Hey there MIMPsters…
Kicking off a whole new section here on Me In My Place… That’s right, we are now officially doing celebrity interviews… A little more informal than your regular interview, because Falene can not be contained… And the best twist of all, is that our MIMP celebs take their own images… What the What?!? So kick back and enjoy our little conversation with the ever talented and charming Matthew Gray Gubler
Interview by Falene Nurse
Photographs and Illustrations by Matthew Gray Gubler
He’s most recognized as Dr. Spencer Reid on “Criminal Minds,” the voice of Simon (one of The Chipmunks) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s shaggy-haired pal in “500 Days Of Summer.” For a while there he was a top male model, before that he graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts—where he majored in film directing. So what goes on inside the nerdy-noggin of an artist-cum-model-cum-actor-cum-director? Have you seen his site? Well this, amongst other things. So as you can imagine I was thrilled it was a phone interview because a) I’m incredibly lazy and b) I’m pretty sure in person he would out “Beckham” me (that’s when the male tends to be prettier than the female). Which I could really do without first thing on a Monday morning. What transpired was a fascinating interview about mice penises, human ridicule and Mr Gray Gubler’s genuine enjoyment of both Bauhaus and the Mary Poppins’ soundtrack. There was lots to discuss, which I tended to do (as always) through a list of random questions, which seemed well suited to his train of thought. Matthew is an authentic eccentric, which is gradually revealed as he shares his observations of the world with you. His is an enthusiasm usually reserved to ecstatic puppies or childhood escapades, he wouldn’t seem misplaced in The Famous Five or any other Enid Blyton adventure. What most of us unfortunately lose along the way, this 32 year actor/director has managed to maintain—and if you speak to him you can’t help but go along for the ride. It started withsomeone wailing “HELLLLOOOOO!!!” down the phone. That someone was Matthew.
Matthew: How are you?
Falene: Ugh good, I just had blueberry pancakes.
Matthew: Good, good, where are you? Are you in NY?
Falene: No, I’m in West LA.
Suddenly I feel that I will have absolutely no control over this interview. Matthew is a frenetic ball of energy whizzing through the line, it’s difficult not to feel rather drab in comparison. I’m also not use to people asking me questions. I should probably start doing my job better—very quickly.
Falene: Is Gray your middle name, or are you Matthew of the Gray Gublers?
Matthew: It’s actually a very old family name, my grandfather was named Vivian Gray and he didn’t care to be called Vivian for fairly obvious reasons. So yes, yes, I guess I am a Gray Gubler.
Falene: What should I know about you?
Matthew: Mmm what should you know. Let me think.
Falene: Not me personally, but people in general.
Matthew: I’m actually a pretty good skateboarder, which seems to surprise a lot of people.
FN: Really!? (I too am shocked, then quickly realize how rude shocked can sound coming out of my mouth). Not in a bad way though.
MGG: I think because I’m a nerd everyone—including myself—fails to recognize that I’m coordinated. I’m actually getting into skateboard design soon too.
FN: You are!!! (now I jut sound damn right ignorant). I mean, I would never have guessed that.
Tell me 2 photographers you really admire?
MGG: I love Cindy Sherman for many reasons, she’s utterly unique, I admire her sometimes frightening portraits. That merger of herself and her vision, people that can do that I’m always impressed by.
Also Terry Richardson, I see a childlike genuineness in his imagery which I know is somewhat contradictory to how he’s perceived.
(Gasp! Every online “flower vagina” comment and joke I’ve ever made about Uncle Terry comes back to haunt me).
He takes photos because he’s curious, optimistic, and silly like if you gave a talented 12 year old skateboarder a camera and let him loose all over the world. He has a unique perspective.
FN: Mmmm I have to admit I’ve never heard him described like that before. You have your own GUBLERNATION, do your followers have a collective name?
MGG: Oh they do actually, I wish I had come up with it but I didn’t. I think a lot of them call themselves Gubloids. G-u-b-l-o-i-d-s.
These words seem fitting to an episode of Grimm. How marvelous!
FN: Gubloids, it’s sounds like globular.
MGG: Or a strange disease one might have.
FN: Something slimy perhaps?
MGG: Or a free floating bulbous object, I like it.
FN: What do you think of the MIMP site?
MGG: What’s not to like.
FN: In your mockumentaries you are very self deprecating, would you like to do more comedy?
MGG: Actually that’s what I love to do when I can, it’s my favorite genre. It was quite shocking to everyone that knows me when I got cast on such a serious TV show. Those documentary shorts were based on some of the people that I’ve come across in Hollywood, they are the funniest people in the world, mainly because they don’t realize it.
FN: Wow, they sounds truly awful. How fun!
MGG: Yeah, or stories I’ve heard about from others that were just hilarious to me.
FN: Is there any role you might be a little reluctant to play?
MGG: Reluctant, no not really, I’ll play anything. I promised my friend I would do a nude scene in a movie we made.
FN: Naked you say (clapping hands happily—but very, very, quietly).
MGG: And I’m kind of reluctant to do that, but I know I have to do it because I promised.
(How does one start digging for more info on this topic and in a manner that doesn’t seem like I’m objectifying him, when in fact that is exactly what I’m doing? Mmm dilemma).
FN: So, is it gonna be like Shame? Are we talking about that kind of nudity?
MGG: No, imagine like the smallest penis ever seen on film, have you seen Ratatouille the movie? About the cooking mouse?
FN: Erm yes, I have seen that movie, yes.
MGG: So imagine that “nude scene” was with a mouse, but then make that mouse human and then make that human me.
