Thyne is one of those people who you just know from somewhere. A veteranof many memorable TV commercials and guest-spots, he finally has a worthy gig that delivers him straight to your living room every Wednesday night. Playing Dr. Jack Hodgins on Bones, TJ breaks the nerdy scientist stereotype and has become a fan favorite by making science a little bit sexy. Now that his flirtation with Angela, co-worker and resident reconstruction artist, has come to fruition, we’re bound to see a whole new layer of Hodgins.
We had a few questions for the answer man, and subjected TJ to our pointed 20 Questions. He gave us a bit more insight into Hodgins and his relationship with Angela, what the Bones cast is like and what David Boreanaz will be doing in a fish tank.
1. How did you find out that you got the role of Dr. Jack Hodgins on Bones?
I was so ecstatic finding out I got this role. I had just finished the network test for Bones, which is the last “audition” you partake in after a long string of auditions for the same role (at the time of auditions, Bones was actually called Brennan, there’s a little bit of trivia for ya).
I was actually leaving the Fox lot to rush to another network, then to another studio to test for two other shows. I was in my car driving down Olympic Blvd., running my lines for the next character, when the director called me to say “hey, so you got the part of Dr. Jack Hodgins.” My heart just jumped out of my body. I literally swerved a bit in my car and had to pull over on the side of the road just to take a breath. I was thrilled. I still am. Of all the parts I was testing for, this role was the one I really wanted to play. I think Hart Hanson has a genius way of writing characters and this character Jack has so much going on, so many layers, it’s an actor’s dream role… this actor’s, at least!
2. Hodgins could have easily gone the overly nerdy route, yet he’s become a fan favorite for his snark and hotness (snarky hotness, maybe?). So how did you decide to play him so dorky and yet so hot?
Hey, I like that question. And thanks for the “hot” comment!
The character breakdown/description of Dr. Hodgins at the auditions was a guy who always wears shorts and flip-flops, who has glasses that make him look like a bug. I don’t know… I just didn’t see the character that way at all. I mean he’s a doctor in a lab with three advanced degrees in entomology, botany and mineralogy. His occupation alone seems to suggest “dork” but I don’t think he is. Jack’s a real guy who happens to be a brilliant scientist — it’s just a talent he has, but it doesn’t define who he is as a human being. Outside of work, if you were to meet him at a party, you wouldn’t know what he did but you’d have a great conversation and think, “I like this guy.”
Jack really loves the hardball science, but he is madly passionate about women. He just is. That’s why when he goes into the lab one day and notices Angela, just really notices her, he’s hooked.
Have you ever had that happen? You just turn and look at someone that you’ve seen everyday of your life for the last few years and suddenly, you see them differently… you see them better… you, well, see them! That’s what has happened to Jack. He’s mesmerized by Angela. There is a line in one of the episodes that just aired where Zack says ‘dirt, Hodgins is all about dirt… and Angela, he’s all about dirt and Angela.’ I loved that line. That says it all.
3. Speaking of flirtations on Bones, what do you think of the Angela/Hodgins pairing?
I personally love that Jack and Angela have become a couple. It’s official now.
After she said no to him, he was pretty upset. But now, after the buried car episode, they’ve gotten extremely close and are in fact a couple. Though we’ve not seen them in bed together yet, we need to see that. Don’t you think?
It’s a lot of fun to play. I think Jack and Angela have a long future together, I hope at least.
4. Hodgins seems to have warmed up quite a bit over the two seasons of Bones.
He has, hasn’t he?
4a. How have you seen Jack’s progression?
Jack was very hot-tempered in the beginning, huh? Well, he does have a thick history.
There is a lot in Jack’s past that we still haven’t seen, events that really shaped a lot of his anger-management issues. His parents/family dying, his inheriting billions of dollars, his past relationships (which we will see in an upcoming episode — Jack once engaged?!).
Over the two seasons, you get to see Jack grow up a bit. He matures past being angry into being vulnerable at times. I mean he literally melts down to Brennan and to Angela in the buried car episode, [“Aliens in a Spaceship”].
He’s also found comfort around the team. He didn’t like Booth at first simply because of Booth’s job. He’s FBI, and Jack is a conspiracy theorist (though he’d never admit that himself, he’d say ‘it’s not conspiracy, it’s truth’). Plus Jack could sense Booth was moving in on Brennan, and Jack is very over protective of Angela, Zack, Brennan and Cam… the funny thing is, now Jack’s over protective of Booth too. He’s become part of the family to Jack.
In the end, Jack’s a great guy. He loves his work, loves his co-workers, and when you get past the hard shell, you come to find he’s really soft and gooey in the inside. (Okay, now I’m hungry for a Snickers bar, mmmm, or maybe a peanut butter cup!)
How great is this show! I just love that it’s so much about character relationship set in the world of forensics, instead of being all about the world of forensics with characters sprinkled in.
5. Jack has a lot of money. A lot of money. What do you see as one of his extravagances?
Jack has a lot of cars. In one episode last season, when Angela first finds out how obscenely rich Jack is, she asks Zack what it’s like being Jack’s roommate. Zack responds ‘I’m not his roommate, I’ve never been up to the main house, it’s across the tennis courts and the pond. I live above his garage.’ Angela is like ‘The main house?! How many cars does he have in that garage?’ Zack responds, ‘Including the antique ones?’
In the episode [“The Girl with the Curl”] where Jack takes Angela on a date at the swings, you’ll see in the park, behind Angela and Jack a beautiful vintage convertible Jaguar. That’s one of his cars.
Man, I loved that episode. Jack asking her out, she says no, then comes back and says yes, then the swing set, and the kiss… then her admitting it was the best date ever, but they work together and she just can’t, oh man, heartbreaking. Poor Jack, he’s so heartbroken at the end of that episode.
