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Bones – David Boreanaz on his character’s future

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Bones - Emily Deschanel & David Boreanaz in hospital
Bones - Emily Deschanel & David Boreanaz in hospital

David Boreanaz was relatively new to acting when he landed a guest-starring role as the vampire with a conscience Angel on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which led to his own spin-off series Angel.

For the past four years he’s starred as Special Agent Seeley Booth, an FBI homicide investigator who, when standard methods of identifying a body are useless, works with Dr Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel), a highly skilled forensic anthropologist. 

With season four ending on the emotional cliffhanger of Booth being wheeled into an operating room to have a brain tumor removed, we talked with David Boreanaz about his character’s future.

So how’s Booth’s brain now?

Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in hospital ©2009 Fox
Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in hospital © Fox

It’s an interesting thing that is going to happen with him. What I really want to maintain with the arc with him, which we are threading in each episode, is to have the thought that he does have a memory of certain things but he is not adept at other things that he thought he was.

After the coma, I have to revisit things that Booth is very good at and I think that really allows the character to examine where he’s at, if he likes doing it and getting his grasp of that material back in his system.

So we will slowly see that development with his character through the episodes. We have a great part in this first episode with his socks, he doesn’t remember wearing these socks.

So there are little touching moments that I want to incorporate throughout the season that may be larger arcs or smaller arcs.

What’s your relationship like with Brennen now?

It makes me want to reinvest my time and energy into a relationship with her because I don’t remember certain things – we are back to ground zero again. We are probably even worse than ground zero.

Are the things that Booth doesn’t remember personal or do they spill over to the job?

David Boreanaz & Emily Deschanel with body ©2009 Fox
David Boreanaz & Emily Deschanel with body ©2009 Fox

They might spill on over to the job, which would be fun.

The subtext that I would ultimately like to bring is they organically come out and can make it more of an interesting connection between these two characters.

Whether it’s knowing how to interrogate someone, where he doesn’t do a certain thing and she’s looking at him going, “Well this is what you usually do and you’re suppose to do it,” and he’s just a tad slow on that.

Those are the little nuances that I think are really ripe to discover with this character.

Could you talk about the chemistry between you and Emily? Was it there from day one or did it grow as you worked together?

It definitely developed from the moment the two of us met. This is the best twosome in television I think as far as relationships of characters are concerned.

Bones  - David Boreanaz as Booth ©2009 Fox
Bones – David Boreanaz as Booth ©2009 Fox

When I walked into the room and we were testing, there were two other girls. There was this one girl who we all pretty much thought was the part, but when Emily and I worked the scene there was definitely some magic that happened in the room, and when you are fortunate enough to catch that lightning in a bottle, you don’t really have a sense of where it’s going to go or how it’s going to transform.

We continually work on each episode and each moment in each scene to develop that chemistry, and in order to develop that chemistry you have to trust the other person you’re working with. I think that chemistry has developed in the last four seasons in a very strong way.

Can you have good onscreen chemistry and not like the other actor?

Well it depends. I think you look at shows in the past that probably had great chemistry and they didn’t really have a great relationship.

I think that what we do for each other is being there, and if I’m having a bad day or if she’s having a bad day we can talk about it and get through it and use it in our work.

It works for us by helping motivate the scene and push the scene along, and it also helps us find out something new about each other, so we do respect those moments.

You didn’t go to Comic-Con this year, but the show did. How important are those fans to a series like this?

Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz ©2009 Fox
Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz ©2009 Fox

Having the Angel and Buffy days for me has given me a sense of having those fans follow me over to this show, which is great because they are great fans and great people.

So it adds a level of good publicity for the show and even gives insight to people who haven’t seen this type of show before.

I think each individual is different with how they approach it. I think Comic-Con represents a real strong sense of showing support to people who watch your show, and I think that’s a very important thing to do whether it’s a Comic-Con event any kind of event, to show the fans that we appreciate what they do by tuning in and watching our show, and that’s what I take from it.