'Bones' star Michaela Conlin on her on-screen relationship: 'I have faith in them'
Angela and Hodgins became one of my favorite TV couples from the moment we saw the first hints of flirtation between them on Bones. So when Michaela Conlin braved the rainy New York City streets last week to pop into the EW.com offices (sans entourage!), I was thrilled to ask her all the character-related questions that have been plaguing my little fan brain since we saw the pair’s surprise wedding. The best part? She didn’t look at me like I was crazy. In fact, she was totally willing to geek out right along with me and speak about her character with thoughtfulness and excitement. Read on for her take on the couple’s surprise nuptials and what the future holds for our match made in squinty heaven.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did you like how Hodgins and Angela’s wedding played out?
MICHAELA CONLIN: I did like how it played out. I was very surprised by it. I thought for the longest time it’d be Sweets and Daisy getting married. That was a big shocker. I think I heard rumblings of it only one or two episodes prior to getting the script. So it was kept pretty under wraps for a while, which is good. Normally, we have more of an idea of what may or may not happen. But that was a true surprise, which I liked. It was really fun to shoot. My father called and told me, ‘Why didn’t you tell me that you were going to get married?’ And I was like ‘Well, I wanted you to be surprised.’ There are very few real surprises left in life so I figured [shrugs]. I’m really excited about it and to see what they’re going to do with us next season. Angela isn’t really one to settle down. But I know Hart [Hanson, creator of Bones] has a lot in store for that challenge being that they’re so different. Hopefully Angela won’t feel like he’s a ball and chain. [Laughs] No, I’m just kidding. I think she’s always been just so in love with him. I think it’s going to be a fun season.
I don’t think she would have said ‘yes’ if she didn’t. She’s not the type.
No. I know. She’s had enough time to think about it.
Did you like the ceremony? Did you think it matched who they are as a couple?
Yea. That’s a good question. I hadn’t thought about that, but yea I do. I think underneath all the ex-husbands, ex-girlfriends, engagements, separations, they really just like being around each other and really get each other. I think that was enough for her.
Did you feel cheated at all because you didn’t get to wear a big wedding dress again?
No, I didn’t. Actually, I’m glad we did that because I already did that. She already walked down the aisle at the end of season 2. I was glad that we didn’t try to top that and make it something else. I was glad they did it the way that they did.
So what can we expect from them now?
I don’t think it will be too typical with them. I know that. I think it will be a challenge, definitely, but also happy…hopefully. [Laughs] But I do think it’s going to have its ups and downs. I know she loves him, but I don’t know. We’ll see how they fare. I have faith in them. I think they’re going to do fine.
Hart referred to Angela and Hodgins’ relationship as the show’s “steam valve” recently, the thing that releases a little bit of that tension created by the Bones/Booth relationship. Do you think it’s good to have something to satisfy the fans’ need for a happy ending?
I do. Hodgins and Angela have been together for a while now; I think it’s important for the series. I think it’s important to see a couple that’s functional and is really releasing some steam — if you want to put it that way. But I think the Brennan and Booth relationship had a big release in the 100th episode. I think they played that out well, showing the two of them being together prior to the series. So we’ll see what happens. But yes, I enjoy being the steam valve.
Do we find out in the last episode whether or not Brennan has told Angela about what happened in episode 100?
No. That’s a good question. We don’t address any of that…I think. Not that you’ve seen, I should say. From up to the point that you’ve seen, no. But they will. They will be soon. They tell each other everything. I think they always know what’s going on with the other. And I think Angela knows on some level, too.
So what can you tell me about the finale?
I can’t tell you much. I’m under strict orders, but I can tell you that it’s as big of an episode as the 100th in its own way. I think a lot of our season finales elicit very strong reactions from our fans, our very ardent fan base. I think this one is no different. It’s very surprising. That’s really all I can say.
What are you hoping to see for your character and some of the others next season?
Aside from Hodgins and Angela being married, I would really love for the focus for Angela to shift onto things other than her relationship storylines, which we’ve done a lot of in the last few seasons. I’d like to see maybe her mom coming to the show or maybe other members of her family. I’d like to get in to the family dynamics of Hodgins and Angela — being that he doesn’t have any and I have this really iconic father. I think that’d be really interesting to see. I really loved seeing Brennan and Booth with other people. I loved the stuff with Rena Sofer and Diedrich Bader [who play Dr. Catherine Bryar and Andrew Hacker]. I think it’s a really good match to light under everyone’s burner. It’s nice to see some new people in there making everyone jealous.
I like seeing Angela in the lab helping actively with cases. I feel like she’s been doing that a bit more. Was that a conscious decision?
I think so. The show now has self-sustaining episodes; we’re able to air them out of order. That had a lot to do with it, making sure that when the show reruns you’re not confused as to why I’m with a woman, with a man, with an ex-husband, a husband. I think it became more of a need to keep things clear. As well as I wanted to make sure she wasn’t an auxiliary member. I think that was something I’d sort of said that I wanted to address. I think they brought her in more, which is nice. But I would like to see her getting involved more. When Angela and Sweets went undercover, I thought that was really fun. I’d like to see her getting more involved with cases directly.
I feel like Cam is where your character was a couple of seasons ago, in terms of placement. I think they’re trying to find what role she plays in the group. What storylines would you like to see for her?
I really loved seeing Tamara in all the scenes with her daughter. I loved the whole Michelle storyline. I thought that it really warmed us up to her and showed us a different side to her, rather than her just being the boss and telling everyone what to do. I like that she now is sort of flummoxed by this young girl. I guess being that she was brought in sort as one of Booth’s ex-girlfriends, I feel like her and I started in very different [places]. I started as an original member of the squints and sort of a very — what’s the word I’m looking for — sexually?… [Laughs] yes, I was a sexually aggressive person from the beginning. So we’re different in that way. I really liked seeing her with her daughter. I think they were great. I’m also interested to see what happens with Sweets’ character because something interesting happens with him in the season finale.
“Interesting,” you say?
Yes. Something. [Laughs]
That’s all I’m getting, right?
Yes. [Laughs] But I’m interested in his backstory as well. We haven’t seen much of that. I think it’s time for him.
What are you up to during the hiatus?
I’m here [in New York] for five weeks. I really wanted to leave L.A. and not drive and go to theater and see my family and friends, and just be back in New York for a minute.
What are you hoping fans’ reaction is going to be to the finale?
I think it’s going to be a split. But I like it when it’s split.
…because Hart is the one who gets all the complaints via Twitter, right?
I know! He really does. But in his defense, that’s what I love about this season finale. He hasn’t sort of stopped trying to be provocative with the finale. He hasn’t pulled back with all of the people complaining or moaning or liking it or hating it. He did not give us a lukewarm finale, which I like. I’d rather it be this way than something mediocre, boring.
Something people forget.
Yea. I mean everyone’s still talking about the… when was that first… God, I can’t even think. This is when I don’t have enough coffee. My brain starts to decompose, like a body.
The Bones season finale airs 8pm ET Thursday on Fox.