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David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel keep their chemistry alive in 'Bones'

David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel
David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel

"Bones" is a darkly amusing procedural inspired by real-life forensic anthropologist and novelist Kathy Reichs. In the show's ninth season (which concludes on Fox on May 19, 2014), Dr. Temperance Brennan (played by Emily Deschanel) questioned the viability of her relationship with special agent Seeley Booth (played by David Boreanaz), after he broke off their engagement. Booth will be forced to win back her trust without revealing the reason for turning down her marriage proposal. (The couple eventually got married.) In the series, Brennan is a highly skilled forensic anthropologist who works at the Jeffersonian Institute in Washington, D.C., and writes novels on the side. When the standard methods of identifying a body are useless (i.e., the remains are so badly decomposed, burned or destroyed), law enforcement calls on Brennan for her uncanny ability to read clues left behind in the victim’s bones.

David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel
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While most people can’t handle Brennan’s intelligence, her drive for the truth or the way she flings herself headlong into every investigation, Booth is an exception. A member of the FBI’s Homicide Investigations Unit, and a former Army sniper, Booth mistrusts science and scientists who pore over the physical evidence of a crime. But even he cannot deny that the combination of his people-smarts and Brennan’s scientific acumen makes them a formidable duo, both professionally and personally. Here is what Boreanaz and Deschanel said in a recent telephone conference call with reporters about the Season 9 finale of "Bones."

David, can you talk about directing the “Bones” Season 9 finale? Emily, what can you say about being directed by David?

Boreanaz:Well, it’s always a challenge to take on something like the season finale. You get to the end of the season and then everybody’s a little tired and worn out and the patience is thin, and with this specific season finale being that there was so much information that we kind of had to gather up and put out there in one 45-minute hit, it made it difficult and challenging. There were lots of elements that were involved, whether it was dealing with the big, huge hearing in front of Congress or the intense battle between other forces that could come in and jeopardize Bones and Booth’s relationship as well as the outcome of where they’re heading into as far as season ten is concerned. So you take all that into account and it definitely is a journey and something that, by the end of it, you’re pretty exhausted.

Deschanel: I love being directed by David, and I’m not just saying that. I say it to everybody who’s not on our set. I think David is just really talented as a director as well as an actor. He has a whole other career, if he wants it, when this thing’s over, if he wants to do that he could make a whole career out of it.

He’s great technically, he’s good with the actors, he’d decisive, he knows what he wants, he knows what he doesn’t want, he comes in and, like, I’m always just amazed at how he’s dealing with all these incredible elements and he makes it seem so easy. Yes, there are huge scenes. Like you said, the congressional subcommittee, there’s a lot that goes on in this episode, without giving too much away, but there’s a lot of elements and he does it all with ease, and I love working with him.

So it was a pleasure, once again, to work with him as an actor, with him as a director and I think that the season finale working on it, it was a great experience. There’s a big cliffhanger. There’s a lot going on for Booth and for Brennan. And so, I think everyone will be pleased. I haven’t seen the episode yet, but everyone who’s seen it has been raving about it, so I’m really excited to see it myself.

David and Emily, have you ever thought of writing for “Bones”?

Boreanaz: You know, that’s a whole different ballgame. I think when Emily and I, when we started the show and we kind of worked really hard with an acting coach that was, we’re really proud of working with for about six seasons, I think. We do a lot of reworking of some dialog and brought some ideas to the table that kind of were helpful as far as moving the storylines were concerned or building these two characters that we’ve been living in their shoes for nine seasons now.

As far as, like, sitting down and writing them, I’m pretty good with ideas, but I’d have to really work on that one because I think Emily can attest that my vocabulary’s a little limited. I talk a lot in metaphors and I think I get my words out but sometimes they don’t make sense.

Deschanel: I always understand what you mean, though, David.

Boreanaz: Thank you. Thank you, Emily.

Deschanel: That’s the point, anyways. As for me, I live with a television writer. I know how hard it is. You have to make up a whole story out of thin air, not to mention all the technical stuff. I would be much more inclined to direct before I would try to write an episode. It’s a very specific voice, our show.

I might be able to write a couple lines back and forth of banter, the characters, having done this for a long time, but writing a story, a whole episode … I’m not going to name some shows, but there’s medical shows on the air, and they don’t have to write, they don’t have to know anything about the medical stuff.

Our writers do all of their research. I mean, they have people to help them, so they do all their research, they have to write all the dialogue regarding the scientific stuff and each time you have to solve the crime in a different way. And if you notice, pretty much every episode I identify the body in a different way in terms of the sex, the race, the age.

They are trying to make it interesting and kill people in different ways and discover that in different ways through just bones. We’ve reach 200 episodes next year. That’s insane. So the short answer is no, I’m not interested in writing that stuff.
The Season 9 finale of “Bones” is supposed to be really explosive. Can you talk about how that will affect Bones and Booth’s relationship?

Boreanaz: Go ahead, Em.

Deschanel: Yes, there’s a huge thing that happens at the end of this episode that we’re not going to tell you about right now, but it changes everything. For a while, with not only Booth and Brennan, between them, but also between kind of everything, Booth’s job, possibly Brennan’s job — everything. So I can’t tell you exactly how it changes things, but it will change the dynamic and kind of everything about them and their work and relationships.

