Q&A with BONES Star Emily Deschanel - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Q&A with BONES Star Emily Deschanel

April 25, 2009 by  

[GMMR: BONES extraordinaire, Seeleybaby, recently participated in a conference call with BONES star Emily Deschanel. Unfortunately there were a lot of people on the call (and some reporters asked more than one question (I hate that) and Emily had to run before Seeleybaby got to ask any questions, but here’s the full transcript so all of you can enjoy!]

WARNING: There are spoilers right from the start so don’t read if you are 100% spoiler free.

Matt Mitovich (TV Guide): Is a small part of Emily, is she kind of waiting for Bones and Booth to get into bed, so that question can be ‘put to bed?

ED: (laughs) Well, happily, for Emily, that’s already happened. People just haven’t seen it yet. Yeah, that is probably the most common question either by either people on the street, or people interviewing me. SO, it’s great to tell people that it’s happening, I guess on May 14th. We already shot that; it should be surprising, and good, and well, I guess it’s not surprising for people to know it’s happening, but the WAY it happens is surprising.

MM, follow up: Will anything with regards to the way it happens, will that spawn a whole new question that people are going to bombard you with from now on?

ED: Um, yes, I’m sure. (laughs). But I can’t really talk about that part.

MM: And what can you say about the dynamic with Booth’s brother, for when he returns, what can you say about that?

ED: Well, I can’t really talk about…what can I say about his role? Um…let’s just say that his feelings for Brennan haven’t really died, and so, there’s some dynamic there. A little bit of a love triangle that happens.

MM: Okay, but…her feelings for him? Those have kind of been doused?

ED: Um…we’ll see (teasing and very hesitant in tone)


Joshua Maloney with Niagara frontier Publications: I really enjoy your character, let me say, first of all.

ED: Oh, thank you!

JM: Obviously both you and David (Boreanaz) have voiced concerns over Booth and Brennan’s coupling. What made this a good time to ‘go there’, do you think?

ED: Well, I think that it’s been four years, it’s something that everyone’s been waiting for, for a long time. I think that 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 found a nice way of doing it. Obviously, it affects things in the future but doesn’t completely ruin the chemistry that we have. So, 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’s figured out a very clever way to do it. The concern has always been that it will dissipate the romantic tension between the characters, and a lot of shows have died from that. I think it’s a matter of timing, and figuring out the right way to do it so that it doesn’t ruin everything for the show (laughs). They’ve been really careful about putting us together, so I…I’m happy with the way it turned out, and we’ll see how the audience feels/

JM: Fair enough. Okay, in the past few weeks, the show’s been on Mondays, Wednesdays, a Thursday… Talk about the fans of the show, and the loyalty to it, even with the constant schedule change.

ED: It’s incredible. I mean, we did better on an unscheduled night without a lot of promotion, then the show that’s normally there, and (better) than even on our regular time slot. I think it’s frustrating for a lot of people, friends of mine have said they didn’t know when the show was on; my grandparents were very confused (laughs)…you don’t have to be 90 years old to be confused by it though, but I think they’re (FOX) trying to make it up, because we got pushed off, it was like a chain reaction from an Obama press conference, and I think they’re trying to make it up to us. But it confused a lot of people, because people thought ‘oh, we’re on Monday nights now, not on Thursday nights’, but…we’re used to being bumped around, and I think it says a lot about our fans and our 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 never would have survived, because we’ve been moved around so much, and it’s kind of ridiculous to think about. We owe it to our loyal viewers who stuck around from one night to another and made us even MORE successful on unscheduled nights. It feels pretty good to have those kind of loyal followers.


Alice with the Times Courier: I was wondering about your personal life, do you see any common traits between you and your character?

