Adam Rodriguez is the newest member of the Criminal Minds cast and he couldn’t be happier. Rodriguez was recruited into the Criminal Minds family in June after it was announced that Shemar Moore, who played Derek Morgan for 11 seasons on the CBS procedural, would be exiting the series. The 41-year-old stars as former Army Ranger Luke Alvez, a fugitive task force agent in the FBI’s Behavior Analysis Unit (BAU) every Wednesday night at 9/8c.
Variety Latino spoke to Rodriguez ahead of the CBS Entertainment Diversity event on Thursday to get some scoop on what we can expect from his first season.
“There was a bit of pressure to deliver in a certain way because with Shemar leaving there was a void to fill,” Rodriguez told Variety Latino about being the new guy. “Fans love him and they loved his character. It wasn’t like they were recasting his role; he decided to explore other things. So it was a bit of pressure to really win the fans over. Certainly, the writers gave me the material to work with and based on what I’m seeing, in terms of feedback, it seems like we’re accomplishing that.”
Off the bat, the relationship that stands out above the others this season is between Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) and Alvez. That awkward conversation that takes place between them during the season premiere is equally hilarious and cringe-worthy all at once. Is this something fans can expect moving forward?
“Oh yeah… I think the writers really enjoyed writing that and I know that Kirsten and myself enjoy playing it, Rodriguez explained. “She’s brilliant and it’s just so much fun to do those scenes where we go back and forth. We get to have this little fun banter and it just feels right. This is another aspect of the show that I think people love so much in terms of Morgan’s and Garcia’s characters. It’s another aspect that I thought was very important about finding my own way into. The writers have done a great job of putting good stuff on the page for us to play with.”
There isn’t much viewers know about Alvez just yet, but Rodriguez promises that as the season continues you will learn a lot more about who he is and why he is that way.
“He’s a former Army Ranger and shortly you’ll learn specifically what he did in the Rangers. We don’t get into too much detail early on. I think we want to leave a little mystery there and some room for the character to grow so the audience can learn new things about him as time goes on. He transitioned into the FBI when he got out of the Rangers where he headed up a task force. Essentially what they do is that they are the bounty hunters for the most wanted criminals from the FBI list. Luke headed up a unit and after there was a breakout at the end of last season, he was working with the BAU to try to apprehend some of these major criminals that escaped from prison. Throughout the course of doing that, he worked well with the BAU and when they thought to add someone to their team they felt he had a skill set they could utilize so they asked him to join the team.
Luke headed up a unit and after there was a breakout at the end of last season, he was working with the BAU to try to apprehend some of these major criminals that escaped from prison. Throughout the course of doing that, he worked well with the BAU and when they thought to add someone to their team they felt he had a skill set they could utilize so they asked him to join the team.”
The most important question that fans want answered is whether or not Alvez will have a love interest. Although the answer is not what most want to hear, it’s hopeful.
“I think in time hopefully somebody does [enter his life]. I do think we will see some side of Luke’s personal life but I think for the time being we’re probably going to focus on giving the audience a chance to get to know who he is and then maybe branch out to a bit more of the personal.
He’s a guy who is pretty much a loner,” he explained. “His apartment isn’t really inhabited by much other than a special K-9 friend and books. I don’t know how much room Luke has in his life right now for a love interest. But I hope he eventually does because everyone needs love.”