The Guardian

2001, TV Show


In Focus: For The Mentalist's Simon Baker, Good Looks Plus Hard Work Equals Success

Simon Baker

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 "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... read more


Elisabeth Shue will play Jim Carrey's wife in The Number 23, a psychological thriller about one of Hurley's numbers to be directed by Joel Schumacher.... Dimension Films and director Paul W.S. Anderson are prepping a thriller based on the video game Castlevania, reports Variety.... In The Guardian, Sela Ward has been cast as the wife of a legendary rescue swimmer played by Kevin Costner, who continues to beg for Waterworld-related slams. read more

I found an interesting ...

Question: I found an interesting statistic in a recent AP-TV Guide poll. It stated that people watch more TV as they get older: 14.7 hours per week for those 65 and older vs. nine hours for those 18 to 34, the age group most coveted by the networks. I'm not 65 or older, but I am a baby boomer, and although I'm not rich, I have a fair amount of disposable income and I watch a lot of prime-time TV. At the peril of generalizing the 18-to-34-year-olds, it seems to me that not only are they watching less TV, they have less disposable income because if they have jobs at all, they are entry-level, lower-paying jobs. They're also busy raising kids, coaching soccer or, if single, going out with friends to parties, bars etc. Given those (admitted) generalities, and the results of the poll, do you see any possibility that maybe someday the networks will decide we boomers are a somewhat better audience to play to than the 18-to-34 crowd? I'm not getting my hopes up, but it sure would be nice to be ... read more

Am I wrong for thinking ...

Question: Am I wrong for thinking something as corny as Ghost Whisperer will be roundly mocked by the critics and still do well? From Touched by an Angel, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder to, more recently, Judging Amy and The Guardian, it seems like CBS has always realized that there is an audience for a certain type of schmaltzy drama and GW seems to fit the bill. The only alteration seems to be sticking a bunch of really pretty young people in the cast to try to draw some kids in, too. I would like to see it do well for its cast and for Threshold's and Numbers' sake. Any thoughts? Answer: Good points, and you're no doubt right. I also hope Ghost Whisperer can help, not hurt, Threshold, which will need whatever boost it can get to attract viewers on Fridays. There is a long tradition of criticproof shows that pander to the viewers' heart-strings in a way that some of us find unbearably sappy, and Ghost Whisperer at its worst falls right into that pit. But it does have attractive actors ... read more

When I was young I went to ...

Question: When I was young I went to the drive-in with my family and saw a movie; I've never been able to figure out what it was. It was about a nanny who, best as I can describe it, fed babies into a tree.

Answer: That would have been The Guardian (1990), in which a modern-day Druid (Jenny Seagrove) masquerades as a nanny so she can kidnap babies to sacrifice them to a tree spirit.

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Premiered: September 25, 2001, on CBS
Rating: None
User Rating: (67 ratings)
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Premise: A young legal shark works in his father's high-powered firm and at a child-advocacy center. But the latter isn't exactly pro-bono work: it's part of a drug sentence. Still, the experience has changed him.



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