ED: (laughs) You know what? I think the character’s kind of seeped into me sometimes. I’ve become more particular about things and my attention to detail is stronger. Hart (Hanson), the creator of the show would say that I am 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 you know, able to have conversations with human beings, which she struggles with. But I think if you saw David Boreanaz and myself, kind of interacting while we’re filming, you will see a lot of similarities to Booth and Brennan. We pretty much have the kind of ‘brother/sister’/’married couple’/ Booth and Brennan type….we’ll talk back and forth with each other bicker sometimes in a very loving way. We have a great kind of repartee going, that kind of mirrors the characters we have. But I’d say I get very focused on my work, like she does. I understand kind of losing yourself in your work, I understand and can relate to anything that she does, it’s just that maybe it’s not as strong in my personality as hers.

Alice: Can you tell us what the audience might expect, or what will be a little different in the season finale?

ED: You’ll see a very softer Brennan. Well, I don’t know if it’s very softer, but you see her in a different situation, like you saw…there was an episode in the season, when they were undercover in the circus, and it’s similar in that you get to see these characters in a totally different environment at times, so you see different sides of a character. So we’ll see a bit of a softer side of Brennan. You know, I was trying to talk to Hart about it, again, the creator of the show, about what’s different about Brennan in the finale, and you know, it’s harder to put a finger on. I don’t know how to describe in words myself on how I chose to do the performance, but it’s definitely a different side to Brennan that you haven’t seen before. But it’s still the same Brennan, but it’s just a little bit different, in a different situation.


David Martindale : We’ve talked a few times, you and I, including before the launch of the series four years ago.

ED: Ah, we go way back!

DM: Yep, and I’ve asked this each time, and I feel compelled now to keep asking in case the answer ever changes. 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?

ED: Yes, the status is still the same. I have never been to a real morgue; I have never seen a dead body in my life. And just to fill anyone in, I chose not to do that, I knew that it would affect me, I’ve never seen 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, it’s the greatest tool we have. And my character is supposed to be very at ease with dead bodies, so I didn’t want to risk changing that to feel all of a sudden uneasy. And so I chose not to go to the morgue. And still have not been to a morgue. The forensic consultant who works on our show, Donna, she is always trying to get me to go to the morgue, or 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, but of course, I’ve never seen them at work. I bet before we finish the show, in the end, I’ll visit a morgue, I almost think it won’t affect me as negatively as it would in the past, I’m so used to seeing fake dead bodies, but it would just add the smell to it. But 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 and so maybe during a hiatus, I’ll go.

DM: I guess I’ll be compelled to keep asking you then! Do you think there will be more big travel episodes like the London show (Yanks in the UK, parts 1 and 2), and if so, and you had your choice, where would you want it to be? Maybe your favorite travel destination, or some place you’ve wanted to visit?

ED: I would like to go to Morocco, or Egypt. I think those would be appropriate places for Brennan to be in a dig, and then you, know, Booth has to come over because I suspect there are some fresh murders or something like that. But really I just want to go there, so yes, that would be a cheap vacation. But you know, it’s not up to me. But other places have been discussed, like Spain and France, and I think, you know, it would really depend on what kind of stories they could create, it would have to be a place where we’re popular, where people watch us a lot.


Emily from Fancast.com: I was wondering if you can tell us the plan for Booth’s brother. Is he going to stick around into next season?

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

Emily: Okay, and what do you think about Brennan’s decision to want a child after having been vocal against that. Is that a direction you were happy to go in?

ED: Well….I like this decision, because, you know…one thing I like about Hart’s characters from the beginning is that they have contradictions. And I think I always look at that in a script, because real people have contradictions. You know, so many people write scripts 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, whether you like it or not, (laughs), they change a direction in their life, and they have contradictions. So…I um, I kind of love it for that reason, but at the same time, I really did like the fact that this was a woman who said “I do not want children”. And you know, you don’t see that many times, represented very much in television or film where a woman says vocally she doesn’t want to have children. And how many times have I talked to many women who have said they do NOT want children and they are very happy with that choice. So I love that fact that that was represented, but I also love the fact that she’s a character who changes her mind and evaluates, and you’ll see that there’s some turns in that episode (Critic in the Cabernet), that will surprise everyone. So, yeah, I’m happy with it. I thought it was very interesting. And I don’t think it’s the kind of situation where Brennan just changes her mind. It’s done in a very interesting way, that there’s twists and turns. I guess I don’t want to say much more than that.


