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Criminal Minds: Evolution's Zach Gilford Sees Elias As A Sympathetic Monster

Actor Zach Gilford played the terrifying Elias Voit on the first season of the Paramount+ revival "Criminal Minds: Evolution." As the leader of a network of serial killers, Voit, sometimes known as Sicarius, led a pretty creepy double life. The narcissistic serial killer Voit would sometimes abduct and stalk his victims before hiding their bodies in two different shipping containers on opposite ends of the country. However, he was also a happily married family man with a good job and two daughters. Family and serial killing crossed in his origin story in which he killed his parents in a fire before going to live with his uncle, who happened to also be a serial killer.

Even though Voit can be a manipulative monster, the actor behind the character sees a sympathetic side to him. When audiences aren't seeing Voit as a murderer, they can see him exist as just a regular guy out in the world trying to make his wife and kids happy. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gilford described the home dynamic of his two-faced character, "He's the nicest, he could be the other dad at my preschool, or, you know, he just loves his kids and does his best," he said. "He has a job, he cares for his wife, he cooks breakfast in the morning. So it's just really hard to wrap your head around the other side of him." Upon exploring the character's dichotomy, Gilford thinks that Voit is an evil character that audiences might actually start to feel for as the season goes on.

Elias Voit is also a relatable and likeable family man

Moving from network TV to streaming allowed the former CBS show "Criminal Minds" more freedom to show more intense scenes and to break a little from the procedural format in "Evolution." With that freedom, instead of following only a case-of-the-week format, the show is able to spend more time with its serial killers, giving audiences a glimpse of their home life. Actor Zach Gilford, who plays evil mastermind Elias Voit throughout the season, loved being able to see that side of his character. He said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, "What that allows you to do is see who these monsters are when they have to pretend to be humans in the human world."

Voit is married and has two children on the show. Adding to the creep factor is that his wife and kids have no idea of his villainous side. Gilford appreciated how much time was given to his character's home life. He thinks that window could give viewers some conflicting feelings about Voit. He said, "I think the audience is going to start to have feelings about this person and feel for him at times, but then you're like, 'Wait, but he's a serial killer." That dose of reality might make viewers think about those they encounter in real life.

"It kind of messes with your mind because you start to think, this could be my neighbor, this could be someone at the grocery store, this could be anyone," Gilford continued. "It's not as if these monsters are just hiding in dungeons somewhere." Voit was eventually brought to justice in the season finale of "Criminal Minds: Evolution" when he was incarcerated. Fans are speculating whether the character will return for Season 2 of the Paramount+ show.