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Interview with Emily Deschanel of
"Bones" on FOX 2/7/13
FBC PUBLICITY: Bones Conference Call
February 7, 2013/12:00 p.m. PST
Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by.
Welcome to the Bones Conference Call. At this time, all
lines are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a
question and answer session. As a reminder, this conference
is being recorded.
I would now like to turn the conference over to our host,
Miss Kim Kurland. Please go ahead.
K. Kurland Hi, everyone. I just wanted to thank you all for
participating in the call today with Emily. We are in the
midst of a run of a number of original episodes for Bones.
We have original episodes every week in February, Mondays at
8:00 p.m., as you know, and I'm sure many of you saw the
episode that we posted on the screening room, which is
airing on Monday called “The Shot in the Dark.”
I do just want to remind anyone who has seen the episode, if
you could just refrain from revealing anything ahead of time
that would spoil anything for our viewers; we would
So, Christina, I think that we can get started.
Moderator Thank you. The first question comes from the line
of Jamie Ruby with SciFiVision.com.
J. Ruby Hi, Emily. Thanks so much for talking to us today.
E. Deschanel Thank you so much for asking questions.
J. Ruby Sure. The episode that’s on Monday, which was really
good, by the way, I don’t know that it’s going to
necessarily completely change Brennan’s outlook, but I’m
assuming that it might help her to open up a bit. Can you
maybe talk about—without specifics—maybe some of how she
will change over the season after this episode?
E. Deschanel Yes. I think that after watching the episode, I
think that viewers will have a better idea of why Brennan
behaves in the way that she does, is kind of hyper rational
and has cut off her emotions in many ways, even though she’s
over the last few years opened up after knowing Booth. As
the season goes on it's kind of a subtle change. It's not
like it's dealt with when people are discussing it or
something right afterwards, but I think it will be addressed
in later episodes this season. It is a more subtle change. I
think that Brennan feels like the way she's behaved as–it's
shined a light on her behavior and maybe encourages her to
change a bit.
It's a big encounter. Basically, my character is shot, and
then I have an encounter, which she believes is a
hallucination, at least at first, where she is transported …
to her childhood home, and she sees her mother. She
interacts with her mother who is dead, and so, of course,
she believes it's a hallucination. She has flatlined.
So many people will interpret it to be that she's gone to
heaven. Her interactions with her mother reveal things from
her past, and also it effects Brennan now and, like I said,
encourages her to have a different perspective on her
behavior and possibly encourage her to change it.
J. Ruby Okay, great. A quick follow-up, do you ever get
grossed out by any of the bodies and everything on the show?
E. Deschanel Yes. I mean not as much as I should at this
point. I've become a bit desensitized honestly, but yes, I
do get grossed out for sure by things. I'm trying to think
of the last one– I mean the one we’re working on right now
is a burnt one, which is gross, but it's not icky, gooey or
something, but once you start thinking about how someone
dies by being burned; that's kind of horrible. So, you don't
let yourself think about it too much. I guess that's why
Brennan behaves the way she does in some ways.
Yes, I do get grossed out, but the ones that mostly have
really affected me were earlier on in the series, and I
think I really have become desensitized, which I don't think
is necessarily a good thing, but it happens. I, for research
on the show, have gone to the coroner’s office and that was
much more disturbing to me than what we do on our show
because I know it's fake, and it doesn't stink like it does
there, but yes, it can be definitely disgusting.
Moderator Thank you. We’ll go to the line of Marisa Roffman
M. Roffman Hi, Emily. How are you doing?
E. Deschanel Hi, good. How are you?
M. Roffman I’m doing quite well. You know, obviously you've
been playing Brennan for eight seasons, so what kind of
difference to have this insight with these things with her
mother after all these years, because in the past you’ve
only gotten little bits and pieces of what that relationship
E. Deschanel Yes. It's an interesting thing to do a series
for this long and to play a character that things are
revealed at eight years in. I felt like it was in line with
things that I had in mind, and it didn't contradict anything
that I had kind of imagined for her past, just for myself.
