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By Suzanne

John Francis Daley plays Sweets on "Bones"

Conference Call interview with John Francis Daley

Article by Suzanne

I was happy to attend a conference call with the actor John Francis Daley, who plays Sweets on the FOX show ďBonesĒ.  I loved him in ďFreaks and GeeksĒ, too.  I didnít ask any questions, but here is the transcript of the call for your convenience.  Daley talks about his character and how we will learn more about his family background. He also talks about his outside projects, some of his personal life, and answers questions about the showís jokes about how young he looks.

FBC PUBLICITY: Bones Conference Call

    February 3, 2009/1:00 pm. PST



Kim Kurland

John Francis Daley


 Moderator                   Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the Bones Interview call with John Francis Daley.  Iíd also like to remind you that todayís conference is being recorded.  Iíll now turn the conference over to Kim Kurland for opening remarks.

K. Kurland                   Hello.  I just wanted to thank everybody for participating.  We appreciate all your support of Bones.  As all of you know John plays Dr. Lance Sweets on the show and if anybody has any follow-up questions feel free to send an e-mail to me at ...I think we can get started.

Moderator                    Thank you and our first question is from Michael Elkin with The Jewish Exponent, go ahead please. 

M. Elkin                       Hello, John, how are you? 

J. Daley                        Pretty good, how are you?

M. Elkin                       Iím fine thanks.  Iím just wondering if your current role is basically Sam all grown up. 

J. Daley                        One might argue that.  I think Lance is definitely more book smart than Sam was and I donít know if Sam would have gotten into psychology, probably the same thing that Paul Feig got into since the character is 99% based on him.  But definitely some similarities in the geekiness and general likeability and handsomeness in both characters.

M. Elkin                       Just a follow-up.  I enjoy the show very much and I liked Freaks and Geeks, too, but Iím just wondering if Sam would have made a really challenging patient for Dr. Sweets. 

J. Daley                        Yes, I think it would have been many sessions to get past this yearís bullies. 

M. Elkin                       Thank you very much. 

Moderator                    Next we have Daniel Feinberg with


D. Feinberg                  Hello, John, thanks for doing this call.  So in the episodes that aired a couple weeks back we learned a little bit about Sweetsí sort of family background including that he apparently comes from carnie folk.  When they gave you that information did you ask what use you were supposed to make of it as an actor? 

J. Daley                        I had to take a step back and sort of rethink my whole character.  No, honestly Iíve no idea what theyíre intending to do with my character in terms of that, but Iím very interested to see because not many times you can say that you have a character that comes from a family of carnies. 

D. Feinberg                  What other information do you have about Sweetsí background that sort of is going to be disseminated in the episodes to come?

J. Daley                        I know that we do sort of learn a little more about his growing up in foster care and of whatever happened to him before he was adopted.  I canít really go into specifics because itís ultimately speculative on my part as well.  But from what I can gather from the upcoming episode I think we are going to sort of learn where he came from and what secrets heís hidden along the way.

D. Feinberg                  Excellent, thanks a lot.

Moderator                    Next we have Lynn Devries with  b5media.

L. Devries                    Thanks for doing this.  Readers would like to know more about what youíre working on outside of the show, for example whatís happening with your band and the screenplay youíve been working on?

J. Daley                        The band Iím with is, weíre starting up again this year.  Everyone was out of town in various countries traveling the world and learning whatever they need to learn to become better musicians.  I was just working on Bones.  And in terms of the writing, theyíre going to actors and directors right now with our magician movie, Bert Dickinson.  Weíre doing a rewrite on The $40,000 Man and in development with the Hours of Fun movie that my writing partner Jonathan Goldstein and I are working on for Disney and Scott Rudin.   So theyíre all in just various stages of development or pre-production as it were.  So fingers crossed that one of them will become an actual movie. 

L. Devries                    Right and weíll keep watching for that.  Also since your fatherís a veteran of Broadway, has that influenced your career in any way? 

J. Daley                        I feel like it absolutely has.  When I was young and living in New York, over the weekends I would go with my dad to where he worked, whatever show it would be.  Iíd be backstage basically doing my homework in that amount of time and so I was surrounded by it at a very young age and it was something that I had immediately become fascinated with and wanted to learn more about until that fateful day when I was nine years old and asked my parents for an agent.  Thatís sort of where it all started. 

L. Devries                    Weíre glad it did.  Thank you very much.

Moderator                    Next we have Rick Bentley with The Fresno Bee

R. Bentley                    Thanks a lot for the time today, John.  I want to ask one of the sort of running jokes of the show has been your incredibly young good looks.  Can you talk about it?  Is that something you just roll with, because you are young, obviously, but do you just roll with that or are there roles that youíve missed out because people just said you look twelve?

