Today’s TV Addict Top 5: Questions with CRIMINAL MINDS Star Kirsten Vangsness

Giving new meaning to the phrase “this time it’s personal,” tonight’s CRIMINAL MINDS will shine the spotlight on fan favorite Garcia who becomes uncharacteristically hands on in a BAU investigation when a member of her survivors’ support group (ARMY WIVES’ Brigid Branagh) goes missing. As such, recently had the pleasure of speaking with Kirsten Vagsness about all things CRIMINAL MINDS, including tonight’s episode and what she hopes to see from Garcia in the future. Check it out for yourself after the jump.

After a seemingly revolving door of cast members the original band’s back together in this seventh season of CRIMINAL MINDS. What’s that been like?
Kirsten Vagsness: Like how it would be when a band is back together, you just want to have jam sessions all day, smoke pot and talk about Jimi Hendrix! It’s exactly like that, not really, I mean it is, without the Hendrix… and the pot! No it’s great, we have so much fun. No one will really genuinely believe me unless they were here but when we shoot scenes together and the director say “Cut!” I guess typically everyone sort of just wanders off to their trailers, but here when they say “Cut!” we all just sit there and hang out. I get to work with people who I am genuinely friends with, every single one of them, and it’s just lovely.

Tonight’s episode is a Garcia-centric one. As an actor, is it safe to assume you relish the episodes that shine the spotlight on your character?
Yeah. We haven’t done one in awhile which is cool and the episode is focused on Garcia in the sense that you get to see her under some extraordinary circumstances that you don’t usually see her under. She’s out in the field in a real kind of way, presenting the case to the team because it’s her own friend that’s in jeopardy. Plus, the two guest stars, ARMY WIVES’ Brigid Branagh and HEROES’ Jack Coleman, they carry the show too and are in a great deal of it. The episode is going to be really super fancy and I’ve got some people doing a lot of good things to make it super fancy and then there is some Garcia thrown in.

Garcia has really struck a chord with the CRIMINAL MINDS fan base? As someone who got into the business to be an actor versus a famous face, is that type of adoration, not to mention the responsibility that comes with it, something you can ever get used to?
I don’t think there’s a responsibility, I think you can kind of trick yourself up and think there is, but it’s definitely something to get used to. I’m sure everyone has a kind of different thing, but I know our show can be so tense and you always know when’s Garcia’s on. If someone watches our show, you know she’s going to be bring the answers, she’s going to be the empath and everything for that 30 seconds or whatever when she’s on screen is going to be calm. So I think when people see her or see me they relate to her like everything is going to be okay. And the fact that she is so comfortable letting her freak flag fly I think that’s resonates with everybody. Of course, when people are like really adoring of me I want to be like, “God you don’t even know my car is so messy, and how many things i have to do!” I want tot tell them how normal I am or whatever. But I think that’s what happens, I idealize people too, but I’m delighted that she makes people so happy.

Speaking of letting ones “freak flag” fly, a lot of fans wanted to know about Garcia’s wardrobe. How much of that is your personality and how much of that is the character?
I dress really kooky in real life but we do dress different and I think that I pull it off because I do dress kooky in real life. If you put me in a pant suit and pearls I would look strange, even weird. The weird thing is that I acted in a pant suit and pearls and I don’t look weird at all, but in real life that’s just not how I am. I’m a theater girl and typically theater girls dress like that anway, it’s not nearly so strange. The outfits are mostly [MINDS’ Costume Designer] B.J. Rogers, with little input from me. They just saw how I dressed from when we started the show and made like a derivative of that.

And finally, as a writer yourself, is there anywhere you’d like to see your character go in the future?
Gosh, what would I like to see for Garcia going forward? I would like to see her have a complete computer meltdown, like she’s just done with computers. And maybe I would want her to get obsessed with making some sort of fan fiction and kind of lose her mind. They won’t do that, but that would be fun.

CRIMINAL MINDS airs Wednesday at 9PM on CBS (CTV 2 in Canada) and stars Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore, Joe Mantegna, Matthew Gray Gubler, Kersten Vangsness, Paget Brewster and A.J. Cook. Catch up on past episodes you may have missed for free online at

For all the latest TV news and reviews