Television

" Australia doesn't have the infrastructure to mobilize its film products well " : International TV Actor Simon Baker

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'The Guardian' has been airing every Sunday at 8 pm from 7 July. The protagonist Nick Fallin played by Simon Baker is an ambitious corporate attorney who has to do community service due to a drug conviction.



The latest Australian to create waves the other side of the Atlantic, the Golden Globe nominated Baker is being tipped as the next big thing after fellow Aussie compatriot Russell Crowe. In an email interview with indiantelevision.com’s Ashwin Pinto, Baker held forth on Nick Fallin, his career and the pressure of being a star.

How did you get the protagonist’s role in ‘The Guardian’?

The President of CBS, Les Moonves, gave me a script to read and I loved it.

What is the character Nick Fallin like? Are you anything like him in real life?

He is a guy that has been emotionally detached from life to a degree and he is seeking to find his way back. No, I am not like him at all.

 

"Nick Fallin (The Guardian) is a guy that has been emotionally detached from life to a degree and he is seeking to find his way back. I am not like him at all"

Do you do a lot of improvisation on the set to get a feel of what the director is looking for and how you can maximize your potential on screen or do you prefer to have the cards laid out on the table in advance going into a shoot?

A little bit of both. You have to do your homework, but still have to remain open.

What has the critical attention you have received for playing Nick Fallin done for your career? Do you find high quality roles coming your way?

It has opened a lot of doors.

Which actors did you idolize growing up and did you always know that acting is what you wanted to do with your life?

Yes, I always knew that I wanted to act. Dustin Hoffman, Steve McQueen, Gene Hackman, Robert Redford, Ben Kingsley, Anthony Hopkins, and Russell Crowe, all of the obvious good guys.

Can you give a contrast between working in America versus Australia in terms of professionalism, infrastructure and most importantly available opportunities?

There are far more available opportunities in America. Professionally, the two are on par. The infrastructure is much larger in the States – it is more of a cottage industry in Australia.



Your resume mentions Ang Lee’s ‘Ride with the Devil’. Is he very much in sync with the needs of actors?

Ang Lee is wonderful to work with, a real pleasure to me. I think he is more in sync with the needs of the film, which is what I want personally as an actor from a director.

"Believe none of what

you hear and only

half of what you read and

always keep a

sense of humour

about yourself"



How do you deal with the pressures of fame and stardom? For example, how do you feel being voted one of 50 most beautiful people in Hollywood by People Magazine?

Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you read and always keep a sense of humour about yourself.

Australians such as yourself, your co-stars in ‘L.A. Confidential’ Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce and James Cromwell have crossed over and made a huge impression in America both critically and commercially. Are Australian films and television serials getting a similar exposure to a worldwide audience. If not, why?

No, they are not. These stars aren't getting attention as playing Australians, but as playing Americans. Australian film and serials are getting exposure with a worldwide audience, but not as much as those specific actors (Crowe, Pearce and Cromwell). Why not? Because Australia doesn't have the infrastructure to mobilize their products as well.



How did you manage the transition from supporting roles (as in L.A. Confidential) to that of the lead protagonist?

It seemed a natural progression, not something that I was consciously aware of at the time.



What are your future television and film projects?

I am considering a few different options.

Why do you think ‘Guardian’ will do well in India?

There are certain universal themes within in the show that people will identify with.

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