Michaela Conlin Makes No 'Bones' About It

Days before the premiere of season 6 on Fox, the 'Bones' actress was being fitted for a pregnancy suit and dishing about her character's future.

By Nalea J. Ko, Reporter
Published January 19, 2011

After six seasons of working around prosthetic dead bodies on the show "Bones," you could say actress Michaela Conlin has seen her share of gore.

Her character Angela Montenegro draws forensic facial reconstructions for the show's fictional Jeffersonian Institution. With a team of experts, Montenegro helps dissect FBI case files typically involving human remains in various stages of decay.

Conlin says after six seasons of being on the show, the props have reached a new level of gross. But there is something else on "Bones" that has been making Conlin a tad uncomfortable.

"I'm pregnant on the show," Conlin said after returning from a fitting for a new prosthetic pregnancy suit. "I've been in it for about five episodes now. I'll say it's not the most comfortable thing. I'm sure it's more comfortable than actually being pregnant."

Despite the graphically simulated skeletons and rotting bodies, it is the interpersonal relationships that interest many fans of the show "Bones." Relationships like Conlin's character's marriage to Dr. Jack Stanley Hodgins IV are the subject of online fan forums.

Of course fans are also interested in the interactions between FBI agent Seeley Booth and Temperance "Bones" Brennan, the show's main characters.

Now as season 6 of "Bones" returns on Jan. 20 for its winter premiere, there are new twists and complications in the characters' lives.

"I think in many ways we're going to see her struggling with a very kind of conventional story point, which I like," Conlin said about her character. "At first I sort of I wasn't sure how I felt about wearing a pregnancy suit and being pregnant for most of the season. I have to say, after 120 episodes it's been a really nice change. It sort of forces you to not get lazy."

After playing Montenegro since the show's inception, Conlin says some fans might be surprised to know that she does not have artistic talents like her character. She explains that her "actual artistic talents are pretty limited." However Conlin says her character's art skills piqued her interest in taking painting classes in the show's early years. 

But the actress says an element of her character's personality has seeped into her life.

"Angela really just goes from her gut and has very strong opinions and feelings about things and isn't scared to voice them," Conlin said. "I knew that if I got to play her for 12 hours a day that would definitely seep into my life, which it has, I think. You can't say those lines all day and not have it affect you."

Conlin has been part of the original "Bones" cast since it premiered in 2005.

Part Chinese and Irish American, Conlin says she was raised outside of Philadelphia. The actress got her first professional job as a child in "The King and I" for which she earned $100. She later went on to graduate from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University with a bachelor's degree in theater.

Living in New York, Conlin says she was always able to spot a fellow Hapa on the street.

"I think the fellow Hapas usually we can pick each other out," Conlin said breaking into a laugh. "I used to live in New York City as soon as I saw a Hapa on the street I would give them the Hapa wave."

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