Zap2it: What made you decide to return to series television with ‘Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders’?
Gary Sinise: “CSI: NY” was a very successful show. If you get nine seasons, that’s a good thing, so I was blessed to have that. During that period, I was able to do a lot personally with my work with the military and our veterans, and it just became apparent that having that stability was very positive for those efforts.
I had started my Foundation during the last two seasons, and when the show ended, I poured 2-1/2 solid years into nothing but traveling for the military and helping our veterans out. Then, along came [executive producers] Erica Messer and Mark Gordon with an offer to come meet with them to discuss a spinoff of “Criminal Minds.” I wasn’t sure, because I kind of missed [doing] movies … but with where my life is today, the stability of a TV series fits my lifestyle very well.
What do you like about your new character, Jack Garrett?
He’s different personally from [“CSI: NY’s”] Mac Taylor, yet he’s got certain similarities because they’re both really strong leaders, devoted to serving justice and their country.
Is there an extra appeal for you in being spun off from a show that stars your close friend and fellow military supporter Joe Mantegna?
Absolutely. I relate to public servants, and I’m trying to do public service in my own way — and I’m inspired by a lot of first responders and military folks. I’ve also met FBI agents who are just driven to fight injustice and evil, and to protect the innocent.
In our show, for whatever reason, something bad happens to innocent people who are traveling or working overseas. And we are blessed that we have qualified people who are willing to step in and change the course of what’s going to happen.