By Corey Atad.

Returning to the world of “Criminal Minds” has been very exciting for A.J. Cook.

The Canadian actress recently sat down with ET Canada to talk about the revival, “Criminal Minds: Evolution” and shared her reaction to the news the show is coming back for another season.

‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’: Zach Gilford Breaks Down That Surprise Premiere Twist (Exclusive)

“I know this is just breaking news,” Cook said. “Really. It’s very, very exciting. I can’t believe we still get to do this.”

Asked if she expected the show would be rebooted so soon after the original run on network television ended in 2020, the actress confessed, “No, I didn’t.”

She explained, “We kind of had a feeling that it would happen eventually. But, you know, not this fast. I guess people really got after it during the pandemic and during quarantine. We just happened to have 15 seasons of shows for people to sit and binge. So that definitely helps with the popularity of the show … This opportunity came up and we’ve always sort of wished that we could do the streaming version of the show and it happened and we couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Cook also shared how making the switch to streaming has allowed the show to explore things that weren’t possible before.

“This season feels a little a little more (I’m going to say it) ‘evolved’,” she said. “It feels like we are able to make a show that we couldn’t quite make on network TV. It’s a dark show… we’re studying serial killers. What I really love about this season is for the first time, we’ve been able to just concentrate on finding this one bad guy – Voit (Elias Voit, played by Zach Gilford).”

Unlike previous seasons, which featured new unsubs each episode, “Evolution” has followed the hunt for killer Elias Voit, a death-obsessed and dark-sided operations analyst for a global cyber-security firm.

‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’ Renewed For Another Season At Paramount+

Meanwhile, Cook had another reason to be excited this season, getting to direct an episode for the second time — the upcoming eighth episode, premiering Jan. 26 — and it came with an extra surprise.

“This time around, I had to direct my children,” she said. “Part of me is like, ‘I am a crazy person for signing up for this.’ But I kind of enjoyed it because they had to listen to me. They could not, not listen to me, otherwise it would have booted them off set.”

She continued, “Never in a million years did I think that, number one, to be able to act with my kids, but to direct them as well was just it just felt like such a special, unique opportunity. And we had a blast.”

Teasing her episode, Cook said, “And let me tell you, you do not want to you don’t want to miss the very end of this episode because whew, it is good,” adding, “The fans are going to lose their minds there. How we end the season is amazing. I can’t wait.”

The season finale of “Criminal Minds: Evolution” will premiere Feb. 9.

Looking back being a part of the show since season 1, Cook said, “I’ve never been bored playing JJ. I feel like she’s always evolving, obviously. I mean, when we first saw her, she looked like she was a baby. Yeah. And she started out as the liaison. So we’ve been able to sort of track her through her career moves and becoming a profiler and becoming a mom. I’ve been very lucky”


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Ellen Bullock