Amy (Boston Herald): I wanted to ask you a little about Zack coming back for the finale, and what it was like to have Eric back on the set and work with him because he was back only once before this season.

ED: Oh, it’s wonderful to have him back, I enjoy his company so much. Of course 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. That said, when he came back, (laughs), for the finale, it was as if no time had passed. He just walked in, 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 had him back for the finale. And it’s very fitting, because we have so many people that have been on the show are back in the finale. Most of the people on the show (the finale) have been on the show before, and I love that about that episode. Familiar faces.

Amy: This season, you’ve had the device of recurring people, in Zack’s position, kind of rotating. What’s that been like? As a device for you as an actor to have new actors you are working with? What was it like on the set?

ED: You know, 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, each week, and of course they rotate, so I’ve been enjoying that. You have the wacky character of Daisy (Carla Gallo) who wants to be like Brennan and is so kind of bubbly and (laughs) kooky. Well, then you have the character of Fischer (Joel David Moore) who is kind of suicidal, and is negative about life, just can’t see the bright side of things, and then you have Vincent Nigel- Murray (Ryan Cartwright), kind of the neurotic, young English grad student who likes to state facts when he gets nervous. It’s a great different dynamic. It’s great to have all these different dynamics every week and to play against them. I’ve been enjoying that, and as sad as it’s been to not have Eric and the character Zack around, I’ve been enjoying that.

Amy: Do you think we’ll see a resolution to that? Will Bones finally hire someone permanently, or will that be the kind of device that goes into next season?

ED: I think eventually (someone will be hired), but I think they’re enjoying this right now. And it probably will continue into next season. Because I think they’ve been enjoying it so much. And having the different people and rotating them and it’s working so well, they’ve been enjoying it. So I think they’ll continue that. You know, I think there is a limit to how long you can do that. So we’ll see. I don’t know where that limit lies, but I guess I’ll find out!


Mr. Rogers (deadbolt.com): What can you tell me about the Stewie Griffin incident? Will it look the way we think it’s going to look? Like a Mary Poppins kind of thing?

ED: A little bit. But so much more modern, and cooler. Not that I don’t love Mary Poppins…yeah, I mean, it’s such a brilliant crossover. That episode should be, I mean, I haven’t seen the end result, but the script was SO funny and moving and it’s kind of got emotion and drama and it’s huge. You know, basically, I, in that episode, I ask Booth to father a child with me. And he starts to hallucinate, Stewie, from Family Guy. And the way it’s done, it should be believable. I mean, if you’re going to see a hallucination, it could be a cartoon as easily as it could be another human being. I think it’s done very well. We’ll see in the episode, but I don’t know, 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.

MR: Yeah I thought it was interesting, because usually the crossovers go the other way (human actors to animation)

ED: Yeah, and we haven’t done that, so…I’ll put 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. (laughs) But it’s done in a very, for lack of a better word, realistic way. And I think it plays in the world of our show. We have kind of a goofy crazy side, and I think that works with that. We’ll see , though.

MR: 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? Hold him hostage or her hostage?

ED: (laugh): Uh, yeah. No, that’s absolutely possible. I think that that is definitely a possibility. I think that, you know, just seeing Booth and Brennan with a baby in the future…we did this one baby episode last season (Baby in the Bough), and you saw Brennan interact with a child. She changed a lot during that episode. At first, like holding the baby at arm’s length, just trying to give away as much as possible. And then by the end, he really grew on her, and she was sad to see him leave. So we’ll see. You know, I don’t think Brennan (laughs)…if there IS a perfect mother, I don’t know that Brennan is anywhere near that. But, who is, I guess? And that’s the beauty of the show, hopefully somewhat real honest characters interacting in things people can relate to. That’s something a lot of people can relate to, being a parent.


