Playing Bones' Jack Hodgins Went Against The One Thing T.J. Thyne Tried To Avoid

For a great many actors, getting on a long-running TV show is the dream. Steady work is hard to come by as an actor, and network television is one of the best ways to find such work (or at least it wasgiven that we're now in the age of streaming). Actor T.J. Thyne found himself in precisely that situation playing Jack Hodgins on Fox's "Bones." For 12 seasons, Thyne got to bring the forensic entomologist to life, but in taking the job, the actor put himself in precisely the situation he had been avoiding for years.

Speaking with Oh No They Didn't! in 2007, just a couple of seasons into the show's run on Fox, Thyne was asked about playing the same character for so many episodes for multiple years. In response, he explained that he had previously resisted such things, because he didn't want to get stuck doing the same thing for years on end. But in this case, it proved to be the right situation for him. Thyne explained:

"To be completely honest, I've always resisted the whole 'series regular' thing. Over the years I've tested for so many shows and when I got to the studio test, I'd pull myself out thinking — I can't spend 6 years on a show playing the same character, I can't do it! To me, the idea of playing different characters in different genres was always what I wanted to do. But when Bones came along and the character of Jack Hodgins had so many different colors and opportunities, I took a risk for the first time. And I'm so glad I did. Jack's got a lot of different layers, we've got an amazing cast, great writing and [series creator] Hart Hanson is a genius in terms of being a showrunner."

'I can be happy playing Jack Hodgins for the rest of my life'

Bear in mind, this was relatively early on in the show's run. By the end of it, when the show aired its finale in 2017, Thyne had starred in 245 of the show's 246 episodes – just about every single one of them. He was right there with David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel as one of the show's anchors. Even then, the actor saw the value in playing a regular on a cable show, which was becoming more popular around that time. He recalled:

"I do miss playing a lot of different characters, as well as film. I think cable guys have the best. Guys like Michael C. Hall get to play an amazing character [Dexter] and still have time to do film and everything like that. But if I had to be on a show on network television, I'm so thrilled that it's this. I'm glad I never took anything before that would have prevented me from being on Bones."

It would be hard to say it didn't pan out. Thyne's time on "Bones" helped give him a career with flexibility. That stability allowed him to take risks when the show wasn't filming and, in the years since, he's undoubtedly had financial security so he can focus on what he wants to do creatively rather than merely having to survive. Even at that time, he was making time for other things, as he explained in the same interview.

"I spent the hiatus and did 4 movies, small parts. But it was nice to jump back in. I played a 1940s priest in the south, then a tattoed gun-totting drug dealer in LA and the voice of an Armadillo on a Nickelodeon show. As long as I can find time to squeeze in some parts here and there I think I can be happy playing Jack Hodgins for the rest of my life."

"Bones" is currently streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.