Friday, September 4, 2009

Simon Baker

In the past, my parents were very bothered by my love for Australia. They've come around a bit now though. They're much more accepting about the whole thing. My mom even tries to connect with me sometimes on the whole Australia thing. There are four things she often brings up.

1. "Waltzing Matilda"....which she believes is all about tea.
2. The rainforests my mom and dad once visited in Queensland.
3. A miniseries she once saw about the history of Australia
4. Simon Baker

My mom likes Simon Baker.

I don't actually know much about him. He's on that show The Mentalist. I watched a little bit of it once. I shied away from it because I thought the premise of the show was that all psychics are fake. Later someone told me that this wasn't true. I tried watching a part of it. I liked it, but I haven't really gotten around to watching more of it.

I don't share my mom's attraction to Baker...at least not yet. Maybe my feelings for him will grow as I do this post.

As for my parents...they're soon going to REALLY embrace Australia. They're going on a cruise there during Australia's next Autumn. Right now they're in Italy....at the airport. My mom's luggage is missing. Hopefully, she'll find it soon.

In the meanwhile, I shall learn about Simon Baker.

Lord Wiki says baby Simon was born on 30 July 1969. He recently turned forty. I hope he had a nice celebration.

Baker is a Leo like Jack.

The birthday website says, in numerology, he's an 8. That's the number related to success.

He shares a birthday with Emily Bronte. I'm reading a book related to her right now. It's an Australian novel called Coldwater. Have any of you heard of it? It's very odd. It takes place in the 1800's on a prison island near Sydney. The main prison guard of the island has three daughters...Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. They like to make up stories. They decide to write novels and try to be published. The back of the book says, With characters based on the Bronte sisters, Mardi McConnochie has richly reimagined the lives of the novelists....

I wasn't sure how to interpret that. I thought maybe I had another Thaao Penghlis situation. I googled the Bronte sisters to see if they lived in Australia at some point in their lives. They didn't. What the author has done is put the same characters in a different family. I should have noticed that their last name wasn't Bronte in the book. It's Wolf. It's a very bizarre premise. I don't think I've ever encountered anything like it. BUT it's actually a really great book....so far. I love it. I'm glad to be reading it because I didn't like the last three books I read.

Back to Baker.....

He was born where one of my favorite friend lives....Launceston. That's in north-west Tasmania.

Mommy Baker was an English/Drama teacher. Daddy Baker was a groundskeepers and mechanic. They got divorced when Simon was young. Later Mommy Baker married a butcher. Lord Wiki says Simon took his stepfather's name for awhile. That was Denny. I guess later he dropped the Denny and went back to his biological father's name. Was the choice purely aesthetic, or was there more to it then that?

Baker has a sister, and he has three younger half-siblings.

In 1972, Baker and his family left Tasmania. I wonder if his parents were already divorced by then.

They moved to Ballina. I'm not sure where that is.

Google Maps says it's in New South Wales. It's in the north; two hours from Brisbane.

I wonder why they chose to go there. Lord Wiki says they went there in hopes to secure better jobs. I'm guessing they had a job offer, or there were reasons they assumed there'd be more opportunities. Otherwise, it seems a bit random. There's a lot of cities in Australia. Why would they pick Ballina?

Baker went to Ballina High School.

He was athletic...competed in surfing and water polo stuff.

I'm going to skip the career stuff like usual. I'll get all that on IMDb.

Baker is married to an actress named Rebecca Rigg. They've been together for about eleven years. The lovely couple has three kids. They all live in Los Angeles. Baker has said he's going to apply for American citizenship. I remember hearing about that.

All right. Now I'll move over to IMDb.

Crap. This guy has a long filmography. I had hoped to do someone easy today. Oh well.

The first thing Baker was in was a Canadian TV movie. That's different. Usually, I find Australian actors are in Australian stuff first. This Canadian movie was called Midnight Magic. It was released in 1987. Baker would have been about seventeen. I wonder how he got a job with that movie. Why was he in Canada? Did he go there to do the movie, or did he happen to be in Canada for a holiday or other work?

In 1989, he did some work on an Australian TV show called E Street.

YouTube has a video from E Street with a brief view of Baker. He's at 2:22.

