T (traciebee) wrote in 206_bones,
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206_bones

On the Set of Bones with Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz

This article is from August 29, 2006, but I checked back and didn't see it posted anywhere here. Anywho, it's a pretty  long article from IGN.com, but really cute. Lots of nice interaction between ED & DD. I don't think there's much in the way of spoilers in it since we're quite a ways in to season 2, but for people overseas, you might want to proceed with caution. :)

August 29, 2006 - On this August day in Century City, CA, murder is in the air on the 20th Century Fox lot. Or at least it is in the large soundstage where the FOX series Bones is currently filming its second season, as once more forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and FBI Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) work together to solve crimes. As I am first brought on to the set, I listen in as new cast member Tamara Taylor (you might know her as Walt's mother on Lost) films a scene in which her character Cam speaks to Booth and Zack (Eric Millegan), which takes place in a new addition to the set this year, the autopsy room.

With that scene wrapping up, I'm given a tour of the show's main set, the Jeffersonian Institute, where Brennan, Cam and Brennan's team of "Squints" (Millegan's Zack, T.J. Thyne's Hodgins and Michaela Conlin's Angela) work. This is an extremely impressive set, built in a realistic fashion so that each of the various labs and offices you see on the show actually do connect to each other as they would in a real building. It's a huge grouping of rooms that all together takes up just about the entire soundstage.

At the center is the Platform, where much of the main computer analysis and group discussions take place on the series, and which is notable for how much wide open space there is on and around it. Surrounding this central part of the set are a series of catwalks, where extras dressed as Jeffersonian Institute scientists and security guards can be spotted walking and talking as the main characters talk or argue, depending on the situation.

Off to the side is the room containing the Angelator, where Angela shows off her amazing holographic reconstructions of what someone looked like, based on their skull. Sorry folks, the Angelator doesn't actually work, hence the actors have to react to some lights while shooting these sequences, and the images the characters see are added in later. The Angelator is located right next to Angela's office, which is appropriately warm and artistic, befitting the character. In Angela's office is an entire wall of plastic drawers, and I notice the hazy image of bones can be seen through each. I open a couple of random drawers and am amused to see that indeed, every single drawer has a prop of a bone inside it.

Brennan's office is darker and a bit more ominous than Angela's, but is equally detailed and filled with lots of little knick knacks and props, along with some skulls on display, not to mention an entire mummified body. Also of interest is the lab and autopsy room sets, which have all sorts of interesting looking vials and bottles lining the shelves, filled with different colored liquids that evoke a mad scientist movie. And over in a section of the Jeffersonian set designated as the "Ookey Room" is a bathtub filled with… Well, let's just say it's a leftover bit of blood and gore and it isn't pretty, and figures prominently in this episode, titled "The Truth in the Lye," which will be the fifth episode of season 2. Leaning over the tub, glancing at his lines for a scene filming later that day is TJ Thyne, and I have a quick chat with the friendly actor before returning to the center of the soundstage to watch Boreanaz and Deschanel film a scene on the Platform together. [Check back to IGN TV soon for a separate interview I did with TJ Thyne and his fellow "Squints" Michaela Conlin and Eric Millegan, a few days after this set visit - which can be found here.]

In the scene, a conversation between Booth and Brennan about a current case and the bone condition the victim had is also veering into personal territory, as Brennan brings up a bit of Booth's social life and makes a few deductive leaps that he's not too happy with. In between takes Deschanel and Boreanaz are laid back and casually conversing, as she talks about her sister Zooey's recent casting as Janis Joplin in an upcoming film, and Boreanaz mentions his dinner plans with his parents that weekend. But as soon as action is called, the actors are instantly back in the moment as Brennan and Booth, in a scene that, par for the course on Bones, requires both of them to say some tongue twisting stuff that most of us would be hard pressed to get through once, much less take after take. In this case, I am extremely impressed by both actors stating the term "anthropological inevitability," in an offhand manner that I find nearly impossible to replicate. And yes, I tried.

At one point, in between takes, one of the makeup effects crew brings over a fascinatingly grotesque Bones prop, which appears to be the scalp of a man's head, hair and flesh included, which is shown to the director and producers for approval. The sight of someone nonchalantly carrying around the bloody top of someone's head on a plate is apparently not so unusual for this crew, given the macabre nature of many of the crimes Brennan and Booth investigate. This season in fact will see the addition of more bodies, in addition to the ever-present skeletons, as Taylor's character will be performing autopsies on a semi-regular basis (hence, the autopsy room), and I'm told the makeup and effects guys are having a lot of fun making intricate and realistic bodies... Or body parts, as the case may be.

