People say happiness is a warm puppy—but it’s also Matthew Gray Gubler. The 35-year-old Criminal Minds actor was nothing but gracious, warm, and engaging during our sit-down interview in his trailer on location for the CBS drama, where he’s in the middle of taping scenes as Dr. Spencer Reid. As soon as we arrive, he greets us with a big hug, and then leads us along the lunch line for an enormous spread of fish tacos, chicken, and other delicious sides. If actors are often known for only thinking about themselves, then Matthew clearly hasn’t gotten that memo.
A constant theme throughout our hour-long interview is gratitude, and it’s a topic that comes up quite often. “I’ve noticed if you stay alive long enough and you just continue to work hard, you’ll inevitably be successful,” says Gubler. And successful he has been. A natural-born performer since he could walk and talk, Gubler found happiness from entertaining others. Now, in his 11th season on Criminal Minds, Gubler still hasn’t lost his enthusiasm for performing or the procedural that has opened more doors than one can keep count. He voices Simon in the Alvin and the Chipmunks films (the most recent film opened this past Friday), just directed his second music video for The Killers (“Dirt Sledding,” a follow-up to “Don’t Shoot Me Santa”), and has an independent film,Band of Robbers, opening in January.
But first, it’s time to learn more about the actor. You know what that means: Let’s go On a Date!
Glamour: Who is the person people say you most look like?
Matthew Gray Gubler: That is a great question. You know who it truly is? Spitting image, young John Waters. I look uncannily so much like him that he had me MC his UCLA Royce Hall show as him back in the ‘60s. He used to have really long hair, and [I look like] that odd mix of Steve Buscemi and him. [John] almost played my dad onCriminal Minds, and we actually became friends. We’ve been in two movies together. But yeah, it’s spitting image.
Glamour: You’re going to laugh now, but I was going to say Ryan Seacrest.
Matthew: Really?! Will that make him feel bad? [Laughs]
Glamour: No, you totally do! Especially when you’re animated like you are now.
Matthew: Well, thank you. I feel like he’s the hardest-working man in show business. You remind me of Belle, my favorite princess, because she’s very smart and just an all-around great gal. I love her.
Glamour: What aspect of the business brings you the most happiness?
Matthew: It sounds so cheesy, but making people smile. I really feel it’s important to encourage children. I’m so proud of all the kids entertainment I’ve done, whether it’s The Chipmunks, Scooby Doo, or Batman. It’s a huge responsible, so anything to hopefully foster creativity and imagination in children, there’s no more noble thing you can do as a performer.