Emily Deschanel has played Temperance “Bones” Brennan for eight seasons now. Bones recently got renewed for a ninth season, so she’s obviously doing a great job. Along the way she’s also guest starred in movies such as Glory Road, My Sister’s Keeper, and The Perfect Family. She also had a baby, which was somewhat controversially written into the show. I, personally, don’t think it changed the tone that much. We all knew Bones & Booth (David Boreanaz) would get together eventually. But will last week’s “The Shot in the Dark” episode change the way we see Brennan? She was shot while working in the lab and we were given a glimpse into why she is so “Bones.” Read on for her take and what we can expect for the rest of season eight!
TheTwoCents: Can you talk about how “Bones” will change over the season after last week’s episode?
Emily Deschanel: Yes. I think that after watching the episode, I think that viewers will have a better idea of why Brennan behaves in the way that she does, is kind of hyper rational and has cut off her emotions in many ways, even though she’s over the last few years opened up after knowing Booth. As the season goes on it’s kind of a subtle change. It’s not like it’s dealt with when people are discussing it or something right afterwards, but I think it will be addressed in later episodes this season. It is a more subtle change. I think that Brennan feels like the way she’s behaved as–it’s shined a light on her behavior and maybe encourages her to change a bit.
TTC: Do you ever get grossed out by any of the bodies and everything on the show?
ED: Yes. I mean not as much as I should at this point. I’ve become a bit desensitized honestly, but yes, I do get grossed out for sure by things. I’m trying to think of the last one– I mean the one we’re working on right now is a burnt one, which is gross, but it’s not icky, gooey or something, but once you start thinking about how someone dies by being burned; that’s kind of horrible. So, you don’t let yourself think about it too much. I guess that’s why Brennan behaves the way she does in some ways. Yes, I do get grossed out, but the ones that mostly have really affected me were earlier on in the series, and I think I really have become desensitized, which I don’t think is necessarily a good thing, but it happens. I, for research on the show, have gone to the coroner’s office and that was much more disturbing to me than what we do on our show because I know it’s fake, and it doesn’t stink like it does there, but yes, it can be definitely disgusting.
TTC: You’ve been playing Brennan for eight seasons, so what kind of difference is it to have this insight with these things with her mother, after all these years, because in the past you’ve only gotten little bits and pieces of what that relationship was like?
ED: It’s an interesting thing to do a series for this long and to play a character that things are revealed at eight years in. I felt like it was in line with things that I had in mind, and it didn’t contradict anything that I had kind of imagined for her past, just for myself. When playing the character, I like to build a past for the character and kind of decide why she behaves the way she does, what her experiences are and things that can remind her of things from her childhood, etc. etc. This doesn’t contradict anything, but it’s certainly new information to me, and I really enjoyed doing the episode because it shed light on Brennan and her past. I also really enjoyed having the interaction with her mother. You know, what other kind of episode can you have interaction with somebody who is dead, and that’s always been kind of a huge missing piece for Brennan; was her mother being gone and being able to talk to her mother about how she disappeared before she died and all of that. Brooke Langton, who played my mother in this episode, did such a great job, and I really enjoyed working with her. She’s just very inventive as an actor, very giving, and it was a really good experience working together. It felt right to have her play my mother, and I really enjoyed that.
TTC: Can you talk about how being a mother has already changed Brennan, and does you being a mother affect any of that?
ED: If I wasn’t a mother, and I was playing a character as a mother, and I’ve done that before I was a mother, you use your imagination, but it’s certainly an easier thing to do–you know, of course, Brennan is a different mother than I am, but you have that kind of biological response. You know with some of the things that you go through are like and even the hormonal changes. The minute you become a parent, I think that you’re always going to wonder if you’re doing something wrong, and I certainly experience that on a daily basis. It’s a big challenge I think–I just personally think that it’s probably a bad thing for a parent to do, because you don’t want your child picking up on that, but you can’t help wondering if you’re doing anything wrong. You have to trust your instincts and do what feels right for you. Brennan, obviously, yes, is going through that in the beginning of this episode. Booth and Brennan have a fight. Brennan believes that Booth is criticizing her parenting style, and runs out and ends up in the lab again at night to go finish working on this case, and that’s when she gets shot. Hopefully, I’m not revealing too much because this happens in the beginning. Basically, yes, it’s quite fitting, of course, that Brennan is dealing with her own issue of being a mother herself and, at the core of that, is missing her own mother. I think that’s also something that–you know when you’ve lost a parent, you just want to be able to call them up on the phone and say, how do I cook that thing you used to make for me, how do I do this, what did you do with me when I was a child, how am I supposed to do this as a parent and just life skills? Especially, when you have a child yourself, you go back and think about how you were parented, how you were mothered, what your parents did for you, and you just want to be able to call them and ask them. I think that’s a huge thing that Brennan is not talking about, but it’s got to bring up so much for her when she’s giving birth and she’s lost her mother and just trying to figure out how to be a good parent, how to be a good mother and not having that resource of her mother. It also brings back so many memories and makes her miss her mother. So, it’s quite fitting that this issue that she’s dealing with, in a way, causes her to see her mother again and hopefully helps ease those pains that she’s dealing with because doesn’t have her mother around.
TTC: Intimacy can be the kiss of death and has been in so many shows. But it hasn’t been in this case. Is it because we have other relationships to watch or is it even that logical?
ED: It’s impossible to give the complete answer, but I think maybe one part is the fact that–I think Hart Hanson would say, because we’ve discussed this. I think that Hart Hanson created this show and is the show owner, and I think that one part is that we didn’t spend–there was no courtship, and I think courtship can be kind of boring to watch sometimes for people. I think our dynamic shifted, but there’s still that core relationship that’s the same. Now, we’re trying to figure out how to raise a child together and balance that with work. We still kind of bicker over different things now, but we still have a similar relationship. We didn’t have that kind of courtship. We went from 0 to 60, essentially. We went from two people who had sexual tension, but it’s questionable whether they’ve acted on that. We’ve seen a couple kisses, but beyond that, nothing has really happened. They’ve come to kind of care for each other deeply, but both are stubborn and nothing happens and then something does happen, but they become parents immediately. So they went from no relationship whatsoever besides platonic, except for their feelings, to a family essentially, living together, raising a child together and working together. I think that might have something to do with the fact that it hasn’t effected our ratings or this show in too many ways, I think that it actually helped, and I have my own pregnancy to thank for that. Maybe I’m just trying to think positively for getting pregnant. For a while, I thought I was going to ruin the show because I got pregnant. They didn’t think they could hide it. They didn’t want to hire anybody else to come in and all this stuff. I felt bad that I was affecting the show in a negative way, and now I will say that I affected the show in a positive way.
TTC: I can’t think of many siblings over the years that have starred in hit shows at the same time on prime time TV on the same network and certainly, not playing characters as diametrically different as you and Zooey (New Girl). Thoughts?
ED: It’s so hard for me from the inside to kind of analyze, but the way we think is completely different. We’re very different in many ways. There are also similarities having grown up in the same household and having similarities for that reason. I don’t know, we have lots of things in common, but we kind of view the world in different ways and have different ways of doing things. … we end up doing things in a way, but yes, we have lots of things in common as well. We’re different, but the same; is that a good answer?
I’ll take it! Don’t miss an all new episode of Bones tonight at 8PM ET on FOX!! And please comment below.
Anne – Assistant TO the Editor-in-Chief