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So talented it's criminal



Matthew Gray Gubler is known to many adult TV viewers as young genius Spencer Reid from the FBI's serial killer-tracking Behavioural Analysis Unit on the hit series Criminal Minds.

Yet there's a whole younger generation of film goers and DVD watchers who know Gubler not by appearance but as the voice of Simon in the Alvin and the Chipmunks animated movie franchise.

"Oh yeah, I love that," Gubler enthused on the phone from Los Angeles.

"I am very fortunate I have done a lot of cartoon work. It's great kids know me as something else and their parents know me as the weird pale guy who looks at dead bodies on TV. It is nice to span the ages like that."

Show business was something that always beckoned Gubler, who grew up in Las Vegas and still calls it home when not filming Criminal Minds in Los Angeles.

"I love it all, I love entertaining, I grew up in Las Vegas," he said.




"I wanted to be a magician when I was a child. Then I found the magic of filmmaking and loved acting in my own stupid movies.

"I sort of pursued filmmaking because I knew it was a more controlled vocation. As a director, you can make decisions and things happen, as an actor you're waiting for a director to find you, for the right script that you can try out for.

"I like doing it all equally. I have had a great deal of good luck as an actor which has allowed me to accomplish what I studied, directing."

The New York film school graduate and former model, who has music videos and a handful of Criminal Minds episodes under his directing belt, got his chance to act while working with Wes Anderson on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou in 2004.

"He is the one who gave me an amazing opportunity of being an actor so I feel a great deal of gratitude and awe," said Gubler.

"He is my favourite living director and I still can't believe I was in one of his movies.

"If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be on Criminal Minds. He turned me into an actor."

Gubler, 33, is in his eighth season of Criminal Minds and now switching into the mode of the quirky, super-intelligent Reid is second nature.

"I wanted him to be sort of like Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, to have a timeless out-of-step quality," he explained. "So the research I did wasn't necessarily in the crime-ness of it all.


"I studied a lot of people with Asperger's syndrome and sort of got familiar with their speech patterns, their eye contact and stuff like that and based him on a couple of people I know in real life who are eccentrics I have always thought were compelling.

"So, the way Spencer wears his watch over a sleeve is a shout out to a friend of mine."


Gubler has directed two episodes this season, adding his own stylistic stamp.

He said that he tried to make his episodes "other worldly" so it was fun and a different type of Criminal Minds show.

"As I have done more and the weird ones I have done have worked, they have let me have more 'carte blanche' when it comes to the strangeness. They asked me to do two this year so I guess they like what I am doing as a director."

He prefers the episodes that are on the stranger side than the ones featuring horrific violence.

"I like anything that has the element of surreal whimsy to it," he explained.

"I like the episodes with people being turned into human dolls, things that are more imaginative are always exciting to me as an actor and a director.

"If I had it my way, our show would be more like The Twilight Zone meets Twin Peaks."


The accomplished artist, who began sketching as a way of killing time while waiting between scenes on the set of Criminal Minds, is prolific on social media and his website, matthewgraygubler.com, aka Gublerland.

"I have the best fans in the world," he enthused. "I love the internet in that, if you love to entertain people, it is just a new form of short entertainment - whether it is like a stupid picture of me eating a burrito while riding on Shemar's (co-star Shemar Moore) back, whether it is a picture I have drawn or a video or something.

"I love the fans and I like the idea of hopefully brightening someone's day with a stupid sentence about nonsense."





Source: TheWest
Tags: criminal minds (cbs), interview, matthew gray gubler, television, television - cbs
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