By Michael Ausiello
August 08, 2010 at 03:29 PM EDT

Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS; Cliff Lipson/CBSIf you thought Criminal Minds scene-stealer Kirsten Vangsness was suffering from a case of survivor’s guilt in the wake of costar A.J. Cook’s high profile dismissal, well, you’d be right. Making matters worse, Cook’s departure coincided with the announcement that Vangsness’ character—kooky computer tech Penelope—would be featured on both Minds and its spin-off, Suspect Behavior. While Vangsness maintains that her promotion had “nothing to do with” Cook’s exit, she concedes the timing of the two events was unfortunate. “It was a galvanizing experience—[they] just fired my friend,” Vangsness sighs. “It was a total shock. It absolutely affects morale. It sucks.”

For more of my interview with delightfully dippy Vangsness, scroll down after the jump and press play.

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