2010: A Look Back at a Lot of Interviews

At the end of 2009, I took a look back at 100 interviews I’d done over the course of the year, and it was exhausting…not only for me, but possibly also for you, the reader. Oh, I still think it was a heck of a piece, but I believe I made a mistake by numbering them. I mean, you get about 20 – 25 into the proceedings, and it’s, like, “Oh, geez, I’ve still got 75 left to go? Screw this, I’m out of here.” So this time, I’m not going to tell you how many quotes are in the piece. I’ll just say that I talked to a lot of really funny, fascinating, and decidedly forthright people during the course of 2010, and I’ll let you dive in. Hope you enjoy the chance to reminisce as much I did, and here’s to a great 2011 for us all!

Big Shots at the Box Office

“I was in Australia, touring with my films and live show, and I got an E-mail from my agent, saying that there was interest in me for Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ I thought, ‘Okay, that sounds good.’ I thought it would be for a day or two, maybe a few days or something, and I would’ve been very happy to do that. But then the offer came in, and it was for virtually the entire run of the film. I didn’t even know what part it was for, so I asked my agent, and he said it was for the Knave of Hearts. So I looked up the Knave of Hearts in the original book online and…it didn’t really seem like a character that would require the run of the film. I thought, ‘Something must be different.’ And then I got the actual screenplay, and it was extremely different. I could see that it was written as a sequel. But it was a great part, and I was ecstatic to be in it…and I’m still ecstatic to be in it!” – Crispin Glover, Alice in Wonderland

“They called my agent and said they were auditioning for (‘Inception’), so I flew myself back, I read for Chris (Nolan) once, and I left. I think it was later that day that I heard from my agent, saying, ‘They’ve cut everyone except you. Now, they’re going to go to London to see some people, and then we’ll know more after that. So don’t get your hopes up, but…this is great!’ Then I came back and read again, and I got the job. And then, as you might expect, I freaked out completely.” – Dileep Rao, Inception

“I was actually down at my ranch in South Texas, and my guys called me and said, ‘Hey, we’re trying to get you a meeting with Sylvester Stallone. He’s casting a movie called ‘The Expendables.’’ Several months went by, and he’d already cast ‘The Expendables,’ but he still wanted to meet me for potentially playing the part of Dan Paine. So I went in to meet Sly, it was the first time I’d ever met him, and I’m a huge fan. I remember watching ‘Rocky’ back in ’76 or whenever it was, then getting up the next morning, drinking eggs, and running down the street…and now here I am meeting with this guy!” – Steve Austin, The Expendables

“I was privileged and honored to work side by side with Sly (Stallone in ‘The Expendables’). Most of my scenes take place with him, and I’m telling you, man, he took me under his wing, and it was a brilliant thing. I don’t know what else to say. ‘Rocky,’ ‘Rambo,’ just everything he’s done is iconic, and it wasn’t lost on me. I love the man, and I can’t wait to do another one, ‘cause Sly’s the king of the sequels…and in my whole career, I’ve never done a sequel to any one of my projects. So I’m, like, ‘Sly, I’m ready for ‘Expendables 2,’ okay?'” – Terry Crews, The Expendables

“Jessica (Pare) was just about to disrobe…we were in the (hot) tub…and they were, like, ‘Ready!’ And she took off whatever was covering her in the tub. And somebody asked the boom guy a question just as she was disrobing, and all he could say was, ‘Yesssssss…’ He could only whisper. I didn’t make a joke about it, though. I was just, like, ‘Okay, Craig, keep it cool, keep it together…’” – Craig Robinson, Hot Tub Time Machine

“I made the mistake of using one term loosely and saying (filming in 3D) was a tedious process, and somebody made it sound really bad. The bottom line is that it took a little longer, and the one that suffered more than anybody was (director Kevin Greutert) and the camera guy, because they have to get it right. You know, calibration and being specific with lights and all that stuff. For me, it was a good excuse to go play with the crew that wasn’t on set and crack a couple of jokes, so I got to socialize a little bit more.” – Costas Mandylor, Saw 3D

“Usually, when you’re coming in completely blind with who you’re working with, you don’t know if you’re going to get along, nor do some people put the time in to try to get along. We were all in Pittsburgh, and we did do, like, two weeks of rehearsal before we started shooting (‘She’s Out of My League’), and in those two weeks, we hung out a lot…and, luckily, it went good rather than bad. Because sometimes it’s just awful, and you’re going, ‘I can’t stand that guy!’ So we were lucky. I know a lot of people always say this when they come off work, because they’re kind of trained to say it, but with this one, we all really got along, and I think that’s what helps our chemistry on screen so much: we thought each other were funny, we even liked to hang out afterward, and that played well. ” – Nate Torrence, She’s Out of My League

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“Bones” hits the 100-episode mark

Tonight marks the 100th episode of Fox’s “Bones,” which may amaze those who originally only saw the series as something for David Boreanaz to do until Joss Whedon finally got around to making an “Angel” movie. Instead, the show has gradually found a sizable fan base who love the patter between Boreanaz and his co-star, Emily Deschanel, as FBI Agent Seely Booth and forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan.

Sorry, did I say “patter”? Obviously, I meant “sexual tension.”

This evening’s episode is a flashback to the very first case worked together by Booth and Brennan, one which took place a year prior to the events seen in the show’s pilot. In addition to the fact that it provides an opportunity for the actors to revisit the way they played their characters five years ago (or, in the case of Eric Millegan, an opportunity to play Dr. Zach Addy again period), there’s a concluding moment which has the potential to completely change one of the fans’ favorite parts of the show…or, at the very least, shake it up a bit. My wife, who has seen every episode of the series since its premiere, got a bit emotional at the concluding scene. I’ll be interested to find out if you react the same way.

