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Interview with Stephen Nathan of "Bones" on
This was a very enjoyable call. I love "Bones", and they
sure do a great job with it. I was a little upset at this
point because they'd just killed off Sweets, but I stayed
professional with my questions.... I had hoped to ask him
whether they would bring back Zack or not this season! That
would almost make it worth losing Sweets. Almost!
FBC Publicity: Bones Conference Call
September 30, 2014/10:00 a.m. PDT
Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by.
Welcome to the Bones conference call. At this time, all
participants are in a listen-only mode and we will be
conducting a question and answer session shortly. (Operator
I would now like to turn the conference over to our host,
Kim: Hello, everyone, this is Kim Kurland with Fox. Iíd just
wanted to thank you all for participating today. Hopefully
everyone has seen our season premiere episode of Bones and
weíre very excited for people to tune in this coming
Thursday for the follow-up to that episode and Stephen will
give you more about that on this call. So, Dan, I think we
can take our first question.
Moderator: All right, our first question comes from Meredith
Jacobs with TheExaminer.com. Please go ahead.
Meredith: Good morning, thanks for taking the time to do this
Stephen: Hello, Meredith. How are you doing?
Meredith: Good, how are you?
Stephen: Good, thanks.
Meredith: So can you talk about having Booth and Brennan with
Sweets when he died?
Stephen: The entire situation for us was very, very painful
and we tried to treat it with as much respect and truth as
we possibly could and really focus in on what was going to
be the best for the show and most emotionally truthful for
the characters. And it seemed that Sweets and Booth and
Brennan had grown so close over the past three or four years
especially that it seemed as if they were the people who
should be there when he died. And it was also a very
complicated situation because Booth was having a huge crisis
himself and also Booth and Brennan as a couple with Booth
coming out of prison; and it really was a testament to
Sweets and to kind of the nobility of the character really
that his last words were about Booth and Brennan. His last
words were of concern for his friend, not in any way
thinking of himself. He was concerned for Daisy and at that
moment concerned for Booth, that Booth didnít lose faith,
that Booth didnít lose hope in the world and that the world
actually was a good place, even as he was dying.
I think it really encapsulated Sweets as a character as well
as Sweetsí relationship to Booth and Brennan. And as I say
it was very painful for us to lose John and to lose this
character of Sweets, but this is what happens not only on a
television show, but it happens in life. You get thrown a
curve ball, you donít know whatís happening the next moment
in anybodyís life and you just have to pick up and move on
and try to learn from the experience and make the best of it
and hopefully make everyoneís life a little bit richer and
better for it.
That was really a long, long answer. Iím sorry.
Meredith: All right. And then when it came to [indiscernible]
the funeral scene in the next episode, what did you want to
make sure you did with it?
Stephen: Iím sorry?
Meredith: What did you want to make sure you did with the
funeral scene in this weekís episode?
Stephen: Really this is a two parter in a very classic way,
not only for the primary plot with the conspiracy, but more
than that a two parter dealing with one of our most beloved
characters leaving our family. So we wanted to send him off
in a way that honored his memory and showed how much our
characters have changed, grown because of their contact with
Sweets, so we really wanted to show that and show what this
family is made of and how they pulled together in the most
horrible of circumstances and get through.
Meredith: All right, great, thank you.
Moderator: Our next question comes from Jamie Ruby with
SciFiVision.com. Please go ahead.
Stephen: Hello, Jamie, how are you doing?
Jamie: Good, how are you?
Stephen: Good, thanks.
Jamie: Great to talk to you again. I have to say I was really
upset. I like Sweets. I know a lot of people do, but Iím
sure the rest of the show will still be great. I want to
know if you can talk about the 200th episode and anything
that you have planned for that.
