Quick-fire bonus Q&A:
The Mentalist star and Givenchy ambassador Simon Baker
Rebecca McLaughlin-Duane | June 4, 2016
Australian actor Simon Baker, star of TV crime drama The Mentalist and the movie The Devil Wears Prada, paid a flying visit to the UAE on July 2 to promote Givenchy’s latest fragrance for men.
Gentlemen Only Absolute – a spicy, oriental fragrance with notes of sandalwood, nutmeg, cinnamon and saffron – will be available in the UAE in the coming months.
What characteristics do you have that complement Givenchy’s Gentlemen Only range?
Well, for me, it was important that Givenchy didn’t have greater expectations of me than I could reach (laughs). And as soon as I met a few of the main people there, it was pretty clear that they were happy with me being myself. So that’s what you see sitting in front of you. I’m just a straightforward person, really. Apart from that, I don’t know – gosh, I don’t know who I am. Perhaps I’m not that self aware (laughs).
Have scents always been important to you?
My olfactory system is very much linked to emotion, smells trigger certain emotions for me. I never really wore fragrances until my early 20s but now, I believe in their familiarity – it makes me feel comfortable. It’s like when you find the perfect T-shirt, for example. You’ll have a backup of two or three more for when it wears out. Fragrances are like that for me. They fit me, as opposed to me trying to fit them.
Would you describe yourself as a gentleman?
I certainly aspire to be a gentleman and it’s certainly the way I was brought up. I know it’s a pretty old-fashioned term and the marketing campaign for this range idealises me as being a gentlemen in regards to women – but personally, you can take gender out of it. It’s a willingness to be aware of others and to always be courteous.
You’ve said you’re not inclined to take part in any revival of The Mentalist but the show was part of a genre that endures in popularity. What do you make of similar shows that followed it – such as Elementary, for example?
Yes, well Elementary was pretty much the reimagining of Sherlock Holmes – but it was completely stolen from The Mentalist. I remember thinking that when it came out.
Is imitation the highest form of flattery in that regard then?
Ah yes, of course, I’ve no problem with that at all.
When not in your native Australia, what do you miss most about it?
Where will your next holiday be?
I’ll be in Tokyo.
What are you reading?
John le Carré, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.
How do you like to unwind?
It’s actually quite hard for me, but I do like to have a swim and a lie down. I like what water does for me – to me. From surfing or being in the ocean, even just taking a shower or being in a bath – there’s something that happens to me when I immerse myself in water. When I come out of the water, I feel different – it’s a great mood adjuster.
What question do you tire of being asked?
Wow, there are heaps. I can’t even start listing them and I certainly don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable. (laughs)
What would your fans be surprised to learn about you?
That I’m actually quite boring. I’m getting more boring the older I get (laughs).