“Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” may be set internationally, but as a mother of two young children, Alana De La Garza is relieved it actually films close to home.
The “Law & Order” and “Forever” alum is among the stars of CBS’ new Wednesday spinoff of “Criminal Minds,” playing cultural anthropologist Clara Seger, who is working again with FBI International Response Team leader Jack Garrett (Gary Sinise) after suffering personal and professional tragedies. The actress began the television season with a recurring role on another CBS series, “Scorpion,” and she was filming both shows simultaneously at one point.
“I tried to do both for a little while, but the schedule was so heavy, the whole ‘Scorpion’ team was having to come in to shoot on Saturdays,” she tells Zap2it. “I thought, ‘Oh, this isn’t going to last,’ but they were wonderful about it and really supportive. They had some fun stuff planned, but unfortunately, we didn’t get to do it.”
For the many series roles she’s had, De La Garza deems her “Beyond Borders” alter ego Clara “the most like me, probably, of any character I’ve played as far as wardrobe and personality go. She’s pretty chill, but she’s much smarter than me. As long as she’s wearing linen pants and a Glock [pistol], no problem.”
Indeed, one of De La Garza’s favorite aspects of “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” is that she doesn’t have to worry much about her outfits … which are pretty basic, since her character often travels to gritty, humid places.
“When I went to my first fitting for this, I said, ‘I really have trouble with heels. We just have to find the right ones.’ And [the costumer] looked up at me and said, ‘Oh, no. They only want you in flats.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ I almost cried tears of joy!”
De La Garza also knows tears sometimes when she has to leave her two youngsters, ages 2 and 5, to go to work. She reflects, “I always look at mothers –- especially those who have even more than two [children] –- and think, ‘You guys are superheroes. How do you do this?’ Being a mom is the most important job in the world to me, and it’s hard because you no longer sleep. You can’t show up for your show late, but your kids come first.”