Paget Brewster: I Never Got Over Being Fired From ‘Criminal Minds’

by | September 19, 2012 at 3:08 PM | Criminal Minds, Fall TV Preview 2012, Law Order SVU

Paget Brewster on 'Criminal Minds' (Photo: CBS)

After walking away from her role as Emily Prentiss on “Criminal Minds,” Paget Brewster makes her return to TV in a two-part, guest-star role on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” next Wednesday.

On a conference call to promote her appearance as District Attorney Paula Foster on the NBC series, Brewster opened up about why she left the CBS procedural drama.

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“I really didn’t feel challenged anymore,” she said. “I wanted to learn something and be excited again…. While it can be a family — that environment is actually a family — in the sense that also you sometimes hate each other, you can’t stand being around each other and grudges are held… I was getting cranky on ‘Criminal Minds.’”

Paget first left “Criminal Minds” when she was advised that she would not be working in every episode of Season 6 and that A.J. Cook was being let go. During that time, Paget had received permission to film a comedy pilot, which she did, but it didn’t get a pick up. It was then that she was informed that she had to return to “Criminal Minds” for one more year because she was still under contract. A fact she said at that time that she hadn’t been aware of.

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“I never got over it when A.J. and I were fired,” she said. “That was really tough emotionally for everyone on that show. When I was asked to leave, I left… Then they made me come back. I did and I decided to enjoy it. It was one year. I care about everyone at ‘Criminal Minds’ but I knew in my heart, I had left.”

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That said, Brewster says she would return to guest star on an episode of “Criminal Minds” if asked.

“I think that is kind of tricky. What I was told was a lot of people have to sign off on that… I like everybody at ‘Criminal Minds.’ I would like to guest star but I don’t know if that is in the cards.”

At the time of her departure, Brewster was hoping to make a return to comedy after so many years in drama, which she is still hoping to do, but she says that even though “SVU” is a drama, she just couldn’t say no to it.

“I am waiting for the right thing,” says the actress, who also guest starred on “SVU” back in 2007 in a different role. “The only thing I have wanted to [take] was this opportunity to do ‘SVU.’ So far everything else has not been my cup of tea. I left ‘Criminal Minds’ because I wasn’t as excited. I needed to do something new, so I have to honor that and wait until something I really care about comes along, so that is what I am doing.”

The two-part “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” episodes, starring Brewster, air next Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.