Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Transformation Of Paget Brewster From Childhood To Criminal Minds

"Criminal Minds" is a fictional show that revolves around a group of criminal profilers who work for the FBI in the Behavioral Analysis Unit. Paget Brewster plays a supervisory special agent and BAU Unit Chief named Emily Prentiss on the popular TV series. The crime drama debuted back in 2005, and lasted a whopping 15 seasons. Brewster was an essential character from 2006 to 2020, but was briefly let go from the show after Season 5. After fans complained, she was back on to reprise her leading role as Prentiss.

Even though Brewster is well-known for her "Criminal Minds" role, she's been in the Hollywood scene since 1997. Her skills have landed her many TV series roles, and the transformation from her first role to "Criminal Minds" is an impressive one. Take a look below at just a few of her stops on the road to CBS and the BAU.

Paget Brewster chose acting over design school

Paget Valerie Brewster was born on March 10, 1969, in Concord, MA. She attended boarding school in New England, where her father was the school administrator and her mother, Hathaway Brewster, worked as a government official. She also has one sibling named Ivan. Once Brewster turned 18, she attended Parson School of Design in New York City, and while she went to class, she also fronted the bands Sleeping Pills and Mechanical Bride.

At one point in time, she wanted to be a rock star, but after she dropped out of Parsons, she realized her true passion was acting. In the mid 1990s, she moved to San Francisco and immediately enrolled in acting classes. Before her first breakout role, she hosted her own local Bay Area talk show called "The Paget Show" from 1994 to 1995, which lasted for 65 episodes. She then moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting and landed a few pilots, but they were never picked up.

Her first big role was on the popular sitcom, Friends

Brewster eventually earned a spot on one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time: "Friends." Brewster was only on the show for six episodes, but she made her character memorable. She plays Kathy, a girlfriend of not only one main character, but two. Kathy first dates Joey (Matt LeBLanc), then swiftly cheats on him with Chandler (Matthew Perry). Hilarity ensues.

Even though her character is confident on screen, Brewster was convinced she wouldn't be able to hold onto her role for long. In an interview with The AV Club, she mentioned, "I had a black bob, and when I got 'Friends,' I started rehearsing that week, and the hair people cut all my hair off and dyed it red." After she finished in hair and makeup, producer Kevin Bright was furious and hollered, "I hired her because she had a black bob! You can't do this!" 

Brewster thought she blew her chance, and after Bright came after her, he mentioned that although he was angry that the hair and makeup team changed her hair, it wasn't the reason he hired her. Her role was initially supposed to be four episodes, but turned into six because of how hilarious she was on camera.

She starred on Andy Richter Controls the Universe and Huff

After she scored a role on "Friends," she regularly found work on other TV series. Eventually, she proved herself capable of earning starring roles, but her first couple of those didn't last long. For example, she stars as Jessica Green on "Andy Richter Controls the Universe," but the off-beat comedy only lasted two seasons. The show centers on a man named Andy Richter (the actor's real name), a short-story writer who makes a living by working at a massive company in Chicago. Brewster plays Andy's longtime friend, who has a sharp tongue and a taste for trouble.

Brewster also made an impression on the Showtime Original Series "Huff," which ran for two seasons from 2004 to 2006. "Huff" earned positive reviews for its wit and writing, though the premise proved too esoteric for audiences at the time. The show is about a psychiatrist named Craig Huffstodt (Hank Azaria), a normal middle-aged family man careening toward a middle-life crisis that may actually be an onset of psychosis. (The show ended before we really found out what was going on with Craig, but it wasn't looking great.) Brewster plays Beth, his loving and supportive wife. She helps Craig avoid meltdowns, while keeping the rest of the family on track.

Criminal Minds proved her versatility and dramatic skills

Even though Paget Brewster didn't start her career on "Criminal Minds," the long-running procedural became the perfect platform to showcase her versatility and dramatic skills. Even though Brewster was on the show from 2006 to 2020, she found time to star in other roles, too. From 2015 to 2016, she starred alongside John Stamos of "Full House" fame in the sitcom "Grandfathered." The TV series is about Jimmy Martino (Stamos), a comfortable bachelor who realizes he has an adult son and a granddaughter. The show received excellent reviews, but only lasted one season.

From 2015 to 2018, she starred as Dodo Bellacourt in "Another Period." This show ran for three seasons, and is a mockumentary-style period piece that follows the wealthy Bellacourt family in the early 20th-century in Newport, RI. Overall, Paget Brewster has had a long and fruitful career in the TV industry, and by the looks of her IMDb page, she's not stopping anytime soon.