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Q&A Interview with Emily Deschanel & EP Stephen Nathan About Second Half of BONES Season 10

Mike Vicic - March 17, 2015






Yesterday afternoon, TV Tango participated in a conference call with BONES star Emily Deschanel and Executive Producer Stephen Nathan, who dished about the second half of Season 10, revealed details about Brennan's pregnancy, unveiled news about a new big bad and the continuing effect of Pelant, and gushed about upcoming guest star Cyndi Lauper





BONES returns for its Season 10 Spring premiere, "The Psychic in the Soup," on Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 8pm ET/PT on FOX. The Jeffersonian team, with the help of Angela's psychic friend, Avalon Harmonia (guest star Cyndi Lauper), is drawn into the twisted world of fortune tellers when the body of a local psychic is found decomposing in the trunk of a tree. However, when the team learns more about the victim's personal life, those closest to her become suspects. Meanwhile, Booth and Brennan debate the pros and cons of Christine's new imaginary friend and the team remembers Sweets on his birthday.


Then, one week later, on Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 8pm ET/PT, FOX will premiere "The Teacher in the Books" episode of BONES. In this new episode, when an affluent school teacher is found dead in an abandoned bookstore, the teachers and students at her school become suspects in the case. Meanwhile, Brennan's publisher encourages her to join Twitter to help grow her fan base, and squintern Jessica Warren (guest star Laura Spencer) teaches Brennan some tricks to master the Twitter-verse, skills Brennan enthusiastically puts to use. FOX will premiere the Season 10 finale of BONES on Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 8pm ET/PT.

Brennan and Booth in

"The Teacher in the Books"

Question: How will Brennan's pregancy will be different this time?

Emily Deschanel: Stephen, do you want to talk about that?

Stephen Nathan: I'll talk briefly, and since you're doing -- literally -- all of the heavy carrying, I'll pass it back to you. [laughing]

Really, the pregnancy is just going to have a little more impact on them this season. Brennan now realizes what it is to have a child, having the family expand and grow. And now she knows the tremendous risk that she and Booth's job have in terms of how it affects their family. She's going to have to deal with that, something she was a bit oblivious to before, because she didn't have the experience. There are emotional considerations that surprise Brennan and will affect the pregnancy for the rest of the season.

Emily Deschanel: You'll see Brennan going through a whole thing. She doesn't really, kind of, accept her pregnancy for a period of time. Having a second pregnancy is different than having a first pregnancy -- each one is different. Brennan is experiencing that, and, like Stephen said, she realizes what it means when you're working in their kind of world, putting yourself in danger. She's out in the field a little bit more this time. You'll see there are a lot of emotional things that happen for Brennan, because of this pregnancy.

It's different for me, Emily, too, the second time around. It's interesting. [laughing] Probably my naivete was helpful last time -- for Emily as well as Brennan.

Stephen Nathan: I have three kids so I know the second one is not double; it's usually quadruple or ten times the amount of children.

Emily Deschanel: I thought it was smooth sailing; no one told me.

Stephen Nathan: It's smooth sailing when they're all out of the house.

But, really, Brennan's pregnancy will have a tremendous impact on the series, certainly giving us a season finale that is deeply affected by it.

Brennan and Booth in

"The Psychic in the Soup"

Question: Can we expect complications with the pregnancy or a multiple baby pregnancy? What will we see this time we didn't see last time?

Emily Deschanel: There's not anything so big medically that's a huge problem or something; it's more the emotional repercussions and the realization of Brennan having another child. Of course coupled with Booth's relapse into gambling, that makes things complicated. At the same time, it seems like Brennan's a little more delicate this pregnancy, but there's nothing major like being on bed rest necessarily or that she's having many babies -- that we know of yet. I haven't read the last episode yet...

Stephen Nathan: The baby -- possible babies -- will not appear this year. I know everyone kind of expects it, but we've had a lot of births on the show. We kind of knows how that goes. That's right, Brennan will be four years pregnant. [laughing]

Emily Deschanel: ...until the series is done.. [laughing]

Stephen Nathan: We're just trying to approach the whole thing a bit differently -- to see the emotional complications rather than the physical complications of this pregnancy -- because this pregnancy is much more fraught emotionally for both of them for many, many reasons. There's also the preponderance of cases that have affected their life over the past 10 years of working together and how that affects their perception of their situation and their perception of the world and the world they want to bring their new child into and raise their family. So all of this has a tremendous impact on them. Do they want to keep getting shot at? That's a real question.

Emily Deschanel: They had their house blown up last season. It's big risks, this job. Booth was in jail. It's a really risky, dangerous job to have, especially the way they do it. It's something that they're considering heavily...

Stephen Nathan: And we've never seen them take a break. When they separated before, Booth went to war. We're going to be treading some new ground.