6. We saw in one episode that Hodgins drives a Mini Cooper. Personally I adore my own Mini (gold and black) did you enjoy driving the Mini?
I did love driving the Mini Cooper! It’s an original vintage Mini, not the new BMW’s. So it was trippy driving with the steering wheel on the right side instead of the left. Fun car, for sure. I can see why you love yours.
7. While you’re not a conspiracy theorist like Hodgins, is there anything in particular that you’re suspicious of – like how the holes get in swiss cheese, or why bad things always happen in threes?
Hmmmm…now that you mention it, who comes up with the expiration dates on food? And what if they are wrong?
8. We hear that David Boreanaz is quite the prankster. Does his mischief fit in with the cast or is it a more subdued set?
David is a prankster, he cracks me up. It’s amazing to me that he can be poking at someone, tugging on them, making us all laugh behind the camera, and then he walks out on screen and plays a great scene as if nothing has gone on two feet away.
This whole cast cracks me up, oh my God, Tamara and I can’t look at each other most scenes because we are afraid we’ll bust up laughing. It’s really hysterical and morbid to be on set. You have these six actors standing there, surrounded by mutilated corpses, talking thick science, and yet laughing together as if they were anywhere but standing over dead bodies.
We’ve all become extremely close as a cast. Genuinely. I wake up and think ‘I get to spend the day acting with five of my best friends today.’
9. What’s the weirdest technical line you’ve flubbed and made come out just “wrong”?
Yeah, I get a lot of tongue twister lines in this role. Spodoptera Ornithigally, tetrinicus ortici, specius speciousous, tibuson learison…and on and on. But it seems to be the simple lines that will periodically trip us up. We were laughing so hard on the pilot. The killer’s name was Kent Thompson. For whatever reason, every time Emily said his name, she kept making the “e” in KENT a “u.” We couldn’t keep a straight face. It must have happened 3 times in a row that ended in us all breaking up laughing.
10. You’ve done a lot of commercials, is there any commercial in particular that people remember you for?
Funny, I just got stopped yesterday from a woman at the grocery store who remembered me from the Foster Farms spots I did a long time ago. That was random. (I wonder if she bought chicken that day, and what brand?) Someone last week on set had just seen my Chevy truck commercial where I am singing ‘Man, I feel like a woman.’
Most people will remember me more from TV appearances, the Friends episode, 24 or The OC. I get Erin Brokovich and Ghost World a lot too. Commercials — I’d say probably the Best Buy one when I was kidnapped by the family, or the WCW spot driving in the carpool lane with a cardboard cut out.
Wow, I haven’t done a commercial in a while. They are fun to do. They’ve changed so much over the years, and really have to grab our attention to stop our Tivo long enough to watch the spot so they’ve become really great. Like shooting a mini movie.
11. If you were on a baseball team, what nickname would be embroidered on the back of your jersey?
When I was in high school I ran track, swam and wrestled. My nickname in wrestling was “Taz” as in The Tazmanian Devil. So maybe Taz… or just Devil.
12. What is the best unexpected compliment that you’ve gotten from a fan or otherwise?
A fan recently said to me, ‘the way I feel watching you watch Angela, is the way I want to feel when that ‘someone’ is watching me.’ How great is that?
13. Name one CD you have hidden under your seat and haven’t told anyone you have. Just one. We won’t tell.
Ha! Okay, so long as you promise not to tell. Um… let me think… I don’t really have any hidden CDs. But my latest craze: Regina Spektor, I think she’s great! Also Reeve Carney and The Revolving Band — really talented, such a great band, the music world will hear about them more and more soon.
14. Do you have any songs that you’re particularly addicted to?
In terms of individual songs, right now when I go running, I have My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade” on repeat. And you know what song I love? “Glory Box” by Portishead. Such a sexy, sensual song. That’s a crawl-into-bed-with-the-woman-you-love-and-make-her-feel-as-wonderful-as-she-is kind of song. I like that.
15. If each of your co-stars on Bones was in a tropical fishtank, what would they be? Fish? Frogs? The mermaid in the castle singing sailors to their doom?
Emily [Deschanel]’s the beautiful silky golden fish.
David [Boreanaz]’s the shark.
Eric [Millegan]’s that sweet fish who always swims really close to the glass to look back at you.
Tamara [Taylor]’s that fish you can’t take your eyes off of, that just sort of glides through the tank.
And Michaela [Conlin], she’s easily the gorgeous princess mermaid sitting softly on the castle wall. But not singing sailors to their doom, no…just smiling at them enough to make them melt into the bottom of the sea forever.
16. If you could ask everyone one question, and they’d have to answer it honestly, what would it be?
Who are you really in love with? Oooo, that’s a good one. That might get a lot of people in trouble. Maybe I shouldn’t ask that… ooo, but that would be good, huh?
17. You studied acting for several years and graduated from the USC School of Theater. What was your favorite role to play on stage?
Hamlet. My favorite role by far to play has been the Prince of Denmark himself.
18. What was the best piece of advice that you got from a teacher?
The best piece of advice came from the brilliant Larry Moss who said to me ‘you must be scrupulously truthful TJ, find the truth.’ Larry’s amazing. The best.
19. What do you have coming up next, in addition to Bones?
I really miss doing films. I’m hoping to get the chance to work on a film project again soon. But only when we are in-between shooting Bones.
20. Now that we’re heading into repeat season, do you have any big plans for the holidays?
I’m taking my sister Shelly to Tokyo for Christmas and Hong Kong for New Years. Neither of us had any plans, and we’re both without significant others this year, so we thought, screw it, let’s get far out of town. That should be a lot of fun, I’m looking forward to it! Wow, it’s just around the corner now. Happy Holidays everyone!