Paget Brewster Reveals Why She Chooses Many Different Types Of Roles - Exclusive

Paget Brewster has been working in the film industry since the early '90s — you've likely seen her in some of your favorite TV shows. She's had roles in "Friends," "Community," "Another Period," "Grandfathered," and she's probably best known for playing the FBI agent Emily Prentiss on "Criminal Minds." She's also been in films like the recent LGBT horror thriller "Hypochondriac" and has voice-acted in many animated series, including as the lead in "Birdgirl." From her long résumé, it's clear that Brewster has explored a wide range of genres and characters. She's not afraid to alternate between comedies and dramas or anything in between.


Brewster recently sat down for an exclusive interview with The List. During our conversation, she detailed her roles in "Birdgirl," "Hypochondriac," and "Criminal Minds." The actress also opened up about how she chooses her roles and why she's played such a broad range of characters throughout her acting career.

How Paget Brewster picks her next project

Paget Brewster told us she has loved acting in comedies as well as in dramas and more tense projects like "Criminal Minds." She hasn't so much sought out diverse roles as she has chosen projects carefully. She primarily chooses her next project based on the script. When she's reading scripts, Brewster said she's asking, "What is written well? What is interesting? Who is in it, or who's involved that I like? It ends up being that they're all coming from different places."


Looking at her recent projects like "Birdgirl" and "Hypochondriac," Brewster agreed that they are quite different from each other, but what they have in common is that she likes the story. "An LGBTQ psychological horror film ['Hypochondriac'], 'Birdgirl,' "American Dad," "Criminal Minds" ... They're very disparate, but it's just, what is good? What do I want to do? What is exciting? I'm very fortunate to be in that position," she said.

Why she feels comfortable turning down offers

Although Paget Brewster can now be selective with the projects she signs onto, that wasn't always the case. The actress considers herself very lucky to be in the position she is, and she credits a lot of it to her time on "Criminal Minds." "Having been on 'Criminal Minds' for ten years, I was able to save money, and that means I can take the jobs that I want," Brewster explained.


Because she has saved money and has that security, she no longer feels obligated to take any roles she's not passionate about. "I don't have to read a script and go, 'Oh, this is the worst. It's offensive, this director's mean, but I have to do it,' because I did that. I did plenty of that. In my twenties and thirties, I did plenty of stuff that was terrible, and I was terrible because I had to learn how to do it," she said. 

Now that she's 53 and has already had a successful career, she has more options and can be selective. That does sometimes mean she goes a while without work, but when she works, it's something she's excited about. "That is the reward of getting older and saving money and showing up early and knowing your lines," Brewster said.


Watch Paget Brewster in "Birdgirl" Season 1 and 2 on HBO Max and "Hypochondriac" in theaters July 29, 2022 and on Demand and Digital August 4, 2022.