Though the show officially wrapped in 2018, fans of The Mentalist are still raving about the unique crime drama. You may be a super-fan of Patrick Jane, played by the gorgeous Simon Baker (winner of our 2019 March Dadness tournament) and his "psychic" abilities, but we don't have to read your minds to guess that you didn't know these surprising facts about The Mentalist and its amazing cast.
Simon Baker isn’t actually American.
The dreamy actor and show's star was born and raised in Australia. (Didn't think he could get any hotter, did you?) Would prefer if Patrick Jane had Baker's real accent, tbh.
Baker's acting career started on Australian soap operas.
His earliest gigs include roles on Heartbreak High and Home and Away. Baker later relocated to L.A. and found success on the CBS drama The Guardian before getting the gig that would propel him into stardom.
'The Mentalist' won several major awards.
During its 7-season run on television, the show took home well-deserved trophies, including a People's Choice Award for "Favorite New TV Drama" in its first season. Baker himself was nominated for several Golden Globes, SAG, and Emmy Awards for his acting.
Every episode from season 1 to season 5 involves the color red.
Every use of the color leads up to the capture and death of notorious serial killer Red John.
What was in Patrick Jane's special cup? Black tea.
Specifically lapsang souchong, a black tea from China, which is also called "hong cha." That literally translates to "red tea" in Chinese.
Agent Teresa Lisbon is said to be from Chicago...
...which also happens to be the hometown of Robin Tunney, the actress who plays her! The Irish-American Actress was born and raised there and attended the Chicago Academy for the Arts.
When Bruno Heller wrote the pilot for the show...
...Lisbon and Jane weren't supposed to end up together.
The idea of the leads becoming a couple "never crossed his mind" in 2008 when 'The Mentalist' was green lit, the creator told Deadline.
Rockmond Dunbar was named one of TV Guide's 50 Sexiest Stars of All Time.
The 45-year-old actor played FBI Agent Dennis Abbott in the series, which he joined in 2013. He's also known for his work on Soul Food, Prison Break, and The Game.
The CBI headquarters are housed in a historic Los Angeles building.
The Pico House serves as the fictional CBI headquarters on the show. The building was erected in the late 1800s by the last governor of California under Mexican rule. It was the first grand hotel in L.A.
Owain Yeoman (Wayne Rigsby) hails from Wales.
Because Yeoman stayed in character even when the cameras weren't rolling, his castmates had no idea he wasn't American. Talk about good acting! He's also had roles in Troy and Kitchen Confidential.
Yeowan's then-wife Lucy Davis had a small role on the second season of the show.
Lucy is best known for her role in the British version of The Office. But in season 2 of The Mentalist, she played the widow of a murder victim—who was actually arrested by her husband's character! The couple divorced a year later in 2011.
Red John was a mystery for so long...
...because the creators of the show could't decide who he was.
Apparently, there were "three of four possibilities" for the identity of the notorious serial killer, creator Bruce Heller told EW. Eventually it was revealed that (spoiler alert!) Sheriff Thomas McAllister (Xander Berkeley) was the source of the evil.
The death of Red John had been planned since the start of the show.
Though the writers weren't sure who Red John would turn out to be, they'd always planned for Jane to get his revenge. "Certainly I never considered any other ending," creator Bruno Heller shared with The Hollywood Reporter. "It would've been almost dishonest not to take that as the conclusion of that particular chapter."
Though Lisbon and Jane get their happily-ever-after...
...Simon Baker had different hopes for the ending.
"[Jane] was a tragic character from the beginning," Baker admitted to an Irish paper. "And to me, it only ever felt right that there was sort of a tragic ending to it." Thank God he didn't get his way!
'The Mentalist' dropped a few clues about real identity of Red John was.
In season 1, murder victim Jared Renfrew writes out "He is Mac" on the wall before dying. Mac = Thomas McAllister.
Simon Baker personally picked out his character's famous car.
