Quirkiness - the way forward for Criminal Minds
tvnz.co.nz's Kate Marshall meets Criminal Minds stars, Kirsten Vangsness and Matthew Gray Gubler, and finds out how argyle sweaters and mismatched socks play their part in the series.
Kirsten Vangsness says she goes home after a day on the Criminal Minds set and reminds herself that the terrorism she encounters during the day didn't actually occur in real life. Even though she knows it happens, she can't think too much about it for fear of going crazy. And it's a good job the "goofy" nature of the cast offers a necessary balance to the seriousness of the shows theme, even though she thinks it's super-cool.
Vangness - who plays Penelope Garcia on the hit TV ONE show - sees this year differently to the last because she no longer turns up and shoots all her scenes at once. And spending more time with people means she's excited about the new guest stars coming up in the show, including Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), C Thomas Howell from the "Outsiders", Cybill Shepherd and Nicholas Brandon (Buffy).
Dressed in more colours than your average rainbow, Vangsness feels she's an eclectic mix of normal and weird all at the same time. Although she feels they are both weird, it's a different kind of weird. Garcia is smarter then she is but agrees that both Garcia and herself flirt as a way of dealing with their insecurities. While she honours there are crossovers, she often reminds herself that she must separate Garcia and Kirsten. There are differences but there's elements of her own personality in Kirsten too. She's honest to a fault, thinks she talks too much and maybe she could bathe at bit more.
As well as being funky in her ways, Garcia is funky in her style. Being a size 12 when she first started out on Criminal Minds, Garcia she was asked to bring in some of her own clothes but they weren't suitable for a role in the FBI so she started off in - of all things - an Argyle sweater. Just like America Ferrera who plays Ugly Betty, Vangsness is also doing her bit for the curvier females of the world. She wants Garcia to be curvy, not skinny and this has its advantages. She receives letters from kids and teenagers supporting the fact there's a normal size woman on the television screen but it's who she is that's made Garcia who "she" is: "at the end of the day I am who I am. That's how we all get to where we are - is to be as ourselves as best as we humanly can. So you've got to use what you got."
Using what you've got is something Matthew Gray Gubler (who plays Dr Spencer Reid) also excels in both on and off set - he's modelled for high-end labels like Marc Jacobs, Burberry and Louis Vuitton. Far from fashion-orientated with his crazy hair cut (he refers to looking like Sir Lancelot) and mismatched socks, he appears indiscreet and quiet. He makes a conscious decision to wear mismatched socks as a sign of good luck - he sprained his ankle the last time he wore a matching pair a decade ago. He acknowledges his character has a "never-ending supply of demons" and reveals there's more to come in the future. Weird and freaky? Gubler announces, Criminal Minds is certainly breaking the FBI mould with its stereotypes. That's for sure.
Full episodes of Criminal Minds will be available free online 12 hours after the show has aired on TV2. Click here to watch episodes