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Interview with Michael Thompson of "Bones" on
FBC PUBLICITY: Bones
2016/12:00 p.m. CST
Ladies and gentlemen, we’d like to thank you for standing by
and welcome to the Bones teleconference call. At this time
all lines are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct
a question-and-answer session, and instructions will be
given at that time. And as a reminder it is being recorded.
I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr.
Michael Peterson and Kim Kurland. Please go ahead.
Kim Hi, everyone. This is Kim. I just wanted to thank
you for taking part in this call today. We really appreciate
it. We are so excited to be back. We haven’t been on the air
since December, since 2015. So, we’re back and, as you all
know, or hopefully you know, our next all new episode airs
this Thursday, the 14th.
Michael is on the line, and
happy to talk about some stuff we’ve got coming up. We’ve
made a handful of our next new original episodes available
for view on the Fox Screening Room, so hopefully everyone’s
had a chance to take a look at some of those.
Steven, I think once you give your instructions we can take
our first question.
instructions.) Our first question will come from the line of
Paulette Cohn of Parade.com. Please go ahead.
Paulette Thank you. Good morning, Michael.
Michael Hello. How are you doing?
Good. I was watching the episode and one of the things that
struck me was how Hodgins’ paralysis is being used to
redefine the people that we already know. Booth is all about
he needs hope. Bones is about he needs to be realistic. Can
you talk about how you’re using Hodgins’ paralysis as more
than just the actual paralysis?
That was the real appeal of doing this storyline. Well,
first of all, before we began we started the season first
through a phone call to T.J. and just to let him know that
this is what we were thinking of. And he could not have been
more excited to really stretch his legs as an actor by not
using his legs. But he was just over the moon about the
idea. And we really wanted to make sure that this was
something that, it wasn’t like Matthew on Downton Abbey
where it was very quick and done. And we really wanted to
make sure it affected everybody. So, I’m glad that that
radiated when you were watching it.
And it is, it’s
such a wonderful, and I always thank Hart for, we call it
the BNA that he put into this show, of making such dynamic
characters with such opposing points of view, and I think
this really brought it out. And we wanted to make sure to,
from the first episode it’s really about we see the
different viewpoints. Booth is much more about the hope, and
Brennan is looking strictly at the science of the situation,
which is not so hopeful.
And then it really from
there takes off because we want to make sure Hodgins, he
gets to feel every different emotion that comes when you
have this sort of tragedy. So, a little bit in denial at the
beginning and then we see some anger coming out later on.
So, I think he did a tremendous job. But, yes we didn’t want
to shortchange it. If we were going to go for this, we
wanted to go for it full hog.
Paulette And can
you talk a little bit about which squints will be coming
back for these final episodes, and maybe Betty White? I also
was talking to Cyndi Lauper about her new album coming out
and she would love to come back for the final season, so
have you thought about which guest stars you’re going to
Michael Oh, for Season 12?
Paulette Yes. I’m interested in the squints for these
final episodes but also if you’re thinking about big name
stars for the final season.
Michael Yes, I
think really, you know, talking it over with Hart we really
want this to be a grand ride off into the sunset for the
final 12 episodes for next season. And we will. We will
bring back as many guest casts as humanly possible and
whoever’s available. So, we’d love to get Cyndi back. We
don’t have Betty coming back for the second half of this
season. We would love to have her come back next season. We
have one episode in particular that we’re getting for her
for Season 12. We’re already starting to look at how we’re
going to break Season 12, and we’d love to have her back for
that. I think it’s going to be Episode 3 next year.
But we’re leaving it wide open. We’re going to have myself,
Jonathan Collier, Steven Nathan, and Hart Hanson, we’re
going to have breakfast soon. We have the broad strokes of
what we’re going to do for next season, but Hart is going to
write the finale for the series, is what it looks like right
now. So, we’re really excited about that. And he has a
vision for how he wants the whole thing to end, which I am
not privy to yet. So, I can’t wait to sit down and see how
we can incorporate it with everything else that we have
Moderator Our next question will
come from the line of Jamie Ruby of SciFi.com. Please go
Jamie SciFiVision. Hi. Thanks for talking to us
Michael Absolutely. My pleasure.
Jamie I just got done watching the third episode,
which that was really, really creepy.