In 1993, Baker was in two episodes of A Country Practice, and he was in an episode of a show called G.P.

Baker went international again in 1994. He did a British thing called Which Way to the War.

I'm going to skip some stuff. I'm getting bored. IMDb doesn't have much information on some of the stuff Baker appeared in. I guess it's pretty obscure.

Baker did some more substantial stuff in 1996. He appeared in eight episodes of Heartbreak High. Is that the show that Abi Tucker was in?

Yep. IMDb confirms that.

In 1996, Baker was also in an Australian show called Naked: Stories of Men. It was an anthology show....I guess like The Twilight Zone and Amazing Stories. But instead of being fantasy/science fiction, the stories were dramas about men.

He appeared on one episode of that TV show which featured Heath Ledger. Sweat. This is the show about students who go to a special athlete school.

In 1997, Baker landed himself a role in an American movie. This was the movie Guy Pearce was in. L.A. Confidential. Baker had a much smaller role than Pearce.

He did another American movie that year. Most Wanted. It was written by Keenen Ivory Wayans, who also starred in the film. I thought Wayans did comedy, but this show is an action drama thing. I guess Wayans was trying to stretch his abilities; do something different.

In 1998, Baker did a movie called Restaurant. This was American too. It was filmed in New Jersey.

That year he also did a crime thriller with Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman. This was Judas Kiss. Despite the British folks, it was an American movie. It was written by a Venezuelan; the same guy who wrote Snakes on a Plane.

I'm skipping some stuff. I want to move onto a new year.

Baker did two projects in 1999. One was Australian, and the other was American.

The Australian thing was called Secret Men's Business. Baker received an AFI nomination for best actor in a television feature or miniseries.

The American thing was a war drama starring Tobey Maguire. Oh! It was an Ang Lee movie. Ride with the Devil. It doesn't sound that familiar to me.

I'm going to watch the trailer. Baker has a small part in the film, so I doubt he's in it. Still. I'm curious about the film, so I'm going to watch it anyway.

It's a civil war thing. It didn't look that unusual or spectacular to me.

In 2000, Baker was in an American movie called Sunset Strip. It's a period piece about the year I was born. Nick Stahl from Carnivale was in it. I had a Livejournal friend who loved that show. Baker's name is first in the credits. That might mean he's the star....unless it's by order of appearance.

Here's the trailer. Baker plays a photographer.

I think I prefer movies MADE in the 1970's rather than ones ABOUT the 1970's.

Also in 2000 was Red Planet. Did I see that? I can't remember. I don't think I did. I remember seeing some movie about Mars, but I don't think it was this one.

Okay. Yeah. That year there was also Mission to Mars. That's the one with Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins.

The trivia page says that one of the earlier titles of Red Planet was Mars, but they changed it so people wouldn't get confused. I still got confused.

The movie was an Australian/American hybrid type thing. It was filmed mostly in Australia though. They used Coober Pedy for some of the Mars stuff. Australia has a lot of red like Mars does.

I just realized something. I think I've always spelled Coober Pedy wrong. I always thought of it as Cooper Pedy. Oops. I'm a bit embarrassed about that. I probably wrote it wrong elsewhere on my blog.

Here's the Red Planet trailer.

The other 2000 Mars movie was based on the Disney World ride. I didn't know that. Or I knew that....and forgot. I guess with Disney rides; they're either based on a Disney movie, or If they're not, eventually Disney will make a movie about it.

In 2001, Baker was in The Affair of the Necklace. I totally don't remember that. Hilary Swank was in it, and also Adrian Brody. I remember him seeing him in the credits of another Baker movie. What was it?

Restaurant. They were in that together too.

Here's the trailer for the necklace movie. I think I spotted Baker a few times.

It looks like Baker went on three year hiatus. There's nothing between 2001 and 2004. Maybe he had some personal issues to deal with? Perhaps he just wanted a rest? Maybe he was doing theater.

In 2004, he popped back into view again. This was with Book of Love. It's an American movie.

Here's a fan video made from clips from the movie.

