How Aubrey Plaza Ended Up Joining Criminal Minds

Aubrey Plaza has a really eclectic resume, from gigs on Parks and Recreation to music video appearances and even playing Grumpy Cat for Lifetime. Next, she’s going to appear on a very special episode of Criminal Minds playing Spencer Reid’s love interest from hell. It’s a pretty juicy gig, and the actress recently revealed how she landed the Criminal Minds guest starring gig on CBS. Here’s what Aubrey Plaza had to say in a recent interview:

Matthew and I are friends and he sent me the script and said, ‘I know this sounds crazy, but this is a really special episode and it involves my character and… would you read it?’ So I read the script and it’s basically a 65-page psychological thriller.

We’ve known for a while that Aubrey Plaza will be appearing in the upcoming episode of Criminal Minds, which will feature Matthew Grey Gubler’s Dr. Spencer Reid going out to dinner with a potential love interest, only to have his date pull out a gun and go rogue. What I dig about this is that Gubler apparently had input on who would be playing his love interest in the episode and saw his pal Plaza to be a good fit for the gig. It’s cool when actors get the chance to add to episodes in order to make them even better than they might be otherwise, and Criminal Minds is clearly one of the shows that allows its cast to be a little creative.

Plaza also revealed to TV Line that she isn’t a huge fan of Criminal Minds personally, but that the role she has signed on for is really, really juicy. Here’s a bit more about the gig:

I just thought playing that role would be really fun. There aren’t many opportunities for me to play a psychopath that has planted a bomb in a restaurant and who’s holding a gun under a table trying to kill an FBI agent. That’s some juicy stuff. I don’t care what show it’s on.

Criminal Minds returns this Wednesday with the special episode featuring Aubrey Plaza. The actress says most of the episode was shot in the restaurant, which is markedly different from the usual settings on the procedural, which often revolve around homes, police precincts and crime scenes. (Although I guess a bomb being planted in a restaurant is technically a crime scene.) Earlier reports have indicated that Spencer Reid and his date from hell will play a “game of wits,” so that should be pretty interesting, as well.

Honestly, this Criminal Minds episode had me hooked when I found out Reid would actually be going on another date. He hasn’t exactly had good luck with women on the series. His last love interest, Maeve Donovan, was dealing with a stalker and her storyline ended horribly while she was still dating Reid. Now, this new girl is going to hold him at gunpoint at a restaurant. The crazy things those Criminal Minds writers manage to come up with never cease to amaze me.

Criminal Minds will be returning on Wednesday, January 13 at 9 p.m. ET. You can check out when the rest of your midseason favorites will be returning with our winter TV premiere schedule.

Photo courtesy of CBS.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.