Jamie So, my question is, though,
can you talk, obviously other people haven’t seen it yet,
but can you talk a bit about that big bad and maybe if
there’s going to be more other special [indiscernible] or
whatever coming up this season that people can be looking
Michael That one is pretty much
our big bad for the remainder of the season. So, we will be
seeing that person again. And I’m glad it was a little bit
creepy. That was one I wrote, and it was something that the
show lends itself because of Brennan obviously dealing with
skeletal remains so much, I had been re-watching a lot of
old Hitchcock, and Psycho in particular, and thinking about
that movie and then Ed Gein and the people it’s based on and
how very similar they are to Brennan in a way, where they’re
able to live with remains and see them as still alive. And I
think Brennan sees these remains a very similar way. And
it’s a unique perspective. So, we really wanted to look at
the flipside of that coin, and to get a little bit of that
nice creepy feel.
The inspiration also was, and
there’s a little homage to it, there was an X-Files episode
called “Home,” which meant a lot to me. It was one of the
big reasons why I wanted to do TV. And they do a great job
in that episode of juxtaposing happy music with creepiness,
so we do a little homage to that in there also. But, yes,
that’s going to be our big bad for this season, and maybe a
little bit into Season 12. But we’re still playing around
Moderator Our next question will
come from the line of Suzanne Lanoue of The TV Megasite.
Please go ahead.
Suzanne Good morning.
Michael Good morning.
Suzanne I was
wondering if you could tell us about any of the upcoming
guest stars for the rest of the season.
Well, one person that’s just off the top of my head because
we’re getting ready to start shooting this season finale,
David Boreanaz is going to be directing it, so Ryan O’Neal,
who plays Brennan’s father, will be coming back for that
one. So, we’re very excited to have him back. I think the
one that most excited David Boreanaz was we have an episode
with some hockey elements to it, so Jeremy Roenick is going
to be in that one. So, he’s beyond thrilled about that.
As far as other special guest cast, we were looking at
getting Betty White back for the second half of the season.
We weren’t able to do that, but hopefully for next year. Who
else? I think as far as, I’m looking at our list, but it’s
wonderful actors but not a lot of, what you call stunt
casting. It’s just some people that we just found that are
absolutely fantastic. So, I think the big thing is getting,
we also have Parker coming back, so he’ll be coming back in
Episode 16, so it’s more of a family affair here of getting
Parker back, Mac’s back, and people like that, rather than
Moderator Our next question
will come from the line of Catherine Cabanela of Buddy TV.
Please go ahead.
Catherine I have to tell
you, Episode 3 wasn’t creepy. It was like really creepy.
Michael Hopefully not too creepy. He’ll be
Catherine It was like little
hairs on the back of your neck creepy.
Well, my wife keeps me in check, though. She says, “You’re
allowed to be creepy but you’ve got to watch how far you
go.” So, whatever version of restraint that I showed it’s
thanks to her.
Catherine Well, you did a
Michael Thank you.
Catherine My question is, as Angela and Hodgins go
forward, what might they pursue toward possibly growing
their family as they had planned before, provided that
Hodgins is able to come back to himself? There’s a whole
field of infertility and all of that. I’m just wondering,
what do you think?
Michael We’re definitely
going to be exploring that. I think the first thing that
Hodgins has to do is he has to go to a place of acceptance
before he can move forward in any other capacity for his
relationship with Angela, moving on with having additional
children, and anything else in his life he just has to get
to a place where he is accepting of this injury and the new
limitations. And so that I think is his biggest journey, is
to get there.
And I know you guys got to see up
through 13, but 14 is also going to be a big episode as far
as Hodgins and Angela, and where they’re going, because with
everything that’s going on with him it’s also this Crucible
moment for Angela, where we’ve introduced this character at
the beginning of the season, this Sebastian Kohl, who’s her
photographer/mentor and it’s this glimpse into another life
that she could have had if she had taken off and been more
the artist. And so it’s going to be tough on everybody.
There’s going to be temptations for Angela, temptations for
Hodgins, and hopefully we’ll do it all in the correct way,
so still showing restraint.
But it’s not an issue
that’s going to be resolved easily. You saw three episodes
and it was still going on, and it’s going to be going on for
a while after that too.
Moderator The next
question will come from the line of Kimberly Strand, Reel
Life with Jane. Please go ahead.
Hi. One of the upcoming episodes talks about Cam and her
relationships. Can you tell us a little bit about that? It
seems like she’s always unlucky in love.