When playing the character, I like to build a past for the
character and kind of decide why she behaves the way she
does, what her experiences are and things that can remind
her of things from her childhood, etc. etc.
This doesn't contradict anything, but it's certainly new
information to me, and I really enjoyed doing the episode
because it shed light on Brennan and her past. I also really
enjoyed having the interaction with her mother. You know,
what other kind of episode can you have interaction with
somebody who is dead, and that's always been kind of a huge
missing piece for Brennan; was her mother being gone and
being able to talk to her mother about how she disappeared
before she died and all of that.
Brooke Langton, who plays my mother in this episode, did
such a great job, and I really enjoyed working with her.
She's just very inventive as an actor, very giving, and it
was a really good experience working together. It felt right
to have her play my mother, and I really enjoyed that.
M. Roffman As a quick follow-up, also Ryan O'Neal is in the
episode as your father, i.e. returning as your father …?
E. Deschanel Can you say that again?
M. Roffman What can you say about the scenes with Brennan’s
E. Deschanel Oh, well, I think it brings up a lot of
emotions for everybody. Booth and ... my father believe that
they are losing me. You know; I've been shot, and I
flatlined. He gives a wonderful performance in the scenes
together. Then, there's something revealed from my mother to
my father that makes him–just kind of a breakthrough in a
way for him, or I don't how to put it without revealing too
much. I'm trying to do that dance of not revealing too much,
but give you something. It's an emotional episode for his
character. He does a beautiful job and there's a
communication between my mother and my father through my
M. Roffman Great, thanks.
E. Deschanel Sure.
Moderator Thank you. We’ll go to the line of Jim Halterman
J. Halterman Hi, Emily. Thanks for your time. Talk to me
about what's coming with Pelant, because of course when I
heard Brennan was going to be shot; my first thoughts went
to Pelant, but even beyond this next episode, what can we
expect to see from Pelant’s presence on the show?
E. Deschanel Well, obviously, Pelant is one of the first
thoughts everybody has when Brennan is shot. I'm not going
to tell you if he’s involved or not. I don't know if–let me
just say, I haven't read any episodes yet that involve
Pelant, but we're just a couple episodes ahead of that right
now, and I know that Pelant is coming back this season, but
I don't have more information than that because I think
they’re breaking those stories right now. I wish I had more
information for you, but I don't.
J. Halterman That's fine. Everybody always loves the scenes
with Brennan and either Cam or Michaela, are we going to see
some more of those scenes coming up in the next episodes?
E. Deschanel Yes. I can't quite get through my brain what's
aired and what hasn't aired. I can't tell you what episodes,
but yes, there's definitely some kind of heart-to-hearts.
We're overdue for even more connection between Angela and
Brennan; I believe. I think we can have some more of those.
There's a big thing; Cam’s romance is revealed. There's that
and Brennan and Cam interact about that. There's more, I
can't tell you what episodes because I can't remember what
plot lines go with what other plot lines, but yes, you will
see more heart-to-hearts with them. I think that we're due
for even more. I think they kind of have–we’ve kind of put
aside the long heart-to-heart between Brennan and Angela,
especially, and … bring it back.
Moderator Thank you. We’ll go to the line of Paulette Cohn
P. Cohn Good morning, Emily.
E. Deschanel Good morning.
P. Cohn One of the reasons that Brennan was in a place where
she could be shot, was because she had this fight with Booth
that was–and it was really emotional; it was about her whole
issue of being a bad mother.
E. Deschanel Right.
P. Cohn So can you talk about–I mean the fact that just
being a mother has already changed Brennan, and can you talk
about, does you being a mother affect any of that?
E. Deschanel Yes. If I wasn't a mother, and I was playing a
character as a mother, and I've done that before I was a
mother, you use your imagination, but it’s certainly an
easier thing to do–you know, of course, Brennan is a
different mother than I am, but you have that kind of
biological response. You know with some of the things that
you go through are like and even the hormonal changes.
