Aussie Simon Baker wants to be an American

CBS’s The Mentalist, starring hot Australian actor Simon Baker, is one of the few new shows to become a big hit. The Mentalist is about showbiz psychic-turned-police investigator, played by Baker. The show is doing so well that CBS just locked up Baker with a five-year contract. Baker is one of those good guys, settled down forever with his wife (and fellow Aussie) Rebecca Rigg and father to three kids: Stella, Claude, and Harry. Baker sat down with Parade magazine to discuss America, politics, and family.

“[The Mentalist] is a good outlet for me,” he said. “In this economic climate, we’re lucky. I signed for five years.”

Baker’s been living in the United States for 13 years. Knowing how fiercely Aussies love their own country, I off-handedly asked him, “Any interest in becoming an American?”

Simon stopped talking, stared at me, and said, “Funny you mention it.” Then he dropped this unexpected news: “The morning after your election in November, I said to my wife Rebecca, ‘You know, I’m thinking about becoming an American,’ and then she said that she felt the same way.

“I don’t follow sports here,” he said. “But politics has sort of taken its place. I followed the race closely. It’s a tricky area, because I don’t want to be offensive, and I had no party loyalty. But electing Obama was this country being very grown-up. It was such a positive step for the U.S. to become a part of the world again after the last eight years. Our two sons were born here, so they’re already Americans, but myself, Rebecca, and our daughter Stella are still Australians.”

Has he done anything about it yet?

“No,” Baker told me. “The show keeps me too busy. But it’s going to happen. People always talk about how great America is, but actions speak better than words.”

Baker first came to the States in 1995 from Sydney with his wife, Rebecca Rigg, a film actress. His first role in a major film was in L.A. Confidential, and he went on from there. “A few years ago, we went back to Australia,” he said. “But after seven months there, I found I missed America and our friends here. Staying in Sydney would have been like conceding defeat.” His daughter Stella was in Chicago for a high school debate when Simon and I spoke. His boys Claude and Harry are now 9 and 7, respectively. Simon himself turns 40 this July. “I think I’m going to be fine,” he said. “I stay fit, mostly mucking about with the boys. And I love the wisdom that comes with age.”

[From Parade]

It makes sense that Baker and his wife would seek American citizenship if two of their children are citizens. Add to that the stability of a long-term contract on a hit television show, and it’s no surprise Baker would want to become an American. The family has close ties to other Australian ex-pats: Nicole Kidman, a pal of Rebecca and Simon’s, is their son Harry’s godmother and Naomi Watts is their son Claude’s godmother.

Simon Baker is shown on 11/24/08 outside The Late Show with his son. He’s also shown on 7/18/08 at a Showtime party. Credit: WENN

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18 Responses to “Aussie Simon Baker wants to be an American”

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  1. Bina says:

    What a pretty boy!

  2. dude wtf says:

    come on over then! what a cutie!

  3. bite me says:

    Love him

  4. Abby says:

    I’ve always loved him. I just think he’s super cute and adorable.

  5. daisy424 says:

    He sounds like a down to earth guy. I’m happy to hear that CBS resigned him, the show is one of my favorites.

  6. Lisa says:

    Finally one of the networks can come up with a decent show as the Mentalist. He is kind of yummy as well 😉

  7. Emily says:

    Did he play that editor guy in The Devil Wears Prada? He looks so familiar! If that was him, I had no idea he was Australian!

  8. Baholicious says:

    Yep Emily, that was him.

  9. CB Rawks says:

    Oh crap! Oh well, I can’t blame him. There really isn’t any good work in Australia, so the lucky ones do leave.

    This is his third name incarnation, btw. He was first Simon Baker Denny, then Denny, and now Baker. No idea why he keeps flipping around.


  11. Jeane says:

    A friend of mine has a total man-crush on him (though he doesn’t refer to it that way, of course). And he’s not the only one, a lot of (straight) guys I know think he is TOTALLY awesome.

    Move over Clooney, there’s a new man in town!

  12. paris herpes says:

    I so love him on The Mentalist. He is totally hot! : ( to hear he’s married though!

  13. Granger says:

    Hot hot HOT!!! And the Mentalist is a fun show.

  14. Hayley says:

    Ha! Fine. Just don’t come back once you turn Yank, Simon. We don’t want you anymore. And only a few days before Australia Day. Nice.

  15. Annie says:

    Oh Hayley, relax. He was probably just responding to the overwhelming joy expressed by the 51 percent of Americans who did not vote for George Bush (aka “the evil mold”). People were crying in the streets with joy (no kidding). That’s bound to affect anyone, even the most prideful of Australians (and my experience is that Australians are as much in love with their country as Americans). He would never give up his Australian citizenship — your beer is better. BTW, my wedding anniversary is Jan. 26, although my Australian husband is now my ex-husband. Still, I think Australians and Australia are great. So is the USA. So is Simon Baker.

  16. Jules says:

    Selling out the to US.Pathetic to trade your country in like that and so easily too. See you later this great country does not need people like you.
    You look kind of plastic so you will fit there.

  17. Proud Kookaburra says:

    Don’t do it, Simon! If you become an American citizen, you will betray Australia and will lose alot of Aussie supporters including the adorable Tasmanian Devil that you wish to help.
    You will also lose me as a supporter as I love my Australia and dislike the USA

    If you become an American citizen, well…you’re choice, but you’ll no longer be regarded a great Aussie icon.

  18. mloomis says:

    just what this country needs is another empty headed liberal celebrity thinking his opinion about “social justice” and other marxist ideas are important. No thanks. Besides he looks like Gene Wilder – someone whose talent was actually admirable