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From Blood Sucker to Bone Collector: David Boreanaz Talks to TV
Megasite About 'Bones'" Written by Nadine

As the character Angel, David Boreanaz brooded his way into the hearts of many TV fans as part of a pair of star-crossed lovers (their stars really crossed when they became lovers!) on the critically beloved series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. At the end of that show’s third season, Angel broke many hearts and dashed dreams when he walked away from Buffy and Sunnydale to open his own detective agency in the spin-off series, “Angel”. That show ran for five full seasons and ended at the top of its creative game in May 2004. After only a one year hiatus, David returns to series television starring in the new drama series, “Bones”. Fresh off the plane from Detroit where had just been to see the 2005 All-Star Baseball series, David sat down for a phone interview with TV Megasite to talk about his new show “Bones”.

Set in Washington, D.C., the show is about a team of FBI investigators who enlist the help of scientists at to solve murder investigations involving bodies that are so badly decomposed, burned or destroyed that they can’t be identified by normal means. Sometimes, they have only the bones to use for clues. In describing the new show, David says it is a hybrid of the old detective series “Moonlighting” and the more recent cult phenomenon “X-Files”. The series is based on the crime novels by Kathy Reichs, a North Carolina and Quebec based forensic anthropologist. Reichs is also credited as a writer for the show. The novels themselves are loosely based on Reichs’ life and feature a heroine named Temperance Brennan. In fact, the show was originally going to be called “Brennan”. In the TV series, Temperance is played by Emily Deschanel . The character is driven, talented, hard-working, focused, and plays by the rules. She also has no life outside of the lab. David Boreanaz plays FBI agent Seeley Booth. Asked how he sees this character, David says that Seeley is “… an FBI agent who doesn’t necessarily play by those FBI rules and he’s sort of a maverick. He goes on to explain that Seeley is even “against the dress code”. With regard to Temperance, Seeley is what might be called (to turn the phrase), the stick in her craw. She meanwhile, is the stick in his mud. He says in character, “You know, I like to press her buttons”.

Boreanaz further describes his character as “Not your typical FBI guy”. Despite Seeley Booth’s irreverent attitude, “He garners a little bit more respect from his field officers and undercover agents”. Coming from a military rather than a college background, “He keeps his head where the collegiate kid would be worried about his Hush Puppies getting muddied up”. Despite the character’s brashness, Boreanaz believes that Seeley is still an engaging character for the viewer. Seeley enjoys being this sort of iconoclast and, Boreanaz believes, it “makes him interesting to watch”. So, does Seeley have a life beyond annoying Tempe and solving crimes? Boreanaz replies that he does although there are still some things that need to be settled with regard to the character and his backstory. He says, “There are a lot of things that are still not developed. I’m still trying to find him, but I’m real comfortable with his “…family aspect [and] kind of bringing that into his character”. Of course, there will be comparisons to his last character, Angel. Boreanaz concludes that Angel was “pretty much a character of many means…Angel’s character did everything. He was action hero guy, he was a detective, he had old superior wealth. He pretty much ran the gamut of every character that’s played in television or film”. The way Boreanaz sees it, the only thing that his new character has in common with Angel is the fact that he is also a detective.

The character Seeley, teams up often with Deschanel’s Temperance. At this time, their relationship seems to be one of the focal points of the show. Right now, he sees Seeley as being, “always there for her… She’s driving me crazy in a lot of ways but there is that attraction obviously. As far as the way I’m gonna play this character- my intention is to really mess with this character’s head”. Despite the tension between them, Seeley is the one who helps Tempe get acclimated when she is out in the field as opposed to being in the lab, which is her home turf, so to speak. The show will also feature a funky new gadget called the angillator. It is a state of the art machine which is able to diagnose the pattern of how a victim is killed.

As far as the show itself, Boreanaz assures us that it will not be just another procedural drama. “You know”, he says, “I think it’s a procedural with a twist. I’m really looking at the opportunity being very character-driven but at the same time there’s gonna be some open-ended cases which allow the audience to kind of follow along on a personal level with what’s going on in the characters’ lives”. For Seeley that could possibly mean some baggage in the form of an ex-wife, a child, or even alcoholism. Since it’s so early in the life of the series, these things have not been etched in stone. However, he says that he and writer/producer Hart Hanson (Joan of Arcadia, Judging Amy, Cupid) do envision Seeley as being “a man of mechanics as well as a man of classical things”.

In fact, we have Hart Hanson to thank in part for David deciding to come back to television so soon. David says that at the time the offer came along for this part, “I [had done] three independent films after I left “Angel” and I was as happy as I could ever be. This came up and I was a little hesitant but it just so happened that I really enjoyed the character and the possibilities. Also, Hart and Barry (Josephson, producer of movies such as “Hide and Seek” and “Ladykillers”) were really my major slam dunk in all of this. [Barry] is a film guy and I look forward to shooting movies with him. Barry comes from the film world and has a great understanding of being realistic and making this look like a film rather than a television show. Even when the pilot was shot, it was very warm. It wasn’t bright and poppy. .. And you know coming from having my own show having that under my belt gave me the opportunity to have my opinions to be heard a little bit stronger”. Interestingly, David did not have to audition, he was offered the part. As to why he was able to do this where many actors stay out of work for a lot longer, he half-jokingly says it all boils down to talent. That, and the fact that he “looked at it as a great opportunity to work with someone like Barry and make my segue into feature films in a way that’s right; with a major network”.

When asked how he deals with the pressures of being in such a tough industry and such a challenging craft, he says, “Just love man. I just want to go out and make sure that I don’t get concerned with making money or get concerned with my career and how that all unfolds. I don’t—I never look back to the past. I always look forward. So of course I’m anxious and I think that’s a good sign. If that wasn’t there then I think that I’d feel I wasn’t on the right path. Also, I’m a little bit of a late bloomer. I mean I came out to California in 1991. I traveled the world, I went to college. I was never a kid actor. I find that I’m just starting to kind of get an understanding of character—of what I personally can bring to a character rather than being so intense and so crazed about it. So, you know, I’m learning and discovering along the years. Now I am having more fun with it than I would have in the past.” More specifically, he says it means he’s learning “just to remain open to the spontaneous [nature] of the work and kind of allowing what’s going on in your personal life to affect what you’re gonna put up there with the character”.

In addition to acting in movies, David is looking forward to creating them. He tells us, “I have two films now in development. One loosely based on my father. I have been working on another script that a buddy of mine penned that I’m gonna start to go out with probably in the next month. I look forward to directing as well as producing. The writing stuff, I dabble in it a little bit but not that extensively”. For now though, he is focusing on acting. His method is probably somewhat familiar to Johnny Depp fans. Whereas Depp sometimes bases his characters on cultural icons, Boreanaz bases his characters on “classical actors from the fifties and sixties”. In this particular case, the character Seeley is based on a combination of Steve McQueen and Robert Mitchum. Boreanaz avers that this makes for a pretty macho character. With the combined talents of Hansen and Boreanaz though, the character promises to be just as multi-faceted as he is tough.

Be sure to catch “Bones” on Tuesday nights at 8 PM on FOX. It premieres on September 13th.


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Updated 1/14/09  

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