The minute you become a parent, I think that you’re always
going to wonder if you’re doing something wrong, and I
certainly experience that on a daily basis. It’s a big
challenge I think–I just personally think that it’s probably
a bad thing for a parent to do, because you don’t want your
child picking up on that, but you can’t help wondering if
you’re doing anything wrong. You have to trust your
instincts and do what feels right for you.
Brennan, obviously, yes, is going through that in the
beginning of this episode. Booth and Brennan have a fight.
Brennan believes that Booth is criticizing her parenting
style, and runs out and ends up in the lab again at night to
go finish working on this case, and that’s when she gets
shot. Hopefully, I’m not revealing too much because this
happens in the beginning. Basically, yes, it’s quite
fitting, of course, that Brennan is dealing with her own
issue of being a mother herself and, at the core of that, is
missing her own mother.
I think that’s also something that–you know when you’ve lost
a parent, you just want to be able to call them up on the
phone and say, how do I cook that thing you used to make for
me, how do I do this, what did you do with me when I was a
child, how am I supposed to do this as a parent and just
life skills? Especially, when you have a child yourself, you
go back and think about how you were parented, how you were
mothered, what your parents did for you, and you just want
to be able to call them and ask them.
I think that’s a huge thing that Brennan is not talking
about, but it’s got to bring up so much for her when she’s
giving birth and she’s lost her mother and just trying to
figure out how to be a good parent, how to be a good mother
and not having that resource of her mother. It also brings
back so many memories and makes her miss her mother. So,
it’s quite fitting that this issue that she’s dealing with,
in a way, causes her to see her mother again and hopefully
helps ease those pains that she’s dealing with because
doesn’t have her mother around.
P. Cohn My follow-up question is, is there a chance that
Booth and Brennan will ever get married? I think there was a
scene that I’m remembering where Booth can’t take confession
because he’s living in sin.
E. Deschanel Right.
P. Cohn Could this experience maybe change her into thinking
that she needs to get married for him?
E. Deschanel Yes, I think something like this always makes
you kind of question all–or not question, but look at every
situation in your life and think is this how I want it to
be, and I think we are moving towards some kind of answers
on that. We do discuss it in an episode that we’re about to
shoot next week; there’s not necessarily a resolution, but
it is discussed again. I think if you remember–Booth is not
going to ask Brennan to marry her again. He’s already said
it. He said, “You have to ask me.”
She’s also always said that she’s not getting married. So
far, having a child hasn’t changed that or at least changed
her stubbornness about asking him. So, we’ll see. I love
that and I look forward to if this happens. I imagine at
some point it will. I look forward to seeing what Brennan’s
proposal to Booth is like, but so far, I can’t say I know
definitively if that’s happening yet.
Moderator Thank you. We’ll go to the line of Colleen Pinto
of The Voice of TV.
C. Pinto Hi.
E. Deschanel Hi.
C. Pinto Sorry. Going back a little bit to the question
about Brennan and Booth maybe criticizing her parenting, I
know a few weeks ago, David Boreanaz talked about the
tension between Booth and Brennan, and we do see that in the
beginning of “The Shot in the Dark.” Is there going to be
more of that coming up?
E. Deschanel You know, there’s not a blatant attention like
that any time directly that I can speak of. In this episode,
it definitely happened. I’m not sure what you’re referring
to. I don’t know if David was discussing sexual tension,
regular tension or aggressive/angry tension, but I have
reason to believe that it will happen later in the season
again, but I can’t confirm that. We still have several
episodes to shoot for this season, although, a couple of
them might be delayed until next season, but yes, we still
will have at least–I don’t know how many more we have. We
have seven or eight more to do maybe, and then I think a
couple will be moved to next season; so, five or six.
C. Pinto Okay. The episode–I mean when I watched it, it was
very emotional for me because I’ve lost a parent, but I
think it was an emotional part for anyone. Was it emotional
for you guys to shoot?
