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When you grow up in a creative fam­ily, you get to try your hand at a num­ber of things to find out what works for you. Gia Man­tegna grew up in the in­dus­try and has been act­ing since she was a kid, is a singer and in ad­di­tion to her roles, can say that she has been able to spend qual­ity time on set as a fel­low ac­tor with her dad, Joe Man­tegna in the nail bit­ing series, Crim­i­nal Minds.

We sat down with Gia to talk about how she got into ac­ti­ing, what it's like to be on Crim­i­nal Minds, play­ing dra­matic char­ac­ters with a twist, her new show that is avail­able now on CW Seed, what's go­ing on with her mu­sic and some of her go to places in LA as well as when she's here in NYC.

ATHLEISURE MAG: When did the act­ing bug hit you?

GIA MAN­TEGNA: I started act­ing at a re­ally young age in school. I think I was about 11 when I started theater and that’s kind of where I got the bug. I had ob­vi­ously grown up in the busi­ness be­cause my dad is an ac­tor.

AM: We’re huge fans of him!

GM: Yeah, yeah me too! Grow­ing up around that en­vi­ron­ment and be­ing in that in­dus­try it was just some­thing that was sec­ond na­ture to me. And I was like, "when is it my turn?" Be­ing the sec­ond born child and al­ways want­ing at­ten­tion, I was known for hav­ing this per­son­al­ity and hav­ing a need to be heard. The only out­let for that was to sing and to per­form - so that’s how it started. Then af­ter do­ing theater, I started work­ing in film and go­ing to TV and au­di­tion­ing. It hasn’t stopped yet – knock on wood.

AM: What are some of the roles that you have been in?

GM: My first big gig was a Christ­mas film called Un­ac­com­pa­nied Mi­nors which was a film di­rected by Paul Feig. He did Brides­maids, The Heat, Ghost­busters (Kris­ten Wiig and Melissa McCarthy) etc. That was my in­tro­duc­tion into re­ally work­ing in Hol­ly­wood. It was such a great ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with Paul and the cast. That was a fun role for me and I have done a lot of spots on TV.

I’m re­ally drawn to the darker roles nat­u­rally. I am a pos­i­tive per­son, but I love those re­ally weird roles. I did a role on Per­cep­tion where I played this girl who swal­lowed knives and it was a strange one, but I loved it. Now com­edy is where things are go­ing for me which I also love be­cause it’s harder and comedic tim­ing is hard to do. The dra­matic roles come eas­ier to me but com­edy is where I am fall­ing into and where the world is go­ing, it’s nice to laugh a lit­tle bit.

AM: How much has your father been an in­flu­ence on your roles and how has it been also ap­pear­ing on Crim­i­nal Minds with him?

GM: YES oh my gosh. I can’t watch Crim­i­nal Minds – I live alone with a cat!

AM: When we travel, it’s al­ways on as a marathon and we get sucked in, but we have to have a buddy and the lights on to watch it!

GM: Oddly enough, I never worked with him on the show. When I first au­di­tioned for the show, I was 17 there was a dif­fer­ent ac­tor play­ing my father and I never had any scenes with him. Then one day, the writ­ers came to me with an idea where my char­ac­ter came back with Aubrey Plaza’s char­ac­ter as they wanted two strong fe­male char­ac­ters to come back to shake up the team. Aubrey and I came out to do it and I didn’t have any good di­a­logue with my dad, but there was this scene where he pointed a gun at me which was re­ally ex­cit­ing as that is al­ways fun to work with a fam­ily mem­ber hold­ing a gun in your face. I mean when is that

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