During a break as the crew changes camera setups, I'm given the opportunity to sit down and speak to Boreanaz and Deschanel in Angela's office set, to discuss Bones season 2. The actors quickly proved to have a friendly banter that helped to make this a very fun conversation, as we chatted about what was in store for their characters. Oh, and I should note that Boreanaz wasn't being shy or non-responsive for the first few questions, but simply joined us a couple of minutes in.


IGN TV: How's it going so far second season?

Emily Deschanel: It's going well. You know, it's a great opportunity to do a show for as long as we have. Even though it's somewhat short when you look at shows that go on forever, in this day and age things are getting cancelled left and right. So it's a great opportunity, because you just can grow and grow if you take that and try to build on what you already have and you challenge yourself and challenge each other.

It's nice -- I feel I know the character well now, and I can be relaxed about that. I'm constantly trying to refine that, but I have a basis with which I can build on, as opposed to the beginning, [where] it was like you're trying to figure things out all the time. How would this character react at this point? How would this character behave? How would they think? And so it feels really nice to come into something at the beginning of a season already knowing a lot about your character and how the show works and I think the writers feel that way.

You know, the new writers that have come in, they have a whole season to look at, to give them an idea how things work on the show and the ones that have been here have a year of experience working and writing for these characters, and it's exciting. We have a new character, Tamara Taylor plays this new character, and it's a great new addition. It really adds some interesting dynamics.

IGN TV: The end of last season your character found out a lot about her parents. Where's she at this season?

Deschanel: Well we find out some more about her family situation, but it's going to be ongoing throughout the season. We're going to discover more and more. It will be addressed in the beginning, in the first episode, but it won't be resolved.

IGN TV: Do you think we'll see more of your brother? Because that was an interesting dynamic for Brennan.

Deschanel: Yeah, yeah. He hasn't come in yet, but he will.

IGN TV: People really enjoy the chemistry the two of you have, and there's always the question of, "Will they or won't they?" Some fans would love to see Brennan and Booth just finally kiss or get together, while others think it's best to wait. What do you think?

Deschanel: To me, I don't think anything should happen. I feel like it's just so much more interesting to watch how somebody leads up to something than watching after it's already happened, you know? But we can play with it. We're always trying to push it to the edge before it gets to that point I guess.

Boreanaz: Yeah, and who's to say we're not doing it already in our minds? So that's the interesting part I think for both these characters, that maybe they travel there in their fantasy world, and are so tempted to act on it, but always know that their respect for each others professions may stop them from that. And who knows what kind of positions the writers will put them in? [Boreanaz pauses] Not "positions."

[Deschanel and I laugh as we realize Boreanaz's inference]

IGN TV: That would be a cable show.

Boreanaz: I know. But just like situations, you know? Like if we have to shack up at a hotel one night, because it's the only place to stay. There's only one room. They could always do that whole, It Happened One Night thing. I mean, I think that that's fun to watch, and it's fun to watch the flirtatiousness between two potential love interests. It's better than the actual event sometimes, you know? Because then, once it's all done, there might be consequences or there... You never know.

Deschanel: Yeah, I can't imagine Brennan and Booth as a married couple.

Boreanaz: That's kind of weird.

Deschanel: Except for the fact that they already behave as a married couple as it is.

Boreanaz: So they basically are married. It would just be kind of like a Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell relationship. They wouldn't get married. They're just together for 25 years.

Deschanel: Yeah, I don't think Brennan is interested in the institution of marriage.

Boreanaz: No. She would have some scientific explanation for it.

Deschanel: On why it's not a good idea to do it.

Boreanaz: She'd have a lot of stats. She's got tons of stats. She's a filter.

IGN TV: In the scene you're filming right now you guys seem to be having an interesting argument about some stuff going on in Booth's personal life. Are either of your characters involved with someone as the season begins?

Boreanaz: Yeah, it kind of focuses a little bit on this woman in my life… Two [women] actually. But one in particular, the mother of my child, who comes back… It gets complicated.

Deschanel: He has several different possibilities.

Boreanaz: Seven!? You have…

Deschanel: Several! Several.

Boreanaz: Oh, several!

IGN TV: [laughs] Seven would be a lot.

Boreanaz: I know. Oh my god.

Deschanel: A couple different at once though. Where for me, I have one or two [potential love interests] a year.

Boreanaz: Ah, interesting. The guy you were making out with across the table at the Italian restaurant. The two of you were macking each other like…

Deschanel: He makes fun of me all the time.

Boreanaz: Well, I mean it was like a snail on a wall!

Deschanel: Oh my god!

Boreanaz: Like peeling paint the way you guys were going at it! [Brennan] even says, "I have several people that I can connect with." We haven't met them yet, so who knows who it could be?

Deschanel: No, I could probably call the guy I went on blind dates with online.

Boreanaz: That guy, and there's others I'm sure. What was that other guy? The freaky guy?

