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Zach Gilford Breaks Down Joining the Criminal Minds Crew for Evolution


Paramount+ Criminal minds Renaissance Criminal Minds: Evolution it’s a homecoming for many of the cast members after the series initially ended with Season 15. The beloved members of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit have come together to profile the latest crop of criminals to come together online after the pandemic. Not all faces in Evolution it is familiar, however. Zach Gilford joins the cast in a new role, a difficult task to perform on a show that leans toward the gritty and gory.


Before the premiere of two episodes of Criminal Minds: Evolution, Gilford spoke to CBR about taking on his new role. He dove into what it was like to join the rest of the Criminal minds family on set and how her role didn’t always allow her to spend screen time with the rest of the cast. She also talked about what it’s like to get into a character with a dark side and the secret to getting out of that headspace when leaving the set.

RELATED: Criminal Minds: Evolution’s Kirsten Vangsness Dishes In Garcia’s Upcoming Version

CBR: So you came into a cast that had worked together for years. What was it like joining that dynamic on set?

Zach Gilford: In theory, it was intimidating, but as soon as I got there, I realized, “Oh, I’m not working with any of these people. They’re trying to get me.” I’m always on set alone or with someone who… which is great. The team is amazing, but they’ve all found the time to come when they’re not working and introduce themselves to me. kirsten [Vangsness] He brought me cookies.

Then four of the cast members have directed episodes, so I’ve gotten to know them really well through that. They are all amazing directors. It’s a lot of fun working with actors/directors because some of the notes they give you, they understand. They have been in these scenes, or can imagine themselves being in them. It’s like when I was working with Peter Berg. He just gave you better acting grades because he was an actor. When he was watching the scene, directing it, he had ideas that if he was the actor, he would want to do this, so they do the exact same thing. It has been an amazing experience.

That’s really cool to hear. I know that actors/directors can often… They know these things, they know this set, [and] they know the series, so they can harness that energy very well.

Yeah, they definitely know the show better than anyone. So having them there and understanding how it works and what are the things that are important and what are just not important is very helpful.

RELATED: Criminal Minds: Evolution’s Joe Mantegna Details Agent Rossi, With Oaths

Speaking of your new addition to this series, you have described him as someone who has a dark side. So I’m wondering if you can talk about what it’s like to harness that energy.

I think they’ve written this character so well that tapping into the energy of the dark side… Luckily, I’m an actor that’s far removed from my job. I’m just doing the lines. Not just doing them, I’m working hard and doing the character, [laughs] but I don’t take it home. They just wrote it in a way where it’s been really easy to fall into it and find this character and let it be a little bit more about what… I don’t know, I think it’s super creepy and dark. because the things this character does are so messed up. I think, from the look on his face, he might be playing cards. I mean, that’s how distant he is, which is even scarier. At the end of some days, it’s a bit difficult. It’s not hard to come home, but you have to take some time to get it off your back because you’re like, “Ugh, I’ve been doing gross stuff all day,” and then my kids are like, “Hey, dad, dad!” and the dog wants to go for a walk, and I’m like, “Can I just a second, please?”

Do you have any secrets to get out of that mental space? I just spoke with Aisha Tyler, who mentioned that dog videos were the cure.

Bourbon is the cure for me. [laughs] It’s like taking a strong drink and you feel a little better.

There you go

Dog videos, maybe I’ll try. That sounds healthier.

Who will say it? Before I had to leave, was there any Criminal minds Actors or characters you didn’t get screen time with that you wish you had? I know they’re still filming, I heard episode 9.

Yeah, we’re on Episode 9. Still… I mean, it’s too much of a spoiler. I mean, I look forward to getting screen time with all of them, let me put it that way, especially the people who haven’t directed me because they’re all amazing and I just want to get to know them. I would also love to work with the people who run me, but they are an amazing group of people. I want to get to know them. So whether they’re directing me or they’re in a scene with me, I want to facetime so I can find out who they are.

Catch the two-episode premiere of Criminal Minds: Evolution on November 24 on Paramount+.



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