The star played a criminal profiler in the program for two seasons, but quit before work started on the third series.
Patinkin now reveals he couldn't stand the gory storylines and wishes he had never taken the job.
He tells New York magazine, "The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do 'Criminal Minds' in the first place. I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women (in storylines) every night, every day, week after week, year after year . ... It was very destructive to my soul and my personality. After that, I didn't think I would get to work in television again."
He adds, "A show like 'Homeland' is the antidote. It asks why there's a need for violence in the first place."
While Mandy Patinkin is a fine, talented actor - no one can take that from him - he is also a bit of a selfish, self-centered child. It is his history to not want a part after he has gotten it. He bores easily and doesn't care what happens to the rest of the ensemble when he no longer wants to be there. I believe that he is trying to offer excuses for his quick exit from Criminal Minds. The visceral foundation of the show was always good vs. evil. You can not truly show good without showing evil and the evil in this world (and has ALWAYS been in this world) is visceral. Also, if he can't ALWAYS be the center of attention - scene stealer - then he takes his toys and goes home! The selfishness of his own personality comes across LOUD AND CLEAR on the screen. I am sick of his ego and will not watch another show that he is in. Oh, yes, Criminal Minds has done quite well - even better - since he left. It is not all about him - and his character - now.