Go ahead and stare at Simon Baker. Gawk at his curly golden locks and his winning smile. He doesn't mind, really.
"It doesn't bother me because I know time is ticking," the 41-year-old Baker tells TVGuide.com. "I've been doing this for almost 20 years, and I'm able to see myself age on film. Eventually I know what I'm going to become — I've seen my father."
When Bruno Heller was looking to cast a leading man to play the role of Patrick Jane in The Mentalist, he was won over by Baker's looks as well. But he quickly learned there was much more beneath the surface. "What Jane does is get in people's physical space and inside their heads, and in order to do that, you have to be someone that people want to be close to, whether they know it or not," Heller says. "It needed a very magnetic personality playing the part.
Look back at Simon Baker's most memorable roles
"Simon has a physical and mental grace. He's always switched on — he's always alert, always alive," Heller continues. "If you watch him working on a stage, he's never just going through the lines. He's always looking for the extra grace notes. It's actually a much tougher job. Very few actors can do the hard physical work that must be done on a show like this."
But back in the late 1980s, when Baker first began acting in commercials in his native Australia, he laughed at the idea of considering acting a form of labor...
Robin Tunney and Simon Baker
Patrick Jane got closer than ever to his psychopathic nemesis, Red John, in The Mentalist's Season 2 finale, but an end to Jane's quest for vengeance couldn't be further away.
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"Jane was pretty badly traumatized by his encounter with Red John," creator/executive producer Bruno Heller tells TVGuide.com "It wasn't on Jane's terms. He felt ... violated and to a degree humbled by the experience. Jane had always had some sense that this was an equal duel of wits. But the last episode showed it was certainly more of a cat-and-mouse thing going on, and that Red John was holding all the cards."
Worse, Red John abducted psychic Kristina Frye (Leslie Hope), the first woman Jane (Simon Baker) had allowed himself to get close to since the murder of his wife and child at Red John's hand. Heller says Jane will pull away from Lisbon (Robin Tunney) and the rest of the team...
Leslie Hope and Simon Baker, The Mentalist
After two seasons of hunting the serial killer that murdered his wife and daughter, is The Mentalist's Patrick Jane ready for a little off-the-clock happiness in his life?
In Thursday's penultimate Season 2 episode (10/9c on CBS), Jane (Simon Baker) investigates the murder of a man who works to fight human trafficking. While on the case, Jane's path crosses once again with Kristina Frye (24's Leslie Hope), the psychic therapist he met last season and who is now also consulting part-time for the police. And it's safe to say that Jane is a little smitten.
Check out photos of The Mentalist's cast
"The producers were looking for somebody to engage Jane in a slightly different way than has been happening with his character at work," Hope tells TVGuide.com of her character's return...
The latest person to fall under Patrick Jane's spell on The Mentalist is Jane's new boss, Special Agent Madeline Hightower.
Check out photos of The Mentalist cast
"She's really fascinated by him," Aunjanue Ellis, who plays Hightower, tells TVGuide.com. "She respects him, and I think there's an element of her she sees in him. She's a strategist and she's able to, with a lot of fluidity, handle a wild card like Patrick [Simon Baker] and at the same time deal with the incredible bureaucracy that comes with having a job like that."
But make no mistake: Hightower, who makes her debut Thursday, is no pushover...
Lost, The Vampire Diaries, Heroes
Every week, editors Mickey O'Connor and Adam Bryant answer your burning questions. Want some TV scoop? Please send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any Lost scoop? — Ari
MICKEY: You can add Katey Sagal's name to the list of Lost alums who have jetted off to Hawaii to shoot scenes for the final season. Call me a romantic, but I never believed that Locke's beloved Helen was actually dead; that whole cemetery scene reeked of fakery. Plus, we've all heard the rumors about Season 6 employing an alternate timeline (or, more intriguing, a "do-over" of Oceanic Flight 815), which means that even if Matthew Abaddon was telling the truth, Helen is still just as likely to be alive as, say, Charlie, Boone, Shannon, Eko or Juliet.
Sylar crawled out of the ground on Monday's Heroes. Does that mean no more Nathan? — Justin
ADAM: That remains to be seen. But I will tell you this...
Robin Tunney, The Mentalist
Nearly every show on TV has to deal with will-they-won't-they sexual tension between its series leads. CBS' The Mentalist is no different.
"You always want to keep the audience wanting and guessing," Robin Tunney tells TVGuide.com. "Once it happens it's very difficult to know where to go from there."
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As California Bureau of Investigation Agent Teresa Lisbon, Tunney finds herself fighting that battle with co-star Simon Baker's Patrick Jane. Lisbon's disdain for Jane slowly gave way to flirty camaraderie, and in the Season 1 finale, Jane fatally shot a man to protect her. But that doesn't mean 'shippers should expect a wild love affair in Season 2...
Simon Baker, The Mentalist
All is right in the perfect world of The Mentalist.
On the show's set, on a crisp, sunny day in Los Angeles, everyone is smiling. The stars are smiling, the public relations people are smiling, and the reporters shuttled in from their hotel to eat donuts and talk to the cast are smiling. But no one smiles brighter than Simon Baker.
ER's John Stamos will star in Killing Mr. Kissel, a Lifetime original movie based on the true story of multimillionaire brothers (good...) who each wed the woman of their dreams (good...) only to wind up dead (unfortunate). Anson Mount (Conviction) plays Stamos' bro, and Robin Tunney (Prison Break) is one of the brides.Per the Reporter, Stamos is also developing Baby Love, a TNT pic about the founder of Project Cuddle, a national organization that works to save babies from being abandoned or harmed. — Matt Mitovich
Robin Tunney by Jamie McCarthy/ WireImage.com
Having seen her Prison Break run cut short when she was abruptly offed in the first episode of Season 2, this time Robin Tunney aims to be on the sending end of a bullet. Tunney has been cast in the CBS pilot The Mentalist, playing a no-nonsense police detective who gets the occasional assist from the super-observational Simon Baker.Related:• Simon Baker Goes Mental for CBS
Question: Am I the only one who is concerned with the morality of Prison Break? I understand that Lincoln was about to die for a crime he didn't commit, and I'm sure Michael didn't intend to loose T-Bag on an unsuspecting world. However, T-Bag and mob boss Abruzzi are out there. Is Lincoln's life worth that of any innocent who may be hurt or killed? I really don't mind if Sucre and C-Note get away; they're basically nonviolent criminals and probably deserved shorter sentences. But Michael has certainly ruined his own life. Is it worth it?
Answer: Those are the big questions that make Prison Break more interesting than a conventional chase thriller. Scofield is a hero with some major baggage. To get justice for his brother, he has put some seriously nasty characters on the street, and that should be haunting him as well as us. Problem is, I don't care about enough of these characters (Tweener? Really?) to compel me to sit through their subplots each week.
On another Prison Break note,