McKayla Maroney is so serious about coming out on top in gymnastics that she’s willing to kill to stay there. At least on television, that is.
Maroney made an appearance on Friday’s episode of Bones, playing a gymnst named Ellie who becomes Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth’s (David Boreanaz) top suspect after her rival turns up dead.
The pint-sized gymnast managed to nail her audition even though she was playing under the weather.
“I had strep throat when I went in. I didn’t know my lines or anything!” Maroney tells TVGuide.com. “I kind of just winged it. I honestly had no idea how I did…. So when I got the part, I was so excited.”
That’s fine, McKayla said, as the Bones set wasn’t exactly equipped the way her practice studio would.
“I probably would’ve done some vaulting, but they didn’t have any set up for the level that I am. They were all for younger gymnasts,” she says. “It’s more acting-based. I had to do gymnastics, like I did a round of handspring layouts, which I do every day in the gym and isn’t hard for me to do. But it was very hard for me to be ready to do gymnastics and then be ready to act. I would do a tumbling pass and then have to talk. But that’s how it’s supposed to be, like I’m in the gym and it’s OK if I’m out of breath. It was an amazing experience. I had so much fun. Everyone was so nice.”
The plot of the episode was a bit crazy for McKayla. Her gymnastics rival didn’t just get murdered, but actually had her remains struck by lightning too.
“The plot is so crazy,” Maroney says. “It’s funny because a lot of people have been tweeting me, ‘I always knew she was a little dangerous. Of course she’d go in for this. Of course she’s a suspect.’ ”
McKayla, who turns 18 on Monday, said she has been focused on returning to the Olympics in 2016. She said it was a goal she set for herself as she stood on the silver medal podium for the vault finals in 2012, the one that produced the “not impressed” meme.
“I’m standing there thinking, ‘Man, now I’ve got to go to Rio,’ ” Maroney said. “I was already thinking about what I had to do for 2016.”
Hopefully for McKayla Maroney that doesn’t mean having to kill any rivals.