After a year away from the small screen, Angel star David Boreanaz returns to series television in Bones, a procedural drama that debuts this fall on Fox. Boreanaz plays Seeley Booth, a straight-shooting special agent who reluctantly becomes partnered with forensic anthropologist/novelist Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) to solve crimes. The biggest difference between Seeley and Angel? The Fed actually gets to go out into the sunlight on occasion. Boreanaz and Deschanel spoke with TVGuide.com about the show, their on-screen relationship and... salad.
TVGuide.com: What attracted you both to Bones?
David Boreanaz: I just kind of fell into this role. I was fortunate to read a script and like it, but I was hesitant to get back into [episodic television] coming off a show that ran for so long. I met with [executive producers] Barry Josephson and Hart Hanson, but it was a horrible meeting and I kind of walked out of it feeling bad. I was just having a bad day in general. But the role was there for me [to take], and I really liked the character. I'm really excited about all these characters, every one of them. My sister made an observation: You want to know more about each one of the characters just by looking at them.
Emily Deschanel: It's an incredibly intelligent show and it's character-driven. The script was very ambitious, trying to do so many different things, and I believe it really accomplished all of those things. It crosses genres and it's exciting when you read something different like that.
TVGuide.com: Obviously, prime time these days is filled with procedurals. What will set Bones apart?
Deschanel: I've always been fascinated by the whole forensics thing, but this show doesn't have a cold feeling to it. It's more about the characters, and I love that.
Boreanaz: There are crimes to be solved in every episode, and there will be personal attachments to them. There is a lot of conflict and, down the road, I think there will be some story arcs. Early on, with any startup, show you're really building credibility and making it stand on its own. You want to give viewers what they want at first.
TVGuide.com: Emily, your character is based on a real person, forensic anthropologist and author Kathy Reichs. Did you get the chance to meet her before filming the pilot?
Deschanel: She was there on the first day of filming, and I was so excited to meet her that I gave her a hug! I don't think she was used to that kind of casual openness. She's an amazing woman, so smart, and incredible at what she does. She was very sweet to talk with me and answer questions about herself. It's a great resource to have someone there who has the same job as your character. I asked her questions like, "Does being around dead bodies bother you?" and she said no. I think I would have a problem! As much as I'm fascinated by forensics, if I were really doing it, I think I'd get sick every time.
TVGuide.com: Actors in procedurals often complain about having to memorize all the technical jargon. Has that proven difficult for you as well?
Boreanaz: Oh, I hate it. [Laughs] It takes me a while to sit down and memorize the lines. But the good thing about this show is that there's another person there for you, which is so important. You're going to get through it one way or another — but sometimes you do it and you don't know what the hell you've done; you feel like it's horrible. But then it comes out really great.
Deschanel: We have an amazing group of people working on the show. We're all good at what we do and we get along very well. I've been reading different books on forensic anthropology and trying to retain that knowledge. The more you read up on it, the more it becomes part of your vocabulary. It's like learning a foreign language.
Boreanaz: See, it's the exact opposite for me, because all [Seeley is] concerned about is getting his coffee. [Laughs] My character is very streetwise, and I kind of butt heads with [Emily's]. So the less I know about her language, the better I can react to that.
TVGuide.com: You seem to get along really well. What's the best part about working with each other?
Boreanaz: It's ever-changing; there's something new every day. From my perspective, you respect everyone no matter who they are. There are going to be times when we butt heads, and that's normal.
Deschanel: What are you are trying to say? Are you going to fight with me? [Laughs]
Boreanaz: Emily's cool. She has a similar background to mine; we've been around some great people and we both understand that people are people. We adapted to each other very quickly. We respect each other as people, not characters. I knew that I liked her right away when we did a read. She came in and took command of the room and made me get up and we went for it. Outside afterward, we were talking and she talked about the process and she said it in a way that was intriguing. I was like, "This woman has got some moxie behind her."
Deschanel: David always makes me laugh, that's the best thing about him. When I met David, I thought he'd be so intimidating, but I walked in and he was smiling and so friendly. He makes me feel so comfortable, it's really easy to work with him. I feel we can talk about things and work things through... I feel like I had something else I was going to say...?
Boreanaz: Just say salad.
Deschanel: OK, salad. I like salad. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Finally, David, the obligatory Angel question: Do you think you'll be returning to the character anytime soon?
Boreanaz: The only way it would work for me is if it was a full-length feature film directed by Joss Whedon or Tim Minear or David Greenwalt. It would have to be on an upper-scale level, not a TV thing. Maybe Broadway, but not a musical. More like a Sam Shepard play. [Laughs]