THE LAST WORD...
’ I incorporate a lot of myself into David … He likes to cook and eat and drink wine ...'
“MY Criminal Minds character David Rossi was one of the original guys who started the Behavioural Analysis Unit of the FBI, which will become more apparent when people in Australia see this week’s episode.
It’s a backstory that basically rewinds us back to the beginning of the BAU where you learn the history of how this whole unit started. We even revisit the character of Gideon [played by Mandy Patinkin in the first two seasons], he becomes a figure in that episode. It keeps it interesting for me to learn more about David Rossi and the BAU along with the audience.
I incorporate a lot of myself into David Rossi. I purposely picked him to be an Italian American character, because I’m Italian-American myself. I thought this way I could pull on a lot of my own likes and dislikes and other aspects of my own life.
So the fact he likes to cook and eat and drink wine and smokes the occasional cigar — these are all aspects of me too which is great. It makes it very easy for me to fall into.
I also loosely based him on a man called John Douglas, one of the real men who were very instrumental in the early days of the Behavioural Analysis Unit in the FBI.
John Douglas was a behavioural analysis and then also became an author. David Rossi has a similar kind of background.
He did it for a while, retired, became very successful as an author and a lecturer – he actually has enough money that he doesn’t have to work anymore.
But for personal reasons or almost because he was bored he wanted to come back so he did. It’s a really nice place to be in because he doesn’t lead the team anymore, Thomas Gibson’s character Hotch does. But David Rossi is there as a senior adviser, a second in command, giving everyone the support of his experience and hopefully his age and wisdom.
Rossi plays at times almost a father figure when they’re struggling. He knows when to step in and offer words of comfort.
I’ve found myself playing a very similar role at moments where guys like Shemar Moore [who plays Derek Morgan] and Matthew Gray Gubler [who plays Dr Spencer Reid] will come and talk to me about things, even in our personal lives, and I think I fill very much that same spot as I do on the show.
You know, it takes over 300 people to do a television show like this. We really do all love each other, we’re all very interconnected. I’m as close with members of the crew as I am with members of the cast.”