INSIDE: Seven days of TV viewing
THERE are few women in the world who wouldn’t want to kiss Tasmanian-born actor and The Mentalist heart-throb Simon Baker. But his co-star Robin Tunney is one of them.
Tunney plays Detective Lisbon in the hit crime drama and says despite there being inklings of a romance between her character and Patrick Jane ( Baker) throughout the first three seasons, a love match would be a bad idea.
‘‘ I don’t know where it would go from there, unless it was the end of the show, because it’s not one of those television dramas that . . . shows you what’s going on behind closed doors,’’ she says.
‘‘ Like, are we supposed to be, like, holding hands at crime scenes? Or do we have a Mentalist Junior and bring the baby to see dead bodies? ‘‘ By virtue of the fact that they’re the opposite sex, everyone is like, ‘ Is there going to be romance?’. But I feel like if there was, it would be so embarrassing in the next episode.’’
While Tunney is clearly against the idea, she says the decision is not up to her so it still might happen – a prospect that makes her mother very happy.
‘‘ My mum’s like, ‘ So are you and Simon going to kiss this year? I feel like the romance is really going to happen this year’,’’ Tunney says, imitating her mother.
‘‘ And I’m like, ‘ Mum, I have no idea’. And she’s like, ‘ Yes you do and you just can’t tell me’. I’m like, ‘ Mum, I don’t work for the CIA. It’s CBS, we’re not that serious. I’d tell you if I knew’.’’
There may be no love on screen for the pair at the moment, but off screen the two share a genuine fondness for each other. Tunney praises Baker for his work ethic and his devotion to his wife of 13 years, Australian actress Rebecca Rigg.
‘‘ He’s got a great marriage, he’s got a fantastic wife, and I think the idea that he’s been married for [ so long] is the best thing for me because he’s in such a solid situation,’’ Tunney says. ‘‘ He loves women and he really respects them and he’s the guy who can go, ‘ Oh, that girl’s pretty’, but it’s like the most benign thing in the world.’’
The 39-year-old calls the Australian her ‘‘ TV husband’’ and says he’s her rock.
Tunney, who got her first big break in the witch film The Craft, also credits Baker with making her a better actor.
Having done little TV work before The Mentalist, Tunney says she has learned a lot from Baker. He starred in Home & Away and Heartbreak High before scoring the lead role in the hit American legal series The Guardian.
‘‘ He loves going to work and I think that attitude on set definitely goes from the top down,’’ she says.
‘‘ The bar is raised and it’s largely due to him.’’
Rather than another TV series, though, Tunney says her next step will be back into film. In The Mentalist off-season she starred in the small independent film, See Girl Run, which she says reinvigorated her after playing Lisbon for so long.
‘‘ When you’re trying to make an independent film, it’s like a group of kids trying to push a rock up a hill. They’re there for the right reasons because they want to learn and they’re given opportunities that they wouldn’t normally get.’’
While movies may be Tunney’s long-term plan, she says she is content to remain on The Mentalist as long as the storylines continue to be interesting.
‘‘ I feel blessed to have a place to go where I like everybody. It really is a family and I feel like it’s helping my acting,’’ she says. The Mentalist, WIN Tasmania, Monday, 8.30pm