E. Deschanel Absolutely. It was very emotional, especially
with scenes between the mother. I have played this character
for a long time. I’ve built in my mind who my mother is and
was to me. It was quite emotional to do these scenes and to
shed light on Brennan as a teenager and her relationship
with her mother. I think anyone who’s human who’s lost
somebody that they love, or even hasn’t, but can imagine
that, I think it’s kind of a universal thing that you just
want to see that person one more time and here, Brennan has
You know, she doesn’t want it to end, at first doesn’t
believe it, etc. It’s something that you always wish for
when you’ve lost somebody. She gets this opportunity and
that’s so incredible –if we’ve done it right, hopefully
people will be affected by it. Maybe it doesn’t affect
everyone, but that’s okay. I’m glad that it affected you,
hopefully, not too badly.
Moderator Thank you. We’ll go to the line of Jim Slotek with
J. Slotek Hi.
E. Deschanel Hello.
J. Slotek First of all, I guess this falls into the realm of
trivia, but I can’t think of many siblings over the years
that have starred in hit shows at the same time on prime
time TV and certainly, not playing characters as
diametrically different as you two.
E. Deschanel Right. On the same network, no less.
J. Slotek Yes, competing networks. I’m wondering how
different you are, obviously, much less different; no two
human beings could be as different, but you and your sister
in real life?
E. Deschanel It’s so hard for me from the inside to kind of
analyze, but the way we think is completely different. We’re
very different in many ways. There are also similarities
having grown up in the same household and having
similarities for that reason. I don’t know, we have lots of
things in common, but we kind of view the world in different
ways and have different ways of doing things. … we end up
doing things in a way, but yes, we have lots of things in
common as well. We’re different, but the same; is that a
J. Slotek That is a good answer. I have a follow-up about
Booth and Brennan, just in general; you've probably talked
about it behind the scenes that intimacy can be the kiss of
death and has been in so many shows. I'm very impressed with
how the tension on this series between them has kept up. Is
it because we have other relationships to watch or is it
even that logical?
E. Deschanel It's impossible to give the complete answer,
but I think maybe one part is the fact that–I think Hart
Hanson would say, because we've discussed this. I think that
Hart Hanson created this show and is the show owner, and I
think that one part is that we didn't spend–there was no
courtship, and I think courtship can be kind of boring to
watch sometimes for people. I think our dynamic shifted, but
there's still that core relationship that’s the same.
Now, we're trying to figure out how to raise a child
together and balance that with work. We still kind of bicker
over different things now, but we still have a similar
relationship. We didn't have that kind of courtship. We went
from 0 to 60, essentially. We went from two people who had
sexual tension, but it's questionable whether they've acted
We've seen a couple kisses, but beyond that, nothing has
really happened. They've come to kind of care for each other
deeply, but both are stubborn and nothing happens and then
something does happen, but they become parents immediately.
So they went from no relationship whatsoever besides
platonic, except for their feelings, to a family
essentially, living together, raising a child together and
I think that might have something to do with the fact that
it hasn't effected our ratings or this show in too many
ways, I think that it actually helped, and I have my own
pregnancy to thank for that. Maybe I'm just trying to think
positively for getting pregnant. For a while, I thought I
was going to ruin the show because I got pregnant. They
didn't think they could hide it. They didn't want to hire
anybody else to come in and all this stuff. I felt bad that
I was affecting the show in a negative way, and now I will
say that I affected the show in a positive way.
Moderator Thank you. We’ll go to the line of Vlada Gelman
V. Gelman Hi, Emily. Thanks for taking time for the call.
E. Deschanel Hi. Sure.
V. Gelman So, we're going to be seeing a new squintern soon,
can talk about when he’s going to appear and sort of how he
fits into the groove?
E. Deschanel Sure. I think that's in three episodes. Oliver
Wells, played by Brian Klugman, and he is a very interesting
intern. He's kind of the first–I think it's February 25 when
the episode airs, “The Fact in The Fiction,” I think. Oliver
Wells comes in, and he is an out-of-the-box thinker. He has
multiple degrees. He challenges Brennan like nobody has
challenged her before. He challenges her to think outside
the box. He's a really fun character and super smart.
