Aubrey Plaza Previews 'Grueling' Criminal Minds Guest Stint — Plus, Watch an Exclusive Sneak Peek

On this Wednesday’s Criminal Minds (9/8c, CBS), Parks and Recreation‘s Aubrey Plaza ventures way outside her wheelhouse to play a gun-toting, bomb-planting psychopath who traps Matthew Gray Gubler’s Reid in a date from hell.

Press PLAY above for an exclusive peek at Plaza’s madwoman in action, and then scroll down to read my Q&A with the wickedly droll actress, during which she reveals, well… how the hell she ended up on Criminal Minds (hint: Gubler, her co-star in 2014’s Life After Beth, played a key role).

TVLINE | Was it fun playing a psychopath?
It was hard. I don’t know if fun is the right word. It was challenging. And things that are challenging are fun for me. I like a good challenge.

TVLINE | What was challenging about it?
When you’re playing someone that’s a murderer you have to justify [their actions]. You have to dig deep and go to a dark place.

TVLINE |  Are you telling me that you never committed murder?
No, Michael. By the way, what’s your address? And what time do you go to sleep at night?

Popular on TVLine

TVLINE |  I was surprised when I heard you were going to be on Criminal Minds. The show’s not exactly a laugh-riot.
I know. Isn’t that crazy?

TVLINE | Was that the point? To do something that defied people’s expectations of you?
Matthew and I are friends and he sent me the script and said, “I know this sounds crazy, but this is a really special episode and it involves my character and… would you read it?” So I read the script and it’s basically a 65-page psychological thriller. To be totally honest, I haven’t watched much of the show. I just thought playing that role would be really fun. There aren’t many opportunities for me to play a psychopath that has planted a bomb in a restaurant and who’s holding a gun under a table trying to kill an FBI agent. That’s some juicy stuff. I don’t care what show it’s on.

TVLINE | The whole episode is just the two of you in this restaurant?
Yeah. Am I allowed to say that?

TVLINE | Sure you are. I imagine you had to memorize a lot of dialogue.
Oh, yeah. It was crazy. I’ve never had to memorize more dialogue in my life. Paragraphs of dialogue. And shooting a one-hour drama is grueling. I had no idea. It’s quite different from Parks and Recreation.