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Melanie McFarland blogs from the networks' midsummer press tour.

July 29, 2005

Hush hush, my darling ... no, really, zip it.

Here's a tip. If you really like an actor or actress -- and by "like" I mean, they star in dreams that have you waking up flushed and happy, or you decide they're adorable based on a character they play really well -- do yourself a favor and don't attempt to engage them. You'll ruin the fantasy.

Say hi, tell them you like their work, but leave it at that. Trust me. Nine times out of 10, more extensive encounters never end up being everything you expected. And all future experiences with that person on or off the screen will be tainted.

Deschanel and Boreanaz
Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz

Take yesterday's conversation with David Boreanaz, currently starring in Fox's investigative drama "Bones," airing Tuesdays at 8 as of Sept. 13. Boreanaz co-stars as Agent Seeley Booth, the law enforcer to Dr. Temperance Brennan's forensics anthropologist (Emily Deschanel).

Now, don't get me wrong, I've spoken with Boreanaz before, and he's nice enough. A very get-the-job-done sort of guy. And visions of him in "Angel," in which he played the strong, silent type to perfection, still make the ladies sigh.

Boreanaz broods too, but he is not silent. And that's too bad.

When asked about his experience with "Buffy" and "Angel," the shows that made him famous, he had this to offer about character development:

"We didn't have restraints. We were able to open up our lives, bring what was relevant to a character, make it real and personal to the people who were watching, which I think is more interesting to watch than a straightforward, typical person who's going to do what's arranged for them -- it never made sense to me."

OK, thanks. You can simmer down now.

"It never made sense in Joss's (Whedon, "Buffy" creator) world as well," he continued. "His eye was always into the unique little blue ball that was spinning freely, and within that is a spark. I think that we have that here, and it's a testimony to great writing because it has to be on the page."

After I sorted out what that speech was about, another questioner took us back to an earlier remark he had made about not initially liking "Bones" producers Hart Hanson and Barry Josephson. That launched Boreanaz into another long story about having gone to the audition on a bad morning that began with chasing his wild 3-year-old.

"I was remembering eating some bad muffins. I'm not supposed to eat muffins because it's a bad carb and your LPLs will be going up, but I wanted one anyway, and there just wasn't an equal amount of blueberries in this one muffin I wanted."

Blah blah blah, Boreanaz went into the office to talk about the script. "I was kind of conflicted with some of the ideas of, 'Is this going to be recent bones? Is this going to be a recently decomposed body? How is this going to work week to week?' And then Hart started talking about my show 'Angel,' and I just really was not into talking about that.

"And then Barry just sat there."

Mind you, this came after the session's highlight, when someone asked about the perks of being partnered with a strong female doctor versus a strong female vampire slayer.

"Well, I can actually go to bed with this one," Boreanaz said.

"You mean without losing your soul," Hanson added.

"Exactly," Boreanaz finished. "Possibly."

So you can still have those fantasies, ladies. Just make sure they start with, "Shh -- no more talking."

Posted by Melanie McFarland at July 29, 2005 02:47 PM
Comments

So basically, the gist is Mr. Boreanaz should just sit there and look pretty. Hmm. Interesting, because my understanding is you were at some sort of function, perhaps a convention of some sort, where actors have agreed to open themselves up to questions. Reads as if though Boreanaz did just that, and was friendly and candid to boot. What would you have him do? Grunt and nod? Seems to me that if you don�t want to hear what the man has to say, maybe you shouldn�t ask questions. I guess we�re all entitled to our opinions. In my opinion, your comments are rude, insulting, and blatantly immature.

Posted by: Kori at July 30, 2005 05:24 PM

Thank you Kori,

Couldnt have said it better myself.

Melanie - Your an idiot. Go back to the tabloids.

Posted by: Chrs at July 30, 2005 09:51 PM

Thank you Kori,

Couldnt have said it better myself.

Melanie - Your an idiot. Go back to the tabloids.

Posted by: Chrs at July 30, 2005 09:51 PM

Um, I wonder if you both could explain to me what Mr. Boreanz said. Because, like Melanie, I couldn't make heads nor tails of it. You all must be a whole lot smarter than the rest of us if that made any sense at all to you...

Posted by: Col at July 30, 2005 09:59 PM

Actually Kori, if you'd paid any attention or visited any jossverse related sites, you'd know that those Q&A;'s were from an interview, not a convention.Melanie was posting about that interview, and sure, she may have been insinuating that Mr. Boreanaz can be long winded, but so what? and in my opinion, you were just as rude as you claimed Melanie was.
in closing, as Buffy said to Cordy..your lips are moving...words are coming out of your mouth. this is never good.

