Joe Mantegna puts a coda on ‘Criminal Minds’

CBS series reaches the end of its 15-season run

Joe Mantegna of ‘Criminal Minds’ Wednesday on CBS

Q: With the series finale of “Criminal Minds” on the immediate horizon, and your having filmed it a while ago, are you looking forward to seeing how it turned out?

A: I think I will be as entertained and affected by it almost as much as anybody else, since it’s been a while since we did it. I’ll be reliving it myself.

Q: Do you like where your character, David Rossi, ends up?

ou do something like this. You might say, “It could have gone this way or it could have gone that way,” but at the end of the day, I have nothing but respect for our writing staff. I’m a firm believer that if it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage, and that’s the way it works.

We wouldn’t have been around for 15 seasons if the writing was bad, so I trust that the people concerned were very involved in where the show was going and how it ultimately would end. We were in good hands that way.

Q: You typically also have directed an episode or two per “Criminal Minds” season, but not on the last one. Why was that?

A: I think they had broken it down a certain way, but that was fine, because we all had a lot to carry in Season 15 (in acting terms) … and me in particular. I probably had more than I would normally have, because much of it revolved around the character the Chameleon, who was Rossi’s personal nemesis.

This was very much an ensemble show, which is what I attribute much of its success to, but Rossi was pretty involved in these last episodes – so my not having to direct was OK.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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