I think my mom and I have different taste in men. I don't say that to insult Baker or his fans. He's definitely not ugly. It's all about beauty being in the eyes of the beholder. I know there's a lot of people who think I'm physically unattractive. Other people think I AM attractive. It's all about opinions. We're all attracted to different people. Baker is handsome, but he's just not my type.

In 2001, Baker landed a role in an American TV show. The Guardian. I'm guessing this was his big break. It looks like he was the main star, and the show lasted for sixty-seven episodes.

It's about lawyers in a child advocacy firm. Dabney Coleman was in it too. I don't think I remember this at all.

Baker won a best actor award from Family Television Awards. I see family and automatically assume it's going to be some right-wing Christian thing. Here's their website. From what I see, it truly IS family-oriented and not Christian oriented. Their most recent award went to The Ghost Whisperer.

Baker was also nominated for a Golden Globe. He lost to Kiefer Sutherland. The most recent winner was Gabriel Byrne for In Treatment. I didn't know he won. I'm glad he did. That's a great show.

Here's a scene from The Guardian. Zax Efron was the guest star. I definitely know that name. I'm not 100% sure who he is. I'm thinking he's Disney...maybe High School Musical?

Yep. Lord Wiki says I'm right. He's also the guy in Hairspray. Tim loves that movie.

Interesting clip. Efron's TV mom kissed his best friend. What a scandal! Or...maybe she did more than kiss him. Yikes.

Here's a clip of another episode. This one was nominated for a GLADD award.

It's a good episode. I don't have time now to watch all of it. The beginning if a bit disturbing. A gay hustler tries to get some business. He does some soliciting. His target then hits him. Some men jump out of the shadows. I thought they were criminals...scary gang member people. It turns out they're cops. Yeah. I understand prostitution is illegal. But there was no need to hit the guy. I guess the cop was a homophobic asshole. I wonder how often stuff like that happens in real life.

Baker was in The Ring Two. Did I mention that when I wrote about Naomi Watts? I vaguely remember doing so.

The trivia page for the movie has a funny. There's a carnival scene in the movie. Some people thought the set was a real carnival. They wandered in, and the filmmakers used them as extras.

There's also some spooky stuff. Water is a big theme in the movie. There were two big floods; one in the production office and another on the set. One day, a swarm of bees suddenly descended on a prop truck. Yikes! They left as quickly and mysteriously as they came. I guess the film has a deer attack. Then....on the movie set, one of the crew members encountered a deer in the parking garage. It looked like it was going to come charging at her. It's life imitating art. I wonder if there was a bee scene in the movie as well.

Here's the deer scene in the movie. I never imagined that deer could be so menacing.

Here's a clip that actually features Simon Baker. Oops. That one isn't in English. I'll watch the trailer instead. Scary! Sissy Spacek is in the movie. I didn't know that. Was she in the first one too? It doesn't look like it.

There's going to be a Ring 3. I don't think Naomi Watts will be in.

Baker did another horror movie after The Ring Two. This was Land of the Dead. It seems to be a Zombie movie. George A. Romero made the movie. That guy is the king of zombie movies. What's his deal? Well, who am I to complain. I have my love for Australia. He has his love for zombies.

The movie was nominated for a Saturn Award.

I just realized I don't need to go googling to find out the winners of these awards. IMDb provides the information. I'm glad I finally figured that out.

Anyway, the movie that won best horror film that year was The Exorcism of Emily Rose. I saw that. It was really good.

Here's the trailer for Land of the Dead.

Lord Wiki says zombies come from voodoo. Those folks started it all. But it's Romero who is credited for putting them in popular culture.

Baker broke away from horror with Something New. This was a romance movie. It looks like it might be interracial.

Okay. Yeah it is. It's about a black woman who wants to find her dream black man. She goes on a blind date and rejects the guy because he's white. That's Simon Baker. Eventually, they put aside their racism and....Well, I'm sure it has a happy ending.

The director of the movie, Sanaa Hamri also directed the sequel to Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.Here's the trailer for the movie. It looks good.

Baker was in The Devil Wears Prada. I've seen parts of that. Here's the trailer. I'm not sure Baker will be in the trailer.   No. I didn't see him. The movie reminds me a lot of The Nanny Diaries.