Boreanaz: Yes, I think it puts them in a different place for sure. I mean, we kind of know that going into a new season and what we’re going to do with these characters, but I think it’s interesting to see the end of this run, especially season nine in this specific finale, that there is a lot of destructive forces that could kind of come upon us.

And we find out that there’s more to it than what meets the eye and they’ve been kind of working kind of underground for a while, whether that’s through conspiracy theories or just stuff that they’ve been hiding in the FBI or through the Jeffersonian, but it all kind of comes to a head and it’s pretty detrimental at the end. You know, things will change for the good and there will be things that they’ll have to adjust to. I keep saying “adjusting,” because it’s definitely going to be different.

And can you talk a little bit about working with Freddie Prinze Jr. this season?

Boreanaz: He’s great. Freddie was great. It’s always tough and difficult for guest stars to come in on an arc and on an already existing show because everyone knows each other. And I’m sure it’s always like, kind of like, “Oh, I’m going to go do this arc,” but he is so grounded and professional and he’s a true pro.

He just comes in and he knocks it out in a way that’s very honest and a lot of fun as well. So he kind of fit right in and I hope to have him back this season for Season 10. I really enjoyed working with him and he’s just a great person as well.

What about Aldo and the gang?

Deschanel: Yes. Where is Aldo? What happened to Aldo?

Boreanaz: Aldo, isn’t he saying Mass or something?

There’s a new squintern coming to play. How do Booth and Brennan react to her?

Boreanaz: Well, when it comes to the squints, I rely on my main Bones, my main girl. She evaluates all the squints. I just love having some fun and making sure they have all the info in order to solve the crime.

Deschanel: Yes, well, Brennan thinks that the new squintern is very good at her job except she does not care for the way she guesses about things and makes assumptions. And Brennan is by-the-book and doesn’t appreciate that. Laura Spencer plays the new intern. Now I can’t remember the character’s name, but what is that? Hopefully it’ll come to me.

So she’s kind of an intuitive person. Even though she’s very smart, her intuition probably comes from experience, but she throws things out and you know, in the episode coming up she’s like, “I’m just getting a vibe that this is an athlete,” and then we find evidence that he was an athlete.

She really rubs Sweets the wrong way, but then that attention might turn to in a romantic way, she certainly kind of has her, has some interest in Sweets. So that’s kind of an interesting development. And you know, Brennan respects her but likes to keep her in line because she goes off on tangents a bit and is a little too intuitive for Brennan.

What can you say about the case they’ll actually be investigating in the Season 9 finale?

Boreanaz: ["Bones executive producers] Stephen [Nathan] and Hart [Hanson] and all the writers have a way of bringing in these bodies that are somewhat different and just kind of blows my mind away when I really kind of look at it, and I arrive on a crime scene and see how they do such a great job.

So as far as the case is concerned, I know they’ll be investigating one. I know that that’s definitely going to be investigated as well as solving what happened to this particular body that we found, which is pretty grotesque.

Deschanel: I’ll just add that this is kind of an unusual investigation because the dead body has something to do with the whole story. There was a connection between Wesley Foster, who’s the dead person. Booth gets a phone gets a phone call from him, kind of a mysterious phone call from someone he doesn’t know who says he wants to talk to him about the McNamara’s who were the people related to the ghost killer case, if people remember from a couple episodes back. In fact, Stephanie McNamara was the ghost killer, so there’s a whole connection, but this has to do with a broader part of the McNamara’s.

So Booth gets a call from this guy who’s a conspiracy blogger and the next thing we know this guy is burned to death in his trailer. So very suspicious circumstances and it leads us to think that there might be people involved with this at the FBI. It leads to lots of things and is connected to the whole story of the episode.

Boreanaz: Emily does such an amazing job. You know, it’s tough enough that she has such grounded language that she has to learn, first of all, just how thankful I’m a cop who just has to say some sarcastic things, but her dialogue is so rich and thick and heavy as far as the technical aspect of it is. She’s describing a body. It just blows my mind away.

And on top of that, this last episode is very emotional. It had some really great arcs in it that, her character is just extremely amazing to watch, and there were some days that were kind of rough because we were going through. In one day, she’s very emotional in her character and she not only kept it together but she elevated her game. You know, I’m just so proud of her for that because it was a hard, hard shoot to do and it took a toll on everybody.

Deschanel: Thanks, David. So sweet. David has some amazing stuff in this episode. He is awesome in it, too. I have not seen the final product, but I can’t wait to see it. Thanks, David. See, he’s a great director, he gives compliments.

Boreanaz: You know what, I’ve been vegan for three days. I’ve been drinking juices.

Deschanel: Nice.

Boreanaz: Yes, I feel so good. I just had this love juice. It’s amazing.

Deschanel: See how good you feel?

How has the chemistry remained intact with you two?

Boreanaz: You’ve seen us the good days. You’ve seen just the good days. There are bad days. What’s unique in this situation, seriously from day one, honestly, is I’m blessed to have a co-star that can be open and honest and just tell me, like, “You’re bothering me today” or “I have an issue.”

