Somehow my ticket to mingle with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (that would be William and Kate) during their L.A. visit this past weekend must have been misplaced. No worries. The Mentalist star Owain Yeoman (Wayne Rigsby), one of the honorees at Saturday night's BAFTA Brits to Watch event, phoned me up with a play-by-play of the black tie event, which was attended by the future King and Queen of England, as well as Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman, Jason Bateman, Quentin Tarantino and Paul Rudd.
Owain says the event, held at a downtown Los Angeles theatre, was indeed something special. "There was a palpable excitement all night, and even the big names didn't leave until the very end," recounts the star. "This wasn't just Hollywood royalty — this was real royalty. Just seeing people like Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks and Jennifer Lopez bunched together and rushed down the red carpet so that the photographers would have time to photograph Kate was really funny."
Owain was one of six chosen actors recognized by BAFTA during the ceremony, which screened a clip from The Mentalist and the actor's 2008 HBO mini-series, Generation Kill. As an honoree, Owain was also treated to a one-on-one meeting with the royals. "I talked to Prince William about motorbikes and cars, which was one of the coolest moments of my life," he says. "I was hoping he'd say, 'My grandmother never misses The Mentalist in Buckingham Palace.'"
Owain says Kate was aware of The Mentalist and was curious to know about American film production. "She asked about the challenges of television and film work," says Owain, who joked with the couple about an erroneous E! Online story that claimed he was the fourth closest friend of the couple, along with Elton John, Guy Ritchie and Posh and Becks. "I showed it to her and she laughed."
Back at work, The Mentalist cast has just received their first script of the new season, which involves the aftermath of the shocking reveal of Red John (Bradley Whitford), as well as Patrick Jane's (Simon Baker) attempts to extricate himself from the law. "But we all suspect this is not the last we'll see of Red John," Owain adds. Though Bradley's character was killed, Owain reminds us that a Season Two episode hinted that Red John may be more than one person. "On the wall of a bathroom in Mexico in blood was written, 'He is man,' which is believed to be short for 'He is many.' Red John may be a whole network of people, so Bradley may not have been the guy. Red John is a series-long cliffhanger for us, so who knows? Maybe Prince William will turn out to be Red John!"