Posted by: Karen at July 30, 2005 10:07 PM

Col~
basically, what David was saying was that when doing Angel, the actors were allowed to put as much of themselves as possible into their character, to make it more believeable for the fans, something we could connect with.
secondly, that during an interview (not a convention) David was remembering and describing his audition for his new show, Bones. The day of that audition, he'd had a bad morning, basically from the moment he woke up.
So basically melanie was just saying David had some long answers for some short questions, in an interview, not a convention.
P.S.~Chrs~I really wouldn't be calling someone an idiot if you don't know the difference between your and you're.

Posted by: Karen at July 30, 2005 10:22 PM

Kori and Chrs, just because there's a space for you type in a reply to Melanie's blog doesn't give you the right to spout off like a rude jack@#$.

This is what I can't stand about the Web: Weak little people flaming the world via the anonymity of their computer.

Since you'd never have the nerve to say what you said to her face, why don't you do everybody a favor and keep your insulting, anonymous comments to yourself, as well.

Posted by: jeff at July 30, 2005 11:36 PM

Journalists expect too much of actors. Not everyone makes a great interviewee. A few take to it naturally but many would benefit from training to master it. And let's face it, journalists are lazy. They ask the same questions time and time again. It must be dreadful finding an original way to answer a question you've been asked a thousand times.

Posted by: Deirdre Shaw at July 31, 2005 02:36 AM

Kori and Chris were absolutely correct. Melanie had nothing better to do than to pan David Boreanaz because she probably isn't receiving a whole lot of attention these days.

Karen needs to lighten up as well. To criticize a blogger's vocabulary when she herself starts a sentence with the word "and" is extremely shallow and in poor judgement. This is a classic example of a pot calling a kettle black. As for Jeff's comments, I found it interesting that he would feel the need to post about insulting people, when he himself insulted the bloggers. Anybody can post a note here, Jeff and Karen. Even idiots like you two.

Posted by: Mary at July 31, 2005 09:44 AM

Ahh yes. Another coward hiding behind her computer.

Posted by: jeff at July 31, 2005 11:35 AM

I assume he must ave done something to offender her. Why else would someone either get assigned or ask for an interview and then pretty much say, that the person is so longwinded that it's painful. She could have peppered her interview with a couple more subtle words to get her point across, but to flat out say this man talks too much is crass. He probably does talk non stop, pointlessly, but part of a good interviewer is to get the subject back on track.

Posted by: Timo at July 31, 2005 11:48 AM

Karen, while you're right that it wasn't a convention (which, if you read, Kori said "perhaps a convention", not "definitely") it wasn't an interview either. 'Interview' alludes to a one-on-one interview. This was, as Kori said, a 'function'. More specifically, this was the FOX Upfronts. A media Q&A; session, open to all tv press, not a one-on-one interview session.

Posted by: Chloe at July 31, 2005 12:09 PM

Ive always like Boreanaz, and appreciated the fact he opened up to the questioners. To bad the Sci-Fi channel couldnt have picked up Angel for just one more season...The ending was kinda Bullshit...and I felt they could have done it better...


Posted by: Brent at July 31, 2005 12:42 PM

I guess I am seeing this differently. In the opening paragraph, Melanie McFarland discusses how fantasies turn to blinding realities when talking to celebs for more then 1 minute. Seems to me that HER fantasy is what got deflated. I'm sorry that she does not have that dream image anymore (glad I still have mine intact though).

I would be interested in seeing the entire interview. It appears that fragments were taken and used to express a point of view that may not be the same as others who would know the context of all of the interview. So Melanie, would you be willing to post the entire interview word for word and let us have a peak at what you may have left out, or would that be too risky of a journalist to offer us the unbiased account? And cause I am a sceptic- would you please het Mr B to endorse the entirity as being truthful? Its not that I don't trust journalists, its just that I don't trust journalists to report something unbiasedly.

Posted by: Judy at July 31, 2005 02:10 PM

I think what this boils down to is a person who goes to hear people speak and answer questions, and when they do, she speaks poorly of them. It doesn't matter who it was - it was tacky. If she doesn't want to hear what they have to say, perhaps she should stay home, or perhaps report on happenings in Seattle. I guess its back to that old saying, "those who can, do; those who can't, criticize." And, Jeff, you are just as hidden by your computer as the rest of us.

