Thursday, January 04, 2007


Matt Romanada Talks To Criminal Minds stars Matthew Gray Gubler and Kirsten Vangsness
Posted By Matthew Romanada on 09.20.2006

During the CTV upfronts back in May I was given the opportunity to sit down with two of the stars of the surprise hit Criminal Minds, Kirsten Vangness who plays Penelope Garcia, and Matthew Gray Gubler who portrays Dr. Spencer Reid. Despite having to go through multiple interviews in a morning and flying in from Los Angeles both Matthew and Kirsten were in good spirits and showed a great sense of humour that made it hard to keep on track during the interview. The sarcasm was flying from all directions

Criminal Minds was one of the surprise freshman hits from last season. Despite going up against the juggernaut Lost it held its own and build a solid fan base. The show follows a group of FBI agents from the BAU, the Behavioral Analysis Unit, as they fly across the United States trying to solve the "unsolvable" crimes. It has a hint of Silence of the Lambs and succeeds where shows like Profiler failed.

Kirsten: I did two plays yesterday. And then at 10:30 at night I got on a plane and flew here [Toronto], and got here this morning at 6:30 a.m. So I'm feeling a little surreal right now. It's like a big Salvador Dali movie.

Romo: What were the plays about?

Kirsten: It was a young writer's festival. Where these young kids write plays and professional actors portray them.

Romo: Maybe it's just me but I find it's interesting that you two are here together. I get this vibe that there is a strange chemistry between your two characters.

Matthew: In real life we are married"¦. I'm totally kidding.

Kirsten: There is something"¦ I think we are both two of the odder characters on the show. And that I think Garcia is a very high functioning oddball. She can act extroverted even though her job is so techie. He (Matthew's character) is not as good at handling social aspects.

Matthew: She represents everything he is not, she is very tech oriented and I would like to imagine he is more like 1920s smart, books and reading etc"¦.

Kirsten: You have such a hard time with empathy. You struggle with it. Whereas my emotions are so available to me and Reed as more trouble with emotions.

Matthew: Yeah I like that.

Romo: Did you find that because of the "smart" personality of your characters people think you are like that in real life as well?

Matthew: I'm actually borderline retarded. Yeah, but seriously people will stop me and go "Are you really that smart?" and I just say no"¦lol

Romo: So what do you guys think is going to happen for season 2?

Kirsten: I think we are going to travel now by hot air balloon.

Matthew: I think there is gonna be more character development.

Kirsten: YES, I hunger for that.

Matthew: There are little things that should come out next year.

Romo: Mandy Patinkin just seems to bring out the best in the other actors, is that something you have sensed?

Matthew: Oh yeah, 110%

Kirsten: I think we were on episode four or five and we had never acted together, so I was terrified. It was a huge deal. It was like the best day.

Matthew: I'm not a technically trained. But pretty early on I realized as long as you are in a scene with really great actors you can't really suck. I don't know how to explain it.

Matthew: HE is incredible, he's our secret weapon.

Romo: Last year when the upfronts came out a lot of shows were similar to yours that each network brought out.

Matthew: You're right. I remember"¦all the shows were like ours but Criminal Minds was called the worst of those.

Kirsten: Ya I remember that.

Romo: What's made your show the one that's survived?

Matthew: I mean we had a really easy time slot. There is nothing opposite us, like what's Lost? I'm joking. Honestly I have no idea. I think it's the Mandy-quotient.

Kirsten: I definitely think is the Mandy.

Matthew: I think it's the characters too. We have all these crazy characters.

Kirsten: Our show kinda has that horror thing going for it. It has the whole CSI aspect but adds that horror feel to it. Also, I mean do other shows have their own personal Lear Jet? I don't think so.

Matthew: People always stop me and ask me if that is a real jet?

Kirsten: My sister was heart-broken when she found out it wasn't real.

Romo: A lot of the plots in your show are very paranormal. If you guys could have one case that you guys think would be amazing that you haven't seen what would it be?

Matthew: I have two. I can only say one though. We hunt down the Yeti, the abominable snowman. That would be great.

Kirsten: I would love one that the reason why the guy killed everyone was because America doesn't have good primary daycare. Then Mandy goes into the daycare and throws some clay at the teacher.

Matthew: Throw some play-do around.

Kirsten: We need to call the writers. Maybe we could combine the Yeti with the daycare.

Matthew: Maybe the Yeti can run a primary daycare.

Romo: Do you get meet any FBI profilers to get into your characters?

Matthew: Ya there were two, Chris"¦. And"¦

Kirsten: Yeah the other guy is awesome. But yeah people would always say that my character wasn't realistic. Then one day I get this note on my desk saying "We appreciate you." And then one of the profilers came up to me and said, "I want you to know there is a whole basement of people like you at the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit) and they worship you."

Matthew: I had the exact opposite reaction. During the pilot the guy Chris was there and I went to ask him something about what would my character do in real life. He looks at me and says "There is nothing realistic about your character"¦

Kirsten: Hahahaha.

Matthew: (Continued) "¦You would never make it in the FBI. You would get made fun of. You would never exist. Heck, you couldn't pass your gun test." So I like "Alright" and it gave me this freedom to do what I want. I'm kinda like the Jar-Jar Binks of Criminal Minds.

Kirsten: And they have that big giant scary book upstairs they get stories out of.

Romo: What's this big giant scary book about?

Matthew: It's a compendium of sex crimes.

