Q & A: David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel Talk ‘Bones’, the Future and Working with an Acting Coach
Last night gave us the season 9 finale of the hit FOX show, Bones, and as usual, it left the audience craving for more.
In a recent conference call, stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel talked about the season, David’s directing, their chemistry and what they’d like to see for their characters future.
Bones airs on Mondays at 8pm on FOX
You’re directing the finale, David. Can you kind of talk about doing that and then, Emily, about being directed by David?
David Boreanaz: Well, it’s always a challenge to take on something like the season finale. There’s – you know, you get to the end of the season and then everybody’s, you know, a little tired and worn out and, you know, the patience is thin, and with this specific season finale being that there was so much information that we kind of had to gather up and put out there in one 45-minute hit, it made it, you know, difficult and challenging. There were lots of elements that were involved, whether it was, you know, dealing with the big, huge hearing in front of Congress or the intense battle between other forces that could come in and jeopardize Bones and Booths’ relationship as well as the outcome of where they’re heading into as far as season ten is concerned.
So you take all that into account and it definitely is a journey and something that, by the end of it, you’re pretty exhausted.
Emily Deschanel: I love being directed by David, and I’m not just saying that. I say it to everybody who’s not on our set. I think David is just really talented as a director as well as an actor. He has a whole other career, if he wants it, when this thing’s over, if he wants to do that he could make a whole career out of it.
He’s great technically, he’s good with the actors, he’d decisive, he knows what he wants, he knows what he doesn’t want, he comes in and, like, I’m always just amazed at how he’s dealing with all these incredible elements and he makes it seem so easy. Yes, there’s huge scenes. Like you said, the Congressional Subcommittee, there’s a lot that goes on in this episode, without giving too much away, but there’s a lot of elements and he does it all with ease, and I love working with him.
So it was a pleasure, once again, to work with him as an actor, with him as a director and I think that the season finale, you know, working on it, it was a great experience. It’s a really – there’s a big cliffhanger. It’s – there’s a lot going on for Booth and for Brennan. And so, I think everyone will be pleased. I haven’t seen the episode yet, but everyone who’s seen it has been raving about it, so I’m really excited to see it myself.
David, have you ever thought of writing for the show and Emily, would you be interested in writing at some point?
David Boreanaz: You know, that’s a whole different ballgame. I think when Emily and I, when we started the show and we kind of worked really hard with an acting coach that was, we’re really proud of working with for about six seasons, I think, Em, and we do a lot of reworking of some dialog and brought some ideas to the table that kind of were helpful as far as moving the storylines were concerned or building these two characters that we’ve been living in their shoes for nine seasons now.
As far as, like, sitting down and writing them, I’m pretty good with ideas, but I’d have to really work on that one because I think Emily can attest that my vocabulary’s a little limited. I talk a lot in metaphors and I think it’s – I get my words out but sometimes they don’t make sense.
Emily Deschanel: I always understand what you mean, though, David.
David Boreanaz: Thank you, thank you, Emily.
Emily Deschanel: That’s the point, anyways. As for me, I live with a television writer. I know how hard it is. You have to make up a whole story out of thin air, not to mention all the technical stuff. I would be much more inclined to direct before I would try to write an episode. You know, and it’s a very specific voice, our show. I might be able to write a couple lines back and forth of banter, the characters, having done this for a long time, but writing a story, a whole episode and with all of – you know, our writers, you know, there’s – I’m not going to name some shows, but there’s medical shows on the air and they don’t have to write, they don’t have to know anything about the medical stuff.
Our writers do all of their research. I mean, they have people to help them, so they do all their research, they have to, you know, write all the dialog regarding the scientific stuff and each time you have to solve the crime in a different way. And if you notice, pretty much every episode I identify the body in a different way in terms of the sex, the race, the age. It’s – you know, they are trying to make it interesting and kill people in different ways and discover that in different ways, you know, through just bones.