Question: Do we find out about a pregnancy first or do we first have an admission of Booth's addiction re-emerging? What is Booth's response to the pregnancy?

Stephen Nathan: All of those things.... well, I don't want to give away anything. They all kind of happen around the same time. That's why it's so fraught. They're sort of simultaneous events. I think it's episode 15...

Emily Deschanel: Where we reveal the pregnancy?

Stephen Nathan: Yeah.

Emily Deschanel: I think people will be able to see that I'm pregnant before that. [laughing] That's the beauty of being publically pregnant before your character.

Question: Will we see a time jump close to the baby's birth?

Stephen Nathan: The plan is to see a time jump when we start Season 11.

Brennan examines remains found in the trunk of a tree in "The Psychic in the Soup"

Question: What's your favorite part of this last batch of episodes from Season 10?

Emily Deschanel: The hardest part is remembering what we've done. We've done 10 -- no 11 -- episodes since that last one aired [the 200th ep in December 2014], so we've done so many we have to remember what we've done. Stephen, do you have a favorite.

Stephen Nathan: Well, it's always hard for me to pick favorites, but I think the storyline that is kind of the most emotionally rich for us is Booth's relapse into gambling and how it affects Brennan and the family. The ripples go out from that and cause a lot of changes -- not only for Brennan and Booth, but for the other characters as well.

Stephen Nathan (cont): But there were so many really. There's great stuff between Cam and Arastoo. Arastoo going off to Iran and their relationship being in jeopardy and his life being in jeopardy. It's hard to pick favorites.

And, of course, there's all of the revolting bodies that delight us. I have to give props here to the whole staff here, who work so hard to revolt America -- and seems to successfully do it every week.

Emily Deschanel: Especially the Jaeger brothers are pretty amazing, making those disgusting dead bodies we've become so accustomed to. They don't disgust me while I'm working, but then if I watch an episode, they are actually horrifying. Weirdly.

Stephen Nathan: Every now and then it will be horrifying to me. It's very, very rare. But if I watch another show that I had nothing to do with, so I don't know how those things are done, I can't look. I absolutely can't watch.

Brennan in The Everglades in "The Finder" episode

Question: Is there anything the characters haven't gotten to do yet that you want them to do?

Stephen Nathan: Yes, absolutely! Many, many things. I think in the same way that everyone's life becomes surprising as they move through it, events change. People's reactions to those events evolve. Everything has the potential to always be new and surprising. Don't you think, Emily? The fact that Emily comes to work every day and her work is always so incredibly fresh and surprising and new is a testament to the longevity of the show -- and it just seems like it could go on forever because of that.

Emily Deschanel: That's very, very kind, Stephen. I could argue that you guys keep it so interesting. As an actor, you see other shows -- I'm not going to name anything -- and you can see how people could get bored after several years. But when I think about all the different things I've been able to do on the show, it just keeps it so interesting -- between character dynamics, working with snakes, working in The Everglades with an alligator right there, scuba diving in an aquarium, being weightless in the Vomit Comet at one point, and tight-rope walking. I'm sure there's something that's going to happen where I'm like, "That was awesome! I get to do that now in my job! This is so fun!"

Stephen Nathan: It's easy for us to write tight-rope walking; Emily has to do it.

Emily Deschanel: I will give credit. I had a double who did the tight-rope walk high up, but I actually did get to learn how to do it lower to the ground so that they could film me closer up. It was a lot of fun. You get to go to circus school for an hour or whatever time was permitted for me to do that. Things like that are just a lot of fun. At that point, the writers are writers and they get to think about these amazing things. We just get to come to work and have so much fun doing them.

Stephen Nathan: You could bring back CIRCUS OF THE STARS.

Emily Deschanel: Now that I'm pregnant, my center of gravity is a little off.

Stephen Nathan: It makes it that much more interesting.


Question: Is there a big bad or recurring villain in the second half of this season?

Stephen Nathan: We're going to be dealing with more than one. We have an interesting new serial killer who appears and gets somewhat resolved in second half of this season -- and is resolved when someone is on death row about to be executed. But at very end, someone resurfaces from beyond the grave and comes back to alter everybody's life yet again.

Emily Deschanel: Ghosts?

Stephen Nathan: No ghosts, but I would imagine people who are committed to the show will know that our favorite serial killer was Pelant, and although Pelant is in fact dead -- Pelant himself does not resurface -- the effects of Pelant's life have not gone away.

Rodolfo (guest star Ignacio Serricchio) is excited to be working with Brennan in the "The Psychic in the Soup"

Question: Emily, how did you open up Brennan emotionally over the years while staying true to her original personality?