I was fortunate enough to attend a “Bones” breakfast during Fox’s day of the Winter 2010 TCA Press Tour, and both David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel were in attendance. Unfortunately, however, my conversation with David was precisely two questions long, thanks to a strange moment where I asked him about working with Diedrich Bader – he plays FBI Agent Andrew Hacker – and got a blank stare and an assurance that he had absolutely no idea who that was.

At the time, I was concerned that I’d gotten bad information, but, no, he definitely had worked with Bader. Weird. Fortunately, before that confusion caused the chat to come to a complete and total standstill, leading someone else to pick up the reigns of the conversation and run with them, I’d asked him how he felt about his series making it to the vaunted 100-episode mark.

“It’s kind of hard to believe that you’re there,” Boreanaz admitted, “especially when it’s hard enough to get a pilot made, let alone picked up. I’ve always maintained that whatever you’re working on, you should work just really in the moment and not think about the next episode. You should just maintain a real strong sense of your work and your ethics and being honest with yourself and just continue to work hard and see where that takes you, whether you do 12 episodes, 20 episodes, or whether you just do a pilot. You’re just fortunate to be working.”

Thankfully, I made no such faux pas while talking to Emily, who was glad to answer my question about how she thinks the character of Brennan has changed over the course of 100 episodes.

“You know, I recently just watched the pilot again, because I’ve been thinking about doing this 100th episode and doing a flashback, so I’ve been thinking about that a lot,” she said. “I think she’s become less guarded, more open…she’s trying to learn socially how to interact with people. Watching the pilot, I was, like, ‘She’s very wild, in a way.’ She’s just determined to do her thing and just does it and doesn’t care what anybody else thinks…and I just love that about her! That’s definitely still true. In one sense, she’s become more polished…and I say that in a lot of ways! But she’s just growing up and kind of thinking about something before she does it. And she’s also trying to understand social interaction and people’s emotions and feelings…and her own! Trying to understand other people’s through exploration of her own. She’s not as quick to just kick someone’s ass! She’s kind of learning to take a breather before she…it’s, like, Fox had this whole campaign of ‘Take a Moment,’ and Brennan had to take a moment before she acted on things. Before, she just acted. That’s not to say that she doesn’t still just act sometimes, but I think that’s a way she’s changed over the years.”

At the time we chatted, they hadn’t yet begun filming the 100th episodes, but they had been having meetings about what it was going to look like.

“Visually, with the hair and make-up and wardrobe, it was fun trying on the wardrobe that was Brennan back in the day,” said Deschanel. “Cynthia Somers, the costume designer, did a great job. She was not there at the beginning, but she did a great job of pulling these things that were very Brennan-esque from the beginning. It’s been great to go and to start thinking about Brennan in that time and what she was. It’s been fun.”

  

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Ms. Deschanel, I believe you know…Ms. Deschanel?

It had to happen eventually: the Deschanel sisters – Emily and Zooey – are teaming up for an episode of the former’s Fox series, “Bones.”

Zooey, most recently seen in “(500) Days of Summer,” will guest-star in “The Goop on the Girl,” a special holiday-themed episode which is scheduled to air on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 8 PM. She’ll play Margaret Whitesell, a distant relative of Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan – that’s Emily’s character, of course – who’s discovered by Brennan’s dad, Max (Ryan O’Neal), and is invited to spend the holidays with them. All of this is going on while Brennan and Booth (the one and only David Boreanaz) are in the midst of investigating the death of a man dressed as Santa Claus who was blown up after a botched bank robbery.

Anyone want to bet on the odds of Emily and Zooey looking at each other at some point and trying to spot the family resemblance, only to have the moment end with one of them (or possibly both, in sync) saying, “I don’t see it”?

  

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TCA Tour: “Bones” set visit

Of the set visits I’ve done this trip, the one to “Bones” was the most disappointing one to date. Don’t get me wrong, the Q&A with stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel and producers Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan made for a good time. The disappointment came from the fact that we’d been told that we’d be touring Dr. Brennan’s lab at the Jeffersonian, only to arrive and find that, due to filming commitments on that set, we’d be stuck hanging out at the FBI. I’m not saying it wasn’t cool to see that set, but…well, it’s like if someone told you that you were going to get to walk onto the field of Yankee Stadium, only to find out that you were actually only going to get to go into the locker room: they’re both cool in their own way if you’re a fan, but one’s definitely a damned sight more impressive than the other.

Okay, I know, I’m complaining about not getting to see my favorite set when you’re probably saying, “Yeah, but, still…Bones and Booth were right in front of you!” And you’ve got a point: that was pretty cool. I’ve never actually had a chance to chat with Ms. Deschanel before, but I’ve talked to David before, and he’s always a lot of fun to talk with. And if you’ve never seen him do an interview before, let me assure you that, for as much characterization as the writers have brought to the table at “Bones,” there’s still a heck of a lot of Seeley Booth in David Boreanaz, and vice versa.

So, of course, if we’re talking about the upcoming season of “Bones,” then what you really want to know is if Bones and Booth are finally going to get together.

“Do you honestly think I am going to answer that question after what I went through last season?” asked Hanson, with a laugh.

“We did end up in bed together,” Deschanel reminded us. “It was in our minds, but that changes our relationship, and you will see that going into season 5. That changes our relationship for good. Basicall,y he wakes up and you don’t know whether it was his coma or my books or both, in some way. The fact that it was in our minds does in fact change your relationship, and you will see it changes our relationship even more than just being in our minds.”

“You look at each other differently,” acknowledged Hanson, “and it’s quite evident, especially in the first episode. You see the relationship has evolved because of that experience.”

“Well, I’m just trying to get my memory back, so that’s probably what you’re seeing,” said Boreanaz, with a grin.

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