So, I mean, we’ve done, you know, we’ll reach 200 episodes next year. That’s insane. No. So the short answer is no, I’m not interested in writing that stuff.
David Boreanaz: Emily, I understood everything you said.
Emily Deschanel: Thanks, David.
Can you talk a little bit about working with Freddie Prinze, Jr. this season?
David Boreanaz: He’s great. Freddie was great. I mean, he came in – it’s always tough and difficult for guest stars to come in on an arc and on an already existing show because everyone knows each other and I’m sure it’s always like, kind of like, “Oh, I’m going to go do this arc,” but he is so grounded and professional and he’s a true pro. He just comes in and he knocks it out in a way that’s very honest and a lot of fun as well. So he kind of fit right in and, you know, I hope to have him back, you know, this season for season ten. I really enjoyed working with him and he’s just a great person as well.
There’s a new squintern coming to play in the next episode. How do Booth and Brennan react to her?
David Boreanaz: Well, when it comes to the squints, I rely on my main Bones, my main girl. She evaluates all the squints. I just love having some fun and making sure they have all the info in order to solve the crime.
Emily Deschanel: Yes, well, I guess, I mean – yes, I, Brennan thinks that the new squintern is very good at her job except she does not care for the way she guesses about things and makes assumptions. And Brennan is by-the-book and doesn’t appreciate that kind of – Laura Spencer plays the new intern. Now I can’t remember the character’s name, but what is that? Hopefully it’ll come to me, but – Kim will probably tell us at the end of the call.
So she’s kind of an intuitive person. Even though she’s very smart, her intuition probably comes from experience, but she throws things out and you know, in the episode coming up she’s like, “I’m just getting a vibe that this is an athlete” and then we find evidence that he was an athlete. She really rubs Sweets the wrong way, but then that attention might turn to in a romantic way, she certainly kind of has her, has some interest in Sweets. So that’s kind of an interesting development.
And you know, Brennan respects her but doesn’t – likes to keep her in line because she goes off on tangents a bit and is a little too intuitive for Brennan.
You guys have been together and acting for obviously such a long time and you’re going into season ten, but how has the chemistry remained, like, intact with you two because you two are so funny together and I’ve seen you at Comic-Con and I’ve interviewed you guys in the past and you just are always laughing and funny together and you guys have such great chemistry.
David Boreanaz: You’ve seen us the good days. You’ve seen just the good days. There are bad days. I think what – you know, what’s unique in this situation, seriously from day one, honestly, blessed to have a costar that can be open and honest and just tell me, like, “You’re bothering me today” or, “I have an issue.” We have complete trust and respect for each other that we can just go aside and say, “You know what? I’m having a bad day. Just know where I’m coming from, Emily,” and we both support that in each other.
Shooting a television show is hard enough and it takes a lot of time and it takes away from your personal life, your family life and you know, thank god I was blessed with a costar who is so generous and supportive and yet also, we just – we have a bad day, we have a bad day. We recognize it and we go on. We don’t hold onto it, we don’t judge and we just go forward. And I think that kind of helps our chemistry. We use it. We use what we’re going through in our scenes and we’ve learned early on that that helps our chemistry. If anything, it helps our chemistry and it helps us grow with the characters rather than being so stagnant and say, “Hey, we’re in season nine, so let’s just kick back” and do nothing about it and take it for granted. You can’t. You have to be able to push every moment and every scene. It’s so important.
Yeah, we have those moments, but you know, I think that’s what helps us.
Emily Deschanel: I totally agree with everything David said. We have open communication, which is something we started from the beginning, like he said. We just tell each other if we’re in a mood or the other one’s annoying either of us or something. And you know, we just, we accept that we’re not, you know, we’re not perfect, you know but I think one thing, too, is that we both know how important this relationship is both onscreen and off and how important it is for us to get along together both onscreen and off and how we both have a commitment to the show. Like David said, it’s not like you’re like, “Oh, it’s season nine” and we’re resting on our laurels. We’re working hard.
