How Criminal Minds: Evolution's Zach Gilford Found Out He'd Be Co-Starring With His Wife

Criminal Minds: Evolution star Zach Gilford revealed he had no idea wife Kiele Sanchez would be offered the role of his on-screen spouse until it happened.

By Alyssa Ray Nov 25, 2022 4:15 AMTags
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Criminal Minds: Evolution is a family affair for Zach Gilford.

The Friday Night Lights alum is joined by wife Kiele Sanchez in Paramount+'s reboot of Criminal Minds, which returned with two new episodes Nov. 24. And while this may be news to fans of the couple, Gilford exclusively revealed to E! News that he too was surprised with the casting during production.

"I was actually on my way to work," he exclusively told E! News. "I was literally kissing my wife goodbye and she looked at her phone and went, 'Oh, I just got an offer to play your wife on Criminal Minds.'"

For the new installment of Criminal Minds, Gilford plays Elias Voit, "an operations analyst for a global cyber-security firm who has a dark side and an obsession with death," as described by the streamer. And, in the final moments of episode two, it was revealed that The Glades actress plays Elias' unsuspecting wife.

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According to Gilford, he stayed tight-lipped about the possible collaboration at work until it was a done deal. And it appears that the Criminal Minds: Evolution producers were equally close-mouthed as they developed Elias as a character.

"They were like, 'We didn't want to say anything to you, because we didn't want to put any pressure on your family," he recalled. "They weren't quite sure how fleshed out the character was gonna be. And when I signed on, they were like, 'Maybe we can convince Kiele to do it since Zach's already doing it?'"

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Expect Sanchez to have a prominent role in Criminal Minds: Evolution, as Gilford teased that her involvement took their characters to new heights. "They fleshed her character out more," he continued. "She'd come to it and be like, 'I think she would be a stronger woman or I think she would handle it this way.'"

He added, "I think since they were able to get her, they've made that character much more prominent."

See how the rest of the story unfolds, as Criminal Minds: Evolution drops new episodes Thursdays on Paramount+.

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