J. Daley                        Iím still not getting any roles for anyoneís grandfather or father, for that matter unless I have some weird Benjamin Button condition.  But, no, so far the roles that Iíve been going out for are basically my age or a little younger.  I definitely still have the youthful look, which many actors are thankful for and I am as well.  Iím glad Iím not looking like, Iím not even going to name namesÖ 

R. Bentley                    Thanks.

Moderator                    We have a question from Alice Newgen with The Times Courier

A. Newgen                   Hello, John, how are you doing?  I was wondering is thereís anything new coming up in Dr. Lance Sweetís character that you could tell us about in the next two episodes?

J. Daley                        Absolutely.  My character helps the team find out who the Gravedigger is in this next episode where Booth gets captured.  And I sort of profile, when they do find out who it is, I profile that person and help them to find information that will set Booth free. And I also have a fun little session with Dr. Brennan where she basically asks me to teach her how to interrogate people in the interrogation room. 

So I help her detect the subtleties of human emotions and expressions and teach her the simplest things that most people already know, but because Dr. Brennan thinks in a sort of different way, itís all new to her.  I teach her when someone is being angry or sad or submissive and hilarity ensues.

A. Newgen                   It does sound great, thanks.

Moderator                    Thank you and next weíll go to David Martindale with the Hearst newspapers.

D. Martindale               Hello, John.  Love the show and youíre really quite good in it.  Is there a lot of Sweets in you and a lot of John in Sweets or is it almost like when you play the role youíre putting on a Sweets costume?

J. Daley                        In some ways I am.  I feel like Sweets is one of those characters where heís very intelligent and has managed to work his way up the career ladder at an incredibly rapid pace, but at the same time heís still 22 or 23 years old so we see traces of his youthfulness in the psychological mumbo jumbo that heís usually spouting.  So I would say that in those glimpses of his youth that is where I sort of come out as just myself. 

                                    Otherwise I think that he is definitely trying to restrain that side of him and try to stay the most professional, respected person as he can be because itís the only way he can get his colleagues to listen to him seriously.

D. Martindale               Is it true that a lot of the little remarks that Booth hurls at Sweets in therapy is stuff that just comes out of Davidís brain on the spot?

J. Daley                        Oh, yes.  But I would say that for most of the scenes that Davidís in.  He definitely has a knack for that, rattling off new and interesting things. 

D. Martindale               Not just your lines, but everybodyís lines. 

J. Daley                        I would say so, yes, absolutely.  It always makes doing scenes with David really fun because I think people are encouraged to not ad lib so much as give their own sort of flavor to the character and sometimes that involves ad libbing, doing things you wouldnít normally expect from the character. 

D. Martindale               Thank you very much. 

Moderator                    Next is Troy Rogers with

T. Rogers                     Hello, John, thanks for taking the time.

J. Daley                        Thanks for having me.

T. Rogers                     I was wondering can you give me Sweetsí psychological assessment of the Gravedigger?

J. Daley                        I donít want to give too much away, but I know the Gravedigger is a very tough nut to crack. 

T. Rogers                     Thereís a good comedic vibe between Sweets, Booth and Brennan.  In addition to that, what do you like about the character?

J. Daley                        About Sweetsí character?

T. Rogers                     Yes.

J. Daley                        Aside from that vibe where heís constantly trying to get through to these people that donít seem to take him very seriously, he is someone that is very, very stubborn and determined to be proven right even if heís wrong.  And that makes it funny because you see that this character is really willing to do anything to get respect and usually when someone is willing to do anything for respect they lose all respect to begin with. 

T. Rogers                     So if youíre willing to do anything for respect, can we expect to see some upcoming episodes where he gets his eyebrows singed off?

J. Daley                        A la Kitchen Confidential?  You never know.  With this show you never knowÖ

T. Rogers                     Thanks, John. 

Moderator                    Then weíll go to Sara Jersild with Tribune Interactive.  

S. Jersild                      Hello and thanks so much for doing this.  One of the things that I wonder about is it a matter of Sweets sort of trying to get that respect that heís pushing Boothís buttons so hard over the last couple of episodes?

J. Daley                        He also sees something in Booth that hasnít yet been revealed at least to him and he is waiting for Booth to basically let it all out.  And if that means Sweets getting punched by Booth so be it, but I think that itís definitely something that he will not give up on.  Heís going to constantly push and push to get what he wants out of Booth.

S. Jersild                      Thank you.

Moderator                    Next is Rick Porter with

R. Porter                      Hello, John, how are you?

J. Daley                        Iím great, thanks.

R. Porter                      Wanted to ask you about how your role sort of grew to become one of the regular ones on the show and what that process was like for you?

J. Daley                        I started as a guest star on the show.  The first episode that I read was the one where we first see me in my office talking to Booth and Brennan and basically learning about their chemistry for the first time.  And it was a very interesting episode for me because Iíve never played anyone with such a demanding profession before.  Iíve played a chef and a leader, but never someone that works for something as elite as the FBI. 