Like David said, for six seasons we would meet every weekend and work on stuff together. Now we do stuff on our own. We both – our families have expanded and you know, lives have changed, but we have that foundation and we’re really committed to making this show as good as it can be. And part of that is getting along onscreen and off, like I said, and like, you know, David’s a really fun guy to work with. He, you know, he doesn’t – he’s not like a dark person. He can play that, he can do, you know, serious stuff and deep stuff, but we both believe in having a good time.
We’re not doing, you know, brain surgery here, we’re not curing cancer. We’re entertaining people and we absolutely can have fun while we’re doing that and have fun together with everybody else on our crew and cast. So you know, I’m really lucky that David is such a fun person to work with and a great guy.
Anyway, that’s, I guess, maybe —
David Boreanaz: So nice. I got the wiring account number. Don’t worry… Thank you so much…
Was it a weird transformation of playing partners to ultimately having a relationship and you know, kissing on screen and having a family?
David Boreanaz: Well, you know, it’s development of the character, obviously. The crux of it was these two characters that, who had to work together and there was a sexual tension, there was a conflict and we played that and we continue to play that. I mean, in our subtext when we’re working together, even though the two characters are married and they have a kid, so that’s part of your job, to do that, and if you can’t excite the writers then what’s the purpose? I mean, you have to continuously do that.
So for us it’s always been about the relationship of the characters, going back to that and exploring that and making that fun for the audience.
With the show having been on for a long time now it offers kind of opportunities for developing characters a great deal over that time. What and how have you enjoyed seeing Bones and Booth develop over that time?
David Boreanaz: I’ve enjoyed it. I continue to enjoy it. It’s not something to me that is, that I put a period on yet. It’s, for me, it’s growth with inside the themes and the moments and where you can take them because at the end of this season when we were shooting, there were moments that were pretty intense that reminded Booth of that inner child and how much he still wants to play with this other character. And for me, that’s really what it’s about.
So you know, you watch him, you partake in these nine seasons and you just make it fresh. And when we started season one, scene one, everyone’s like, “Oh, you’re going to get to two and three and four” and I don’t – and I think Emily knows this about me – go back in the past. I focused on the work tomorrow and whether it’s season six or season seven or I’m gracious to get to ten seasons, to me it’s the same scene, the same shot that we did when we first shot the first scene of the pilot.
Emily Deschanel: I was like, it’s the same scene? I was wrapped up in your thoughts. I’m like, am I supposed to say something?
Yes, I mean, I think that if we had not changed as a couple and as characters, the show wouldn’t be as interesting. I’m so glad that they’ve, that we’ve evolved over time and our relationships have evolved over time, and it’s not just Booth and Brennan, but Angela and Hodgins and Cam and Sweets, etc.
So I think that, you know, thank god we’ve been changing this whole time and it hasn’t remained stagnant and it’s different. We keep moving forward, like David said, and it keeps it interesting.
Where would you like to see them go in the future?
David Boreanaz: You know, I think the future, like I said, is destined only for tomorrow’s work and today’s thoughts, so I can’t say what’s going to happen to them because I don’t look that far down. When I look at the first episode of season ten, then I’ll focus on that and then where I am with the character. You know, I’m sure that Hart and Stephen have – know how this show is going to end, but you know, it’s the same thing what happened when how will they know they were going to get married and have a child? You know, circumstances happen in real people’s lives. Emily got pregnant and it organically happened, and it happened and it felt right for the show. It wasn’t pushed, it wasn’t pressed, and I think that we believe in that, at least I do, and I think that’s what it’s all about for me.
Emily Deschanel: David definitely likes to live in the moment and he doesn’t, you know, he doesn’t live in the past, he doesn’t live in the future. I worry probably too much about the past and future, but I don’t know. I really leave that to the writers to decide and then where we’re going, but you know, always have, you know, thoughts and stuff once we see what they’re thinking, but I don’t know. I kind of love being surprised, so I leave it to the writers to decide where we’re going in that way.