After the now infamous firing of Thomas Gibson on Criminal Minds, Damon Gupton joined the cast in a move to replace Gibson’s character, Aaron Hotchner. Despite the controversy concerning Gibson’s departure, Gupton still had some pretty big shoes to fill. In a recent interview with TV Guide, the actor discussed what it felt like to come on to a long-running show like that and how to make up for the absence of a beloved character. Find out all the details below.
“I was doing a play here in LA and I got a call about meeting the great Erica Messer [the showrunner],” Gupton told TV Guide. “I met her to talk about the opportunity and it worked out. About a week and a half later I was part of Criminal Minds, which just kind of shocked me. It happened so quickly, but I couldn’t be happier to be around such a good group of people.”
Despite the outrage by many fans that Gibson had been let go, this tension didn’t seem to bother Gupton when he was going in to the show. The actor said he had “no trepidation” about joining Criminal Minds.
While Gupton may not seem to be intimidated by the scandal which led to his casting, he still takes the responsibility of adhering to fans very seriously. He respects the show and those who watch it, which fuels what he wants to bring to the table.
“It’s more exciting to step into the world and see how I fit into the world and if I can bring something,” he explained. “The people who have come and gone have been such wonderful performers and flavors on the show. It’s quite an honor to ask to bring something new to the table. You never want to disappoint fans. The show has such a huge fan base and you want to respect what’s been created over the years and fan loyalty. I’m just excited to bring something new.”
His character, Agent Stephen Walker, was introduced in September, but fans will get to learn more about his background in the upcoming episode, “Profiling 202,” which will also feature the return of Tommy Yates (Adam Nelson), nemesis to Rossi.
“He’s loyal,” Gupton says of his character. “He fits right in. He knows his stuff. He’s a little more cerebral than I am. He’s very competent and I think while he may seem quieter, he’s in control of things. I think his experience crafted with Emily Prentiss at Interpol in London has given him great weight. He’s eager to learn new skills with the BAU.”
Fans will also get the chance to learn more about Walker’s connection to Rossi and Yates prior to joining the BAU.
“Rossi was [Walker’s] teacher at the academy,” Gupton explained. “He taught a profiling course and he thought Stephen was a very talented profiler, so he’s thrilled to see him join the team finally. I think he’s learning about Yates as he goes. It’s a certain case he may have been briefed on at some point [by Rossi] back when, but not to the extent to being fully with the BAU.”
What do you think of Agent Stephen Walker? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Criminal Minds season 12 returns on Wednesday, January 4 at 9/8c on CBS!
(Image courtesy of CBS)