Awkward Early Role Criminal Minds Star Probably Wants Us To Forget About

Awkward Early Role Criminal Minds Star Probably Wants Us To Forget About
Image credit: Legion-Media

Criminal Minds' Paget Brewster has been a mainstay of the long-running crime drama since the introduction of her character, Emily Prentiss, early in Season 2.

It was the role of a lifetime, one that assured her place in the industry, and it came at the perfect time – only a year after her embarrassing spoof film: My Big Fat Independent Movie.

Brewster's first hit role came in Season 4 of Friends, right as the show was becoming a cultural sensation. She guest starred in six episodes as Kathy, Joey's girlfriend over whom Chandler falls head over heels.

For the next eight years, she toiled away on small productions with limited roles. She popped in for a single episode of George Lopez and Two and a Half Men, and was set to be one of the leads in Andy Richter Controls the Universe, a poorly-rated show that was listed on TV Guide's 60 shows that were "canceled too soon."

Her first starring film role came in 2005, one that she'd just as soon forget.

My Big Fat Independent Movie was a parody film meant to mimic the cult successes of Scary Movie and Not Another Teen Movie. It was an independent film produced and written by Chris Gore, a former film critic.

It was meant to poke fun at well-known independent films, including Memento and Pulp Fiction. The film opens with a sexual assault of a man who can't remember things for more than 15 minutes – a clear reference to both Oscar-nominated films.

Brewster played Julianne, a lonely cashier who's taken hostage by a couple of chatty black-tie gangsters. The main poster had Brewster front and center with the tagline, "For everyone who wanted to slap that sweet French girl, this is for you."

The film was rife with crude humor, overdone jokes, and constant mockery of several now-beloved films.

Its initial domestic run made an abysmal $4,655 at the box office against a $3 million budget, though it ended up making $12 million worldwide.

It got a 23% Rotten Tomatoes score among critics – not unusual for a parody comedy – but even the audiences hated it. It got a 32% audience score, partially because it mocked so many popular movies without having a well-known cast.

Brewster eventually got her role on Criminal Minds in 2006. She starred in most episodes through Season 7, when she left the main cast. She came back in Season 12 and has been a main cast member ever since.

Criminal Minds Season 16 ended this past February, with Season 17 already announced and underway.