Crispin Glover has a reputation for being one of the strangest actors in Hollywood. A quick glance through interviews with him makes it seem like his life is a dizzying whirl of gothic weirdness and bizarre stories. Surely it can’t all be true? Well, the vast majority of it actually is. There are very few actors – indeed, very few people – quite as interesting as Glover…
20. He collects papier-mâché volcanoes
For whatever reason, Glover really loves volcanoes. His company is named Volcanic Eruptions, and apparently his apartment is covered in paintings and papier-mâché artworks of such peaks. In a 2003 interview with Rolling Stone he showed one off to the interviewer: it had a music box built in and featured “a woman in her volcanic garden.”
19. He hated the ending of Back to the Future
Glover’s most famous role is that of George McFly in Back to the Future. But he had major quibbles with the ending of the film. “I was not given the complete screenplay before my deal was made,” he told Dazed in 2014. He objected to the McFlys ending up rich. “I felt that all the hints of monetary rewards led to the underlying moral being confused to suggest money, rather than love, equals happiness.”
18. He made an infamous appearance on Letterman
Back in 1987, Glover showed up on The Late Show with David Letterman and quickly became one of the most infamous interviewees in the show’s history. He was bizarrely dressed, he tried to arm-wrestle Letterman, and finally ended up aiming a kick near to the host’s head, at which point Letterman had had enough. These days, Glover gives the same answer whenever quizzed about it by reporters: “I neither confirm nor deny that I was ever on the David Letterman show.”
17. He owns a castle in the Czech Republic
Among Glover’s many odd acquisitions is a 17th century Czech chateau, which happens to have a 20-acre garden filled with peacocks. “They are loud animals. Particularly in the mating season, spring. They’re beautiful, though,” Glover told GQ in 2016. To make the whole thing even weirder, the castle was also used for (humane) medical experiments by the Communist regime.
16. He met a girlfriend while dressed as Hitler
Glover briefly had a relationship with a Penthouse model, Alexa Lauren. The story of how they met is, of course, incredibly strange. They first ran into each other at a Halloween party at the Playboy Mansion, where she was dressed a sexy FBI agent and he had come as… Adolf Hitler. Glover actually shares a birthday with the notorious German wartime leader, which may have been the reason he chose the slightly dubious costume.
15. He rewrote his character in Charlie’s Angels
When he was cast as the baddie in Charlie’s Angels, Glover made sure to bring some of his eccentricity to the role. He didn’t like the script, so he figured that his character, the Thin Man, should just be mute. Amazingly, the filmmakers agreed. “I had much more influence on that character than virtually any character I have played,” Glover said in a 2014 Reddit web Q&A session.
14. He’s actually younger than Michael J. Fox
Although Glover played Michael J. Fox’s father in Back to the Future, he’s actually three years younger than him. He even appeared alongside the diminutive actor in Family Ties, the sitcom in which Fox starred, when both of them were teenagers. His role on that show continued even past the release of Back to the Future.
13. He has a project involving a slideshow
It takes a talented storyteller to make a slideshow interesting. But Glover’s “Big Slide Show” is of course delightfully weird. “I perform a one-hour dramatic narration of eight different books,” Glover told website Cult MTL in 2017. “The material is adapted from old (public domain) books from the 1800s that have been changed, with original drawings and reworked images and photographs.” He started this endeavour way back in 1988.
12. He’s not a fan of drugs
People have speculated that Glover must have a history of drugs, but he doesn’t. He especially doesn’t like pot, he told Rolling Stone in 2003, because as a child he heard older kids talking about it and “found it so annoying that I vowed I’d never smoke it.” His official website also states: “Crispin is not and never has been in any sort of psychotic state. He has never had any addiction to any sort of drug.”
11. His middle name is “Hellion”
Glover’s father Bruce was also an actor, and he decided to change his middle name from “Herbert” to “Hellion”, which means “troublemaker”. (He also neglected to tell his wife that his real middle name was actually Herbert.) When young Crispin was born, his parents decided to give him the middle name Hellion in honor of that.
