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THE SUNDAY CONVERSATION

She's L.A. to the bone

September 23, 2007|Choire Sicha | Special to The Times

Emily Deschanel was born in Los Angeles, where she still lives. She stars in "Bones," which begins its third season on Fox on Tuesday and is shooting Episode 7 of what may be as many as 28. She does not talk like a Valley Girl.

Is your personal life all set up in L.A.?

It's hard to see friends. You can see people once in a while -- they can stop by set. I went to my friends' wedding in July; I was a bridesmaid! I knew her since she was 7 and he was 12. I see people who've moved from different places, and they don't have those long friendships. It's nice when you have that history of people, it's kind of a shorthand! They know who you are, and they can call you on things that people can't.

Rarer and rarer.

I'm surprised -- I have a lot of friends I've grown up with that I'm still friends with. But it's funny that I've met a lot of people and I say I'm from Los Angeles and there's two things. You say you're from L.A. and people say, "I'm sorry." I hate that! That usually happens outside L.A. And the thing people say in L.A., they say, "You're the second person I've met from here." Or the first person!

That's crazy.

This is a place people come to sometimes for the wrong reasons. And that's why people say, "I'm sorry." I think people come here seeking fame and fortune and stuff like that.

How dark are you? You're not a happy-go-lucky Valley Girl.

I'd say I'm more a positive person than a negative person. But I think that's also a choice.

Right.

I realize we can all get stuck in negative thoughts and negativity. I do it myself. But I try to fight against it. It's a struggle, but I'm not an unhappy person! I'm not an extremely dark person. It's important to embrace certain dark things. I guess, dark thoughts? In order to accept them and move on. I'm not freaked out by -- I'm doing this show about death all the time. And that doesn't freak me out.

As a smoker, I've been thinking about death quite a bit.

I think that people with smoking, and drinking, or drugs or overeating or any of that, they want that pleasure in the moment. Instead of the pleasure of living a longer life. You make that choice: I really want the pleasure of a cigarette right now. I don't think there's a smoker who doesn't think it can harm their health. But you make that choice -- until it becomes not as important to their health in the long run. I never got addicted to them, so it's easy for me to talk about it!

You've never appeared in the tabloids in shackles, never been arrested for drunk driving.

I think knowing someone who did that really makes a difference. I knew somebody who drove drunk and killed a whole family. So when you know someone who does that, you're not going to go around drinking and driving. It's a good scare. And thank God he died. That's a horrible thing to say. But to live with killing a family -- except for one son, who wasn't in the car. I'm not that much of a bad girl. But I wouldn't have a chance to be, on this schedule. There are some people who can do really bad things and keep horrible schedules. But I can't drink before I work. If I have a glass of wine the night before I work, I feel it the next day. Maybe a good thing. But yeah -- I'm older! I'm not Lindsay Lohan, I'm not Britney Spears. I'm not so young! I was not in the public eye at a young age, and I think that's a dangerous thing for those girls. It's hard to come of age under a microscope. I don't wish that on anyone. Granted, I wasn't doing things like that when I was their age either!

Do people who advise you say that you should do things to be more famous?

I don't work with people who would advise me to do things like that. The only reason people do publicity is to get you more work or more diverse work. I'd never work with people whose goal is to make people famous. I do my work, and I do things to help the show. And promote the show -- I do want people to watch it! My work is to be an actor. The other stuff you have to learn how to swallow. Some people do it for fame or whatever. Which, you know, they usually get that. But there's nothing to back it up.

Does that matter anymore?

There are people who are famous for just being themselves. And they make money like that. And if you look at the culture, that's just happened -- I don't think it was that way 15 years ago. It's pretty crazy. The tabloid magazines and how popular they've become -- I thought we were moving forward in a lot of ways! And women being objectified on certain levels, what's a delicate way to put this, I don't want to name certain people -- you'd think we'd moved on from such things. But there are more and more people who are just out there and there's no content whatsoever. What makes me sad is when I look at young girls and the people they have to look up to. It's depressing.

What should one do?

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