Brennan questions whether he's smarter than she is, which is
new and different as well. Most of the interns, they’re all
so different, but they all kind of defer to Brennan and
respect her. Not that he doesn't respect me; but they kind
of defer to Brennan and give her that authority. He
challenges everything. He doesn't need this job. He has
multiple degrees. He almost has his forensic anthropology
degree, but not quite. He thinks outside the box and knows
about so many different disciplines. He questions
everything, and that's a refreshing character to have in the
Brian does a great job playing it, and he's fun to have
onset. It's very fun to see Brennan challenged in that way,
and you see that very rarely anywhere, but especially with
interns. I think it's going to be a real exciting episode to
The case is a kid, or like a twenty-something year old guy
who dabbles in space travel, or attempted space travel, and
we start questioning whether–we find another body and we
question whether it's actually him from the future. Because
of this new intern, Brennan almost opens her mind to the
idea of time travel. Did I see space travel? I meant time
travel. I'll blame mommy brain, if I did say that. Okay.
V. Gelman I know you obviously have a lot on your plate, but
are you still interested or have plans to direct an episode
of the show?
E. Deschanel I do hope so. I would just have to wait until
my son was big enough that I didn't feel like I had to be
with him as much. Right now, I take him with me every day. I
see him during my breaks, and I'm still practicing as much
attachment parenting as possible. I really want that to be
in place before I would do something like direct, which
definitely is more challenging while I'm also acting on the
I definitely want to, but I made a choice in life and got
pregnant and had a child, and I want to put my child first.
It is a goal for me, and I hope to do that. Possibly next
season, maybe after Henry's two, or if we have a tenth
season, maybe then or both, we’ll see.
V. Gelman Thank you.
K. Kurland Unfortunately, we only have time for one more
Moderator That comes from the line of Greg David with TV
G. David Hey, Emily, thanks for taking the time today.
E. Deschanel Oh, of course. Thank you.
G. David You'd said before, that they've been giving you
bits and pieces of information throughout the last eight
seasons. Was this something that you had said to Hart and
Steven and kind of put the bug in their ear that you wanted
to find out more about Brennan and how she turned out this
way, or did this just all come organically and you just were
excited when you read the script?
E. Deschanel No. It was never a point of conversation,
specifically about this. We've discussed it kind of over the
years, but I was more or less surprised by the episode even
know I knew there was an episode–I knew the gist of it
before I got it. I can't say that it was specifically
because of me or a request by me for something like this,
but it's definitely a conversation that we've had over the
years about Brennan and her family. We've had conversations,
and more David has had conversations about his family, about
his mother, and I believe at some point his mother is going
to show up.
It's just something that as an actor you're always curious
about because that shapes the character, and you have your
own ideas. Then, they reveal more–what's wonderful is when
information is revealed when you're working on a TV show,
information is revealed and it’s not contradictory— I think
I said this earlier—from what you had decided in your head,
just kind of adds onto it. It was nice to read, and it
didn't mess with my brain and my concept of the character
G. David Just as a final question, can you talk a little bit
about your physical comedy chops. I think one of the best
scenes that I can remember was the dance competition?
E. Deschanel Yes. Watching that episode is like watching–I
don't know, I was embarrassed for myself. Even though I
chose to do all of those things on purpose, it was just
embarrassing. I like doing the comedic episodes because it's
just refreshing and I enjoy doing comedic things and
physical comedy; it's fun.
I kind of go to the place of–you know it's like Brennan
thought she could sing, and her mom told her she could sing.
Then, she sings and it's okay, but like Brennan thinks, she
can dance. So she's committed to dancing, but I kind of go
back to the child in the character and think like, okay this
is Brennan as a child, thinking she can dance and just
committing completely to this dance competition and loving
it so much, but having no clue of how bad she is. It's just
so fun for me; I loved it.
G. David Thank you.
E. Deschanel Thank you.
Moderator There's no one left in queue at this point. Please
K. Kurland Do you want to give the replay instructions, and
then we'll wrap it at that?
Moderator Sure. That does conclude our conference for today.
Thank you for your participation and for using AT&T
Executive TeleConference. You may now disconnect.
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