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David Boreanaz - Flesh and Bones - Angel Magazine Interview - Article Transcription


Saturday 24 June 2006, by Webmaster

June 2006 - Angel Magazine.

If Angel thought he was busy trying to save humanity and run a multi-million dollar corporation, whilst fighting the never-ending battle against evil, it’s nothing compared to the jobs that DAVID BOREANAZ has had to juggle over the last couple of years. With four new films under his belt, a starring role in a hit new TV show, and, of course, being a husband and father, the actor is more in demand than ever before. We caught up with him to hear all about what he’s been up lately.....

Angel may be best known for brooding, but these days, David Boreanaz, the actor who played him , seems positively sunny - if a little tired. Besides starring as ex-military sniper-turned-F.B.I agent Seeley Booth in Bones, Fox network’s hit crime procedural, based on Kathy Reichs’ novels, David also recently made time to star in Suffering Man’s Charity, opposite Alan Cumming (X-Men 2), who also directed the film. David plays Sebastian, the irate ghoste of a writer who never found fame in life - but is a success after death when Alan’s character passes off Sebastian’s work as his own. “He’s a genius,” David says enthusiastically of Alan. “Working with someone of that kind of talent is amazing. And he’s so well-versed in his approach - it’s really like watching moving art. He’s so unique and he’s so creative.”

The only problem was that Suffering was filming simultaneously with Bones. At a press event for Bones and later at a Fox party for the Television Critics Association at Hollywood’s new restaurant Citizen Smith - coincidentally, part-owned by David’s old Buffy colleague Armin Shirman (Principal Snyder) - David explains why he found this especially challenging. “As far as the film was concerned, the exhaustion level was coming from the amount of time I spent preparing for the role in advance, the month going into it heavily with my [acting coach], and separating the two completely. I think Sebastian is a kind of guy like the author of Confederacy of Dunces [John Kennedy Toole, who committ’ed suicide], a man who was a victim that is really p****d off that his book never sells and he’s a squatter and he’s a writer who wants to make it, but no one’s accepting his work, so he victimizes himself in order to get rid of himself. Which is totally the opposite of what Booth [in Bones] does, so it was interesting to play those two characters simultaneously. The schedule worked out in a way that enabled me to make the separation a little bit easier in the front, because the back end was harder for me. That was really intense experience. I was shooting the show [Bones], and then on weekends starting on [Suffering Man’s Charity], and it really felt lik a bad nightmare - in a good way. I don’t think I’d ever want to do it again, but it was a sice of my life that was really way intense and very vulnerable.”

Although it may seem to TV viewers that David had a year of downtime between the end of Angel and the beginning of Bones, 2004-2005 was actually a very busy period for him. “I’m glad. I was able to do three movies I’m real proud of - I did one that went to Toronto Film Festival [These Girls], I did another one that started being sold in February that I’m very happy about, Mr. Fix-It, and another one called The Hard Easy, so it rejevenated me in a way. You have to close one door in order to go to the next level and open another door, so I’ve been fortunate to be able to do that, and then step back into a medium that’s very grueling, but the character [of Seeley Booth] is very, very satisfying.”

It wasn’t so much the idea of doing a television show in general, bu the specifics of Bones - playing Booth working with a somewhat eccentric but briliant female scientist, Temperance “Bones” Brennan, played by Emily Deschanel - that drew David back to the hard work of a weekly drama series. “Being able to jump back into a piece that made a lot of sense character-wise and [in terms of] the people who were involved was the only reason why I would have done it in the first place, because I could have been very content doing a bunch of Independent films. With this particular piece, I really was attracted to the fact that this has got a potential for being like Moonlighting. I love that show. I think if you look at the Bruce Willis/Cybill Shepherd relationship, you cannot replicate it, but you can kind of feed off of it. I think the potential is there for these two characters [Booth and Brennan].”

Exactly what is the relationhip between Booth and Brennan?