Stephen: Iím going to be very, very vague and circumspect. It
will be an episode unlike any weíve ever done before. Weíre
going to have as many people who have crossed our paths as
we possibly can. There are limitations to that of course,
some limitations that we canít possibly get around. But we
wanted to give a little gift to the fans, to the people who
have watched Bones for ten years or even three or five or
six, give them a little gift showing our characters in a
situation they would never normally find themselves in and
just see our characters from a different perspective. Itís
not a dream show, but it is unique. It is going to be
visually something weíve never seen before on Bones and
stylistically something weíve never seen on Bones before.
Stephen: But thatís an answer to your question that itís far
too vague for you Iím sure.
Jamie: Thatís okay. And then the follow-up, can you talk a
bit about James Aubreyís character and how like continuing
through the show heís going to be, because I assume
eventually Booth is going to warm up to him I hope.
Stephen: Yes, as they recover from the end of season nine and
the beginning of season ten really Booth and Brennan and the
Squints life has to go on. But itís a very difficult hurdle
for Booth especially, his foundation, his trust in the
institutions that heís devoted his life to that heís risked
his life for has been shaken, so he has some big trust
issues moving forward and Aubrey is the focus of that
initially. Now Booth will be getting over this in a way only
he can with Brennan and Brennanís help and this will not
drag on for a long time. Bones is not going to turn into a
dark show where theyíre dealing with all of these demons all
the time. But we have to deal with what has occurred, so
within the first three or four episodes Booth is going to
have to learn to trust Aubrey and Aubrey is going to have to
earn Boothís trust. So itís really a two-way street and we
will be doing that; and weíre going to be back on our
traditional Bones footings very, very quickly.
Certainly episode three, episode four the show is back. Our
show is yes, weíre procedural, yes, people get murdered, but
itís funny. Itís romantic. Itís bizarre and all of that, the
oddities and the unique nature of the show will return, but
we will be getting to know Aubrey in these first five or six
episodes because heís going to be a very valuable member of
the team and slowly become a member of the family as well.
Heís a strange guy, but heís a brilliant agent who is
Sweets was very deferential to Booth. Sweets being so young
when he started he wanted to fit in; he wanted to make sure
he was doing the right thing. Aubrey is somebody who really
has, socially, heíll just blunder into things, but at the
same time Booth will learn to trust the fact that he is a
Jamie: Right. All right, thank you so much.
Moderator: Our next question comes from Sarah Curtis of
GiveMeMyRemote.com. Your line is open.
Sarah: Great, thanks.
Stephen: Hello, Sarah, how are you doing?
Sarah: Iím good. Iím filling in for Marissa today. She was
sorry to miss it.
Stephen: All right.
Sarah: So Pelant gave way to the ghost killer, which
then gave way to this FBI conspiracy. Is there anything else
lurking out there in that connection train or are we really
just going to see standalone cases/villains for the rest of
Stephen: Thereís always something lurking out there. I can
safely say that there is going to be something else lurking
out there. I donít think the world ever exists with simple
murders no matter how horrible. I think we need something a
little more evil and that will be coming our way. They might
be in the second half of the year when we come back in
January, but weíll be getting involved in another case where
thereís someone whoís not nice, not a good person.
Sarah: Okay, that kind of leads to my follow-up here, which
is last season Max hinted to Brennan that he was involved in
some things that she didnít know about and wouldnít like, so
Iím just wondering if thatís coming up and where and when or
if it was just a throw away.
Stephen: Again, this is something that itís not a throw away.
We try not to throw anything away, but itís also something
that weíre in the process of developing now more fully. And
the first half of the season especially leading up to the
200th and finishing the conspiracy was something this story
with Max is something that we wanted to devote a good amount
of time to and again, thatís going to have to be in the
second half of the season. We didnít want to go from a
conspiracy into some other ďbig badĒ story, but Max will be
back and weíll be back dealing with that issue.
Sarah: Okay, great, thanks.
Stephen: Okay, thank you.
Moderator: And the next question is from Colleen Pinto of
Voice of TV. Please go ahead.
Stephen: Hello, Colleen, how are you?
Colleen: Hello, how are you?
Colleen: You sort of touched on this a little bit, but the
whole government conspiracy affects Booth because heís sort
of idealistic to a fault about the government and his time
in the military, I know you said itís not going to go to a
dark place, but how is that going to affect him for the rest
of the season?
