Actor Adam Rodriguez has come a long way since he was dancing in Jennifer Lopez and Busta Rhymes music videos back in the 1990s. Rodriguez is now one of the stars of “Criminal Minds” on CBS and the director of tonight’s new episode. Season 13 is already off to an interesting start as Linda Barnes is shaking things up.

Rodriguez chatted with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith about his career and why “Criminal Minds” continues to find success 13 seasons in.

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DJ Sixsmith: You directed tonight’s episode of the show. What was the most rewarding part of this experience?

Adam Rodriguez: It was a great feeling. I’ve been working in television a long time and any time you’re part of a cast for a period of time, it’s always nice to get to work with the characters and the crew in a different capacity. Getting a chance to do that as a director was a joy. I’m loving the people that I’m working with on “Criminal Minds.” Putting on a different hat allows me to appreciate what everyone does in a different way. We turned out a great episode and I’m really proud of the episode coming out tonight.

DS: You’ve directed in the past. How did this experience compare to your experiences on other shows?

AR: They’ve all got their own individual set of challenges. I don’t think this could’ve gone more smoothly. That’s the beauty of working on well-oiled machine and a show that’s been on as long as “Criminal Minds” has been on. It is because of the people that are making the show on a daily basis. It’s been a great experience and I think that’s why in large part I’m so happy with the way the episode turned out. Everybody came to play, the actors gave their best and so did the crew.

DS: Why has “Criminal Minds” resonated with the audience for such a long time?

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AR: Aside from the performances and scripts, I think the stories are not afraid to go dark and explore what is so twisted about these serial killers that we have to hunt down every week. I think not being afraid to go there has kept the show interesting for the 13 seasons its been on.

DS: The Barnes storyline has been intriguing this season. What can people expect when they tune in tonight?

AR: The Barnes storyline has really amped things up big time. She’s trying to pick the team apart and really insert herself in the middle of a group of people that works really well together. She’s trying to completely destroy that.

DS: What are the proudest moments of your career?

AR: That my career has been able to last as long as it has to this point. I’ve been able to work consistently for a very long time. There are some projects that I’m most proud of. “Magic Mike” comes to mind just because of the amount of physical work that went into preparing for that role. There were a lot of sacrifices that went into getting ready for that.

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Watch “Criminal Minds” tonight at 10pm EST/PST on CBS.