Deschanel: No, that's over. My professor. [In the episode, "The Girl in the Fridge"]

Boreanaz: Your professor. Yeah, exactly!

Deschanel: I'm not going to make that mistake again.

Boreanaz: She's sleeping with her professor! She's telling me that I'm messed up.

IGN TV: You had a couple of scenes last year where your characters got to loosen up a bit, like that scene where you sang the Foreigner song…

Deschanel: Oh yeah. That was fun.

IGN TV: Will we see a bit more of that sort of stuff this season?

Boreanaz: Yeah, sure. I think that this season will be exciting.

Deschanel: I think we should go do karaoke.

Boreanaz: That would be nice. Drunk, karaoke singing. Or you know, strip poker.

Deschanel: [Shakes head and smiles] Strip poker…

Boreanaz: That would be pretty funny. Zack and Hodgins… Angela. I think the guard's down for this season. I think that what you'll see is a complete turn around for the show and for the characters and the growth. I mean when you look at them [compared] to where they were last year and say, "Wow, it feels like we shot that like ten years ago." It feels a long time ago, but yet we're still connected and that's a good place.

Deschanel: We always talk about how our characters grow from knowing each other. We change because of the other person's involvement in our lives. So you'll see Brennan really blossom and really grow. He's put her into so many different situations already in the first season that she'd never been in before, and she's grown from that and she's learning from that. And she's changed and so has he, so we're just continuing to do that. And I think we all are always trying to push the envelope and go as far as we can with things.

Boreanaz: It's a strong give and take. I think that it's just that type of relationship that is the chemistry of… You can't really create it and you're hopeful that you're with somebody that you can work on that with. And that's being blessed to have someone that you can, and create those moments that we create and go further with them [in a way] that other people watching don't know. Only we know, because we have that bond that creates chemistry.

IGN TV: Obviously a lot of the subject matter is pretty dark on the show. Do you try to keep a light mood on set when you're shooting that stuff?

Boreanaz: Pretty constantly. I mean we are always having fun and dancing and imitating people's quotes from films or whatever. I think that spur of the moment stuff really works for the two of us and for all of us; all the cast members. So we can be rambunctious and I guess it depends on the day.

Deschanel: We had an intervention once, because we were singing. [To Boreanaz] Were you in that scene even? Were you singing?

Boreanaz:: I don't think I was in that scene.

Deschanel: Oh my gosh… I think it was all the Squints. We were singing Annie. Tunes from Annie. [First Assistant Director Maggie Parker] had to take us aside and sit us down and have an intervention. She's like, "I love it when you sing. We love it. It's just I think some people don't…"

Boreanaz: I was not involved in the singing. I just want it put down. I was somewhere else!

Deschanel: For the record.

IGN TV: You did the karaoke on Angel, they could work that into this…

Boreanaz: Yeah, I did. Which was interesting…

Deschanel: Oh my god, I want to see that! What did he do? What did he sing?

IGN TV: "Mandy"...

Boreanaz: I sang "Mandy."

Deschanel: Oh, no way!

IGN TV: And the best one I think was Wang Chung.

Boreanaz: Yep.

Deschanel: Which one?

IGN TV: Wang Chung. "Everybody Wang Chung Tonight."

Boreanaz: "Everybody Have Fun Tonight."

Deschanel: Wang Chung…

IGN TV: You'd know it if you heard it. An 80's song…

Boreanaz: It's a Karaoke Moments… The Best Of.

IGN TV: Most of the scripts for Bones are murder mysteries. As you're reading them are you trying to figure it out yourself?

Deschanel: Oh, sure!

IGN TV: Are you right a lot of the time?

Deschanel: No, and it's funny, because usually when I watch television I can figure it out, what's happened. And in certain films you can figure out the twists that are going to happen. But with this show, most of the time I'm surprised by things. I mean you always entertain… There's only so many suspects to guess, so you entertain almost all of them, but my vote is usually on the wrong person. And they have some good twists on the show. I think the writers do a good job.

Boreanaz: Yeah. They favor a lot of those twists, but I like to focus on our relationships and our characters and our stuff and keep it real in the sense of how I'm gonna push her buttons. The crime is great for the through-line, but I'm more concerned about her and the characters and how we can push each other to create more fun stuff to do. Because I think that's more interesting than procedural stuff. Some people enjoy the procedural stuff, which I think our show has a really fine line of balancing that, which is great. [Series Creator Hart Hanson] does a great job at that, and all the writers that are involved with it. So I'm just really excited about this season. I'm excited about the level of commitment and understanding with all the characters and I think it's going to be a nice breakout season for us.

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Tags: actors: david boreanaz, actors: emily deschanel, bones: articles, bones: interviews
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