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Paget Brewster Was Worried She Forgot How To Act When Prepping For Criminal Minds: Evolution

It's been two full years since "Criminal Minds" aired its series finale. While longtime fans of the hit procedural have no doubt filled the serial killer-sized hole in their viewing schedule with "Criminal Minds" reruns and streaming binges, they're likely over the moon that the BAU team is officially back in action via a Paramount+ revival. Titled "Criminal Minds: Evolution," the new miniseries finds the crack crew of FBI profilers re-teaming to take down not just one murderous unsub but a vast, well-organized network of violent offenders. 

They are doing so, unfortunately, without one of their key members as O.G. "Criminal Minds" star Matthew Gray Gubler decided not to reprise his fan-favorite role of Dr. Spencer Reid for the revival (per TV Line). Still, "Criminal Minds: Evolution" will thankfully feature the returns of many key players from the original series, including Joe Mantegna as David Rossi, A.J. Cook as Jennifer Jureau, Aisha Tyler as Dr. Tara Lewis, and Kristen Vangsness as Penelope Garcia.

The revival will, of course, also front the series' on-again, off-again star Paget Brewster, who returns as the BAU's no-nonsense Unit Chief Emily Prentiss. It seems, however, Brewster's return was a little dicier than some of her castmates, as the star recently admitted she wasn't sure she remembered how to act after enduring some extended downtime in the wake of 2020's "Criminal Minds" finale.

Paget Brewster needed extra time to get back in professional actor mode for Criminal Minds: Evolution

As Paget Brewster related during her recent appearance on The Talk, much of that downtime was pandemic-related. Per her IMDb page, the actor kept busy largely in the voice-work arena during that downtime. And it seems the extended time away from film and television sets left her questioning her ability. Apparently, it also led to a few other potential professional issues. "It took about four episodes to get used to wearing high heels again," Brewster laughed about her "Criminal Mind: Evolution" return, noting fuzzy slippers were her preferred footwear during pandemic days.

Most importantly, the actor was indeed terrified that she may have lost her professional edge due to the extended period away from her craft. "I thought I had forgotten how to act," Brewster said, continuing, "I was scared I didn't know how to do it anymore." There's little doubt the "Criminal Minds" star quickly shook the cobwebs off once she was on the set of "Evolution." She did, however, note that her nerves were eased considerably prior to heading back to set as another legendary actor admitted similar professional fears when she returned to work from her own pandemic break. "And I heard Meryl Streep say that [too]," Brewster said, quipping, "If she said it, I'm alright."

Streep indeed made those comments to Entertainment Weekly. It's likely not the first time a few words of wisdom from the legend eased a fellow actor's nerves either. And "Criminal Minds" fans should be eternally grateful they pushed Paget Brewster to come back stronger than ever for "Evolution."