The eleventh season of CBS’ Criminal Minds begins this fall, and of course Kirsten Vangsness will return as FBI analyst Penelope Garcia, a role she says was originally intended for a guy:
The story on Garcia was that they had a man whose name was Garcia. They shot the scenes with all the other characters talking to this man named Garcia. When they looked at the footage later, they suddenly realized that they had this pilot that was going to come out, but it was too guy heavy. There wasn’t enough female characters. So they thought they’d put in these two lines, have a woman come in and say those two lines and figure it out from there.
Even then, it wasn’t much of a role, but she got to put her stamp on it early:
It was just this little two-line thing. I remember they called me and said, “Bring your own clothes because it’s just going to be this one scene.” I’m a size 10-12, and in Hollywood, there’s either a size 0 or a size 22. Middle ground is kind of rare sometimes.
I’m a very creative dresser, so when I brought in my clothes, they said, “Are you crazy? This is the FBI. You can’t wear any of this!”
This was, of course, before they discovered she was so popular they had to make her a regular. And at forty-three, she will still wear what she will:
Wait a minute. We need a shot of her in glasses:
Her love life has taken an odd curve, also. Having once described herself as “queer as a purple unicorn singing Madonna,” she’s now on a somewhat straighter path:
My boyfriend and I are going to go on a meditation retreat at the end of April. That’ll be fun. I fell in love with this guy, which is like the craziest thing. I was engaged to a woman. I was perfectly comfortable and happy with the nature of our relationship, but sometimes relationships fall apart. The last thing I would’ve thought was that I would meet a guy and fall in love. But I did it.
And hey, it’s not like she’s been re-routed to the office of Too Frickin’ Bad.
(Quotes from SmashingInterviews.com.)