Criminal Minds: Here's What The Cast Are Up To After The Series Finale
14th September, 2021
CBS Media Ventures | Alberto Terenghi/IPA/Shutterstock
The binge-worthy CBS procedural crime drama Criminal Minds wrapped up in 2020 after 15 seasons. But what have its leading cast members been up to since? What does it take for crime shows to keep their viewers engaged? A brilliant plot? Tension? Great characters? Well, Criminal Minds had all of these and more, which kept the audience hooked for 15 years. And although there’s news that the show’s revival is in the works, nobody knows when it will premiere and if it will feature the same lead actors. But, do you know what the show’s stars Matthew Gray Gubler, A. J. Cook, Shemar Moore, and the others are doing today? Read on to find out!
In season three, Joe Mantegna joined Criminal Minds as the BAU’s Senior Agent, David Rossi. He was essentially a replacement for the show’s then-lead, Mandy Patinkin’s character, Jason Gideon. Mantegna’s character quickly became the show’s central profiler, and he stayed until the series finale in 2020. Since then, it seems the now-73-year-old senior actor is busy enjoying life and isn’t taking up new projects. However, he has no plans of retiring, so there’s a chance that we’ll see him in big- or small-screen roles in the future. The veteran actor has more than 300 acting credits under his belt. From theatres to Hollywood flicks and TV series, he has done it all. Mantegna also bagged multiple awards throughout his career, including three Emmy nominations. In the ‘90s, he was best known for appearing in films like The Godfather: Part III, Searching for Bobby Fischer, Airheads, and Thinner. He’s also the voice behind Fat Tony, a recurring character in the animated sitcom The Simpsons.
Lola Glaudini’s time on Criminal Minds was relatively short. She left the show before it hit the 30-episode mark, disappointing her fans. Still, she had a significant impact with her outstanding performance as the BAU’s sex crimes specialist, Elle Greenaway. There are many theories regarding why Glaudini left the show, but the truth, quite surprisingly, is that she was unhappy living in the city of dreams, Los Angeles, for the shoot and wanted to move back to the East Coast. Glaudini was a well-known face even before coming on Criminal Minds, thanks to her appearances in popular TV shows like The Sopranos, The Handler, and NYPD Blue and some big-screen roles in films like Down to You and Blow. This suggests that the actress had no trouble finding work after leaving the show. Soon, she was seen playing Kat Damatto on the drama series Persons Unknown, Captain Shaddid on the science fiction series The Expanse, and other roles in shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Ray Donovan, Revenge, and Castle. Glaudini has also appeared in several movies over the years and her acting future in both films and TV shows looks promising.
Canadian actress A.J. Cook portrayed yet another fan-favorite character on Criminal Minds: Special Agent Jennifer Jareau, better known as “JJ.” She was seen right from the beginning until the final episode. However, her character was dropped out of the main cast in season six, after which she made only brief appearances as JJ. But interestingly, she got the chance to direct one episode of the show in 2019. Though she now boasts both acting and direction credits on her resume, Cook hasn’t taken up new gigs since the series finale. Also, it seems her personal life and Criminal Minds kept her so busy that she only worked on a couple of projects outside the series in the past several years. Her most recent work was the 2019 indie film Back Fork, co-starred and directed by the actor who played her husband on Criminal Minds, Josh Stewart. Some of her earlier works in acting include 2001 movies Wishmaster 3 and Ripper and a 2003 movie Final Destination 2.
Actor Thomas Gibson’s character became prominent on the show after season two. He portrayed troubled workaholic Aaron Hotchner, better known as Hotch, for the first 12 seasons of Criminal Minds. However, before season 13, Gibson got into a fight with the show’s writer-producer, Virgil Williams, and was immediately dismissed from the series for good. Following the incident, the actor told People magazine that the audience will remember the good work he’s done over the years. He also said, “I just need more opportunities to do good work and be a good guy.” Unfortunately, it seems his on-set altercation damaged his reputation, as he’s received only a few offers in small-time movies like Axis and Shadow Wolves. Lately, Gibson has been involved as a writer, producer, and lead actor of a passion project called The Writer’s Bible. However, there’s no word on when the movie will hit the theatres. It’s worth noting that Gibson was an accomplished TV actor before landing a role in Criminal Minds. He had starred in Dharma & Greg alongside actress Jenna Elfman and was a part of the Chicago Hope ensemble.
