Q & A: Emily Deschanel Talks ‘Bones’, if the Show is Still Challenging and Motherhood

Emily: "It really depends on the scene what the challenge is, but I think changing tone really can be very challenging for me"

emily-deschanel-bonesBones just wrapped up its eighth season on a high note and star Emily Deschanel thinks one of the reasons they’ve lasted is because the show offers so many “different things for so many different people.”

“But,” she said in a recent conference call, “it may also be why we’re not the number one television series on TV.”

In this Q & A, Emily talks about the past season, how she balances starring on a hit show and motherhood and the growth of Brennan.

Do you find filming the emotional scenes challenging?

Emily Deschanel: It depends.  It really depends on what it is.  It depends on the emotion and the way the scene is written and the circumstances.  I find it challenging to switch tone like we do on our show.  It’s definitely challenging to go from comedy to humor and lightness to sadness.  It really depends on the particular scene and what it is.  Sometimes emotion comes easily for me and sometimes it’s more challenging whether it’s because we are laughing and being light a moment before or for whatever reason it’s not as—sorry.  My baby is pounding on the door right now.  Sorry.  What we were talking about?

About the emotional scenes.

Emily Deschanel: Mommy brain.  So, it really depends on the scene what the challenge is, but I think changing tone really can be very challenging for me and it really depends on the scene for me and what it’s about and why it’s ….  I think that when you’re supposed to have emotion out of nowhere, that’s challenging for me. 

Brennan had so much going for her emotionally this season.  What do you think about her mindset going into the finale especially when Pelant is attacking again?

Emily Deschanel: It’s scary.  They just thought that they were going to lose one of their own already with Arastoo, and Pelant is scary.  He’s somebody who’s brilliant.  Maybe Brennan’s a little bit smarter than him, but it’s hard to say.  She hasn’t seen somebody quite as terrifying and challenging as him and targeting them.  It’s pretty scary.   She’s been raising her child with Booth.  There are so many things that have happened in the last two years, and they kind of don’t really have a moment to think about their lives and themselves and their relationships.  You see Booth and Brennan get together.  They get pregnant right away and then have to raise a child together, and Brennan’s always been this person who said I’d never have children, I’m not going to get married, I’m not interested in that, and she’s kind of going along, but she’s not forced to really examine her life in that way and her relationships.  So, when this happens with Pelant, it really forces her to look at her life and herself and her relationships and her feelings and why she feels certain ways about certain things and make her questions some of her core beliefs.  It’s a very pivotal time for her. 


Can you talk about the change between the relationship between Brennan and Booth with Sweets this season since he was staying with him and everything and now he’s gone?

Emily Deschanel: Well, we had a fun kind of parent/child relationship for a while where we had Sweets staying with us.  He’s kind of like our child in a way, or we’re kind of treating him that way, and we don’t believe he’s able to move out on his own and then he does.  So, we think, we have, as Brennan says in an episode, that he’s the only person that she could think of living with them ever.  He’s a person that Booth and Brennan both like equally and where you can qualify emotions.   So, I think they’ve become very close with Sweets having lived with him, and I think it’s hard when he moves out.  It’s hard when he’s dealing with stuff from feeling affected by Pelant as well in this coming episode.  We feel it when he’s affected.

Is there any interest or talk about any of the past characters coming back to interact with Booth, Brennan and Christine and of course some good storyline going on there?

Emily Deschanel: I don’t know of that happening.  I love having Russ.  Loren Dean is a great actor and I like him so much as a person.  We keep in touch a bit here and there.  I don’t know of any plans to have him back, but I would love to have him back, and we like having Ryan O’Neal as well as my father.  It’d be great to have everybody back and maybe even meet some extended family as well.  We didn’t meet my cousin who was … at some point.

Why do you think Bones has been so successful?

Emily Deschanel: People ask me this question or similar questions and it’s hard to have an answer, but I can guess that the reason why it’s been a popular show is that it has a lot of different things for so many different people.  When people are interested in solving a case and they like the puzzle of that or somebody’s interested in the science or somebody loves watching the kind of repartee between the characters or the sexual tension between Booth and Brennan or between other characters., the dynamics of the relationships of the characters whether they’re friendships or partners in life or partners in work and there are some episodes that seem like a farce and some episodes that seem like an action film and some that just seem like a good old-fashioned mystery, and I think that it offers so many different things and that can be a negative thing for us and it can be a positive thing for us, and I’ll have to say that I think that may be a reason why we’ve lasted for so long, but it may also be why we’re not the number one television series on TV, but it can work both ways. 

How do you cope with the film demands of working on a hit show and also raising a young child?

Emily Deschanel: Can you hear him screaming in the background?  It’s incredibly difficult.  I can’t say that it’s easy.  It kills me every day.   It’s kind of like this.  I want to be with him, but I have to do this interview, not saying I don’t want to do the interview, but it’s like you’re constantly feeling like you’re pulled in both directions and it’s very difficult.  I think that this job, if done well, it’s extremely difficult.  Parenting is way more difficult than that if done well, and so, I don’t know.   I don’t have a good answer for it.  I don’t balance it very well.  It gets better and better as he gets older, but it’s hard.  I struggle with it every day. 

The past season has shown a lot of personal growth with Brennan where she’s been gaining a bit more self-awareness.  How do you think these developments strengthen her character and how do you think this makes her more compatible with Booth?

Emily Deschanel: I think becoming self-aware, no matter who you are, I think is always a positive thing, and I think that it may, to Brennan has seemed like a weakness, to be more vulnerable and open emotionally before, but now, hopefully she’s realized that it actually can be a strength and that it can make her stronger for having opened up emotionally and showing some vulnerability and admitted that she’s not always made of steel.  I think that it can always help her relationship when someone opens up more and becomes self-aware, and so, I think it definitely benefits their relationship and it’s also a wonderful thing for somebody to try and change themselves to help their relationship and themselves.  I think it’s a wonderful thing and just the fact that she’s even trying to do that is a great thing and hopefully Booth sees that and appreciates it. 

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