Posted by: Sharon at July 31, 2005 03:04 PM

Perhaps motive is the key when meeting an actor. In 1967 I watched a Playhouse 90 presentation, "The Final War of Olly Winter", starring Ivan Dixon (of Hogan's Heroes fame). Dixon played an American soldier lost in the jungles of Vietnam. Anyway, I was emotionally moved by the story and especially by Dixon's skill in bringing the character to life. I swore to myself that if I ever had the opportunity to thank Dixon for his efforts I would. About 12 years later I was living in LA and Dixon walked into the store where I was working. I immediately recognized him and approached him and told him how meaningful his "Olly Winter" had been for me. I think he appreciated my 'thank you' and we talked of his later endeavors and then parted. I wonder if that sort of meaningful encounter, based on a dramatic presentation, is possible in today's glitz and beefcake TV? If so, meeting and listening to an actor of substance is defiinitely worthwhile.

Posted by: Bill Stankus at July 31, 2005 05:14 PM

While I'm not entirely sure what Boreanaz was getting at with some of his answers (and I'm a HUGE Joss Whedon fan), I'm also left wondering what what point the author of this article was trying to make.

IMO, it's the job of the interviewer (in this context, at least) to put the interviewee at ease and try to make them look good. That's why Johnnie Carson was so successful; he was the best interviewer in the business because he made other people look good. So while this article certainly doesn't reflect well on David Boreanaz, I don't think it reflects well on the interviewer either.

Posted by: Sandra at July 31, 2005 10:04 PM

Ahh... It appears that the journalist has just experienced one of the many dreaded fantasy-shattering occurrences: being struck by the blunt truth that celebrities are mere human beings.

Poor girl.

Posted by: Laura at August 1, 2005 02:05 PM

Hey folks! Boreanaz is never going to be your best friend or care what you think or know who you are, OK? He's dull, get over it and move on. You're gonna be late for your shift at the comic book shop.

Posted by: Boom Dynamite at August 1, 2005 02:41 PM

It seems that some journalists just like to report the negative (rather like some so called 'fans') and miss out all the good things said and this report is a classic case of one such report. Sorry Melanie, but other reporters who were there did a far better job. It seems to me you have done exactly what you accused David of doing... talking a lot about nothing, sigh. Having spoken to David myself and heard him speak in public he has always truck me as being a very open, funny yet sometimes shy guy. He's a human being just like the rest of us but we don't always like actors to be human do we? Or so it seems. At least he admits to not always being in the best mood, lol. Perhaps Melanie was having one of those bad days when she wrote this commentary, I hope so for I can't imagine another explanation for her having such a negative spin as she has here. His sense on fun still can through though, chuckle. He does think a lot about sex as I recall, and ice cream lol. So do I when I think about David........... I think I'd better go now. Shuffles away whistling.....

Posted by: Angela at August 1, 2005 03:23 PM

Picking up on the last two comments, I don't think anyone who knows Boreanaz, has ever said he was dull. People who work with him find him funny (funny features a lot, something to do with a pretty anarchic sense of humour I guess,) very professional and supportive of other professsionals.

What he isn't is the world's most articulate interviewee. Nevertheless, his eight years in Whedonverse really developed his acting skills and, albeit on only one showing, he showed himself no mean talent as a director. OK so he's crap at interviews. That may come. I remember what the NZ actor Sam Neill was like when he first came to prominence. He came over as catatonic and he gives great interview now. Sometimes interviews seem to be more about the interviewer than the interviewed and this seems a case in point.

Now if only Boreanaz didn't have a cloth ear for accents...

Posted by: Deirdre Shaw at August 2, 2005 08:30 AM

The question here remains - what was Melanie's fantasy? The one that was dashed so mercilessly?
What did you think that your question will bring out? Ah, wait, it turns out it wasn't even Melanie asking the questions - but other people. What happened to you dear Melanie? Didn't get a turn? Fell embarrased and decided to take it on DB?
You are not going to get a lot of sympathy here. Still, thanks for your - loopy- report.
One more thing: publicity junkets are just that. No earth shatering revelations are meant to come out of them. Not even that anyone associated with the media (TV gals in a Faux context to boot) is remotely trustworthy.

Posted by: Pixipuppy at August 2, 2005 10:49 AM

Pixipuppy nailed it. Melanie wanted DB to shut up so she can talk. Interview was somewhat of a misnomer too. Probable a gaggle of reporters shouting questions and dear melanie just wasn't loud enough. Oh, the humanity!

Posted by: Roxanne at August 2, 2005 12:07 PM
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