Jane was often seen driving around town in the unique-looking Citroën DS, a French car made from the '50s to the '70s. Jane has said he wanted his alter-ego to drive something out of the ordinary.
Aunjanue Ellis had a short run on Broadway before joining 'The Mentalist.'
Ellis made her professional acting debut in 1995 in a Broadway revival of William Shakespeare's The Tempest and starred in several other plays. You might also recognize her from Men of Honor, Ray, and The Taking of Pelham 123.
Simon Baker's real-life wife Rebecca Rigg made a cameo in the show.
In season 1, Rigg appears as Felicia Scott in the episode 'A Dozen Roses.' Two of their children Stella and Claude were also extras in The Mentalist.
Amanda Righetti was pregnant during the shooting of the show's 5th season.
But her character Grace Van Pelt wasn't seeing anyone at the time, so the crew filmed her sitting at her desk for most of the season! Her son, Knox Addison, was born in January 2013.
Tim Kang was living a whole different life before he started acting.
Before he caught his big break as Agent Kimball Cho, Kang was working in a totally different industry—he was putting his BS in Political Science from Berkley to use at the Pacific Exchange, a regional stock exchange in California. He later got an MFA from Harvard.
Simon Baker received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013...
The Mentalist was in its fifth season. It was presented to him by Bruno Heller (the show's executive producer) and Naomi Watts on Valentine's Day. He made sure to thank his co-star Robin Tunney, saying she made going to work every day a "joy." And even teared up thanking his friends for inspiring him with their work and his wife for her support.
...where he was supported by his family and friends, including actress Naomi Watts.
The two worked together on The Ring 2 in 2005 but originally met through Baker's then-girlfriend (now-wife), Rebecca. Watts wasn't always in his corner—the besties initially got off to a bumpy start because Baker was always interrupting their girl time. Now, Watts is the godmother to his son.
Another good friend of Baker's? Nicole Kidman.
The Aussie pair are extremely close, and Kidman serves as a godmother to his children as well.
'The Mentalist' was Joe Adler's big break into television.
The actor, who played computer savvy but socially awkward FBI agent Jason Wylie on the show, went on to have major roles in Grey's Anatomy and Maze Runner.
The chemistry between Jane and Lisbon was real, but not how you'd think...
Simon Baker and Robin Tunney were very close friends, and their off-screen relationship made filming scenes together super easy. "The teasing, the fondness, as the relationship's progressed—it's just us in real life and how comfortable we are with each other," said Tunney. "There's very little acting involved. We're pretty lucky."
The series was so popular that it spawned a book.
Psychology professor (and superfan) David Daniel wrote The Mentalist Code and the Search for Red John after the serial killer's identity was finally revealed.
Xander Berkeley was cast as Red John for a scary, scary reason.
Per The Mentalist Code and the Search for Red John, Berkeley was chosen for the role for a very specific reason: He was born in the same year as the notorious serial killer who inspired the character of Red John, Keith Hunter Jesperson. You may know him as the "Happy Face Killer."
Josie Loren knew about the tragic fate of her character before signing on...
Loren joined the cast as FBI agent Michelle Vega in season 7. "Tom (executive producer of The Mentalist) called me the day before I started shooting the very first episode, and he let me know what was in store for Vega, and in that phone call, he also laid out her storyline for me," the actress revealed to The Hollywood Reporter. "So I knew everything that was going to happen before I stepped on the set."
...but the rest of the cast was totally blindsided.
And they were not happy about the plot twist, according to executive producer Tom Szentgyorgyi: "A number [of castmembers] came up to me and said, 'Do we really need to do this?'" Alas, Vega was killed in a shoot-out in February of the final season.
If Vega had survived, her relationship with Wylie might have blossomed into something more.
In an interview with ET, Josie Loren revealed that the CBI almost had another office romance on their hands. "Wylie and Vega were drifting toward something more a little bit more than friendship," she said. "And I think if Vega and Wylie had a whole season, I think it would have been very clear that Wylie was perfect for Vega."
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