In 2007, Baker did a movie with Mindy Cohen. This was Sex and Death 101. This was written by the same guy who wrote Heathers back in 1988.

Here's the trailer from the movie. It's about a guy who gets a list of all the women he's going to have sex with in the future. Oh. Winona Ryder is in it. I didn't notice her name in the credits.

Around this time, Baker did another TV show. It was called Smith. I guess it wasn't successful. It only lasted for seven episodes. The premise involved professionals criminals. I probably wouldn't like it.

In 2007, Baker did a short film directed by Martin Scorsese.

The Mentalist thing started in 2008. For this show, Baker was nominated for an Emmy. Oh! The winners haven't been chosen yet. He may win! It might be hard though. He's competing with Hugh Laurie and Gabriel Byrne.

It looks like True Blood hasn't been nominated for anything. What's the deal with that?

Here's a scene from The Mentalist.

Well, in that scene, it seems the show is against the idea of psychic ability. Well, at least Simon Baker's character is. I'll have to read more about that. From the scene, I'm guessing they try to give both sides of the issue.

Or maybe not. From what Lord Wiki says, it's seems pretty much anti-psychic ability. I don't think there's anything morally wrong with that. Everyone has their own opinion. I just prefer the shows that believe what I believe. Hey, what can I say.

Baker has also done three movies in 2009.

There was the horror movie, The Lodger. Here's the trailer. It looks like Baker is the serial killer. But I'm guessing he's just the one we're supposed to suspect. I bet the killer is someone else.

There's Not Forgotten. It's a kidnapper thriller thing. Then there's a movie that's not out yet. That's Women in Trouble. It's a comedy written by Sebastian Gutierrez...the same guy Baker worked with in Judas Kiss.

In 2010, Baker will reunite with Naomi Watts in Fair Game. I just remembered. Lord Wiki mentioned something about her and Nicole Kidman. I think both of them are friends with Baker.

Now I'm going to read the trivia page for Simon Baker.

In 1992, he won a Logie award for best new talent.

He and his wife ARE good friends with Nicole Kidman. She is the godmother of their youngest child.

His older daughter is about sixteen. Their youngest son is close to Jack's age.

Naomi Watts is the godmother of Baker's middle child. I wonder who the godparent is for the oldest one.

All right. I'm going to play with Jack. Then I'll come back and look at some other websites.....

We played his little baseball game. That was fun.

Okay. What next?

Here's the official CBS website for The Mentalist.

They say The Lodger is a remake of an old Alfred Hitchcock film. In the kidnapping movie, Baker visits a psychic to help find his lost daughter. Interesting. I wonder what that movie's stance on psychics is.

CBS has a recap of the first season. It looks okay. I saw part of an episode on TV once. It involved a kid's camp. From what I saw, Baker's character seemed to BE psychic. He knew things most of us wouldn't know. Maybe the show is not about Baker being a fake psychic. Maybe it's more about him interpreting his abilities in a different way. What some people call psychic, other people might call intuition. Observation is also involved.

I get a sense about people. I guess you could say I'm SENSitive. Some might say I'm paranoid. That's one interpretation. I feel people are mad at me sometimes. I can sometimes sense annoyance from people...or plain dislike. I can also sense when someone is being passive-aggressive. They ACT nice, but they're really not being nice. I see people who act friendly and happy, but I feel that they're not. I feel they're angry...bottling up their emotions.

Anyway, I could be an empath. I could have some kind of psychic ability that allows me to know what people are feeling. On the other hand, I might have better observation skills than other people. I might pick up facial expressions and body language that other people don't notice. It's not on a conscious level, but I may be picking it up subconsciously.

My feeling is that it's both really. I think I'm a little bit of an empath, but I also think I observe things. Or maybe part of being an empath IS observing things. We're SENSITIVE. We notice things....not just with our sixth sense, but with our other senses as well.

This website has signs that you're an empath. I can relate to a lot of them....except the one about television. I don't get THAT emotionally involved with what I watch. A few shows have put me in a down mood, but that's fairly rare.

Who knows about that list though. It's all open to interpretation. I could THINK I know what people are truly feeling. I might have it all wrong.

