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Aisha Tyler on reuniting with her ‘Criminal Minds’ family for ‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’

What is it like to be back with the Criminal Minds gang?

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That was great. It was a dream. We didn’t feel like we were done telling these stories at the end of Season 15. Then, magically, we started talking about doing another season by the end of that year, and then everything stopped for everyone around the planet. [because of the COVID-19 pandemic]. So the fact that we’re here now and doing shows again has really transformed us. We are all happy to be back.

I interviewed Joe Mantegna several times, including just a few minutes before talking to you. What does he like to work with? Any funny or memorable moments with him from past seasons or this season?

Joe is the best. everyone greeted me very much [to the show]but he was the person on set who made me feel right at home on my very first day on set. He was very friendly. We all call him “Papa Joe”. He is Don Corleone. He is our Papa Joe. He is so experienced, so talented. He is a respected member of our team. We look at him as a captain.

He’s so funny too. We joke so much on set. Many of these jokes are not safe for work, so I can’t repeat them. [Laughs] This is a real family, and he is our captain.

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You and your character both attended Dartmouth College. What else do you have in common with her?

Great question and I haven’t received it yet. Tara came to BAU in a relationship that ended pretty quickly which led to her working there and she was dedicated to her work and I definitely think I share that with Tara. I am a real workaholic. I don’t apologize for this. I love what I do and find immersing myself in my creative and work life very energizing.

Also, especially as a woman, I don’t believe in apologizing for ambition, and I don’t think Tara either. She is truly known, without apology, unequivocally known. I love it in her. She knows how important the work she does is and she literally saves lives. I respect this dedication very much. I really admire this.

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