Rick Porter (Zap-to-it.com): I wanted to ask you about something you mentioned earlier, sort of Brennan’s inability to relate the way regular people do. Do you think after this long, playing this character, that she almost refuses to kind of learn that, or she just really can’t see the world in that way.

ED: No, I would say that if you kind of look at some of the episodes, this season, like the one David directed…the Bones that Foam, you see Brennan ask Sweets, the John Francis Daley character who plays the shrink, she asks him to help her interact with humans. (laughs) And she admits that she’s not good at it and asks him to help her, and he tries to teach her what different expressions look like…what happiness looks like, what sadness looks like, and she’s just, you know, she kind of fails at it, but she’s really…it’s not a lack of trying, and I think if you actually look back to 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. I think she’s opened up with her emotions, she’s learned to interact with people a little bit. And I’ve worked with some psychologists who work with people with Asperger’s syndrome. Basically Brennan has some form of Asperger’s, because she’s a genius, but she has a hard time interacting in social situations. People have success in moving forward and helping people with Asperger’s interact with other people in social situations. Anyways, that’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. And that’s one of the things I love about the character is that she is trying to be better. Trying to grow and that’s one reason why I love playing the character.

RP: Okay, completely switching gears, can you talk about how Motley Crue is involved in the season finale?

ED: (laughs) Well, it turns out Booth and Brennan have a little connection to Motley Crue. I guess they go back! Go way back (laughing)! And the Crue is actually playing in the lab, which was totally crazy. We totally transformed the lab so they could play there. I don’t want to reveal TOO much of the episode to say how that happens, but basically, turns out that Booth and Brennan know Motley Crue, randomly. Yeah. And that was pretty crazy, having Motley Crue on the set. Their pyrotechnics, and smoke and everything. They didn’t understand continuity. Cause they played once and Tommy Lee has his shirt off and then he had his shirt on. You know how you shoot it many times, but then he put his shirt, on, and I of course noticed that and had to tell everyone. But, (laughs) I’m gonna notice when a man has his shirt off. But I do have attention to detail, just like Brennan. But yeah, it was kind of crazy to have them on set. It was pretty wild.

…and that’s it.  Again, if the reporters on the line didn’t ask so many questions, perhaps others would have a chance to join in.

What did YOU think of Emily’s take on all things BONES.  Let us know!


6 Responses to “Q&A with BONES Star Emily Deschanel”

  1. Emily on April 25th, 2009 9:03 am

    That was really interesting. Just the other day, me and my friends were doing a Bones marathon, and my friend mentioned how weird it was that Brennan was still the way she was in Season One in terms of relating to people, and just her mannerisms. I could tell a difference, but my friend (a casual fan at best), couldn’t. So I think that Emily’s answer to that question was one of the best.
    And I really really can’t wait until the season finale.

  2. Patty on April 25th, 2009 10:45 am

    I didn’t read the whole thing – only the first question because well, Emily spit that out almost first thing on Jimmy Fallon Friday. I guess Bones people don’t care that everyone knows what’s going to happen? How did they manage to keep the Zach stuff secret last year?

  3. Patty on April 25th, 2009 10:56 am

    I had to stop reading. Can nothing be kept a secret? And I love spoilers but I would rather just read the script myself if they are going to tell me the entire episode in an interview. I know, you said spoilers but holy cow! Although I am curious what seeleybaby was going to ask…

  4. dee sanders on April 25th, 2009 3:58 pm


  5. laura Crane on April 26th, 2009 1:10 pm

    this show is like visiting good friends,both funny and serious, they all seem to be having a good time,and they work so well together.

  6. yo on April 27th, 2009 3:50 pm

    I had to just jump the spoilers questions cause Im not even in US and dome stuff hadnt happend here so I dont wanna know yet…
    She is gonna answer everythig you ask for… was a shame seeleybaby cant ask anything but is great to have the trascript .. really thanks… I just loved what she said abt the schedule broadcast and the fans loyalty..