Stephen: How what, Iím sorry I couldnít hear the last part of
what you said.
Colleen: How will the government conspiracy and Booth being
shut out, how will that affect him in his job and the way
that he thinks about the government?
Stephen: We will deal with that and initially it will be
resolved reasonably quickly, but the residual elements of
that will always be there. I think heís a very resilient
guy. Heís been through war; heís been in covert operations.
He was a ranger; heís seen a lot of stuff and he has bounced
back from a lot of very difficult sometimes tragic
circumstances and found a way to move on, and this will be
no different. That doesnít mean there arenít some residual
emotional issues that he will be confronted with really at a
time when he thought everything was okay, so itís really
going to ebb and flow through the season and we will see
this initial issue of trust and idealism and challenged
idealism be dealt with in the first few episodes and dealt
with pretty successfully, but thereís a lot underneath that
will keep bubbling to the surface throughout the season.
As I said itís not going to be some kind of weird dark
season, but that doesnít mean that people donít have
difficult things that they have to deal with that surface
when they least expect them. So Brennan as well as Booth
will be dealing with a lot of residual fall-out from whatís
happened and what will happen in the future.
Colleen: Okay. And will we see more of Daisy on the series?
Stephen: Yes, definitely.
Colleen: Bearing his child.
Stephen: Daisy will be in the second episode clearly, we have
to say good-bye to Sweets and send him off as only this
group can, but Daisy is also pregnant and as we heard in
that episode, sheís alone really. And I donít think people
who have grown close to her and really grown to love her in
their own way over these, I donít even know how many years,
five, six years are not going to send her out into the world
alone. When this baby is born, this baby will be born and
Colleen: Wonderful, thank you.
Moderator: And we have a question from Jenny Riordan from
TVIsMyPacifier.com. Please go ahead.
Jenny: Hello, Stephen.
Stephen: Hello, Jenny, how are you?
Jenny: Iím good. My phone is dying, so I hope to get through
this all before it finally quits.
Jenny: I was extremely sad about Sweets, but I understand
that his career is taking off, so thatís a big thing for the
Jenny: But my question focuses more on the Squints, will we
see the same rotating cast of characters; will we be
introduced to anyone new? And [indiscernible]ó
Stephen: Yes, all of our regular Squints will be coming back
to visit and work, so these are characters weíve grown to
love and they have become such an integral part of the show
that weíre able to really treat them as more than just
functionaries within the lab. They really have full, rich
lives of their own and thatís what weíre going to be
contending with. Wendell is dealing with his cancer. Cam and
Arastoo are dealing with their relationship. Daisy now is
going to be dealing with a baby. Weíre bringing back Oliver
Wells. Weíre bringing back Clark and all of these people
have very rich lives that will be explored and since theyíve
all become so close to the other Squints, everybody gets
involved in each otherís lives as happens in most
workplaces. And weíll be learning a lot more about these
characters that initially were just temporary help in the
lab. Theyíve become permanent members of the Bones family.
Jenny: Excellent. Thatís just want I wanted to hear, so thank
you very much.
Stephen: Okay, thank you.
Moderator: We have a question from Suzanne Lanoue from
The TV MegaSite. Your line is open.
Stephen: Okay, hello, Suzanne.
Suzanne: Hello. I was wondering youíve gotten rid of
characters before and I was wondering if thereís ever
concern when you get rid of someone who is so beloved like
Sweets was if it might have an effect on the show that you
Stephen: Absolutely. We can only deal with the events that
confront us and thatís what we had to do in this
circumstance. Itís more than what is going to be good or bad
for the show. Really it was the difficulty, the challenge,
and to be honest, the pain of losing a character like Sweets
and an actor like John. We love John and itís always
difficult and you never really know how the audience is
going to respond. We could only hope that by treating this
in a realistic way, in a way that respects the character,
that will also show how much we respect the audience. We did
not do this in a cavalier or a callous way; we tried to do
it and integrate it into the show and hopefully it makes the
show better in a way.
