Mandy Patinkin, speaking with New York Magazine, said joining the CBS drama series "Criminal Minds" was "the biggest public mistake I ever made."
Patinkin left the series suddenly in 2007, before the third season started, surprising the show’s creators. He has only recently started talking about his decision to leave, the story notes.
“The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do ‘Criminal Minds’ in the first place,” Patinkin said. “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 will appear in the second season of Showtime’s "Homeland" later this month, starring as CIA agent Carrie Mathison’s (Claire Danes) mentor, Saul Berenson.
He said he views "Homeland," which also includes violence, as bearing a message that stands in contrast to crime shows such as "Criminal Minds."
“I’m not making a judgment on the taste [of people who watch crime procedurals],” he told the magazine. “But I’m concerned about the effect it has. Audiences all over the world use this programming as their bedtime story. This isn’t what you need to be dreaming about. A show like ‘Homeland’ is the antidote. It asks why there’s a need for violence in the first place.”
Patinkin is known for his work in stage musicals (“Evita,” “Sunday in the Park with George”), along with roles on television series including “Chicago Hope” and “Dead Like Me” and performances in feature films such as “The Princess Bride” and “Alien Nation.”