Mandy Patinkin, co-star of Showtime's Emmy Award-nominated psychological thriller "Homeland," has every reason to take a bow. Critics say he deserved his own nomination for his work as grizzled CIA agent Saul Berenson, opposite Claire Danes and Damian Lewis (both nominated for their performances). But despite his "Homeland" success, 59-year-old Patinkin can't say he's proud of every bullet point on his TV résumé.
"The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do 'Criminal Minds' in the first place. I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year. It was very destructive to my soul and my personality. After that, I didn't think I would get to work in television again."
Patinkin starred in the first two seasons of the hit procedural "Criminal Minds," which will enter its eighth season in September. When the series debuted on CBS in 2005, critics heaped praise on Patinkin, who portrayed an FBI analyst tasked with chasing down serial killers, rapists, and psychopaths. The show has a history of erratic casting and high-profile exits. Most recently, Paget Brewster announced that season seven would be her last. But the creators were especially shocked when Patinkin jumped ship after his two critically-acclaimed seasons.
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At first glance, playing an FBI mentor on "Criminal Minds" may not seem all that different from playing a CIA mentor on "Homeland." But the difference -- said Patinkin -- was the unrelenting violence of "Criminal Minds." "This [violence] isn't what you need to be dreaming about," said Patinkin. "A show like 'Homeland' is the antidote. It asks why there's a need for violence in the first place."
Next up, look for Patinkin in season 2 of "Homeland," which debuts on Showtime on September 30th.