So it was interesting to have that combination of high stakes with his still coming into maturity and have to deal with all that as a 22 year-old.  Thatís something I was immediately attracted to and I heard that there was interest in having me come on as a regular.  When I heard about that I was very pleased because Iíd immediately gotten very attached to the cast and the crew, such an amazing group of people to work with and very rarely can you say that completely honestly these days.  But everyone is just a delight. 

So when I did find out that I was going to be a regular I was happy to know that I would be continuing to work with these people that are just so great to work with. 

R. Porter                      What do you think itís going to take for Sweets to gain Booth and Brennanís full respect or do you think that can ever happen?

J. Daley                        I think itís always possible.  I think they do even respect him, but they have never told him to his face and I donít know if they ever will.  But it would have to take something like him taking a bullet for them probably to gain their full respect up front.

R. Porter                      Thanks, John.

Moderator                    Weíll go to Curt Wagner with Redeye. 

C. Wagner                   Hello, John.  Iím calling from Chicago.  I read that you were born in suburban Chicago.

J. Daley                        Yes, Wheeling, Illinois. 

C. Wagner                   How long did you live here?

J. Daley                        I lived in Chicago for only two years before my dad joined the national tour of Cats.  That got me traveling all across this nation of ours until finally ending in New York.  But I still have family out there.  My momís side of the family is still out there so I visit every year.  Itís very dear to my heart. 

C. Wagner                   I was wondering if youíre ever going to get to use your
Kung Fu skills on the show?

J. Daley                        Iíd love to before they completely leave.  Itís been a while since Iíve practiced, but itís something that I think, itís like riding a bike, you can get back into it.  I can be a deadly killing machine yet again. 

C. Wagner                   If you every get out into the action.

J. Daley                        You never know.  Weíve had glimpses of him sort of joining in these adventures in later episodes so Iíd say itís a great possibility.  It would be a lot of fun for me. 

C. Wagner.                  Then I was wondering if Sweets and Brennan are ever going to sort of connect because of the foster care thing. 

J. Daley                        Thatís what it seems like might happen because they do share that and I donít think weíve seen necessarily a major connection between the two of them on an emotional level in terms of their past experiences.  So that definitely seems like something that the writers will explore in later episodes. 

C. Wagner                   Thanks, great job on the show.

Moderator                    We have a follow-up from Troy Rogers with

T. Rogers                     Hello, John, itís me again.  I just have one more quick thing.  Since you started playing this role do you find yourself analyzing friends and family? 

J. Daley                        Probably no more than I already did.  Yes, you definitely start to hear yourself repeating phrases that you use on the show and I know that canít be very fun for my friends.  But the more annoyed by me as a person they are, the more it will help my character.  So itís all for the work.

T. Rogers                     I just want to thank you again.

Moderator                    We have a follow-up from D. Martindale with Hearst newspapers. 

D. Martindale               Hello again.  An actor once told me that one of the things he looks for in a character is a great name and that once he has a great name heís already halfway home in figuring out what his character is about.  Do you feel that way with a character named Sweets?

J. Daley                        It is about the goofiest name, character name, that Iíve ever had or the goofiest until I do some cartoon.  Yes, it definitely puts an image of a person in your mind I would say. When you say the name out loud and I think that my character has probably his entire life tried to display the exact opposite of that image that you think of when you think of that name.     Itís probably something that heís been teased about all his life and hey, maybe the name is what got him into psychology to begin with. 

D. Martindale               From just a name you can conjure up all sorts of character traits.

J. Daley                        Thatís right.

D. Martindale               Thanks so much.

Moderator                    Our next follow-up is from Lynn Devries with b5Media.

L. Devries                    Thanks again.  Readers are very curious about whether Sweets will ever try to get Zack out of the mental hospital now that Zack has admitted he didnít actually kill anyone.  Do you know if thereís anything like that in the works? 

J. Daley                        I honestly have no idea.  I havenít been told about what will happen with Zack, but that would be very interesting if he did and I know that Sweets probably has some grief in terms of keeping that incredibly heavy secret to himself that Zack in fact didnít kill anyone. 

L. Devries                    Thank you again.

K. Kurland                   I think we have time for one more question. 

Moderator                    Thank you.  That will come from Michael Elkin with The Jewish Exponent

M. Elkin                       Hello again, John, how are you.  Just wondering if Dr. Sweets is able to relax by playing the piano like actor who portrays him? 

J. Daley                        You never know.  I donít know yet if that will come to be, but I know that Hart, the creator, does know that I play and knowing how he uses peoplesí actual abilities outside of the show in the show it would not be something that would be unlikely. 

M. Elkin                       Do you think that would be a special pleasure, a special delight for your mom?

J. Daley                        Absolutely.  It would be like the biggest recital in the world.

M. Elkin                       Thank you very much. 

Moderator                    Thank you.  Do you have any closing remarks?

J. Daley                        Thanks for having great questions and I love each and every one of you. 

Moderator                    Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.  That does conclude our conference for today.  Thank you for your participation for using AT&T Executive Teleconference.  You may now disconnect. 

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