Movies and tv: Matthew Gray Gubler

(Another installment in a continuing series on actors, especially on television.)

The tv series Criminal Minds, now in its 11th season, features several notable actors: Thomas Gibson, who plays Aaron Hotchner, the unit chief of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, deserves a posting all of his own; Shemar Moore, playing agent Derek Morgan, has appeared on this blog as a notable television hunk, #3 in “Five television hunks” of 8/20/13; and then two actors playing decidedly quirky characters (Kirsten Vangsness, playing technical analyst Penelope Garcia, and Matthew Gray Gubler, playing agent Dr. Spencer Reid).

My 10/8/15 posting on “Rocky Horror at 40” has (via actor Tim Curry) a discussion of Criminal Minds, including two cast photos showing both Vangsness and Gubler in their roles. Vangsness I reserve for a future posting; here I focus on Gubler.

Wikipedia on the actor:

Matthew Gray Gubler (born March 9, 1980) is an American actor, director, fashion model, painter, and filmmaker. He is best known for his role as criminal profiler Dr. Spencer Reid in the CBS television show Criminal Minds, of which he has also directed eight episodes.

Gubler has a considerable fan base, of people who find him really cute and geekily entertaining. If you look at his photos on Google, you’ll see someone with a gigantic playful streak, making faces and horsing around. And he’s an amiable fashion model, who wears interesting clothes with style:



And here he is, looking serious, as Dr. Spencer Reid:


Now on the interestingly complex character, from Wikipedia:

Dr. Spencer Reid is a fictional character from the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds, portrayed by Matthew Gray Gubler. Reid is a genius with an IQ of 187 and can read 20,000 words per minute with an eidetic memory. He is the youngest member of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, has two BAs and three PhDs, and specializes in statistics and geographic profiling.

… As is characteristic of people with Asperger’s Syndrome, Reid is socially awkward. He often fixates on things (prompting Morgan and other team members to have to tell him to be quiet), and misses social cues at times (for example, unknowingly changing the subject of a conversation).

… Gubler has commented on the differences between Reid and similarly odd character Penelope Garcia: “She represents everything he is not, she is very tech oriented and I would like to imagine he is more like 1920s smart, books and reading etc”. Kirsten Vangsness agreed, adding that Garcia is more extroverted and available emotionally, whereas Reid struggles with his emotions. Reid is a technophobe, using neither email nor the new iPads. Gubler tweeted that Reid is also germaphobic. In general, Reid dislikes shaking hands, and shows adverse reactions when touched by strangers.

… Spencer Reid was born in Las Vegas, Nevada to William Reid (Taylor Nichols), a lawyer, and Diana Reid (Jane Lynch), a former professor of 15th century literature. Diana is also a paranoid schizophrenic, who went off her medication during her pregnancy. Reid and his mother have a very close relationship, despite her condition.

… Due to his young age and genius IQ, Reid was a victim of severe bullying in high school. In “Elephant’s Memory”, he recounts one instance where he was stripped naked and tied to a goalpost in front of other students, remaining there for hours. In “L.D.S.K.”, Hotchner is forced to kick Reid in order to allow him access to a gun in order to shoot a suspect. When Hotch says he is sorry if he hurt him, Reid points out that he was a child prodigy in a Las Vegas school and tells Hotch, “you kick like a nine-year-old girl”.

… At age twelve, Reid graduated from high school. He attended Caltech, where he rode his bike to classes. He finished his undergraduate degree at sixteen, and received his first doctorate (in mathematics) the following year … Between the ages of 17 and 21, he completed two more doctorates (chemistry and engineering), and two more bachelor’s degrees (psychology and sociology).

… When Reid was eighteen, he realized his mother’s condition had deteriorated to the point where she could no longer take care of herself and had her committed involuntarily to a psychiatric institution, Bennington Sanitarium. Diana still resides in the same institution, and Reid says that he sends her letters every day, in part because of the guilt he feels for not visiting her. He worries about the fact that his mother’s illness can be passed on genetically; telling Morgan: “I know what it’s like to be afraid of your own mind”.

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