With nearly 60 credits to his name, you might recognize this guy from any number of projects—Friends and Nip/Tuck, to name a couple—but actor T.J. Thyne is finally through with bit-parts and zeroing in on the spotlight. As “the bug guy” Dr. Jack Hodgins on Fox’s Bones, Thyne’s physique for a lab rat is giving fans new meaning to the phrase, “body of work.” MF catches Thyne on set for a fall preview.
Right now you’re one the set shooting the third season of Bones. What other projects are you involved with right now?
I just went and shot a film. I played a priest in the 1940’s in a real-life story about the first woman electrocuted in the state of Louisiana. It was a comedy. [Laughs] No, I’m kidding. I was just shooting in Shreveport, and it’s so funny, doing a film with Jamie King and Denzel Washington was there, Forrest Whitaker, Katie Holmes, and all these other actors, in Louisiana. It was like a mini-Hollywood there. Ever since Katrina, [Hollywood’s] moved there because of the tax breaks, which I think is so smart. It was really cool and really neat to give back to the community, and it was intense and really excellent going to New Orleans.
Then I went and did a film with Brenann Hill, a runner up from Sundance, called Falls Don’t Lie, that I did in Louisiana where I got to be this gun-toting, drug-dealer guy, very different from the priest role and my character in Bones.
Tell me about your career? How did you get your start?
I started off in film. I did theatre all my life and then went into the film world. I then kind-of segued into TV land, which is a different experience. I am or was used to just being a recurring role.
Yeah, I remember seeing you in 24 a while back.
Right, I actually just went to a Fox party the other night and got to see Kiefer Sutherland and the rest of those guys again, who are going into their seventh season, which is great.
So what comes more naturally to you, TV or film? Or is it the mix that keeps you going in this industry?
Well, I come from the school of thought that acting is acting, is acting, is acting. It doesn’t matter if it’s on stage, TV, or a film camera. The opportunity to be a storyteller is the greatest thing in the world, and I feel so lucky and really love it. I think the best-case scenario would be to do all three—to woo all three sisters of film, stage, and television. I think the people who probably have it the best are the people on cable like on Entourage, the Sopranos, etc. who have 13 episodes per season and breaks to do films and theatre. I think that’s the most ideal life.
What’s life like on the set for the 3rd season, how’s it developed?
It’s fantastic. Even between breaks I’d see [the cast] as much as possible—there’s real friendship there. I went to dinner with Emily Deschanel and went to Mark Taylor’s wedding in Mexico. There’s a great community and friendships that have sprung out of this show, and I think that shows onscreen. We really enjoy each other’s company very much, and we push each other and challenge each other to get the best story we can get.