However, this year my faith in myself was tested. I got this sense that this woman disliked me. But then she said something VERY nice. I like being liked. I guess therefore I had preferred believing I'm not an empath over believing the woman was being fake. Later, the woman turned on me in a way that strongly indicated she had never liked me in the first place. I think she had a case of reaction formation. This is when someone avoids their true feelings by masking it with the opposite feelings. It's like how a closeted homosexual might act horribly homophobic.

Anyway, since that incident I've decided to TRUST my instinct. I don't constantly tell people what they're "truly" feeling. I don't say stuff like Hey, I know you claim you're busy with your Facebook farm, and that's why you rarely talk to me anymore. But I know the truth is you've been uncomfortable around me ever since you revealed some secrets about yourself. You feel awkward now, and you're avoiding me. OR....Yes. You're friendly towards me. But I can tell you think I'm a complete loser. You're embarrassed of me. You think there's something wrong with me.

I keep my opinions about these things to myself...maybe because I don't have 100% faith in them. But also, even if I did have complete faith, being open about my observations would probably drive people nuts.

Anyway, as for Baker's character in The Mentalist. From the little I've seen, my interpretation is that he IS psychic.

What does a skeptic do when he himself has psychic abilities? He can interpret his abilities as something else. Yes. I know what you're thinking. Yes, I know what you plan on doing tonight. I've never met you and I know what your father does for a living. But no I'm not psychic. I'm a mentalist. And me knowing all this without being psychic proves that there is no true psychic ability.
Someone could say they LEARNED the skills and that ANYONE can learn the same skills. There are books out there that will teach you Mentalist tricks.

My feeling is ANYONE can buy the book...or get it from the library. But I think only certain people can do well with actually using the skills. I would guess those people have supersensory abilities. It's just like there are books about how to belly dance, juggle, sing, or have out of body experiences. They make it all sound very easy, and for some people it IS easy. But if you don't have the natural talent, you won't be able to do much with the knowledge.

Anyway....

In my eyes, it's all a matter of semantics, beliefs, and interpretations.

I'm going to look at some interviews now.

Here's Simon Baker on Ellen.

He rides a bike like Tim does.

You know what Baker reminds me of....a cruise director. Maybe that's why my mom likes him. She goes on a lot of cruises.

Baker talks about having a teenage daughter. He says he can't win with her. If he tries to be the cool dad, she acts annoyed. If he tries to be the stern dad, she acts annoyed.

I'll probably be horrible at parenting a teenager.

Baker has a good story about his daughter. She was bored and wanted something to read. He had the script to The Devil Wears Prada. I guess he was trying to decide if he should do it. He let her read it. She read it, and told him he should do the movie.

Here's an interview about Something New.

It's interesting. Because of something to do with how different skin color absorbs light, Baker appeared very white on the camera. They had to darken him up with tanning beds and stuff like that. Well....there could be an argument against interracial relationships. The wedding videos might make white people look awful. I look very pale in my wedding photos. Could Tim's Asian coloring be to blame for that? If I ever get married again, it will be to an Albino person. Then my coloring will look nice.

Baker was raised Catholic, but he's not Catholic. He says his daughter is very much into learning about different religions. That's cool. I like learning about different religions too.

Here's an interview about The Mentalist. He says the show has a nice combination of comedy and drama. Yeah, most good dramas have some comic relief in them.

Here's a whole website about Simon Baker. I've been avoiding these fan sites lately. I don't know why. They sometimes have good links and information. Maybe I just feel they're overwhelming.

Here's a 60 Minutes episode about Baker. This woman makes it seem like Baker is a huge star. Am I missing something? I didn't know he was THAT popular already.

Now this other Australian TV host guy is saying The Mentalist is America's hottest new show. Really? Am I totally out of the loop here, or is someone exaggerating?

The show is HUGE in America. Really? The only people I've heard talking about it is my mom and that person who said it wasn't anti-psychic. I'm not seeing it constantly mentioned in blogs. My Facebook friends aren't talking about it. I don't remember seeing it on Twitter. Who knows. Maybe my friends are as out of touch as me.

The interviewer says he was named the sexist man on television. Who named him that?

TV guide did. They also put Ryan Kwanten on their list. I'm not sure I find Kwanten to be sexy, but I do think his character on True Blood is adorable.

