‘Criminal Minds’ Vet Joe Mantegna Reveals David Rossi’s ‘Not Doing All That Great’ In Revival (Exclusive)

'Criminal Minds' is back for the gripping revival series 'Criminal Minds: Evolution.' Original series star Joe Mantegna talks returning to the role of David Rossi and pushing the envelope even further.

You asked and the Criminal Minds team delivered. The BAU crew members are back for a captivating and downright terrifying new cast in Criminal Minds: Evolution, which premieres November 24 on Paramount+. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Joe Mantegna about the new David Rossi we’ll meet when Criminal Minds: Evolution begins.

Joe Mantegna
Joe Mantegna as David Rossi. (Paramount+)

“Well, it starts off, Dave’s not doing all that great, and I think people will discover that,” Joe said. “My motto is, everybody has a story. Nobody gets a free ride. And this is my story, Dave’s story, and I’m not getting a free ride here. And that’s okay. It’s okay to fall down long as you get back up, so we’ll see that. The show’s called Criminal Minds: Evolution. I think it’s all part of that evolution. So I think it’s apropos that not everything is hunky dory when we come back after this absence of time, and things have happened. Both good and bad people’s lives, and it’s little different for our group here, but it’s okay. That’s part of good storytelling, where you take it from there.”

The FBI’s criminal profilers have to face their greatest threat yet, an UnSub who has used the pandemic to build a network of serial killers. The original series aired for 15 seasons and came to an end in February 2020. Joe admitted that he wasn’t ready to let go of David Rossi, and he’s excited to tackle this new chapter.

“I think anytime would have been the right time, as far as I was concerned,” Joe told HollywoodLife about bringing back the show. “I mean, they could have picked it up a week after we left… and it would have been alright with me. But I think what’s good is I think we’re going to acknowledge the fact that that time has transpired, so we don’t discount that. We don’t ignore that. I think it makes for interesting storylines.”

The original series aired on CBS, but the revival has been moved to Paramount+. Joe noted that Criminal Minds: Evolution will push the envelope even further than the original show. “We can and we do. I think it’s due time,” he said.

Joe Mantegna
Joe Mantegna is back for ‘Criminal Minds: Evolution.’ (Paramount+)

Joe continued, “Our show always used to push the envelope pretty good anyway. But I always embrace that because my feeling was, that’s the reality. To do less than that would be lying to the public and saying, well, this job that they do, it’s really not that bad. It’s not that weird. It’s not that disturbing. No, I’m sorry. It is and can be. It was always important for us and me, personally, to say, thank God, we have the people who do this job because this is what can happen, and this is what they have to deal with. So now, I’m doing this on a streaming platform. I think we’re able to even show even more that reality and that humanistic side of that we’re just people and that things get said and things get done. That’s life.”

Joe is joined by fellow original cast members A.J. Cook, Kirsten Vangsness, Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez, and Paget Brewster. Zach Gilford joins the cast as a recurring guest star in a season-long arc. The 10-episode season will premiere with two episodes on Thanksgiving Day, exclusively on Paramount+. Following the premiere, new episodes will drop weekly on Thursdays on Paramount+, with a midseason finale on December 15. The show will then return on January 12 with all-new episodes.

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