BIGASK

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch - BY AN­DREW FEN­TON

BE­FORE he joined The Men­tal­ist to play Spe­cial Agent Wayne Rigsby, Welsh ac­tor Owain Yeo­man had never ap­peared in a show that ran longer than 13 episodes (think Kitchen Confidential and Gen­er­a­tion Kill). But with The Men­tal­ist sur­pass­ing the magic 100 episode mark – al­low­ing it to live on for­ever in re-run heaven – Yeo­man is now set for life. Or is he?

So can you re­tire and live off the roy­al­ties now?

I had that same thing: I rang my agent and went ‘Bril­liant, I’m set now am I?’ But it’s not what it used to be. Whether I can re­tire on to my own is­land or not, I don’t think I’m there just yet.

Si­mon Baker is one of the best paid ac­tors on TV. Do you make him pay for drinks and lunch when you’re out to­gether?

That’s funny (laughs). It’s some­thing you never re­ally talk about. Si­mon is such a down-to-earth guy. He was jok­ing the other day and said ‘I’ve bought a Lam­borgh­ini’ and Tim (Kang) and I looked at him, and he’s not at all flashy, and it turns out he bought a Lam­borgh­ini trac­tor for his farm in Aus­tralia.

Wh­yare there so many English and Aus­tralian ac­tors pre­tend­ing to be Amer­i­can on US TV?

I used to joke that we were cheaper! It does seem funny that when we look on our set and our ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer, our main cre­ator and our sec­ond EP are all British, I’m British, Tim’s Korean and Si­mon’s Aus­tralian. We strug­gle to ac­tu­ally come up with a real Amer­i­can!

Are Amer­i­cans sur­prised to hear your Welsh ac­cent?

It’s a real com­pli­ment when peo­ple don’t re­alise I’m not from Amer­ica. It also al­lows you to get out of a scrape quickly if some­one recog­nises you in pub­lic and says ‘Are you that guy?’ And you say ‘No, no I’m British.’

Back home in Wales, do they treat you as a hot­shot Hol­ly­wood star?

No I’m put firmly back in my place when I get back to the pub, sur­rounded by old rugby friends who re­mind me act­ing is a great hobby.

Si­mon’s done Aus­tralian bank ads us­ing an Amer­i­can ac­cent. Would you do that for a Welsh ad?

Ab­so­lutely. I ac­tu­ally saw that ad and I think it’s bril­liant. (He’s like) ‘I know what you’re think­ing: I’m an Aus­tralian ac­tor on Aus­tralian TV play­ing an Amer­i­can – why am I do­ing this ac­cent?’ It’s a very tongue-in-cheek way of send­ing up his own back­ground.

Do you hope to fol­low your

Kitchen Confidential

co-star Bradley Cooper to suc­cess in movies?

He has the kind of ca­reer tra­jec­tory I would love to em­u­late. It was a real ed­u­ca­tion, for he was in the same sit­u­a­tion I’m in now. He’d come off five years of do­ing Alias and I think he was very, very ready to show peo­ple he was ca­pa­ble of do­ing a lot more than that. I’m re­ally keen when the show comes to an end to maybe do a great lit­tle indie role and have peo­ple say, ‘Oh, we’ve never seen that side of Rigsby’ you know? The Men­tal­ist, Chan­nel 9, Mon­day, 8.30pm

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