Special Agent Derek Morgan was a fan-favorite on the show. After all, he was the only character to appear in every episode since Criminal Minds began in 2005. However, around a decade of hard work took a toll on Shemar’s personal life, and the actor left the show after season 11. In a 2016 interview with TVLine, he said, “I love what I do for a living, I love it from ‘action’ to ‘cut,’ but I also want to walk my dogs, travel, get married, have kids.” We aren’t sure if he did all that as he became the protagonist of the ongoing action drama series S.W.A.T the following year and has been playing Sergeant Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson on the CBS show since. After leaving Criminal Minds, Shemar also landed supporting roles in movies like Kill Me, Deadly and The Bounce Back. Additionally, he voiced Cyborg (Victor Stone) in the 2014 direct-to-video animated superhero film Justice League: War and went reprised his voice role in movies like Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, The Death of Superman, and more.
Matthew Gray Gubler
Dr. Spencer Reid, the socially awkward boy genius of the BAU, was the heart of Criminal Minds. He remained a regular on the show from the first episode until the finale, appearing in all 324 episodes – the most among the cast members. No wonder Gubler’s character became one of the favorites in the series over the years. In an interview with Glamour magazine, he once said, “It’s so bizarre it has been on for so long because in no way, shape, or form does it feel like that. It still feels like day two.” During his 15 years on the show, Gubler got acting credits for movies like 500 Days of Summer and Suburban Gothic. His recent works include playing Darren in the 2020 psychological drama Horse Girl and appearing on Hulu’s comedy series Dollface. The actor’s latest comedy film King Knight, written and directed by Ricky Bates Jr., will soon hit the theatres. Interestingly, Gubler was a well-known model before stepping into the acting world and was associated with big brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs, and American Eagle.
Paget Brewster’s character, Special Agent Emily Prentiss, had the most ups and downs throughout the show’s run. She joined Criminal Minds as a lead character during season two and was a regular until season seven. She then took a break, making random guest appearances over the next few years before finally returning as a regular in season 12 and staying till the end. Before appearing in Criminal Minds, Brewster was known for her recurring character Kathy – Chandler’s girlfriend in season four – on Friends. Lately, she’s been recognized mainly for her voice work, thanks to her voicing roles in several DC Comics animated features and well-known series like BoJack Horseman. In 2019, Brewster started voicing Donald Duck’s twin sister, Della, in the comedy DuckTales and has been doing that to date. She even earned a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for her work. You can also hear her as the central character, Judy Ken Sebben, aka Birdgirl, in the animated show Birdgirl, released in 2021. Brewster is set to voice more characters on animated shows in the future.
No Criminal Minds fanatic will ever forget Mandy Patinkin. Though he was the show’s lead character only in the first two seasons, his charismatic portrayal of the hot-tempered and brilliant Jason Gideon – Senior Supervisory Agent of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) – has been etched in the viewers’ minds forever. Patinkin left the series abruptly before season three, citing that the show was “destructive to my soul and my personality.” After a short break from TV, he featured in the highly acclaimed thriller series Homeland, where he played a leading character, Saul Berenson, for eight straight seasons from 2011 to 2020. Throughout Homeland’s run, Patinkin did various side gigs. He acted in Hollywood movies like Wonder, Life Itself, and Before You Know It, give voice to Papa Smurf in Smurfs: The Lost Village, and released a music album called Children and Art. Recently, he joined Paramount’s The Good Fight for its fifth season and is set to become a series regular. The now-68-year-old actor is a storehouse of talents, and it doesn’t seem like he will stop receiving good work anytime soon.