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The Real Reason Simon Baker Disappeared From Hollywood After The Mentalist

Simon Baker played the lead role of Patrick Jane on the CBS smash hit "The Mentalist," starring in seven seasons of the crime drama series before it ultimately came to an end. The series first aired in 2008, and it follows Jane, a genius-level body reader and observationalist who solves crimes, including finding the serial killer Red John (Xander Berkeley), who may look familiar to fans for his breakthrough role on "24." Likewise, "The Mentalist" ended up being career-defining for Baker, as it routinely ranked among the most-watched shows on television, averaging a staggering 16.82 million viewers during its first season.

So where has Baker been since "The Mentalist" concluded? One may think he disappeared from prominence completely, but the actor has been very intentional about choosing his roles and spending his time out of the limelight.

In an interview with CBS News, Baker talked about where he's at in his career now, sharing he spent the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, where he filmed "High Ground." Baker admitted since he's older now, he has a different mindset when choosing roles thanks to the success he's had in his career.

"I'm in my early 50s now and I have a different attitude and mindset about things now because I was able to work pretty consistently as a younger actor and provide for my family," Baker told CBS News. "I'm not as hungry for work and I'm a little choosier about the stories I want to be involved in. I remember how much work there was and how many auditions when I first got to Hollywood in the mid-1990s. Now the amount of content is inane. Back then, I was blown away by that."

Simon Baker has been up to a lot since The Mentalist

Initially known for his soap opera work in Australia, Simon Baker first gained international attention on the CBS series "The Guardian" where he played Nick Fallin and earned a Golden Globe nomination for best performance by an actor in a television series — drama. He followed up three seasons of the show with "Rome" creator Bruno Heller's "The Mentalist," co-starring alongside Robin Tunney and Tim Kang.

Since "The Mentalist" ended after seven seasons, Baker has kept a relatively low profile but continues to work in the entrainment industry. In 2017, he directed the Australian sports drama "Breath," while executive producing two more films Down Under — "High Ground" and "Limbo." Baker appeared on the Australian Netflix series, "Boy Swallows Universe," and will co-star with Jacob Elordi on "The Narrow Road to the Deep North." The actor is also set to be a part of Taika Watiti's science fiction film "Klara and the Sun" alongside Jenna Ortega — who shot the project before filming Season 2 of Netflix's "Wednesday" — and Amy Adams.

Baker's career never really truly fell off, as he chose to walk away from Hollywood while being on top as one of the most recognizable faces on television. Years later, it's great to see him still actively involved in films in his home country of Australia while carefully choosing projects he believes in. While Baker returning to the role of Patrick Jane in the future appears unlikely, for those wanting more "The Mentalist," there are several other similar shows worth checking out to get your fix.