Emily Deschanel: I think that's one of the beautiful things about doing a television show over a long period of time -- you really get to see people change kind of slowly in a lot of ways. From the beginning, Hart [Hanson], who originally created the show, and I talked from Season 1 about how the character would be changing and kind of taking down the walls that she's built up. People change when somebody comes into their life who is important and meant to be there. A good match for you helps you be the best person you can be. She's opened up emotionally over a period of time. She's opened herself up as a result of Booth being involved in her life. It's been a really lovely thing to explore, this character, in different ways. She's still her same self, but she is able to be more vulnerable and open. At the same time, she'll say some things that are kind of insensitive to people sometimes still, which is still fun to play.

Stephen Nathan: Well, we can't let that go away.

Anything we write, Emily can do, and it's always remarkable to us.

The advantage of having a show go on for so long is that the changes that occur in the character almost occur in real time as they do in life. Relationships between people in real life evolve slowly and incrementally, and you become closer to those people through those changes. You go through it with them, almost in real time.

When you go to a movie and in two hours somebody changes dramatically, you're a bit outside of that story. With a series -- we're on like, you know, we're on Episode 799 or something [obviously joking] -- you have felt the evolution of these characters. It seems natural, hopefully, if we have done our job properly.

Honest to god, there's nothing we can't throw at Emily and David that they can't work with and make better than we every thought possible on the page.

Emily Deschanel: I don't think that's true, but that's very nice.

Stephen Nathan: No, it's true. I got the research back. We did some tests. A medical lab said you can make anything better than we write.

Cyndi Lauper as Avalon Harmonia

in "The Psychic in the Soup"

Question: What is it like to work with Cyndi Lauper, who returns as a guest in the spring premiere?

Emily Deschanel: That's like a dream come true. Growing up, I'd always been a huge fan of Cyndi Lauper. She is a dream to work with, such an interesting, eccentric, lovely, talented person. So much fun. And she does a good job as an actress, as well. Obviously, she's an amazing singer. We love having her on set. She'll surprise you with choices she makes, and she's so interesting to work with. She's such a unique human being.

Stephen Nathan: I second that. She's just fabulous to have around. She's so much fun, and it's just such a wonderful character.

Emily Deschanel: Very funny, too. She's just a really funny person. I'd have her all the time if we could have her.

Stephen Nathan: And she's Cyndi Lauper!

Emily Deschanel: And she's Cyndi Lauper, for god's sake.

Question: Does Brennan stay skeptical through the psychic episode with Cyndi Lauper?

Emily Deschanel: Brennan's always skeptical. She's not going to start believing in god or things like that.

Stephen Nathan: She's always looking for a rational explanation for the inexplicable, and will not be satisfied with the fact that there are things that we can't ever understand. Her example would be, "They thought that about the eclipse, too." I think that she will be forever skeptical, like any good scientist is.

Question: Besides Cyndi Lauper, can you tell us about any other guest stars?

Emily Deschanel: Well, we have Linda Lavin coming up, who was a lot of fun to have on the show. She had a bone issue and she emailed me about it. She sent me x-rays. She's wonderful.

And Phyllis Logan [in an episode] that I think already aired. I'm a huge DOWTON ABBEY fan

Stephen Nathan: Linda was fun, and you know Ryan comes back to visit us frequently. And Billy Gibbons. We've been very, very fortunate with guest stars.

Brennan in the "The Teacher in the Books" episode

Question: After all these years, where does your joy and passion for BONES come from?

Emily Deschanel: With Stephen and all of the writers, they do a really wonderful job of keeping things interesting -- changing dynamics of the characters and changing the characters with us. I love working with the actors. I love working with the writers. I love working with our crew. We have an amazing group of people. It feels like a family -- we've worked together for 10 years. Sometimes there's odd tensions and things like that on different TV shows, but we don't have that.

David Boreanaz and I have always thought it's very important to continue working on your acting and putting as much as you can into everything you're doing. Can I say that I always put everything I possibly can into things? Some days it's really hard. I'm not saying that I'm so incredible that I'm always putting everything I can. Putting that investment into the show is important.

Emily Deschanel (cont): Like I said, they keep it interesting with plot twists and character development and different things to try. It really helps.

I still love doing the show. It's a really interesting character I love playing. I'm interested in continuing and it doesn't seem like we're at the end of the story yet. Maybe we will by the end of next season -- hopefully we will do another season, but it's not official.

Stephen Nathan: I just want to say that you will not be disappointed with the second half of this season. We're going from death row to miniature golf to Tehran to yoga studios. I would strongly recommend you get a seat on the bus, because it's been a terrific year. We left off with the 200th episode. We've been gone for a long time, but we have been packing little surprises away in our little sack for you. We're really looking forward to the second half of this year. I can promise you won't be disappointed.