Criminal Minds' Joe Mantegna Pens Open Letter as He Films Final Episode After 12 Years: 'I'll Miss Playing David Rossi'
It’s a wrap on Criminal Minds for Joe Mantegna.
The actor, 71, revealed on Twitter Monday that he filmed his final scene as FBI special agent David Rossi after 12 years on the CBS series. In an open letter to fans and followers, he described his last day on set while thanking viewers for their nearly two decades of support.
“As I wrap up my last day of filming Criminal Minds, I can’t help but reflect in awe at what a truly wonderful experience it has been. As you know I came to a show already in production. I was welcomed by the cast and crew instantly, making me feel part of the team on day one,” said Mantegna, who joined Criminal Minds in 2007.
“The next 12 years would be a wild and wonderful ride. Yes, I will miss playing David Rossi, and I’ll miss the wonderful writing that brought him to life, but mostly I will miss seeing my fellow cast mates and our fantastic crew every day. It may seem a cliché to say we’re like family, but it’s so very true,” he continued.
“In 15 seasons we’ve all grown a little older, hopefully a little wiser too. We laughed together, we cried together, and like a family we gained and lost members along the way. Some got married, some got divorced, some had children, some had more than one!” Mantegna wrote.
Actors A.J. Cook, Mandy Patinkin, Paget Brewster, Shemar Moore, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Thomas Gibson are just some of the cast members who have since left the show.
“Some of our family went on to other shows and jobs, and sadly, some we lost too soon to the heavens,” he said of former costar Blake Heron, who died in September 2017 at age 35, though Mantegna did not recognize the late actor by name.
In January, CBS announced the show would be concluding at season 15, promising an “epic final season” — something Mantegna also alluded to in his letter.
“As I pack up my belongings from my trailer and load my car, I am satisfied with what we accomplished and proud of the work,” he said. “An actor’s life is always changing and I’m excited for what’s next and hope that when I find that thing, you’ll come along for that ride too.”
The star concluded his letter with a shout-out to the show’s fans, expressing appreciation and love to all who have watched him and the cast. “In the end we owe it all to you, the fans. For being the most loyal, tolerant, and passionate fans we could have ever asked for. Thanks for being there,” Mantegna added.
The crime drama series — it “revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country’s most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again,” according to the show’s website — was created by Jeff Davis and premiered in 2005.
The final season will feature 10 episodes that will air in the 2019-20 broadcast season.
Criminal Minds airs Wednesdays (10 p.m. ET) on CBS.
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