We have complete trust and respect for each other that we can just go aside and say, “You know what? I’m having a bad day. Just know where I’m coming from, Emily.” And we both support that in each other.

Shooting a television show is hard enough and it takes a lot of time and it takes away from your personal life, your family life. Thank God I was blessed with a co-star who is so generous and supportive and yet also we have a bad day.

We recognize it and we go on. We don’t hold onto it, we don’t judge and we just go forward. And I think that kind of helps our chemistry. We use it. We use what we’re going through in our scenes and we’ve learned early on that that helps our chemistry.

If anything, it helps our chemistry and it helps us grow with the characters rather than being so stagnant and say, “Hey, we’re in season nine, so let’s just kick back” and do nothing about it and take it for granted. You can’t.

You have to be able to push every moment and every scene. It’s so important. Yeah, we have those moments, but you know, I think that’s what helps us.

Deschanel: I totally agree with everything David said. We have open communication, which is something we started from the beginning, like he said. We just tell each other if we’re in a mood or the other one’s annoying either of us or something.

And you know, we accept that we’re not we’re not perfect but I think one thing, too, is that we both know how important this relationship is both on screen and off and how important it is for us to get along together both onscreen and off and how we both have a commitment to the show. Like David said, it’s not like you’re like, “Oh, it’s Season 9,” and we’re resting on our laurels. We’re working hard.

Like David said, for six seasons we would meet every weekend and work on stuff together. Now we do stuff on our own. Our families have expanded, and lives have changed, but we have that foundation and we’re really committed to making this show as good as it can be.

And part of that is getting along on screen and off, like I said. David’s a really fun guy to work with. He’s not like a dark person. He can play that, he can do serious stuff and deep stuff, but we both believe in having a good time.

We’re not doing brain surgery here, we’re not curing cancer. We’re entertaining people and we absolutely can have fun while we’re doing that and have fun together with everybody else on our crew and cast. I’m really lucky that David is such a fun person to work with and a great guy.

Boreanaz: So nice. I got the wiring account number. Thank you so much.

Can you talk about the transformation of playing partners to them ultimately having a relationship and kissing on screen and having a family?

Boreanaz: Well it’s development of the character, obviously. The crux of it was these two characters that, who had to work together and there was a sexual tension, there was a conflict and we played that and we continue to play that. In our subtext when we’re working together, even though the two characters are married, and they have a kid.

So that’s part of your job to do that, and if you can’t excite the writers, then what’s the purpose? You have to continuously do that. So for us it’s always been about the relationship of the characters, going back to that and exploring that and making that fun for the audience.

With “Bones” having been on for a long time now it offers kind of opportunities for developing characters a great deal over that time. What and how have you enjoyed seeing Bones and Booth develop over that time?

Boreanaz: I’ve enjoyed it. I continue to enjoy it. It’s not something to me that is, that I put a period on yet. It’s growth with inside the themes and the moments and where you can take them because at the end of this season when we were shooting, there were moments that were pretty intense that reminded Booth of that inner child and how much he still wants to play with this other character. And for me, that’s really what it’s about.

So you watch him, you partake in these nine seasons and you just make it fresh. And when we started Season 1, Scene 1, everyone’s like, “Oh, you’re going to get to [Seasons] 2 and 3 and 4.” I think Emily knows this about me — go back in the past. I focused on the work tomorrow and whether it’s Season 6 or Season 7, I’m gracious to get to 10 seasons. To me, it’s the same scene, the same shot that we did when we first shot the first scene of the pilot.

Deschanel: Yes, I think that if we had not changed as a couple and as characters, the show wouldn’t be as interesting. I’m so glad that we’ve evolved over time and our relationships have evolved over time, and it’s not just Booth and Brennan, but Angela and Hodgins and Cam and Sweets, etc. So I think that thank god we’ve been changing this whole time and it hasn’t remained stagnant and it’s different. We keep moving forward, like David said, and it keeps it interesting.

Where would you like to see them go in the future?

Boreanaz: You know, I think the future, like I said, is destined only for tomorrow’s work and today’s thoughts, so I can’t say what’s going to happen to them because I don’t look that far down. When I look at the first episode of Season 10, then I’ll focus on that and then where I am with the character.

I’m sure that [“Bones” executive producers] Hart [Hanson] and Stephen [Nathan] know how this show is going to end. But you know, it’s the same thing what happened with “Will they know they were going to get married and have a child?”

You know, circumstances happen in real people’s lives. Emily got pregnant and it organically happened, and it happened and it felt right for the show. It wasn’t pushed, it wasn’t pressed, and I think that we believe in that, at least I do, and I think that’s what it’s all about for me.

Deschanel: David definitely likes to live in the moment and he doesn’t he doesn’t live in the past, he doesn’t live in the future. I worry probably too much about the past and future, but I don’t know. I really leave that to the writers to decide and then where we’re going. But you always have thoughts and stuff once we see what they’re thinking. I kind of love being surprised, so I leave it to the writers to decide where we’re going in that way.

For more info: "Bones" website

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