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By Suzanne

Emily and Zooey Deschanel

Interview with Emily and Zooey Deschanel of "Bones"

November 30, 2009/1:00 p.m. EST

Alex Kinzig
Zooey Deschanel
Emily Deschanel


Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Bones conference with Emily Deschanel, as well as Zooey Deschanel. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. Soon weíll conduct a question and answer session with instructions given at that time. As a reminder this conference call is being recorded. At this point, Iíd like to turn the conference over to Alex Kinzig. Please go ahead.

A. Kinzig Hello, everybody. I just want to thank everyone for participating in this call with Emily Deschanel and Zooey Deschanel. Zooey will be guest starring in the holiday episode of Bones airing Thursday, December 10th. Theyíre here to answer all of your questions. 

Moderator Our first question is going to come from the line of Alice Shapman-Newgen with The Times Courier. Please go ahead.

A. Shapman-Newgen Of course, an obvious question would be what was it like working together as sisters?

E. Deschanel It was fun.

E. Deschanel It was great, especially I think that first day was less hectic. We had a scene. It was just Ryan OíNeill and the two of us. It was really nice. It was great. Weíve never worked together before, except for our own plays that weíve done together, right?

A. Shapman-Newgen Was it like a learning experience as far as did you guys learn anything about each other that you didnít know before during the process?

Z. Deschanel Ö..things about acting, wouldnít you say?
E. Deschanel Yes, right.

Z. Deschanel I donít know if I would say I learned anything. But I definitely had a really good time.

A. Shapman-Newgen Now so close to the holidays, is there a memorable Christmas that you two as sisters can look back on with fond memories, any traditions or anything?

Z. Deschanel Emily likes to sleep in on Christmas morning and I like to wake up early, so Christmas was a day of compromise.

E. Deschanel Yes, for sure.

Z. Deschanel I donít know if there was any Christmas that comes to mind. I know that we both love Christmas.

E. Deschanel They all kind of blend together.

Z. Deschanel Yes, exactly. I think that Christmas is always used at any point in the year to cheer us up, like each other up. We would use that to cheer each other up if we were in a sad mood or something, weíd just start talking about Christmas. So we always have loved Christmas. I donít think thereís any particular Christmas that comes to mind.

Moderator We do have a question from the line of David Martindale with Hearst Newspapers. Please go ahead.

D. Martindale First, which of the two of you was the first to be turned on to acting? Did one of you liking it in the other or how did it work for you two?

Z. Deschanel I feel like even though Iím younger, I started working first professionally, but we both were interested in acting as kids. Emily finished school first.

E. Deschanel I think we both loved doing plays since we were really young. But I didnít think of it as doing it as a profession. I think Zooey knew she wanted to be an actress from when she was very young. Whereas I didnít think I wanted to do tható

Z. Deschanel Yes, you wanted to be an architect.

E. Deschanel Yes. So I held on to that dream for a while.
Z. Deschanel I think you liked the way it sounded, maybe.

E. Deschanel No, I love architecture. I just love the combination between art and science, I guess.

Z. Deschanel Engineering.

E. Deschanel Engineering, exactly, mathematics. So I donít know, but then I started doing plays in high school and really loved it and considered it as a profession as I got later in high school.

D. Martindale Iíve written four books and my girlfriend has not read a single one of them, claims that sheís heard every anecdote in them and doesnít need to read them. I was wondering if that sort of vibes works for you all, do you watch each otherís work to keep up with it or if sheís working, sheís fine?

Z. Deschanel I think we try to do as much as we can. Emily, obviously, being on a show, thereís so much more output. I mostly do movies, so itís like Iíll come out with something like once or twice a year and Emily has something on every week. So itís a lot to keep up with, but I try the best I can.

E. Deschanel And I try to see pretty much everything Zooey does. Some things are harder to see because theyíre eitheróthey only have a limited release or whatever.

Z. Deschanel I think weíre relaxed, but we try to---

E. Deschanel Weíre supportive, but not fanatical.

Moderator We do have a question from the line of Meg Hemphill with Blush. Please go ahead.

M. Hemphill Are there any other successful sibling sisters that you guys admire, siblings or sisters?

Z. Deschanel Dylan Fontaine andó

E. Deschanel They did not get along, though.

E. Deschanel The Kardashians, of course.

Z. Deschanel The Olson twins.
E. Deschanel Thatís such an interesting questionóIím trying to think, thereís the Arquettes.

E. Deschanel Theyíre cool. We like them. I donít know. My mind goes blank.
(Overlapping voices)
M. Hemphill Thereís Sienna Miller and her sister Savanna.

Z. Deschanel I donít think I know her sister.

M. Hemphill She designs their clothing.

E. Deschanel Sheís a designer.

Z. Deschanel Oh, okay. So it can be beyondó

M. Hemphill Anything, yes.

Z. Deschanel I like those sisters who design Rodarte. Theyíre cool.

E. Deschanel I didnít know sisters designed it.

M. Hemphill Yes, theyíre sisters.

E. Deschanel I think that thereísóI donít know. I guess the Arquettes in terms of actors, but I donít know. I think itís limited. I donít know, yes. Itís not like Iím going around thinking of all the sibling sisters that we can admire, so itís hard to think of that, I guess.

