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The Mentalist - Season 6 - Interview with Simon Baker, Robin Tunney and Bruno Heller

Thanks to Ravenclaw for the heads up.

TVLINE | Bruno, I understand that it was always the show’s intent to get to this place with Jane and Lisbon at the end of this season, even dating back to last summer?

BRUNO HELLER | We were certainly thinking about it. When the show started, for me there was not a thought of that at all. But one of the things about TV over the years is the characters develop their own dynamic and direction as truth is revealed, and it seemed to us – and [the actors] can contradict me if they like – that love blossoms. There is a genuine feeling there between the two characters that had to be honored, one that was just natural and organic.

TVLINE | Simon, were you interested to explore this side of….

SIMON BAKER | [Interrupts] From the moment I met Robin Tunney. [Tunney and Heller laugh] I looked at her and I said, “You will be mine.” No, you know, it’s one of those things where…. It’s the whole Moonlighting theory that comes into play with long-form TV. It goes on, and sometimes on and on, and do you give the audience what they want, or do you keep the flirtation and tease going? Is that really what they want, is that what they like — to want something? Because as soon as you seal any sort of a deal with anything, it’s like, “Well, that’s that, and from there where do we go?” There are plenty of places always to go, but it’s a risk and a challenge.

TVLINE | But on a character level, were you and Robin interested to ask the question, “What do these two people really mean to each other after all these years?”

BAKER | Yes — and that became really evident, I thought, after we closed the Red John story and we did the episode that took place two years later. It was about laying the foundation for the rest of the season, in the sense of it was an episode about longing and missing each other, missing that relationship as it stood.

ROBIN TUNNEY | I also think the show has always been something more than just a straight procedural. And once the Red John storyline cleared up, it was like, “OK, these people are left with each other. So how do you create stakes?” There was a history, but there was this idea of “What’s next?” How do they feel about each other? It created sort of an arc where there was a lot at stake, people’s hearts and all that stuff, without, “Oh, we can throw another serial killer into the mix.” It was something that was fitting to the show and it created drama.

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