The TV guide article says Baker's wife told him she could take a picture of him that would make him lose the title. I'm glad to know that even famous beautiful people take some ugly photos. I think it's all about ratio. My problem is my ratio is fairly low. I look very good in a small amount of photos. In most photos, I look scary and ugly. Those are the photos I delete and hide. Sometimes I think my ratio is bad because I gained weight. But even when I was all eating disordered thin....my ratio wasn't so hot.

Back to the interview.....

He says when he was young he was private about wanting to be an actor. That's probably smart. If you keep your aspirations a secret, there won't be people to discourage you. My problem is I'm a blabber mouth....about my OWN secrets, not other people's.

He did back up dancing in a music video.

Baker met his wife on the set of E Street. They played young lovers. That's so sweet. I love when onscreen romance becomes offscreen romance.

His wife is very pretty.

Baker says he went to America because of his wife. She wanted to find work. But Baker ended up landing a role in LA Confidential. He auditioned for the role that Guy Pearce ended up getting. Baker was left with the small role. Baker says he was devastated to have lost to Pearce.

Baker's wife talks about how it felt to have her husband succeed in Hollywood when she wanted that for herself. I respect her because she's honest. She doesn't say something like I was just so happy for him. Instead, she says it was a slap in the face. I wonder about relationships where both partners pursue the same hobby or career. I can't imagine there not being jealousy when one succeeds more than the other.

Baker says it took him awhile to feel comfortable in The Mentalist role.

In California, Baker and his fellow Aussie actors did a charity game for the Victorian Bushfire. That's good of them.

Anyway, I think I'm almost done here. I'm still perplexed about The Mentalist. Is it the dream show for skeptics, or is it more open-minded? I glanced around message boards and blogs. There's a variety of opinions. From what I see though, I'm guessing it's more skeptical. That's okay. It balances out all the supernatural shows that I love. I like to believe in all that stuff. Other people think it's evil. For them, The Mentalist is a blessing.

I guess though...some people believe there should be only ONE show out there like this. There's a lot of controversy regarding the idea that The Mentalist is a rip off of a show called Psych. I forgot where I saw this so I'm not going to link to it. But someone responded that there are many medical shows. Are they all rip-offs of each other? Isn't Medium a lot like Ghost Whisperer? If you can have two popular shows with characters that talk to the dead, why can't you have two shows with characters who believe it's impossible?


7 comments:

james said...

Ballina is about 30 mins drive from my hometown of Lismore. I thought at one point he actually went to one of the Catholic high schools in Lismore, though I could be wrong. I actually know a girl who dated him in High School. Australia is a very small place! :)

mscherrylane said...

I don't usually have eyes left to read your very lengthy posts but I must admit although I skipped over one of my favourite actors Geoffrey Rush when I noticed him as the title, I managed to read maybe a quarter of your Simon Baker one! I agree with your mum...I like The Mentalist :)

Dina said...

James: You're probably not wrong. I think it's hard to get detailed school information on the Internet. I think a lot of people go to multiple schools, and websites don't always list all of them.

Australia IS a small place...The world is too...despite the huge population. There's all kinds of crazy connections and coincidences.

Mscherrylane: I'm not sure if my mom likes the show....or just Simon Biker. I'll have to ask her one day. I know that's where she knows him from. But she doesn't talk about the show much. I'm not sure if she watches it on a regular basis, or if she just catches it now and then.

Redness said...

I'm glad someone else picked up on Ballina ... don't align it with Brisbane aka Brisvegas ... it's ours in NSW. A a heavenly spot on the east coast ... you're doing a great job ;)

Dina said...

Redness,

Sorry! You're right. I shouldn't have aligned Ballina with Brisbane. Next time, I'll just indicate that it's IN New South Wales, but not too far from the Queensland border.

Thanks for the compliment : )

james said...

Actually, Lismore/Ballina and Brissie are culturally quite close. I have loads of family in both. And growing up, we'd more instantly think of Brissie over Sydney which was many km away.

Dina said...

James,

It's probably all a state of mind. I'll just think of it as sharing the same state as Sydney, but closer to Brisbane : )