Well, we don’t want to make her perpetually unlucky.
Kimberly I know.
Michael No, or she’s very lucky. She has many men
who have loved her.
Michael But I think we’ll see a lot more with what’s
going on with her and Arastoo as the season progresses. And
hopefully she won’t always be unlucky. We’re going to see
some movements. But Cam, she definitely marches to the beat
of her own drum, and I don’t think her relationship with
Arastoo is going to follow the model of Brennan, or Hodgins
and Angela. It’s going to move its own way. And so hopefully
it won’t seem unlucky. But, yes, there are a couple more
twists and turns as far as that goes. But we’re going to see
a lot more. At the beginning of the season it looked like
Arastoo might be gone, but his relationship with Cam is more
important than anything else for him.
Our next question will come from the line of Ashley Sumerel
of Telltale TV. Please go ahead.
Michael. How are you?
Michael I’m doing great.
Ashley Good, good. I actually want to go back to
talking about Hodgins in the wheelchair just a bit. I was
wondering, what are some of the challenges of having him in
the wheelchair in terms of the writing and just from a
Michael There aren’t a
ton of challenges. I guess with all things in television
challenges and opportunities go hand in hand. So, it’s been
fun, where after this happened we looked at little things
like the platform. All of a sudden we’re like, well, wait,
how is he going to get up there? And so just talking about
that lends itself to a great opportunity that was in Episode
12, where we really get to see the world through Hodgins’
new point of view, where we see him going through the lab,
he’s at a different height, he’s at a different level, he’s
looking around the lab, all the things that he cannot do
that he used to just take for granted. And so it was a
question that became a wonderful opportunity, and so we
built this elevator for him, and Antoine, who directed that,
just did a magnificent job. And we got to understand his new
perspective before really seeing him become angry, and I
think it gave great empathy for him.
So, there’s a
ton of challenges as far as that goes. But also T.J. is just
amazing. He stays in that chair all day. He gets out of his
car, he is in the chair, he stays in it until the end of
production. He’s the most amazing professional I’ve really
ever dealt with in terms of just commitment to the role. So
he’s made it wonderful and he’s challenged us every step of
the way, where if the character is not, if we’re giving
answers that are just too easy, he says, “No, we’ve got to
go through this journey all the way.” And so he’s been just
fantastic and it’s been a blessing.
Our next question will come from the line of Melissa
Girimonte of The Televixen. Please go ahead.
Melissa Hello. It’s a pleasure to speak with you today.
Michael You too.
I’m really interested in is, I believe it’s the second
episode back has a Meninist storyline.
Melissa Was there a specific event that
inspired you guys to pursue that topic as a subject? And did
you at all contemplate the potential negative social media
feedback when people tackle that subject matter that can
Michael Yes, we know that there’s
always going to be, if you do anything that’s sensitive
you’re going to get some kickback. But it was just such an
eye opener. When we bring up subject matters we don’t want
to go into territory that every other show has done, and so
this was one that was pretty fresh feeling to me. And so
when I started learning about more the details of it, it was
just so right for our show, where we have all these
characters who have such opposing points of view, and it
opens up a great conversation.
And I think good TV
should do that. We open up interesting conversations. And I
just found the whole thing fascinating. And as a man I also
found it very amusing. By the time we got to the point where
people are suing over being circumcised I just couldn’t stop
laughing. It just seemed amazing. But I thought that was
fascinating, and then also the women who support the
Meninist movement. So, you know you have a good episode on
your hands with the more research that you do the more
fascinating it becomes. So, it just seemed ripe for a Bones
episode, so we just ran towards it. And I’m sure there will
be some interesting talkback, but I love a good
conversation. So, we welcome any feedback that comes from
Moderator And we have a question from the
line of Arlene Allen, Talk Nerdy with Us. Please go ahead.
