August 2014 - Tele DH
(translated from French)
Can you make an assessment of your Mentalist years …
The Mentalist has changed my life in a thousand ways! But at the same time, it hasn’t changed the nature of who I am as a person. I’m fighting in fact to be the same guy! In order to not change this side of me! Now, what has fundamentally changed is my work opportunities and the amount of money at the bank! It’s crazy how my banker loves me now.” (laughs)
What has made you able to keep your feet on the ground?
“My wife! (laughs) Whether I want it or not, she is the one keeping me afloat! But my children too who always supported me, who never judged me, who never reproached me for my repeated absences! You know, it may look like it but I’m not someone very sociable in life! I’m even a little wild sometimes. When I find myself in the bowl we called Hollywood, I don’t feel very at ease! Proof, I often begin to drink and very quickly, I make myself ridiculous!”
To this point?
To enter a bar and talk to a plumber, is way more easier for me than talking with a producer or someone from the movie business. (laughs) I’m going to tell you a confidence: I’m the happiest man when people don’t recognize me. The only advantage to when you’re from Hollywood, is I can go to dinmer in a great restaurant an my wife will push me in front of the line whispering in my ear ‘Come on darling, get us a table’. Only because we forgot to make a reservation!
It must be difficult to protect yourselves as a couple. Most of all in Hollywood where the temptations are big!
In any relationship, whatever you are under the spotlights or not, there are highs and lows! I’m glad and very proud my marriage is mentioned as an example, but on the other side, I hate it too for the pressure it puts on us! Simply, because we’re like everyone else. We don’t have a miracle recipe to cultivate love, it doesn't represent 100% of our day-to-day lives. My wife and I both work hard. We have kids and like all parents, we’re trying to give them the best without isolating them from reality! The problem with a lot of Hollywood couples is that too often they bring the sparkle and the strass home! (strass=a brilliant glass, used to make artificial gemstones) They don’t compartmentalize it. So, they begin to play a comedy inside their own home. Our luck, my wife and I, or rather our strength, is that we’ve never let the narcissism and the perverse effects of notoriety consume us!
If you had the possibility to change one thing in the series, what would that be?
The creative aspect is always a challenge when you make a police series. They must follow a lot of rules and factors that you have to respect if you don’t want the spectators to get lost and finally switch channels! You must follow the common thread, especially how the case is led. Therefore, it’s very difficult as an actor to be inventive. To let our imagination go wild. The setting is too frozen ! I would like for Patrick Jane to mess around a little sometimes. Make jokes…
Particularly as the show is demanding
And how! Everything goes so fast on The Mentalist set. We’re filming around 22 episodes per season, we even filmed 24. To give you some idea of what I feel sometimes, it’s like we were driving very fast in a truck and then suddenly I saw someone opening the truck’s door and emptying the shipment. Your work consists then to avoid something which could get you off the road!
How do you see your future once the series is over?
I've had strong relationships during the series, with Robin Tunney (Agent Teresa Lisbon) who I consider to be one of my best friends, also Bruno Heller who I will have contact with till the end of my days. I've worked with the whole crew not only as an actor but also as a director on a few episodes. That's allowed me have some self-confidence, notably in my ability to not stagnate in the work! With Robin, we've very often asked ourselves about the end of The Mentalist. We make jokes about it. We've told each other that maybe when we're 70, we'll enliven a celebrity cruise!
Not a very joyful perspective…
Who knows, with Robin, we will walk wearing our safety jackets on the deck! And so we don't get thrown in the water, we’ll sign autographs for 5 dollars each. To survive!
I don’t know! What I know for sure is that whatever I do now, I’m marked The Mentalist and to the end of my life people will call me Patrick Jane! Anyway, I don’t really know what I will do personnally. I was on the phone with my wife today, I told her I would like to buy a Volkswagen camper to take the boys camping on the East coast of Australia. And for a good month, camp, cook, surf, etc…
Do you have any professional projects in mind?
Yes, there are certain projects that I’ll develop, but the most important thing for me when this series is over is to take some time to recharge my creative energy. I need to calm down and enjoy my life a little, because I haven't stopped filming these past few years. I've really been in an infernal spiral. Anyway, I have to revitalise before getting into another project! Don’t worry, it won’t take long, I’m easily bored if my mind isn’t busy!
A tired Simon?
You know, I’m in my forties and I know my body won’t stay in shape ad vitam aeternam! There will be some things I can’t do anymore. Simply because one day I’m going to break something. I’m by the way convinced of that. It’s sure. That day, I won’t have any other choice than sitting down.
What advice would you give to a young actor who wished start in a TV Show like The Mentalist?
The first advice I would give him is to not make overambitious plans. Making television today is an amazing opportunity, a great springboard. But, it can also turn into a diving board! I feel lucky because there’s only a few series that get over 6 years. I've noticed that people have a shorter and shorter attention span. I don’t blame them! There's so much today on TV, so many new series that it's difficult to follow them. So the viewers tire of them more quickly. Look with Homeland. The two first seasons, it was THE series, everybody loved it and then the phenomenon winded. When you know the cost of a series you think twice before beginning the production. Nowadays, we’re even talking of 13 episode seasons and not 24. To come back to The Mentalist, it’s very difficult to stay on a good level. It's a real challenge! I think however we made it, through the years even if there were unequal episodes and even if I can tell you precisely which episodes I loved or not, to generate so much volume and stay at a quality level, it’s a real feat.
Original source: http://issuu.com/saipm/docs/tvdh_20140823_dht_full
Translation source: http://the-woman-in-12b.tumblr.com/post/95868405936/entwife-incognito-sarapettarini-tele-dh