M. Hemphill Is there something in your DNA or what have you that you guys think helps makes you guys successful?

Z. Deschanel Itís hard to separate nature from nurture.

E. Deschanel Yes, because we both grew up in the same household. I think of things that are more nurture in that, we grew up in a household where our mother is an actress, so our parents couldnít really tell us not to be actors, because that would be hypocritical. But yet we were alsoósaw a lot of actors, family friends and our mother. We saw lots of people struggle. Itís a hard business. Itís a hard profession to pursue, so we didnít have any delusions, I guess, about it going in, so we knew that we had to be really perseverant and work hard.

Z. Deschanel I think, too, there was no sense that this wasnít a job that you had to work at. There was no delusion of glamour, really.

E. Deschanel Yes, I think a lot of times people go into the profession and think that it is about glamour. It is aboutóthat itís easy, an easy job to do. Thatís itís easy to get jobs. I think we never thought any of those things.

Z. Deschanel That itís all about how you look.

E. Deschanel Yes, thereís so many things people think about acting that we knew the reality. I think we both just fell in love with acting and performing and all of that. So I donít know. I think that that really helped certainly. And itís nice to have family who understands what youíre going through when youíre going through it.

Moderator We do have a question from the line Vlada Gelman with the LA Times. Please go ahead.

V. Gelman Now that you guys have acted together, would you consider recording some music together?

E. Deschanel Youíd have to ask Zooey if sheíd be willing to record something with me.

Z. Deschanel Weíve never done music together so much, not something Iíve ever considered. Emily is a very good singer, but I hadnít thought about it, so I donít know.

E. Deschanel So, no, we havenít considered it.

V. Gelman Emily, the Bones Christmas episode, theyíre always really special and bring everyone together. How do Booth and Brennan grow closer this Christmas?

E. Deschanel Thatís a good question. Itís so funny because weíre several episodes beyond the Christmas episode, so I have to think back. I think that the episode brings up a lot of questions for Booth and Brennan. Brennan opens up and has a new level of compassion that youíll see in the episode. I think any time characters have a breakthrough on some level, that either Booth or Brennan has some kind of break though, then that brings both of us together.

I think that brings us closer and youíll see in the episode Brennan has a new level of compassion and starts to have a paradigm shift in how sheís looking at certain situations. So Booth holds her hand through that. I think when you go through something, it changes you, itís profound in a way. And if somebody is there helping you, that brings you closer together. I think thatís definitely what happens in this episode. Christmas brings people together, so as much as Brennan resists that aspect, she usually ends up together with people in the end on Christmas.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Rick Porter with Zap 2 It.

R. Porter Iím just curious. Why has it taken until now for you two to work together professionally?

Z. Deschanel I think that weíve had different career paths. It seems weird, but itís sort of difficult to schedule. I talked about doing a Bones episode for a couple of years now, but it never ended up working in my schedule because with films, you end up getting a job and you have to leave and go somewhere the next week sometimes.

For instance, when we shot this a couple weeks ago, we had scheduled it thinking that I would have two weeks off after I came back from Ireland. I was shooting a movie in Ireland. I ended up having to stay there another eight days or nine days. So I literally came back on Friday and we started shooting on Tuesday or something. They were packed up against each other, so itís hard to schedule.

I think that both of us like to let each other have our space because thereís a certainóthereís always the one thing that I would fear of working with a family member is you always want to make sure you donít bring any silly bickering or anything like that to the set. We donít really do so much anymore, but you worry that it will bring up your little family things.

I was hesitant, not hesitant, but I just wanted to make sure that everything was right. It was really fun. Emily was extremely welcoming and accommodating and very sweet. It ended up being really fun. I was glad I did it.

R. Porter Is the story at all open-ended for you or is this strictly a one-off?

Z. Deschanel I donít die at the end of the episode.
(Overlapping voices)
E. Deschanel Donít give anything away now. Iím joking.

Z. Deschanel Itís Emilyís set. I likeó

E. Deschanel Weíd love to have you back.

Z. Deschanel Thanks.

E. Deschanel Anytime, so I think it is open-ended. I think itís open-ended for a reason. Weíll see. It took us five seasons to figure out when Zooey could come on the show and it may take five more seasons.

Z. Deschanel Season ten.

E. Deschanel Weíre so happy it worked out. It was something weíve been trying to do for the beginning, but itís scheduling. Itís hard.

Moderator You have a question from the line of Amy Amatangelo with the Boston Herald. Please go ahead.

A. Amantangelo I wanted to ask how involved were you coming up with a character that Zooey would play? Did you guys get any input about that she would be a relative of Brennanís and anything like that?

