Tim Kang Interview

Tim Kang - The Mentalist
“A Dozen Red Roses” — Cho (Tim Kang, left) and Jane (Simon Baker, right) go Hollywood when they investigate the murder of a major movie producer, on THE MENTALIST, Tuesday, April 7 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2009 CBS BROADCASTING INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Seat42f:  Were you surprised by the show’s success?

Tim Kang : Absolutely.  I had no idea, going in, that we would get the reception that we have gotten thus far.  To me it was the pilot episode and then it would be a done deal.  Then we got an order for 13.  I saw that as 13 and we’re out.  I was basically taking it one episode at a time.  I think that’s the only way to keep your sanity while operating in a very fickle television landscape.

Now that the show is such a hit do you think there will be more freedom creatively to poke around the characters’ back stories? If so, anything you can tell us about Cho’s history?

Tim Kang :  I’m hoping that we get to delve into our back stories a little sooner than later.  There are some very interesting things in Cho’s background that we really never get to see.  He has an extensive military background as well as a history in law enforcement prior to his joining Lisbon’s unit in the CBI.  His family history, childhood experiences and past romantic relationships all contribute to the way he carries himself today and it would be interesting to see how he got here.

Cho is always the straight man. Will we ever get to see Cho cut loose?

Tim Kang :  Cho wasn’t always the straight man.  In his youth and early adulthood he was a very different individual.  But because of those past experiences I briefly mentioned in the previous answer, this is who he is today.  As to whether we’ll see Cho cut loose in the future, it is definitely within his character to do so, but will we ever see it?  Your guess is as good as mine.

Does Cho 100% believe in Jane now? Cho has been the biggest skeptic but recently seems to be buying into Jane’s abilities.

Tim Kang :  Cho has never ever been skeptical of Jane. He has always believed that Jane has talents and abilities of observation that go beyond his own.  It’s more his frustration at not being able to see what Jane sees and trying to figure out how he figured it out, rather than a skepticism.  He is also more in line with going through proper police procedure and is a pragmatist which doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for Jane’s shenanigans.  But, the bottom line is that Jane’s a closer, so at times he has to go along with his ideas, albeit reluctantly.  Again, not skeptical of Jane, just uneasy with his unorthodox methods.

Personally, if you could read people the way Jane does do you think that would be a blessing or a curse?

Tim Kang :  I would love to be able to read people the way Jane does.  I’d have as much fun as Jane seems to be having with those skills.

Can you tease anything for our readers regarding the season finale?

Tim Kang : We’re going to be on the hunt for Red John and learn a few surprising things about our lead character.  I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.