Missy Peregrym’s extended break from “FBI” action is over.
The actress began her second maternity leave from the series about a month before executive producer Dick Wolf’s CBS crime drama ended Season 4 last spring. She gave birth to her second child – daughter Mela – last June, and she’s now getting back to pursuing felons as federal agent Maggie Bell, who has recovered from exposure to sarin gas. Peregrym rejoins the show in today’s episode.
“I was super-scared to go back to work,” the friendly Peregrym admits, “after being immersed in a world of change for six months in every possible way ... emotionally, physically, mentally.
“Then you go back to work and you see your friends, and I just felt flooded with support. It’s been a much better transition than I anticipated.”
Maggie’s return involves her partner A’s (Zeeko Zaki) guilt over not having been able to keep her from the harm that took her out of commission.
“He’s pretty protective,” Peregrym confirms. “Maggie is leaning on him in the partnership, but he hasn’t sorted things out over what has happened. It’s almost more traumatic for him than it was for her, and how do you work together when you have that between you?”
Peregrym commends Shantel VanSanten – who filled in as Special Agent Nina Chase and will remain a recurring “FBI” guest – for her work on the show.
“She is a fantastic actress. I was so excited when she said ‘Yes,’ because I just knew it would add a richness. And it was a nice break for my brain. I just got to focus on being pregnant, growing a human, and getting it into the world. That was all-encompassing.”
With her older son (with husband Tom Oakley) Otis now 2½, “Rookie Blue” alum Peregrym reports he likes being a new big brother.
“Everyone’s well and healthy,” she says of her family matters. “We’ve obviously had some huge adjustments; having both a toddler and a baby is no joke, but as an adult, I don’t think much is really a joke unless you make it one. Mela is taking in the world in such a beautiful way, and Otis adores her. It’s really lovely to see them together.”
Peregrym also enjoys seeing Mela in the company of “FBI” colleagues on the show’s New York set. She notes that Otis arrived “in the pandemic, so he really wasn’t around (the workplace) very often. We kind of kept him separated from everything. I’d have to go into my dressing room and see him there, whereas we have more freedom this time and people get to know Mela. It’s so nice for me to have her around more often.”