Fox has just renewed BONES for an eighth season. The series, now on Monday nights at 8 PM, was developed by Hart Hanson from Kathy Reichs’ novels about a forensic anthropologist who uses her skills to solve homicide cases. On the show, Dr. Temperance Brennan, played by Emily Deschanel, teamed up with FBI agent Seeley Booth, played by David Boreanaz, to find and catch murderers.
Over time, the partnership became a will-they/won’t-they romantic relationship, which became a yes-they-do when Brennan became pregnant by Booth at the end of last season. In the episode “The Prisoner in the Pipe,” their daughter was born.
But Brennan and Booth aren’t the only couple on the show to have an up and down relationship. TJ Thyne plays Dr. Jack Hodgins, forensics geek, conspiracy theorist, secret millionaire, who has been in love with free-spirited lab artist Angela Montenegro, played by Michaela Conlin, for most of the series. Jack and Angela got married in Season Five and had their little boy Michael at the end of the following season.
Thyne, born Thomas Joseph Thyne in Boston, Massachusetts, was Stu Lou Who in HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS. Among his many other credits, he had recurring roles on WALKER, TEXAS RANGER and HUFF, and on ANGEL (Thyne played a smarmy lawyer), which introduced him to Boreanaz pre-BONES.
Obviously, Thyne has now played Jack Hodgins longer than any other role he’s ever had. At a party thrown by Fox for the Television Critics Association, Thyne talks with us about his ongoing experience with the character and the series.
ASSIGNMENT X: First of all, how do you pronounce your last name?
TJ THYNE: Half of my family says “Tine,” half of my family says ‘Thyne” [like “thigh” with an N at the end]. When I was a kid, it was always “Thyne,” that’s how we were born. And then my father worked more in business and as he did, he was on the phone, and he started saying, “Thyne,” and people would say, “Fine? Stein?” They couldn’t get it right, so he started saying, “Tine.” So then my dad and my brothers and a couple of my sisters started saying, “Tine,” but my mother and I and one of the other sisters and brothers, we always said “Thyne,” so it’s a split family decision [laughs].
AX: Jack and Angela became parents last season and now you have a toddler on the show this season. How has it been playing a daddy?
THYNE: It’s awesome. Have you seen the baby? He’s so cute. Little Michael. He’s so cute. And Michaela Conlin and I, Angela and Jack, are just giddy every time that kid is around. He’s got nice, beautiful smiling eyes, I think.
AX: He’s got Jack’s light hair and blue eyes.
THYNE: Baby matches Dad on that. But he’s got Mom’s kind of smile, I think. He’s a sweetie. He’s a great kid. They did such a great job on finding him. And it’s been fun being parents. We’re having a blast doing that. It’s such a big change from when we first started out in Season One. And now we’ve gotten to the point where we have so many families and babies and it’s a wonderful change.
AX: Come to think of it, little Michael sort of looks like Jack plus Angela’s father, who’s played by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top …
THYNE: [laughs] That’s disturbing. Any time Billy’s on set, we have such a blast. I was just talking to someone about the fact that he and I will sit there for hours, just talking about anything and everything under the sun. I mean, I have such a good time with him. He’s one of those guys that you feel like you’re lucky to meet on a set like this, because you know you’ll be lifelong friends. He’s awesome. And yet I love that their characters are so polar opposites. Jack is terrified of the man [laughs].
AX: It seemed like Jack spent a very long time trying to win Angela back. Did you think the character would ever get to this point – married and a father?
THYNE: When we first started, I’m not so sure any of us thought that we would have gone here, which is so fun, it’s such a neat adventure to take. But at that point, when he was pining after her, I don’t know. I think Jack, as well as playing him, it got to a point for me as the actor that I just think the character succumbs to the fact that she was not in love with him and she just needed to go through her own thing. And as much as he was waiting and waiting, he finally found a place that he was happy she was happy. And it was at that point that she turned around. He’s eternally happy now.
AX: You’ve been on BONES for seven years now. Before that, you were on 24 and ANGEL. Did you build up a relationship with the casting department at Fox?
THYNE: I think what happens is, over time you start to do enough programming on different shows that you do start to eventually kind of get into a relationship, but even with those shows you’re talking about, it’s all different casting directors, so it’s kind of nice when there’s a network that kind of starts to [employ specific actors I think actually you do get into a place with some actors where they’ll kind of bounce them around. They’ll see them on an episode of HOUSE and put them on an episode of BONES, and then start to kind of groom them towards another show. The casting department over at Fox, they’re such excellent people – I think they find really great talent.
AX: When you were cast on BONES, did the producers tell you that Jack had a big secret that was going to come out, or did you get the script where we found out he’s incredibly wealthy and actually owns the Jeffersonian and go, “Jack owns what?”
THYNE: I didn’t know that when I was actually cast, but shortly after I got cast and after we did the pilot, I got a chance to sit down with Stephen Nathan and Hart Hanson, the executive producers – Hart of course is our creator – and we got a chance to have lunch together, where we were kind of flushing out Jack’s character and where he really came from, and finding out he [has inherited] enormous wealth and that he was keeping it a secret. So that was a lot of fun for me to find out.
AX: Does Tamara Taylor’s character Cam, who is in charge at the lab, know that she actually can’t fire Jack?