Arlene Hi, Michael. Thank you so much for this
Michael Sure. Absolutely. My
Arlene When we left off the season
Booth was having a huge midlife crisis. How has Hodgins’
injury affected his midlife crisis?
think it helps him to put everything into perspective. We
talk about the midlife crisis of the cowboy episode, and
that was just delightful fun. It was great to have Corinne
Rosenthal back, who had written so many of our best
episodes. And we really wanted to go out it in a different
way, and so I think we had a lot of fun with that episode
where they had to be strangers to each other and got to
rekindle that old romance. And I think that’s a lot of what
midlife crises are. It’s a scary time maybe for a guy, but
it’s a chance to recapture some of those feelings that you
had in your youth of new love, or driving a new car, or
whatever else. And so that episode helped to do a lot of
But Booth’s going to have some other little
crises that are worse than a midlife crisis. We have one
episode coming up where he almost finds himself becoming
something of a squint, and nothing more horrifying to Booth
than to find himself behaving in a squint-like manner. So,
we’re going to give him some little tests, as far as that
kind of stuff goes. But I do think an injury, when you see
somebody else suffering in a real life way, it helps put
everything in perspective. So, definitely Hodgins’ injury is
going to help Booth as far as that goes.
And we have a follow up from the line of Paulette Cohn of
Parade.com. Please go ahead.
morning again. You just were mentioning the undercover
episode they did. Emily always talks about she loves those.
Is there going to be an undercover episode in the rest of
Michael There won’t be for the
rest of the season, but absolutely for Season 12. We love
doing them and we just think we’ve found a good one for
Season 12. But we’re going to hold off to do that. We
usually do about one a year, so, yes, we’ll save one more
for Season 12.
Paulette Perfect. Thank you.
Michael Thank you.
Moderator And we
have a follow up from the line of Jamie Ruby of SciFi.com.
Please go ahead.
Jamie Hi, again. Everybody is
asking, obviously all the fans, can you talk a bit about
relationship stuff that’s coming up for Booth and Brennan a
bit this season?
Michael Sure. Absolutely.
Well, we hit on some of it in Episode 13, where we see what
Brennan is going through of really experiencing guilt for
not being there at the time of this murder that takes place
and had a feeling of responsibility, where she quit her job
and bad things happen when she leaves. And so I think that
helps with her arc. She’s somebody who’s always been able to
separate herself and not become as emotionally attached to
elements of the job. But she realizes the responsibility
that she has, and so the way that they both handle that
situation will definitely be telling.
We also see a
lot more Booth. I think we try to stay true to the
characters, where Booth is this person who, he is
self-sacrificing. He puts himself very much in the line of
fire. We saw it at the beginning of the season where when
his brother was in trouble and what he did there. And we’re
going to see it again. Episode 17 is a Secret Service
episode, and quite literally Booth is in the line of fire,
so the more that he is putting himself out there and putting
himself into danger, that’s definitely going to have an
effect on Booth and Brennan.
And then another
episode that we’re very excited about is Episode 18 that’s
coming up. It’s more of a documentary style one. It’s our
cross between Modern Family and Making of a Murderer. And
what’s fun there is we do get to lift up the curtain and see
behind the scenes, so a big reason why I wanted to do is to
be able to get into some of this relationship stuff as far
as our leads go. And we get to learn a little bit more about
their past. It’s not a standard episode and we really wanted
to do it as a tribute to the fans, of just saying, there are
some things people wanted to know about our characters, and
here’s our opportunity to do a documentary style episode
where we can tell you a little bit more than usual. So,
those are just some of the things that we’ve got.
And then at the end of the season we’re going to be leaning
towards a cliffhanger, that’s obviously going to be a big
effect on Booth and Brennan and it’s going to lead us
strongly into Season 12.
Jamie Okay, great.
Thanks so much.
Michael Thank you.
Moderator (Operator instructions.) Our next question in
queue will also be a follow up from the line of Catherine
Cabanela of BuddyTV.com. Please go ahead.
Moderator Miss Cabanela, your line may
Catherine Sorry about that. I was
on mute. Anyway, here is my question, going forward for
Season 12 we’re all very excited to get 12 in 12, by the
you know, is it going to be a split season again, or will we
be able to get it all before Christmas? Is there any kind of
planning going on about that yet?
get preliminary plans, but at the end of the day you never
know how it’s going to actually end up. Everything that I’ve
heard from Fox is they want to make it as continuous as
humanly possible. We always have to worry about baseball and
elections and stuff like that, but I think we’re going to do
it as much of a straight shot as possible. Because this four
months have been tough for fans and have been tough for us.
We like to see as continuous as possible. So, I don’t think
it will be one of those things, you know, nobody has come to
me saying it’s going to be six episodes in the fall and then
six episodes in the spring, nothing like that. So, it’s
going to be as close to continuous as humanly possible.
