'Criminal Minds': New star Jeanne Tripplehorn talks Mandy Patinkin controversy: "I had to think twice" about working on violent show

jeanne-tripplehorn-mandy-patinkin-criminal-minds.jpg "Criminal Minds" returns for its eighth season with new regular cast member, "Big Love's" Jeanne Tripplehorn, who fills a spot vacated by Paget Brewster. But it was a much older casting shakeup that made headlines this weekend, when Mandy Patinkin, who abruptly quit "Minds" in 2007, called the show's violent storylines "very destructive to my soul and my personality."

When Zap2it asked Tripplehorn whether she had any similar reservations about her new role as FBI profiler Alex Blake, she said:

"Not so much reservation. I had to think twice about whether this was a subject matter I wanted to deal with every day."

"The violence was not one of the most attractive aspects of the show," she admitted, "but it's all around us. I can't turn on the news in the morning because my 10-year-old is around."

"I can understand how somebody wouldn't want to work with that," she continued. "I had other reasons for doing this show" -- like the fact that her "cold and intellectual" character is a "complete 180" from her nurturing, maternal character, Barb, on "Big Love."

"I find it interesting that a show that deals with violent subject matter and people who perpetrate that," she adds, "is essentially run by women.

"The executive producer, Erica Messer, was one of my reasons for wanting to do the show -- wanting to work with this on a daily basis -- there's a lot of female energy that kind of offsets the subject matter," said Tripplehorn.

That includes the premiere's particularly dark storyline that marks her series debut: a killer who sews his victims' mouths shut. Yikes.

"Criminal Minds" returns to CBS Wednesday, Sept. 26. Will you be watching?
Photo/Video credit: CBS