10. He sued the Back to the Future producers
When Glover didn’t return for Back to the Future II, the filmmakers made the unusual move of casting a different actor and using facial prosthetics to make him look like Glover. The real Glover was livid, and sued them. He was successful, and got the Screen Actors Guild to change the rules about that sort of thing. However, he bears a grudge against producer Bob Gale to this day.
9. He collects glass eyeballs
In a 1987 interview with Spin, Glover got the chance to show off another unusual bunch of collectables – glass eyes. Glass eyes with diseases, no less. “The doctor would look at you and then look at these eyes and tell you that you had a number seven, which wouldn’t be a fun thing to have,” Glover told the interviewer, with “a dozen diseased eyes [staring] at him from off the wall.”
8. He played Willy Wonka in Epic Movie
In Epic Movie, Glover played a creepy, cannibalistic version of Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka. It made sense, seeing as how he had actually starred alongside Depp three times prior: in Alice in Wonderland, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Dead Man. But having Glover on board wasn’t enough to save the movie. It got a mere two percent on review website Rotten Tomatoes.
7. He made a film featuring mostly actors with Down’s Syndrome
Glover used his Charlie’s Angels money to help fund his directorial debut, 2005’s What Is It?. The movie featured mostly actors with Down’s Syndrome, with Glover in the role of “Dueling Demi-God Auteur.” And the synopsis was thoroughly weird: “Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are snails, salt, a pipe and how to get home as tormented by an hubristic racist inner psyche.”
6. Lea Thompson once had a strange time at his apartment
In an attempt to understand the Back to the Future ending better, Glover invited co-star Lea Thompson to his home. She was befuddled at first. “He invited me over to his all black apartment; black lacquer floors, ceilings, everything. The way he wanted to prepare for that scene is that we were going to paint a painting of a volcano together,” she told magazine The Hollywood Reporter in 2015. “I thought that was the most awesome preparation to play a character ever.”
5. He once let a stalker keep his underwear
During his 1987 Spin interview, Glover told a story about a girl who broke into his apartment and stole some of his things, including photocopies of his book and some of his underwear. “She gave me everything back, but I told her she could keep the underwear and the Xeroxes,” he told the magazine. And to illustrate the story to the interviewer, he dangled out of his apartment window.
4. He didn’t read American Gods before starring in it
Writer Neil Gaiman handpicked Glover to play Mr World in the adaption of American Gods. But Glover decided not to actually read Gaiman’s book. “I hadn’t read the novel and I purposely haven’t because I know if I do I will start getting ideas of how it should be interpreted,” he told news blog Monsters & Critics in 2017. “After it’s all done, I will read it and I might think ‘Oh, I totally blew this’ but hopefully I feel like I’m on the right track.”
3. He was in a Friday the 13th movie
Before he became famous, Glover played a role in 1984’s Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. “As a working actor needing [to] continue my career I agreed to act in the film,” he said during his Reddit interview. “I had a feeling that there would be something humorous about having appeared in that franchise. It has of course continued to be an extraordinarily popular franchise. I am glad I did the film.”
2. He eventually made up with Back to the Future’s director
Glover was surprised when Robert Zemeckis, the man behind Back to the Future, asked him to be in his new movie Beowulf. But he agreed, and told the blog Chicagoist in 2014, “I never brought up Back to the Future and had an excellent working relationship with Robert Zemeckis on Beowulf and like both my performance and the film.” He added the experience “put Robert Zemeckis in a far better light to me.”
1. He has a massive Word document for interviews
If Glover repeats himself, it’s because all his material for them comes from a huge, 1,600-page Word document of previous interviews he keeps around. “I can use that resource to answer certain commonly asked questions and respond in more detail to less commonly asked questions,” he told Reddit. What else would you expect from him?The famously weird Crispin Glover has a lot of very strange stories to tell. From diseased eyeballs to painted volcanoes to his beef with Back to the Future, it’s all in there…