E. Deschanel Hart came with the idea. He had the idea for a Christmas episode and told me some things about it. That she would be my relative, one of the two living relatives in my life.

Z. Deschanel See, I never signed onóthey said do you want to do it and this is the time when we could do it. It seemed like, good with my schedule, but Iíve never ever said yes to anything without reading, knowing what the character is first. So it was a little bit scary for me because, obviously, I knew all the writers on the show are really good. And that they werenít going to hang me out to dry, butó

E. Deschanel Put you in a compromising position.

Z. Deschanel It was a leap of faith, because Iím just not used to that. But they were very receptive and let me give some of my ideas and we were able to come up with a cool character, I think.

A. Amantangelo Does the relationship mirror at all your real life relationship?

Z. Deschanel No.

E. Deschanel No, not at all.

A. Amantangelo Emily, just for you, I wanted to ask you a little bit about the storylines of this season. The show has really kind of directly addressed the Bones Booth romantic aspect of the show and their relationship and Booth coming to terms with his feelings for Bones. I just wanted to ask you what you thought of this new direction the show seems to be goingómaybe not new, but more forceful that itís been before about their potential romance.

E. Deschanel I think it makes sense. Weíre in the fifth season of the show where the two characters have this chemistry together. Yet nothing has happened and I think that itís a great way to explore this relationship and take it to another level without actually necessarily having some physical connection, I guess, to put it that way. I think itís clever. I like this aspect.

It takes the relationship in a new direction and it takes it to a deeper place. The fact that both Booth and Brennan had thatówell, Brennan wrote the book while Booth was in the coma and then Booth had the coma dream that was inspired by the book. The fact that it didnít happen in reality almost doesnít matter that much because it happened in their minds and they canít get it out of their minds, especially weíve been exploring Booth because his feelings are a little more on the surface. I think itís an interesting dynamic and I welcome it. I think itís a clever way to deepen the relationship and explore the couple in a new relationship in a way. Itís almost like a new relationship.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Ann Murray with Fancast. Please go ahead.

A. Murray My question for the both of you. Is there any type of romantic flirty thing going on between Margaret and Booth?

E. Deschanel No.

A. Murray And also, any other upcoming guest stars that you would like to share with us?

E. Deschanel Other guest stars? We had Richard T. Jones do an episode, Diedrich Bader came back and is doing an episode. Iím trying to think of other people who were doing the show. Those are the two that come to mind off the top of my head. Richard T. Jones is an episode; itís really interesting when we get locked into the lab by these government agents. Theyíre insisting that we tell them cause of death with these bones that they brought. We start investigating and there are a lot of things lead us to believe that the bones, the remains that they brought are that of John F. Kennedy. So we go into what happened with the Kennedy assassination, so thatís a fun episode that Richard T. Jones is in and actually Diedrich Bader is also in that episode.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Scott Rosenberg with A.M. New York. Please go ahead.

S. Rosenberg So youíre both very accomplished actresses, but was there any kind ofódid the older sister, younger sister dynamic play a role on the set at all?

Z. Deschanel Itís more like it was Emilyís set, so I was happy to be working for her to some degree, I guess. Youíre a producer on the show, soó

E. Deschanel I guess thatís true. You are performingóyouíre one of my favorite employees.

Z. Deschanel Thanks. So, it was actually really very smooth and I had a great time. I loved working with Emily. It was really fun.

S. Rosenberg Were there any other non-Bones related collaborations that you would like to do? Are there any scripts or anything that you ever think that would be great for the two of you to work on?

E. Deschanel We donít have anything like that.

Z. Deschanel Ö.no.

E. Deschanel Besides this experience, our business, we have our own relationship that has nothing to do with business.

Z. Deschanel Yes, I think itís better. Itís so fun to do Bones, but I think itís like in a lot of ways, itís just nice that I can stand back and just see Emily and be proud of her and stuff without having to be in business so much. I just feel like it makes more sense for us to both have our own little things that we do andó

E. Deschanel We can be supportive, but we donít have to work together.

Z. Deschanel Exactly, yes, the less politics involved in your relationship, you donít wantóI always think itís better to be able to be supportive from.

E. Deschanel From a distance.

Z. Deschanel I think it adds stress to the relationship do something like that. I just think that we donít need that. Itís better to have a relationship and have that stress with other people.

E. Deschanel Exactly.

Moderator Thatís all the time we have for questions. Do you have any concluding remarks?

E. Deschanel And in conclusion, we enjoyed working together.

Z. Deschanel It was fun.

E. Deschanel We had fun and hope to do it again sometime, butó

Z. Deschanel But not for too long.

E. Deschanel Exactly.

Z. Deschanel But it was fun, it was really fun to watch Emily work and I enjoyed it and Iím excited to see the episode.

E. Deschanel Me, too.

Z. Deschanel Thank you, all.

E. Deschanel Yes, thank you. Theyíre probably all gone. I feel like weíre just talking to ourselves, but thank you, all, for joining this conference call.

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