“Romantically?” Davis responds. “He’s pretty much all over the board. I’m not going to come in and say Brennan is the one he wants, but he’s definitely got Brennan in his sights. She’s a novelist, she lives out her fantasies in her novels, and I [as Booth] know that, so this guy that she’s saying she’s making love with [in her novels] having sex with, could have been me. Did they do it, did they not do it? I think they did, but she can’t admit it, because she’s so strung up - she’s too hardcore with the facts. [The writers] pretty much play with that. I’m kind of , “Yeah, we did it in a steamy motel, maybe Palmdale, working on a case a long time ago, which gave you a lot of material to write your latest novel.” But he’s a single guy - and I think that’s what’s interesting about Booth - he does the standard stuff his way. He organizes papers his way. They may look messy, but it’s a process for him. And he probably does the same thing with females on the show.”

However, it isn’t just the ‘are they or aren’t they?” relationship with his leading lady that David finds appealing.

“Working with [executive producer] Barry Josephson - I’ll be doing feature films and Barry’s a great link to that. I love the way he makes things look. I love the way Hart [Handson, executive producer and series creator] writes.”

Although Booth is less given to general gloom, David says he wasn’t seeking a character far removed from Angel.

“I think with every character, the world’s going to come to an end sometime in their minds, so I think you elevate those levels. I don’t necessarily say, ‘I have to play something that is completely different from the role that I just played.’ Angel was a very well-rounded character that possessed tons of great attributes. Booth is a little simpler - he knows exactly what he wants, but he marches to his own tune, so the world may be coming to an end in his world, because maybe he’s got a past. He comes from a military background. There’s a lot of conflict within these characters that I think is really interesting.”

One of those interesting things is that, as David notes, Booth is somewhat independent-minded for a Federal agent.

“[Booth’s bosses] are going to say, “You have to do this,” and I’m going to say, “I don’t want to do that,’” he laughs. “As far as the F.B.I. is concerned, I have a superiority as far as my boss is concerned - I’m going to walk my own beat. I think that’s going to leave a mark on the character that I’m playing.”

There are two main routes to becoming an F.B.I. agent, David points out. “I’m glad that I [as Booth] came from the military; I didn’t come from the collegiate levels, I have apublic education, which can come in handy, I’m not the intellectual elitist - we attack that subject matter in the episode [The Boy in the Tree]. You find Booth investigating (the death of) a kid who’s hanging from a branch at a prep school. And that p****s him off, because he’s a public school [known in the U.K. as a comprehensive school] education guy. These [prep school] people think that [some] people are better than other people. [Booth] doesn’t think that way. His agenda is to find [the dead boy’s murderer], he never wavers, and he ends up bing right at the end. It’s a cover-up, because they think they’re better because they can ge into that school and to him , that’s bull. I feel very passionate [about this].”

While Booth doesn’t get into as many knock-down, drag-out fights as Angel, David says his new role still calls for a lot of action. “No swordfights, but [it’s] physically demanding in regards to the intense training of a military man’s background, [that Booth] comes from. Being very patient from a sniper’s point of view and sitting in a tree for three days and smoking a target out is physically and mind-exhausting. So I’ve had a lot fo training with firearms that have become very interesting to me - I’m not a big fan of guns, but I lik being responsible with them and understanding the dynamics of them, working with someone like [technical advisor] Mike Rosso, who’s been on the [police] force for 25 years, and knowing that, these guys [gun experts] are great to hang around and be around. They’re very funny guys, so I embrace that.”

David was allowed to pick out Booth’s gun. “I chose to go with a .357 Magnum, four-inch barrel revolver, rather than the standard-issue 16-clip, for a lot of reasons. The dynamics of the gun are much different - it’s got a click action to it, and it resembles his character as far as where he comes from. So trying to master that gun is going to be difficult, but there’s a lot to it, and my shot’s getting better. I’m coming in straight off the hip. Rosso told me, “You always get our sight in,” because you have to know exactly who you’re taking out, you have to see the person before you take that shot, before ou put your hammer on the trigger, you have them sighted and then you make a decision.”

There are some considerations that need to be made when one of the main characters always wears such a big handgun, as David explains.