If the show continually was running in place, I donít think
weíd be on for ten years. I think a show has to change and
evolve; sometimes the change is painful, but that doesnít
mean itís not good or correct, so we have to trust that if
we treat this situation truthfully, it will enhance the show
no matter how difficult and painful it is. Thereís no way
really ever of knowing how the audience is going to respond
to any episode or any change. We didnít know how they were
going to respond when Booth and Brennan got together. We
didnít know how they were going to respond when they got
married, when they had a child, when people leave the show.
You just never know. You just hope that everybody is along
for the ride and that the ride is satisfying and honest.
Suzanne: And will you be addressing this season the passing
of Ralph Waite at all?
Stephen: You know, weíre still talking about that because we
probably will and weíre trying to figure out how to do that
without bringing it all up again and being exploitive. We
donít want to be cheap about that, especially after dealing
with such an enormous loss as the loss of Sweets, so weíre
in a pickle there, but weíre dealing with it.
Suzanne: All right, thanks a lot.
Stephen: Thank you.
Moderator: (Operator instructions.) We have another question
from Jamie Ruby of SciFiVision.com. Please go ahead.
Jamie: Hello again, they took my questions, so I have to
think up one here. Now that youíve going on for ten years
now, I think a lot of this obviously gets easier, but what
do you still find thatís most challenging even ten years
Stephen: Itís all a challenge ten years later. Going into our
tenth year clearly the one of the most difficult things is
finding cases that are new, clues that are new, worlds that
are new and unique and ways of dealing with the science that
are new and keep up with technology. This show
technologically, the show has changed dramatically over ten
years, but primarily itís where are these new body finds
going to come from? What are the new murderers? What worlds
can we go into that we havenít gone into before?
The miraculous thing is the writers keep coming up with new
completely unique ways to kill people and locations and
worlds in which to kill them that are constantly amazing.
Weíre going to be doing a murder at a forensics convention
filled with forensic experts. How did we not do that before,
but really and over nine years that we never have, so weíve
got a new one. Itís just really, as I said, a testament to
the writers, Jon Collier, whoís an executive producer on the
show, who runs the writersí room is just phenomenal and
leads the writers through the dark forest and into the
light; and what comes out of there is just amazing.
Jamie: Thanks. I hope it goes on for years more yet, soó
Stephen: We do, too.
Jamie: Okay. Thanks.
Stephen: Thank you.
Moderator: And we do have another question from Sarah Curtis
from GiveMeMyRemote.com. Please go ahead.
Sarah: Okay, great. Thereís been a lot on the Internet from
Sunnie Pelant and then also Gavin MacIntosh maybe if you
could answer some questions. I know Sunnie was in the show
last year and she just is darling and Gavin I think seems to
be cast as Parker and just maybe talk a little bit about
what the casting process was for Gavin. He definitely looks
like David Boreanaz and so just wondering what that was
Stephen: As the show evolves, especially with young actors,
sometimes changes occur. Weíve been in this situation
before. There was one actress initially who was playing
Michelle, Camís adopted daughter, and that actress changed
for that character. Christine also changed partly because of
age. We wanted someone in that part who could do more, so
Christineís age accelerated a touch, the maturity
accelerated a touch, so we could have someone who could do
dialogue and hopefully stay with the show for the long haul.
And in terms of physical changes, I think there was a
consideration with that as well as far as Parker is
concerned, so again, itís kind of the evolution of the
actors of the young people, who come through the show; and
maybe itís in the long and wonderful tradition of Bewitched.
Stephen: We get a new Darren.
Kim: Dan, I think if we donít have any more questions, thatís
going to do it. Is anyone else in the queue?
Moderator: We have no further questions at this time.
Kim: Okay, perfect. I think we can wrap it up there.
Stephen: Okay, great. Thanks, everybody.
Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our
conference for today. Weíd like to thank you for your
participating and for using AT&T TeleConference. You may now
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