangerous. You could walk into a room and hear people talking about you. That could be painful. You could solve crimes maybe better.

Q: Are there any future nemesis arcs coming?

Hart Hanson & Emily Deschanel (in unison): Yes.

Hart Hanson: If you watch the 2nd to last episode of the season [Thursday, May 13] you’ll have the answer to that.

Q: Is there a final destination you want the characters to be at the end of the show?

Emily Deschanel: Morrocco [laughing] because I just want to go there. It’s a selfish thing

Hart Hanson: I have a group of scenes written on my computer that are the end of Bones. Whether or not those actually become the end of Bones, I don’t know. They lasted so far, from the second season.

A TV series is very very organic. It goes where it wants to go. You can just kind of steer it. Give it nudges. There are so many things involved in it. I do know the ending of Bones.

Again, one of the things Emily and I were talking about yesterday was “How long will Bones go? How long do we have?” We’re going into our sixth season. Are we a seven season show? Are we a six season show? Are we a ten season show? That will all change as we try and gauge that how we do as to what the ending of Bones is. I know that sounds oblique. But I do know where it’s going, it’s just how many steps between now and then there are, I don’t know.

Emily Deschanel: That’s news to me. If someone knows how to hack into Hart’s computer…

Q: Emily, during your hiatus, were you looking for something different than Bones by doing the Perfect Family?

Emily Deschanel: Yes. Very different.

I’ve been looking for something worthwhile with my time off for many years since doing the show. It’s hard to find something that fits into the schedule, that you love. My time off is so precious because we do work long hours on our show, and having that time off is really really enjoyed. To find something that you feel worthwhile doing is hard, especially some years we’ve had just a month off. Some years we’ve had two months off. Sometimes we’ve had three. Depends on the year. So finding something that fits in, that people want you to be in. It’s hard. That’s different.

People want me to play a doctor or something like that. I’m not never going to play a doctor again, but I wanted to definitely do something as different as Bones as possible. I think I found it — or one thing that’s very different. I’ve been in rehearsals. I started this week. I’m very excited. I love working with Kathleen Turner so far.  She’s just a fantastic lady and such a talented actress who I admired from way back when. It’s just a dream come true to work with her. The script is great. I’m enjoying working with the director so I’m excited.

Q: Emily, can you tell me why your charity Farm Sanctuary is important to you?

Emily Deschanel: Farm Sanctuary is the largest farm sancutary in the world — and the United States as well, understandably.

I became a vegetarian and then a vegan. I became a vegan 17 years ago after watching a documentary about the state of factory farms in the United States. The more I learned about it, the more I was horrified and I didn’t want to be part of that.

One way I removed myself from participation and the cruelties that go on is that I became vegan and another is involving myself in organizations like Farm Sanctuary, which does incredible work. They do outreach. They work to pass legislations, like Prop 2 in California. coming up in Ohio, there’s going to be a ballot initiative in November this year for bans on battery cages for chickens, gestation crates for pigs, and veal crates. Very similar to California. They do political work, they do outreach, they do education, and they are also a sanctuary for animals. It’s an amazing place to visit. If anyone is in mid- to Northern California. Orlan, California and then Watkins Glen in New York. They’re beautiful places. You get to know these animals that are incredible and you wouldn’t want to eat them again.

Q: Are you hoping to keep the same time slot (Thursdays at 8pm)?

Hart Hanson: We have been so grateful to have Thursdays at 8pm. Even though it’s a tough time slot, we’re very very happy to be there.

Yes, we do hope to stay there. We have been assured by the network. They don’t always keep those promises, not because they’re liars, but things change and schedule changes. So far we’re back at Thursdays at 8pm. It’s a good pairing with Fringe. I do hope we stay there.

I’ve always wished we could have a kick at one of those fat 9pm slots to see how we would do, but we are doomed to be a launch pad, an 8pm show, so we accept it with good grace and it’s a pretty good slot for us.

Q: Any chance for a movie version of Bones?

Hart Hanson: It’s such a nebulous idea, the real answer is “No.” It comes up every once in a while as something we might do. It was even more talked about when we thought we were a four- or five-year show, then maybe we could do a movie. I think it would be a lot of fun to do a movie, and I think our actors are up to it and up for it. So far we’re just really really busy making a television show. I hope some day we get a chance to do that. It would be really fun.

