Kirsten Vangsness gives CourtneyK all the details on CRIMINAL MINDS
As some of you may know, I wrote a character rundown almost a year ago to the day; it was one of my first pieces for MyTakeOnTV.com and it was about The Brainy Broads: Abbey from NCIS and Garcia from Criminal Minds. I went on and on about how marvelous they were and are. Imagine my overflow of joy when Amrie asked if I could interview Kirsten Vangsness, Garcia herself!! I flipped out! Everyone I TOLD flipped out! My mom and step-dad are rabid watchers of CRIMINAL MINDS (of course), and when he heard about this interview, my step-dad said “Wait, you mean CourtneyK’s got to interview the most interesting person on TV???” So yeah, this was a major score for me!
Kirsten Vangsness is an amazing person, end of line! She plays Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia on Criminal Minds. There’s nothing this chick can’t find with her computer! To be able to pick her brain for even a minute was a massive honor and a barrel of giggles! I was blown away by her candor, the speed of her speech with rivaled my own, and her graciousness. After my initial fangirl gushing, I composed myself (sort of) and got…
Straight to business because I tend to chat long and loud: What can we expect in the next episode?
(laughs) Ok Let’s see, in season 3 we learn that Garcia volunteers at a grief counseling center and so now we’re at season 7 and you see her at that grief counseling center and so you learn a little bit about that and then this woman that she knows from the center is abducted and what’s interesting about it is that I feel like the last Garcia-centric episode [titled HOPE airing tonight at 9/8c on CBS] that we had were those ones where she got shot…
(briefly whimpers at the memory of Garcia getting shot)
…and you don’t really sort of hear about her (personal life) and in this you kind of, I’m realizing that as I talk about it you don’t really get to see her under a lot of different extraordinary circumstances but the audience gets to make their own conclusions and I don’t even know what to say like ‘Ok, this is what we find out’ because I don’t know, I don’t know what people are going to take away from that. I found her to be particularly un-funny and she kind of lost her disposition in this episode because of all the stuff that’s happening there’s a lot of like, where she’s going to ‘crack’ and she has to galvanize herself and God love that relationship she has with Morgan (Shemar Moore) because he tends to be around her when she’s about to fall over and he puts her back together. You get to see her in a lot of capacity, she’s in the whole thing. And in addition to being Garcia’s episode it’s also the guest stars, Brigid Brannagh and Jack Coleman are in a lot of it and you’ll really see a lot of them, they carry a show.
Yeah when Garcia got shot I pretty much threw the remote and stomped out of the room crying and was off the show like “If she’s dead, I’m GONE! I’m not dealing with it!” (nervous laughter)
(boisterous laughter) That’s a great reaction!
Yeah it was terrifying! Along those lines, I’m really glad to hear that they’re delving into the personal lives of the BAU. I’m stoked to hear that next week is really Garcia centered. That being said, some of the storylines are so scary, have there been any that really affected you in your regular life?
No, well, ok. My take on it is that it would be arrogant for me to get really bent out of shape about this great fancy job that I have where I have this amazing health insurance and it would be real arrogant of me to be like (affected voice) “Oh God, I’m so wounded from this job” number one (giggles). Number two: I have a really hard time with violence, like I don’t like it at all. It is not what I do for entertainment, I love my job and I love performing it, but the watching of it is a whole different animal and so when I do watch the show I fast forward through most of the violent stuff because I.Don’t.Want.To.See.That.At.All. Some people say “it’s too violent” it is too violent for some people and they should not watch it, or they should watch it like I do and fast forward to the relationship parts which I like and don’t watch the other parts. Because there’s no reason to try and adjust your violence barometer because it doesn’t adjust. There are people that like that stuff, and people that don’t. And I’m not one of those people and it doesn’t bother me because I don’t really indulge myself in it. (laughs) And I agree with you, I love it when we go into the personal life of the characters. And a lot of people don’t! A lot of people want us just to stick with the “keep it scary” and I think they are trying to please both sides.
Good, because it was getting really terrifying I was starting to re-think my whole social media thing a couple episodes ago (there was an episode where the killer was stalking his prey via GPS/location tracking in social media applications, scared the beejeebus out of me).
I really do think that people are essentially good, even the crazy bananas things? That people on the show I’m on do? They’re only doing it to make them feel better (see, right here is where I need a sarcasm font!) I mean if you eviscerating those ladies is going to give you a good day, well then good for you sir! (seriously, the sarcasm dripped from those words, I was laughing so hard as quietly as I could!)
Obviously there’s a huge draw between Morgan and Garcia and I’m being, it’s terrible for me to say, but there’s a big push for Morgan and Garcia to get together and I’m being “forced” to ask if that’s in the cards?
(laughs) You know, I think it’s always “in the cards” like if we have “cards” you and I, we’re holding in our hands right now. Like is it “in the cards”? Oh yeah, it’s definitely in the cards, there’s a couple of cards! (both of us laugh) Like I would keep the children out of room, don’t look at those cards! Having said that, I think that probably those cards would not be pulled by either one of them because part of the joy of it is that they stay on that line. Both of us (the actors) love what they have! What they have is so wonderful and worth more than screwing it up.
Agreed! Where do they get your glasses, clothes and other random stuff? Because it’s amazing!
Let’s see, glasses? I usually get all my glasses and I get them at a place called L.A. EyeWorks in Los Angeles. I usually buy them myself and everything because I’m particular about them. B.J. Rodgers is our costume designer and she’s a mad genius and she makes a lot of Garcia’s sweaters. If you take a good look at them they always have little things on them. Whenever Garcia is wearing a sweater, she did this thing where she sewed a paper heart on the sleeve of the sweater! She does a lot of those, and I think a lot of Garcia’s jewelry is Betsey Johnson and a lot of the hair accessories I end up buying from this store that I like in Long Beach (California), I’m good with the hair accessories, and then everything else like the clothes and stuff I leave it all to them. I’m a crazy dresser, but me and Garcia do dress entirely differently.
The Garcia-isms are so amazing, do you have any input with those?
Yeah, I write some things and I bring it to them and ask if I can say them and sometimes they do! I like to sit around my house and “put her on” (Garcia) and think “What would she do or say?” because things happen and if something gets said, it’s like “Oh that’s cool! I like that!”. I love the way she talks, it’s totally better than I do. (laughs)
(laughs) I don’t know, it’s surreal talking to you right now just for that! Again, I want to thank you for all that you do for the ‘Geek Girl’ community, we worship you and I love to follow you on Twitter (@Vangsness)! And ok, this is going to sound strange, but I’ve been instructed by my Mom to tell you she loves you. (laughs)
Tell her I love her, too! My pleasure! Thank you Courtney that’s so sweet, and say hello to your Mom for me!
So there it is. Kirsten Vangsness is a walking smile filled with sunshine and joy. I was smiling and laughing the entire interview and walked away from it even more starstruck. I can’t wait for this weeks’ CRIMINAL MINDS and my fix of all things Garcia!!