Thursday, June 28, 2012

He is the not so famous Australian that has done a lot of work in the States. He is Simon Baker, an actor who even stared in the famous 2006 movie, “The Devil Wears Prada,” playing a smooth talking writer, but, who remembers him in it? People are finally remembering him for his work on the TV series, “The Mentalist.” which is in its 5th season now. He plays a character who is haunted by his past.
His character on the hit show is both annoying but very charming at the same time. It hardly looks like he is acting but more like his personal persona. In real life Simon considers himself to be a shy person. He feels it is a challenge to play a character who is so verbose and also so confident at times with such bravado as he describes himself. Being such a handsome man , the charming comes easy.
Baker was born on the Australian Island of Tasmania and grew up on the coast of South Wales. He is proud of his working class background, but says that he had a difficult childhood. By having a strong dominant step-father, they never saw eye to eye on issues having a repressed Mother gave him the courage to be outgoing. His secret dream was to become an actor. The oafs he lived with would have laughed at the desire to be a creative person that acts.
After high school, he moved to Sidney and worked on background work in movie videos like on the song “Love You Right “ in 1992. He latched on to a guy who was directing the videos. In “Heartbreak High” in 1994 he had a bit part in the TV show. He was gaining popularity but the American movie was the way to go. People love the confidence that is always portrayed in American movies.
So, in 1995 he tried his luck in Los Angeles and learned to fit in the American brassy style and not to be the shy Australian. He managed to get a small role in a big movie in 1997 called ‘LA Confidential.” after that he did 3 films that didn’t even make it off the storage room shelf. Now at age 42, he doesn’t expect to get the leading role romantic lover part. Already too old for the juicy parts but in a way he is glad because it takes some of the pressure off to be romantically involved with other actresses.
Off screen, he has been married to an unknown actress Rebecca Riggs since 1998. He is still very much in love when he says that he is still intrigued by her. He says that she is brassy and when you scratch the surface she has many colors. The man loves being a devoted father to his three children and somehow managing to be a family man too. Creating a happy family was his first goal since he came from a rocky background.
Simon Baker is also part of a family of famous Australian’s that America loves. People like Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Hugh Jackman, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana and others. Nicole is the Godmother to one of his sons and she and her husband Keith sang songs to Simon at a dinner honoring Baker in Los Angeles. He felt honored and finally belonged with the other Australian greats in this country.
He has had big roles in lots of movies; just that no one really remembers it. In “Ride With The Devil” in 1999, “Red Planet “ in 2000, “The Affair of the Necklace“ in 2001, “Something New” in 2006, “The Killer Inside Me” in 2010 well no one even remembers these movies! He has been in some 20 movies including “Margin Call” in 2011 where he even played a evil role with Demi Moore.
He also stared in 2 other TV shows “The Guardian” and “Smith” that no one remembers. With such a body of work, why doesn’t anyone remember him? Simon was just happy to get anything in order to pay the bills. CBS President and CEO Les Moonvez had confidence in his ability to be a big star. He gave him “The Mentalist” and has made them both a lot of money and is in its 5th season.
Once a series gets to 4 seasons or 100 episodes, they are good for syndication and then the money continues to flow anytime an episode is played anywhere in the world. So now that his star is finally rising he is most proud of his accomplishment as a family man and Father. It is all great, but at the end of the day he is most proud of his family.

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