Artists on Demand got the opportunity to have a virtual sit down with Joe Mantegna, who plays David Rossi on CBS' hit crime drama Criminal Minds. Hear what he has to say about the current season, his character, and his favorite episodes.
Season 8 has kicked off and we have already seen some pretty intense scenarios. What else are we going to get to see this season?
One thing we can look for is an episode that will explore the military background of Rossi during the Vietnam era.
Having joined the show in the middle of Season 3, was there an adaptation period for you, or did you just kind of fit right in?
There was a short period of adjustment, but it was made easier by the fact that a large percentage of the crew was from my previous series JOAN OF ARCADIA, so in many ways it was coming to a familiar place.
Aside from the possibility of getting back together with his sick ex-wife a few seasons ago, we haven’t seen Rossi in any type of a romantic relationship. Is this something that is going to change any time soon?
Not sure about the romance angle for Rossi; he hasn’t had much luck in that department….but you never know.
Agent Rossi is quite an interesting man who is very good at what he does. What is your favorite quality of his?
For me Rossi’s favorite quality is that due to his experience and success outside of the BAU he has a tendency to cut to the chase on some issues which hopefully the viewers find amusing at times.
What episode are you most excited to have fans see this season?
The episode dealing with my military background is one I have been trying to get done for a few seasons now, so I’m thrilled that we’ve finally shot it. Also my assistant for over the last 10 years co-wrote the episode.
Criminal Minds deals with a very violent subject matter. What is the most challenging part of filming those scenes that are so incredibly heartbreaking? Does it ever become too much to handle?
For me all I have to do is think about the men and women who have to do this job for real every day of the week, and that puts into perspective how much I really need to handle. I have too much respect for the real BAU to be freaked out by what I do on screen.
Who has been the most interesting guest star on the show to date?
Too many great guests to answer that, but two favorites are C. Thomas Howell as the Reaper, and Meshach Taylor in that upcoming military themed episode.
Not only are you on Criminal Minds, but you have also filmed a number of episodes for “Midway USA’s Gun Stories.” What is it about guns that made you want to take part in this show?
I have been an advocate of shooting sports for many years, so to do a show that explores the world of historical firearms comes naturally to me.
You tweet a lot about the various charities that you are involved in. Can you tell us about them and how we can get involved?
I, like many actors out there, have charities I try to help out with. You can find the ones I like to support on my website but I encourage the public to go out and find any organizations that needs help and who’s cause resonates with them.
For those who may not know, where can fans find you online? Twitter/Facebook?
I have to admit my assistant does a great job with keeping me current on Twitter and Facebook, and we also have an e-mail address at my website. I try to personally respond to as much correspondence as I can.
The fans are the reason Criminal Minds has been one of the most popular shows on television for going on eight seasons now. What would you tell them if you could tell them anything?
Without our fans we're nothing. I can't thank them enough for investing their time in our show, and they should feel secure in the knowledge that every week we do our best to bring them the best program we can. We truly feel we are a thinking persons drama, and I applaud our audience’s intelligence and taste.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions for us. We will be tuned in each Wednesday at 9 pm for Season 8 of Criminal Minds!
Picture Source: CBS