“Holstering a gun, especially a revolver is so big around your waist, finding that comfortable, the loading/unloading, it’s not as easy with a clip,”

Research, David adds, is, “Extremely important to me, really respecting what [real F.B.I agents] do and how they approach certain situations, but also taking that and putting my mark on it as a character and having some kind of creative license with that is important. Being extremely throrough with the preparations in writing. I mean, I’m the kind of guy who’ll go ballestic if I don’t get to work on time. It must be my Catholic upbringing,” he adds with a laugh. “I litterally love this guy [Booth]. I’m subtly trying to break him in. There are things that I cannot do, but I’m going to break that mold. You’ll see me in a shirt and tie, but he’s going to have a white tie, he’s going to have wacky socks. He’s got a belt buckle that looks like this instead of standards issue. He’s a little scruffier. For me, a lot of it was studying a lot of [Steve] McQueen and [Robert] Mitchum and taking their personalities and working with it.” Overall, David adds, “There are a lot of things that I’m going to do that are either put in the show or taken out of the show. You’re going to find moments that really work and some that don’t. I think that with the improvizational stuff that I’ve learned and the choices I’ve made - putting him in situations that are so intense and so insane and out of the ordinary - it makes sense to me. It works for me. I think now I’m shifting him to a change motivationally, to kind of shake things up in his world. I think there has to be a better payoff between himself and Bones, some kind of lead towards a romantic venture, and we’re going to start seeing that, I think, with respect for each other’s characters. I think that’s going to slowly happen. And a lot of his past is going to come out, so I’m looking forward to those payoffs. The first 10 episodes, it’s grueling enough to establish a character, maintain its credibility and also establish a sense of credibility from each show to the next show. You can really have fun in [the later ones].

Something that David and Booth do have in common is that both are fathers of young sons, and David likes is that his character is a parent.

“The fact that I have a child [in real life] is great training right there. I have a three-and-a-half-year-old, and I think having a child, bieng a single parent on a show like this, working in a dangerus position as he is, I think will have a payoff in finding out why he lost the woman [the child’s mother], what happened to her, and how he handles his son, so I think that’s interesting storytelling.” Being a working father, David acknowledges, “It’s a difficult thing. I try to make [wife, actress Jaime Berman, and their son]a part of it, as much as I possibly can, and that can be difficult at times, it can be rewarding at times. I’m very fortunate to have [a wife] who understands this business. You get home after 12 hours and your son’s asleep and you don’t get a chance to see him. I’ll wake him up, give him a kiss and tell him I’m home. You don’t get a chance to put him to sleep, you don’t get a chance to pick him up from school, you don’t get a chance to make breakfast for him - the simple things. As a father, I was fortunate to make a son, and that’s going to be hard, but I’ll make it work.”

Has the increasing popularity of Bones affected the show’s development?

“[The writers] have a plan for it, “ David replies. “They have put it in a direction that the characters themselves have started to mold, rather than the other way around. As far as [input from] the outside is concerned, we’ve made a few adjustments, but other than that, [the writers and producers] really kept their sense of strength and their conviction in where they want to take the show, which is a testament to them.”

Might David direct any Bones episodes, as he did with Angel’s “Soul Purpose”?

“I’d love to,” the actor reveals. “I think, given the opportunity that I have, to step back into the director’s chair and do something like that - that’s be great. I don’t think I would jump right into that right away - maybe next season. I take it usually one day at a time with this, “ And thanks to its solid ratings, Fox has announced that Bones will be back for a second season.

While it looks as though the enigmatic Agent Booth will be one character that David will definitely be returning to, it’s unlikely that we’ll see him reprising any more of this previous roels. Whilst discussing taking part in DVD commentaries, David reveals that he’s not big on rewatching previous work. “I try not to look at my work; I [try to] move on,” he admits. “I’ve never been good with reunions or any kind of going back in the past - it’s kind of like, I’ve enjoyed it, I’ve lived it, I’ve loved it and I’ve learned from it and I take that with me. It’s difficult to watch myself. There are some things I do watch in order to get better at and things I just can’t. It’s really weird. I really just like to work on them allo, but it’s tough to watch what you do - for me, it is.’

In light of this, David says he does not plan to revisit the role of Angel, but he says this is not due to any lack of appreciation for his experience playing the character and working on the series; “It’s a great job, and a great opportunity. It got me to where I’m right now. It’s part of my life that I love.”

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