Emily Deschanel : That would be fun.

Q: How are the characters emotionally handling the encounters with the Gravedigger?

Emily Deschanel : The whole episode begins with Brennan’s nightmare. Am I allowed to say that? I already did. I’ll stop there. Brennan is having nightmares about this. It is affecting her deeply. It’s part of the reason why she’s questioning the whole murder business so it affects her deeply. I don’t want to speak for other characters.

Hart Hanson : It’s pretty tough on Hodgins too.

Emily Deschanel : Very tough on Hodgins. The two of us, mostly, because we were the ones buried alive by the Gravedigger. Booth was as well, but we seem to take it harder.

Hart Hanson : And also Booth was buried alive in a much nicer place to be buried alive. He had a place to run around.

Emily Deschanel : He had a bomb there, but it just doesn’t seem as scary when you have a lot of space.

Hart Hanson : It’s not as scary. I’d rather be blown up than buried alive.

Emily Deschanel : Me, too. Me, too. Let me say for the record that I said on a talk show that one of my biggest fears is being buried alive, and then one of the next scripts I got was the Gravedigger episode. They swear they wrote the episode before I went on the air, but I don’t know.

Q: What do you do to kill time when the cameras are not rolling?

Emily Deschanel : There’s not a lot of in between time, but I do have breaks here and there. Personally, on my breaks I learn my lines for the next day. I don’t know if that’s taking time away from work. I don’t know. Would you have hobbies, Hart?

Hart Hanson : No. God, no. If I’m not writing, I’m reading. My year extends longer than Emily’s and she has a more brutal schedule when we’re shooting. She has an irregular schedule, she just can’t go to bed at 11 o’clock at night like a normal person. I made a pilot this year, and I thought “I’m getting too old this. This is too much work doing Bones and a pilot.” It’s hard to complain about our jobs. We’re incredibly fortunate to be doing the jobs we do, but it’s long hours and it seems to be all-consuming. You just try and get some break time. I have a family I’d like to spend more time with. “Not much” is the answer.

Emily Deschanel : We both work on our time off, basically, is what we’re saying.

Hart Hanson : Emily goes off and does a movie, and I think she’s insane. I would go home and sleep.

Emily Deschanel : You did a pilot this year.

Hart Hanson : I know. That was insane

Q: When are you going to think about Season 6?

Hart Hanson: We’re very well into it.

Six scripts exist for next season, and eight stories, including those six scripts. We’re well into it.

Last season, as I was writing the season finale, the writers’ room was churning out the stories for next season. We’re quite a machine. We’re well into it. The writers are all on break. They got their hiatus. They have about a month off. We have scripts in hand.

Q: Any chance of another crossover like The Family Guy?

Hart Hanson: Crossovers come up all the time as a possibility.

For a while we were talking about doing a Lie to Me crossover. I always thought a Fringecrossover could work if we started at the same crime scene.

It’s so difficult to arrange crossovers because somehow the two shows have to come to an agreement on a time and a place and all those things. And most of quite honestly are doing things at a flat-out run just trying to get a show to the air. With Lie to Me, Sean Ryan had just taken over the show when we started talking about it, and he had his hands full.

We did the little crossover with Stewie from Family Guy. It was a lucky, fortuitous thing. We’d done this research on the tumor that Booth actually had, and one of the symptoms was that you see animated characters. It was an actual symptom of the type of brain tumor he had. I think my initial idea was SpngeBob Squarepants because SpongeBob makes me laugh. Josh Berman, another producer on the show, said, “No. It should be Stewie from Family Guy.” We called up Seth and he was all for it. That was just one of those fortuitous things that happens. We are open to crossovers. If the network wants it and has the will to make it happen, then we’re up for it.

[Photo: ©2010 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Mathieu Young/FOX]

Related posts:

  1. Bones: Interview With Emily Deschanel
  2. Bones: Interview With Emily Deschanel
  3. Bones: Hart Hanson Interview
  4. Exclusive Interview: Scoot McNairy, Bones Guest Star
  5. Exclusive Interview With Bones Writing Team (Part 1)

Leave a Comment