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Freshman Favorites: Simon Baker

In “The Guardian,” Simon Baker plays a corporate attorney sentenced to work as a child advocate after being convicted of drug charges. And, as if that’s not enough of a sudden life change, he works with his father. It’s a meaty, multilayered role, and that’s just the way Baker likes it.

“Most roles on television have less dimension than this character had on paper, so I was drawn to the idea of being challenged a bit more,” says the Tasmanian-born actor. “There was enough room for me to play with the character in a less conventional style.”

He wasn’t alone in his thinking. From the moment he was pitched the role, Baker felt that the network’s executives were on the same wavelength with “Guardian’s” creators.

“(Writer and executive producer David) Hollander and I shared a very similar attitude towards television and the potential this show had to be a little more layered with the characters and their relationships,” he says.

That has translated into moments where Baker’s character, Nick Fallin, appears to be the least likable person onscreen, but that hasn’t kept audiences away. “Guardian” is CBS’ highest-rated new series. And Baker, who has co-starred in the films “L.A. Confidential,” “The Affair of the Necklace” and “Red Planet,” is excited about the show’s future.

“I’ve had such a good experience working with Hollander and with this character and with the cast,” he says. “Hollander understands the true sense of collaboration in a positive way, which is great for me. I’m sort of spoiled in that light, and I’m very thankful.”

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