Kirsten: It just sits in the middle of the writers table and it's kinda scary.

Matthew: Many of the stories in the show are based a bit on reality.

Romo: Do you get to talk to the writers about where your characters are going to go?

Kirsten: Yeah totally. I'm almost creepy. I will kinda see how it flows and they kinda just let me do how I think it works best. And they do the same thing with you.

Matthew: Yeah, it's true. We are very fortunate.

Romo: If you guys can have one change for your characters over the next year what would it be?

Matthew: That's a good question, man. There is one thing I would like to see, and they have been kinda hinting at it, I think my character is definitely schizophrenic. His mother was schizophrenic. I want to see him freak out and be an unsub. I feel it's a bit like the force with the light side and the dark side, and right now he is on the light side. I think he joined the BAU from stopping himself from doing something bad.

Kirsten: They can change the title to CRIMINAL MINDS: FINDING REED!!!

Kirsten: I love my character so much. Let me think"¦ Well there is that scene of me and J.J. in the stockroom. They wrote that out. I was just making a joke. I'm changing as I go, more so than the other characters. I really don't know.

Romo: Maybe a romantic interest?

Kirsten: Oh Garcia has plenty of romantic interests.

Matthew: I think she is a slut"¦haha.

Kirsten: You say slut like a bad thing. She just knows what she likes.

Matthew: But you know she has a lot of boyfriends.

Kirsten: She has a lot of everything, boyfriends, girlfriends, upholstery, lemurs. She's got so many lemurs. I just want more lemurs.

Matthew: I want less lemurs. Maybe I will start killing them. You know they say that serial killers start by killing animals.

Romo: Yeah I read that somewhere too.

Matthew: We must have read the same book. I was fascinated with [Ed] Gein. The Wisconsin guy. My fav. Who's your favourite?

Romo: My favourite? That's a good question. I'm gonna have to say Ted Bundy. I remember watching the Ted Bundy TV movie and I must have been only 10. I can't believe my parents let me watch that.

Matthew: Do you know Albert Fish? He made soup out of kids.

Kirsten: I love Carl Sagen.

Romo: Well it's a shame but I'm being told that time is up, thanks a lot for the interview.

Kirsten: I'm really glad I got to see the lemur thing out. Now you will see lemurs and yetis all over the set of Criminal Minds.


Anonymous said...

Oh my god they are so much fun and mgg is so cute.

Anonymous said...

LOLOLOL! That was so wonderful!!! They are so adorable!

I think that whole "Reid as a schizophrenic UnSub" is a total fabrication of MGG. It sure seemed like that in this interview. I think we can stop worrying abuot it. LOL

And what was the question about all the "paranormal" episodes? Was the interviewer thinking about another show? KV and MGG didn't miss a beat, though. LOL

Lemurs are soooo cute. I can see Garcia with black market lemurs in her apartment. But she is so not a slut, though. She may want to be, though.

I assume the interview was done on-line because of the incredible misspellings and other writing problems. They were just trying to type fast enought to keep up with the interview. Surely KV knows how to spell "Reid" most of the time.

Anonymous said...

I think I just wet myself.

Anonymous said...

This needs to be labeled "NSFW" -- not safe for work!

I was doing okay until I got to the lemurs. Then I started laughing so hard my boss came out to see what I was crying about.

I told him I was choking on a peanut, but I don't think he believed me ... oh, well.

This is a hoot!

Anonymous said...

Great article. What great senses of humors these two have. No surprise really.

Anonymous said...

I can't stop laughing!! That was so funny!!

Criminal Minds Fan said...

I thought this was one of the funniest articles I had read in awhile. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this article.

Anonymous said...

Very cool. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

hot air balloon? LOL!

MGG is really into Star Wars, isn't he? that just made me like him a whole lot more.

those two are insane (but in a good way).

jacqui #135

Anonymous said...

hehe, I love these two, they should definetly do more interviews together! :D

Jemma #125

Anonymous said...

This is amazing , they are awesome, and Matthew Gray Gubler is so adorable!.D

Mel Sandoval said...

I really really doubt that MGG is borderline retarded. Along the line he must've picked up on things he never knew about. He's still my favorite character, and definitely not close to retarded outside of his character. I think he is smart, but he just doesn't think so, since nobody really thinks they're all that smart.

Felix said...

Who is the girl next to him?

Autumn said...

OMFG this was too funny! I love Matthew so much! He's so beautiful, yet undefined, but you can totally understand and relate to him all at the same time. I love that about him. I always knew of him....but now I'm like in love with him starting FRO maybe about 4 days ago LMAO but this interview was phenomenal! Thank you :)

Anonymous said...

who is the girl in the picture with gubler?

Anonymous said...

her name is kemp muhl - an ex-girlfriend.

Haley E. said...

This was SO funny!!!! I LOVE criminal minds. I want to go to college for BAU. I have had MANY arguments with my friend about how TOTALLY GORGEOUS Matthew Gray Gubler is!!!!! She thinks he looks like a sasquatch and I think hes BEAUTIMUS!!!!! But I think that Dr. Reid should have a 14-15 year old daughter that he doesn't know about. Then her mother dies and Reid is her only living gaurdian. So one day she calls him and tells him shes his kid. So he finds her and she moves in with him. Then one night someone attempts to strangle him. Since hes an officer she grabs his gun kicks down the door to his room and by that time the unsub has already left. She calls BAU and the story continues from there... ive thought about this for a LONG time!!! Haha lol ;)