‘Criminal Minds’ Star Paget Brewster Opens Up About Her Return

by Caitlin Berard

In 2005, Criminal Minds premiered, a TV series that brought viewers into the lives of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU). Though it featured many familiar police procedural tropes, Criminal Minds was unique in that it isn’t based solely in New York City, Chicago, or another major city. Instead, the detectives traveled the country (via private jet) as they worked tirelessly to identify and track down some of the nation’s most monstrous criminals.

The beloved crime drama enjoyed 15 incredibly successful years, but its popularity with CBS began to dwindle in its later seasons. After a rocky two years, it was finally canceled in 2020. Just a short year later, however, fans were delighted to learn that there were talks of a revival. And in February 2021, it was official – Criminal Minds would return, this time to Paramount Plus.

The actors behind many of the series’ most beloved characters signed on for the revival, including Joe Mantegna, Kirsten Vangness, Adam Rodriguez, A.J. Crook, Aisha Tyler, and Paget Brewster. Unfortunately, as Criminal Minds fans will notice, Matthew Grey Gubler and Daniel Henney are missing from that list.

In a recent interview with Looper, Paget Brewster gave some insight into her co-stars’ decisions not to return for the revival and dropped a hint about the coming episodes.

Paget Brewster Explains Matthew Grey Gubler’s Absence From the Revival

Throughout its 15-year run, Criminal Minds saw many characters come and go. And by the time the last episode aired, the series had almost an entirely different cast than it did in its premiere. The only familiar face left was Matthew Grey Gubler.

The actor behind the BAU’s resident genius, Spencer Reid, was in every episode of the series’ original run. As such, fans were shocked and a little horrified to learn that he wouldn’t be returning for the revival. According to Paget Brewster, however, it was a choice fans should admire, as the actor is now following his true dreams.

“Matthew was the only person in the last two seasons that had been in every single episode,” Brewster explained. “He did 15 years straight through. From 25 to 40, the guy was on one show. And that’s when we shot 22, 24 episodes a year. He was never able to go do other stuff, so I understand. He wants to direct. [Matthew] graduated from NYU to direct, and his first audition was Criminal Minds.”

“Imagine you never expected to be an actor,” she continued. “And then suddenly it’s 15 years of your life. I understand why. I’m hoping he changes his mind, but I understand why he wants to do other things. I was gone from Criminal Minds for four years. I got to do a ton of other things that enriched my life and my resume, and my education, so I understand how he feels.”

‘Criminal Minds’ Star Paget Brewster Talks Season 16

Sadly, Daniel Henney, the actor behind Matthew Simmons on Criminal Minds, has a scheduling conflict that prevents him from joining the revival. “Daniel Henney is on Wheel of Time [that] shoots in Prague,” Paget Brewster explained. “They’re picked up for a few more years. Daniel won’t be able to rejoin us.”

Paget Brewster then hinted, however, that just because he can’t make it for Season 16 doesn’t mean he’s gone for good. “But life is weird, and things happen,” she continued. “We don’t know what’s going to happen. I can’t tell you what I know about where we are — where Criminal Minds starts up — but I can tell you it’s really good. We start shooting [on] August 8th. That’s all I can tell you.”