Moderator We have a follow up from the line of
Jamie Ruby of SciFi.com. Please go ahead.
SciFiVision. Hi again. I was just wondering if you could
talk about adding Sarah Rue to the cast.
Oh, yes, we love Sarah. She’s absolutely fantastic, yes. We
had her in’10, we brought her back in ’13, and then she’s in
one additional episode, she’s in Episode 15. She’s just been
a breath of fresh air. David and John Boyd especially just
love having the interaction with her. And we wanted to make
her a little bit different obviously.
She has some
of the same characteristics as Sweets as far as her
background goes, but in a way she’s almost Brennan’s version
of a psychologist where she’s more of a behavioralist, so
it’s a little bit more of a concrete science than what
Sweets was dealing with.
But her comic instincts
have just been absolutely fantastic and so we wish only that
we could have her back for more. She’s on another show
called Impastor, and so she got shipped off, and we tried to
fit her in for a couple more but if possible we’d love to
get her back for Season 12. But we’re delighted to be able
to grab her for three episodes of this year, because she
brings a lot not only for the cases but we think there’s
some great opportunities as far as interplay with her and
David and her and John Boyd in particular. So knock on wood,
hopefully we’ll get her back for Season 12 and be able to do
even more with her.
Moderator And we have a
question from the line of Ashley Sumerel of Telltale TV.
Please go ahead.
Ashley Hi. My next question
is, I’m thinking about back when we had the one season of
The Finder that was a spinoff from Bones and then also the
crossover that we had of Sleepy Hollow recently. And I
wondered if there were any more talks of crossovers or
bringing anything like that back in any of the upcoming
Michael There haven’t been any
talks, but we are very open. Fox is the one who came to us
last year with the Sleepy Hollow, and at first it was a
little bit daunting, where we were saying, really, it’s
supernatural show and a procedural, how do you make this
work? But we had fun with it. We had a great time. So, if
they come to us with any kind crossovers we’ll definitely be
As I said, I’m going to talk to Hart hopefully in the
next couple weeks and love to maybe even bring The Finder
character back in Season 12 for a special arc there. It’s
really more of a question of whatever the network wants us
to do as far as a crossover or a spinoff. I’ve always said
I’d love to keep writing the show for the rest of my life,
so if we can figure out a way to spinoff and have a similar
vibe, similar feel, I’d be delighted. So, I’m just waiting
for the go to, and any suggestions are welcome.
Jamie Great. Thank you.
Michael Thank you.
Kim Steven, we have time for one more question,
instructions.) Ladies and gentlemen, due to time constraints
our last question will come from the line of Arlene Allen,
Talk Nerdy with Us. Please go ahead.
Hi. Thank you. Just since it’s the last question, how does
it feel to be bringing a show that has been on for 12 years
to a close, for both the cast, crew, and the fans, to bring
such a well-loved show to a conclusion?
Michael I think
what was interesting was we kind of felt like Hodgins when
he became paralyzed. It was a strange thing where at first
we’re like, no, it can’t end. We want this to go on forever.
And so we’ve gone through every emotion possible. I think we
were in denial, we were angry, we’ve just gone through it.
And obviously it’s not the same thing at all as being
injured in a horrible way. But it was tough at first for us
because we love this. This is our family. We want to keep
But now we’re at the place of acceptance and
we’re finding that we think there’s a great opportunity
here. It’s so rare to be given such forenotice that we’re
able to really close the show out in style. And so I think
we’re very, very excited about that.
bittersweet. We love being here. We hope it transcends on to
the screen, but this really is a family. We have people who
have been here since the pilot. I’ve been here for eight
seasons. This is a tightknit group. But it’s such a
thrilling opportunity, and best of all for me is I probably
am not going to be writing the finale. That will be on Hart
Hanson’s shoulders. So, my plan is not to mess it up until
that point and then he’ll hit a grand slam at the end. So,
it’s just great fun. It’s a delight, really.
Steven, do you want to give any replay instructions?
Moderator Certainly. Ladies and gentlemen,
today’s conference call will be available for replay from
today at 11:30 a.m. until April 19th, midnight of that day.
On behalf of today’s panel I’d like to thank you for
your participation in today’s Bones teleconference, and
thank you for using AT&T. Have a wonderful day. You may now
disconnect. One moment, please, speakers.
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