‘Criminal Minds’ Star Paget Brewster Recalls Her First Crime Scene Set

by Taylor Cunningham

Paget Brewster has a clear memory of walking into the Criminal Minds universe and seeing her first crime scene. And yes, it was as realistic and gruesome looking in person as it is to audiences.

The series, which ran from 2005 until 2020, follows one of the country’s top teams of F.B.I. Behavioral Analysis Units (B.A.U.). The group is tasked with profiling the nation’s most dangerous and cunning murderers and anticipating their moves so the agents can find them before they kill again.

While Brewster was a staple star in Criminal Minds, her character, Emily Prentiss, didn’t join the story until season 2. In her debut episode, she helped the B.A.U chase two competing serial killers in St. Louis. The first was targeting middle-class women, and the second was hunting down prostitutes.

The Emmy-nominated show is known for being shockingly dark. So when Brewster had her first on-set experience, she wasn’t caught off-guard by the sensationalism. She was taken aback by how natural everyone felt around murder victims. But, she thought it gave the job a little more charm.

“The first time I went to a crime scene, you see the police tape, and there’s a lovely young actress who’s playing a dead prostitute,” Paget Brewster told The List. “And you walk over, and they’re covered in blood. And they’re a little blue, and they’re lying on the ground. You’re like, ‘Hi, I’m Amy’ ‘Hi, I’m Paget.’ It’s such a fun show to do, even though it’s so dark, and maybe it’s fun to do because it’s so dark.”

A ‘Criminal Minds’ Reboot is Headed to Paramount +

Luckily for Brewster, she gets to relive that dark fun at least one more time. In a reboot series that’s headed to Paramount+, the B.A.U. will get back together. But instead of battling a different serial killer each episode, they will spend a whole season tracking down one person.

As The Hollywood Reporter wrote, the agents will be busy profiling an UnSub who created a country-wide network of murders during the COVID pandemic. And when everyone comes out of lockdown, they begin their mutual killing sprees. As Criminal Minds builds to the finale, the agents will have to find each person involved and try to use them to find the cult leader.

Along with Brewster, series originals Joe Mantegna, Kirsten Vangsness, Adam Rodriguez, A.J. Cook, and Aisha Tyler are all returning to the screen.

“We’re going to start shooting in August,” Brewster continued. “Paramount+ is going to make ten episodes of the reboot of Criminal Minds, so we’re all going right back to work in August and getting the gang back together again and shooting more episodes, which is thrilling.”

“I’m excited about Criminal Minds,” she added. “We all are. We all can’t wait to get back and do it because we feel people like it, and we all feel like, “Oh, we’re really good at this. Let’s do some more.” That’s really nice.”