Saturday, April 19, 2014
New Robin Tunney Interview about The Mentalist
Click on Read More for a new interview with Robin about The Mentalist.
Attention! The interview contains spoilers for the upcoming episode, Forest Green.
Robin Tunney Teases 'The Mentalist' Love Triangle: Fans Will Be 'Really Happy' or 'Very Upset'
"Game of Thrones" heartthrob Pedro Pascal (who plays the Red Viper, Oberyn Martell, on the HBO series) is generating new interest for "The Mentalist" as FBI Special Agent Marcus Pike, quieting fears that the CBS drama wouldn't be able to survive without its seasons-long Red John arc. In fact, last week's episode actually did a little better in the 18-49 demographic than the climactic episode where the killer was revealed.
Pascal, who has already appeared in one episode out of his (as of now) five-episode stint, is throwing a wrench into the smooth-running engine that is the chemistry between Simon Baker's Patrick Jane and Teresa Lisbon, played by Robin Tunney. The pair's flirting has grown more serious since the dark shadow of Red John has left the show, but fans hoping that they would get together after almost six full seasons may be in for a disappointment.
We talked with Tunney about the direction Lisbon's relationships are headed, what it's like to be screamed at by people in Nicaragua, and the impossible standard of Sandra Bullock's rear end.
You get to do some magic with Jane in Sunday's episode?
There's a little bit of magic in this episode. Basically, with his kind of magic, I'm usually not let in on this stuff. I'm his assistant. Only, I don't get to wear a cute costume. It's OK, actually — I don't think I want to wear tights and a leotard at my age.
You generally don't get to play with Jane when he's doing that sort of thing. Is it a sign of growing intimacy, maybe?
They are growing closer together. We'll have to see what happens with this. I don't know; we're either going to make a lot of people really happy or a lot of people very upset, I'm not sure.
In this episode?
The season in general. Having to wait for him; Lisbon finally gets some action!
She's been waiting almost six full seasons for that!
Basically. Actually, there's a part of me that's always been quite relieved that I didn't have to kiss a man I didn't know or roll around in bed and make pillow talk. Because, as an actor, it's really hard to do. Actors in general are insecure people — that's why we act. It brings out the worst in your insecurity. Like, is the person really feeling this? Do they hate me? Was that OK? It's too much! It's really stressful.
But I do like the idea of the character at least addressing that she did have a life and wasn't a virgin. Actually, I had a one-night stand in [Season] 3 with a billionaire [Walter Mashburn played by Currie Graham, in the episode "Red Hot"], which is really odd. It's like, all of a sudden, Lisbon is a gold digger. One-night stand, in and out.
But yeah, it's been exciting. [Pike's] a really nice guy. In this episode, there's a really big movement in the relationship and she's forced to make a decision. But at the same time, I think I still have feelings for Jane. I think it's difficult because another guy is acting on it. A girl can only wait so long. At a certain point, you just got to see what's out there. And I gotta say, Pedro Pascal is a handsome Latin lover.
How has it been working with Pedro?
He's a great guy. I've really enjoyed it. He's obviously very used to being sexy because he's had to be sexy on "Game of Thrones." As an actor, it's hard for people to come in. It's the sixth year, and Simon and I are so close. On the level of the reality of the characters, too; Simon and I finish each other's sentences. We know each other so well and all of sudden, there's this person who's new. But he's a lovely guy and I really enjoy him. So, it's interesting. I have to be careful — I can't be too nice to him in front of Simon or he'll get jealous.
Well, Bruno [Heller, the show's creator] has said that even if Jane and Lisbon end up together, she still needs to have other relationships just to have some perspective.
It seems sort of adult. To be totally frank, I felt quite sorry for Lisbon when Jane was away and where the writers took that. I was alone and pining for him. And demoted to a job in a small town. I felt sad that the character had been punished for being so loyal to him. So I'm glad they've given her some other options.
Did you push for that?
