Talking to Robin Tunney about tonight’s (10/28) 100th episode of The Mentalist was a kick. What she had to say about the show was interesting. Even more fun was what she had to say about leading man Simon Baker.
“Simon loves women, and he’s like the least scary guy that loves women,” she told AARP.org. “He loves women because he loves his wife, and he’s been with her for 20 years, and he’s very comfortable around women and he’s good to women. He treats them as equals, and that’s a testament to the fact he loves his wife and he loves his daughter. But I can always tell when he’s going to think a girl is pretty. I know his type,” she said.
Yes, yes – go on. “So, the first year, what I used to do, if I saw a girl I knew he’d think was pretty, I’d go up to her and I’d say, ‘Will you go up to Simon and ask him for an autograph – and then tell him it’s for your mother?’ He would fall for it every time!” She laughed. “And then he finally caught on and I couldn’t do it any longer.”
If it sounds like something a teasing sister might do to her brother, well, Tunney does say that she feels Baker is like family to her by now. Acting as if they’d never met after all this time was one of the enjoyable parts of making tonight’s episode, she said. Set seven years ago, it is a compelling episode for fans and casual viewers alike, as it takes us back to the first time Simon Baker’s fake psychic, Patrick Jane – disheveled and fresh from his stint in a mental hospital – wandered into the California Bureau of Investigations offices in hopes of finding information about the murderer of his wife and child. To the team to which he’ll eventually become a valued consultant, he is just an odd guy who won’t leave.
“Now, when Jane does something inappropriate, I can’t really react that much. It’s too familiar. In this episode, I got to be much more reactive to his behavior and it was fun,” Tunney said.
According to her, this season – the series’ fifth – will finally narrow the field as to the identity of that serial killer, Red John. “It sort of becomes, we know it’s one of these people.”
Will Jane and her Teresa Lisbon character ever get together? Tunney doesn’t know, but sounded cool to the idea. “It would be like, where do you go from there? It’s very hard to build on. It’s not like a domestic drama. In a procedural it would be a really odd thing to play.”
By the way, what is Simon’s “type”?
“They’re generally women who share a physical resemblance to his wife, which I think is really sweet,” she said.