FN: That’s not such a great thing to say about yourself! (and yet I’m laughing hysterically to such an unexpected response, well played Mr. Gray Gubler, well played). Fave comedians?
MGG: Stand up comedy in general is really hard, because anyone who proposes themselves as funny, then automatically becomes sort of unfunny. Yet I love stand up comedy. My favorites(*this word is sung) are Steve Martin, Bill Murray and Bill Cosby. So in a way all stand up comedians. All of them and none of them.
Funniest movie you have ever seen?
“Young Frankenstein,” all the Gene Wilder movies. Recently “Bridesmaids” was pretty great. Actually that girl too, Melissa McCarthy I think she’s a hilarious comedian. “Something about Mary” I almost died from laughter when I saw that in the theatre.
Tell me 1 secret. But please don’t take me back to the mice penises.
I’m a skateboard wizard. I’m pretty open.
Yes apparently, something like I dunno, do you have a third nipple?
I think Michael J. Fox is one of the greatest actors that ever lived(giggling).
That’s your secret?
I guess. Also let’s put Tracy Morgan on the comedian list. (My tiny-tangents seem simple digressions compared to Matthew’s ability to take you over to a previous question, then bring you back to the topic at hand). But Michael J. Fox is one of the greatest actors of all time. One of them.
I have lot of pets, I consider them pets although I don’t technically own any of them.
So they are just strays then?
No, 2 dogs that my family have and deer and raccoons in my back garden in LA.
You got scouted as a model and then fell into acting, do you think any of your peers might secretly hate you—justa little?
True I fell into modeling, but I’ve always loved entertaining. I use to do kids magic shows in Vegas. I’m sure I’m quite annoying to many people for many reasons, that could be just one of them.
Would demure be an accurate assessment of you?
You could say that.
Your character Spencer Reid is constantly being described as “awkward”, does that come naturally to you?
Comes pretty damn naturally unfortunately, so that’s kind of a bummer. I also overanalyze things. Yeah, even when I order coffee I’m not cool, it’s like (Urkel voice). “Can I have a 3 shot?”
Being on a series about serial killers, was there ever an episode that just freaked you out?
All of them are like that, unless I’m directing them, that’s a lot easier when I’m in control of the scary stuff.
There have been a couple of episodes that disturbed me to my very core(laughing with glee). I shouldn’t laugh, but some really bloody terrifying stuff happens.
Yeah, I’m also a very fragile human being (laughing).
Most embarrassing moment in life to date?
I don’t really get embarrassed that often. Only because I don’t mind being the object of ridicule.
A lot of your paintings and portraits are like illustrations, are you going to transition into animation soon?
Yeah, I’m hoping to do that next. It’s in a gestation period, but a friend of mine, we’re working on something.
I saw the behind the scenes footage of your first on-screen camera kiss, you seemed a little flustered. I felt bad for you, but then I laughed!
Well the crew is like my family, so no group of people could have enjoyed watching that experience more. I think you are only embarrassed when you fail to see the humor in your own ridicule. So I must love being the object of ridicule. Also not to sound like a douche bag actor, but beyond me being awkward anyway, I was thinking how would Spencer Reid feel about kissing mega babe Amber Heard?
Flustered, very flustered.
Yes, yes, I know. You see the fact is if you kiss me on screen it will only help your career as an actress. (As he says this he can’t get through the sentence without cracking up hysterically).
That’s right, kiss Matthew Gray Gubler on TV and you too can watch your career soar! Let’s put that out there.
OK, but it’s not true.
Let’s just put that out there anyway.
(In many respects it’s probably a good thing that I am neither a male actor or a director).
Could you do a 9 to 5?
I think because the hours are so long when shooting, anything I do after this would feel like I retired. If you love what you do, retiring isn’t an option. Retiring just means dying.
The last time you “swooned”?
I’m a permanent swooner.
Do you live in Las Vegas or LA, or is it a bit of both?
LA, Vegas and NYC. I’m in LA when we are filming. I’m nomadic.
If you had a theme tune, what would it be?
I don’t know the lyrics, but I know the instruments that it would include; a theremin, a glockenspiel and an accordion. It would sound like this “bow, bow, bow doink doink, bow bow.” Like a creepy carnival.
(*I’m not really doing his rendition justice, so listen to the beginning of Chorlton and The Wheelies, delete the vocals and then add moments that sound like a human voice impersonating the guitar in a 70s porn soundtrack).
If you were a chocolate, what would you be?
I would be the forgotten piece, in your top pocket, washed and then melted. A Gubloid.
DJ or band?
What are you listening to these days?
This sounds fucking crazy, but there is a reason. I was listening to The Little Mermaid Soundtrack, Mary Poppins, The Doors and Bauhaus on Spotify. Little did I know everyone on FB could witness my 90% Little Mermaid and 10% Bauhaus. It was like a serial killer’s playlist!
Do you have a favorite quote?
Have low expectations and high hopes.
Who said that?
I’m like a 16 year old girl here, Connor Oberst from the band Bright Eyes. I love them but only teenage girls listen to them. And me.
Was it surreal or mind-blowingly cool being the voice of a chipmunk?
It was amazing, I still can’t believe that I got to do that.
You mean vacation? I dunno Gublerland, every day is a holiday in Gublerland.
What do you have to get done by tonight to rest easy when your head hits the pillow?
Oh man. A lot.
It’s official, I’m saving a spot for Matthew in my “People I most want to live in my closet and occasionally come out to entertain me” list. Ah yes he will fit very nicely between Jim Henson and Bjork.