That's how Bruno saw it. I obviously wanted her to have a bit more dignified of an ending. But it wasn't an ending, so I guess that's OK. And she did wait long enough. You know what I mean? So it shows that and the idea that I'm moving on now, it makes it legitimate. Because, let's be honest with each other: The audience allegiance is with Patrick Jane. They want him to get what he wants; they've known him for six years. I think if I'd immediately moved off and been with another guy, they would have felt like it was a betrayal to Jane in a way. But I think waiting that long and earning it, it's OK. They don't have to hate Lisbon for hurting Jane, for abandoning him. I don't know, it's tricky territory.
Would you personally rather spend another season playing "will they/won't they" or would you be interested in having them together and seeing where that goes?
The reality is, it doesn't really matter what I want. I think it's what the audience wants. I feel like Bruno and Warner Bros. are very concerned about satiating the fans. I think it was very clear that they were over us looking for Red John and they responded quite clearly to that. And I think if rumblings of that came up in the relationship or if it felt like the fans...
I think that's who the show is for. I don't think the show is necessarily for Bruno or what my needs are. It's got such crazy supporters, it's amazing. Like, all over the world. You travel to places where you don't think that people that walk up to me — I don't think they even like America, let alone American TV — [and] they have a real fondness for Lisbon and want to know if I'm ever going to get together with Jane. It's crazy! So, if they've supported the show this long, then I think that [Bruno's] going to listen to what they want.
I don't know if they're like, OK, enough already, it's getting unrealistic. I don't know. I try not to Google myself. I have in the past; it never turns out well.
You went to Monte Carlo to collect a Golden Nymph Award for the most watched TV drama in the world, so clearly people everywhere love it.
It's weird, I can tell when I'm traveling. I was in Nicaragua. There are kids riding horses, no cars, and [I hear] "Agent Lisbon!" What?! People from all over the world, people in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia. It has international appeal. It's obvious that Simon's hair translates to every language.
Do you think they're getting the same things out of the show that Americans do?
I wouldn't know. I don't know culturally why it translates. Obviously, I was kidding about Simon's hair, but I think that Simon's created, along with Bruno, a really interesting antihero. And I think the character and the writing between myself and Simon has been stronger than just a plain procedural. There's a little bit more pizzazz than there arein the Dick Wolf shows or "NCIS" or "CSI." It has more character development and more of a sense of humor. I think that those other shows are about crime, and this show is the title character, it's called "The Mentalist." A character that people fall in love with. Maybe that translates more internationally, I don't know. But I do know that it's incredibly flattering.
Even though the cast has changed recently, people are still tuning in, so obviously a lot of that has to be due to you and Simon.
My father would probably tell you it had more to do with Simon. He called me last week to tell me he wanted me to say thank you to Simon for making me a better actor. You're my father! You're supposed to think I'm the greatest! And he was like, whatever. I think you are or whatever, but please tell Simon thank you. He's such a kissa--. I think my dad has a male crush on him. Like, oh yeah, he's so cool. But obviously a lot of people in the world do.
Anything else fun you get to do this week?
We infiltrate this all-male club. I also get to wear a really sexy red dress. Wearing dresses has become this very exotic thing I've been doing on the show lately. I hadn't worn a dress on the show in six years — except for a bridesmaid dress as a joke — so that's been pretty fun. The first time I wore one [Episode 16, "Violets"], everybody on the crew, when I walked out, stood up and started clapping and I felt really embarrassed. They're like, what what?! What?! They haven't seen my legs or arms in six years.
Are you excited to be busting out of the suit finally?
No, God no. I'm pretty happy. Plus, less dress, you don't have to wear uncomfortable shoes. I don't want to be in my underpants. I don't know what I would do, it's too much. Sandra Bullock, how old is she? She wore underpants almost the entire time in "Gravity." She's a fit woman. I mean, I think she may have the world's greatest butt for a woman that age. She might have the greatest heinie for a woman over 40.
At least one of those Oscars must have been just for her butt.
It's possible. Alfonso Cuarón should have thanked her butt. What is the likelihood that he knew, when he offered it to her, that she would have such a great butt? But she does. And I think we'll leave it at that: with Sandra Bullock's butt. It's a great episode this week: It's fun, things happen, Simon does magic, he's hilarious, he's infuriating, and he's adorable!
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