THYNE: Can we talk about how amazing Tamara Taylor is? I love that woman so much. Jack has kind of allowed Cam to feel like she’s his boss, but it’s true – he really is everyone’s boss.
AX: How is it working with David Boreanaz?
THYNE: Excellent. He’s so funny. Right before we’ll do a take, he will make me laugh so hard. I don’t even think it’s planned out – it’s not like an actual systematic trying to laugh, it’s just you have someone like David, who’s just full of personality, and then Emily, Tamara, Michaela, John and myself – all of us together, we’re just truly like a group of friends, so we’re just playing and having a good time with each other and then the cameras just inevitably start to roll. So it’s a very easy segue, because it’s like talking to your good friend. And I think the characters have all become better friends also, so it’s really kind of seamless. So you can be laughing one moment off-screen and then two seconds later be laughing on-screen. So it’s great.
And [Boreanaz has] just got the entire crew laughing and he’s got such a great sense of humor, but he’s so detail-oriented and so excellent in his work that he can be cracking us all up, and moments later, step into the scene and blow us all away. He’s just such a professional, because he was just so born to do it. It’s nice to be able to see that every day.
AX: How did you feel about it when Jack first fell for Angela in Season Two?
THYNE: It’s thrilling to play this character anyway, because he’s just such an intelligent doctor and knows so much, but to be able to open it up to a personal life and have him be able to fall in love – who doesn’t want to play that? So it’s been really fantastic and getting to work with Michaela Conlin, let alone the rest of the cast, has been a thrill. We’re having such a good time.
AX: How did you feel about it when Angela and Jack were broken up and she was involved with a number of other people?
THYNE: I loved the drama of it. I mean, she’s a free spirit and he’s a hundred percent committed to her, so you’re sure to have some kind of issues, so actually I enjoyed it as an actor, because you get to do much more.
AX: Did you have any investment as either a participant in the show or an audience member as to whether Brennan and Booth got together?
THYNE: All Jack wanted to see was Angela on that altar with him. That’s all he cared about.
AX: Was the second-season episode “Aliens in a Spaceship,” where Jack and Brennan got buried alive in the car, a highlight for you?
THYNE: Yeah, that was pretty excellent. I had a fun time doing that one.
AX: Did you get claustrophobic at all shooting the scenes in the buried car?
THYNE: It’s interesting, because Emily and I would go into the car and have them close all the doors and have them have the windshield on, so we could get the sensation as actors of what it’s really like and how pitch-black it really would be in there. And it’s amazing how panicked you could get yourself to be if you were actually in a situation like that. But you have removable walls for the cameras to come in, and there was obviously always some type of light coming in. It was definitely intense, and I just love the opportunity of dealing with life or death on the show and getting a chance to play opposite Emily Deschanel for that long in that episode was just a thrill. We had a really good time doing that one.
AX: And did you get to play emotions that you don’t normally get to do as an actor?
THYNE: When you get cast on a show, a lot of times, you wait to see how the character will develop. For Jack Hodgins, a lot of [the first] season was just establishing his knowledge in the lab itself. But the writers – Hart Hanson, Steven Nathan and the entire writing team – are so fantastic to us actors, because they really will give us the opportunity, like for me to be able to have that opportunity in the car, so that’s a thrill as an actor, when you do get handed that, when you do get that opportunity to take something and make even more of it. And you get to see other layers of the character that you otherwise wouldn’t. Which, you know, we as human beings always have so many different masks on. So it’s nice to put different masks on periodically.
AX: How did you feel about the departure of Eric Millegan as Jack’s then-best pal and lab partner Zack Addy?
THYNE: I’m so sad that Zack is not around. I think that Jack has moved on and accepted the other interns, because he was pretty much hating life when he left.
AX: Will Jack visit Zack in the mental institution again?
THYNE: Man, I hope so. I loved visiting him. I’ll tell you, me and Eric Milligan and Emily Deschanel, all of us, it was like just being with your best friends all the time. We would just crack up with each other and we had such a good time and we loved working with each other, so it was very sad when he left. But he’s off and he’s doing great stuff and yes, we’re all crossing our fingers that he comes back.
AX: Do you know why Zack was set up to be a murderer and got incarcerated and then turned out not to have done it but is still locked up?
THYNE: I don’t know the answer to that. I know that Hart is a huge fan of Eric Milligan and they’re very much still good friends. It had nothing to do with Eric as an actor or a human being. I think it was just, sadly, he got thrown to the audience-wants-to-see-something-dramatic [dynamic] and that seems to be the way it is now on TV, isn’t it? Maybe 24 set the standard for that. Anyone is susceptible to leaving at any chance and it seems to build the audience’s desire to watch – “Ooh, someone might leave, someone might die.” I don’t know. I loved that character.
AX: How do you feel about the revolving lab interns?
THYNE: The good thing is, it’s all the same interns repeating, so we’ve gotten to bond with every one of them. It’s actually really exciting for us. When we have one of our actors [who play the interns] come in, we get to read the script and go, “Yay, Eugene [Byrd] is coming back!” It’s exciting for us. And it does feel like they’re just extended family now. It’s really, really nice. The original talk was that they were going to choose out of those interns and Brennan would decide who should stay, but I think everyone’s got their own quirky personality – it’s fun to see all the different colors.
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Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Exclusive Interview with BONES star TJ Thyne – Part 1