Crispin Glover is so much more than just George McFly in Back to the Future. Obviously, he was Marty's dad in the first Back to the Future, but in the decades since, Glover has made a name for himself as not just an actor, but also as a director, a writer, a musician, and an all-around weirdo. If you only know Glover from his blockbusters or his infamous David Letterman appearance, then you're missing out on just how gloriously, defiantly offbeat he really is. The man is an artist, one who specializes in the strange.
Whether he's expressing himself as an actor, a musician, a filmmaker, a performance artist, or just Crispin Glover, he can be counted on to do something totally unique. This is a guy who used the paycheck he earned stealing scenes in Charlie's Angels to write and direct a movie starring only actors with Down syndrome, a guy who won a landmark lawsuit over Back to the Future Part II. He's a provocateur and an enigma, an oddity and a riddle. He's just plain interesting.
That's why we've collected a list of things you probably didn't know about the man, the myth, the legend. These facts, stories, and info nuggets about Crispin Hellion Glover range from the funny to the shocking to the transcendent.
The idea of success in the super-happy new timeline that Marty's first time travel adventure creates is very, very '80s. In Back to the Future, victory is measured by the McFlys' swollen bank account and Marty's sweet new truck in the garage. Glover took issue with this materialistic happy ending, and his objections didn't go over well with the director.
"I had a conversation with Robert Zemeckis about it," Glover told Tasha Robinson in an AV Club interview. "And I said, 'I think if the characters have money, if our characters are rich, it’s a bad message. That reward should not be in there.' People love the movie, and of course who am I to say - I was 20 years old, though.
"And again, I was stepping into it from a time period of questioning. But Robert Zemeckis got really angry. Essentially, he did not like that idea. He was pissed."
To promote the Willard remake, Glover applied his musical talents to a cover of Michael Jackson's "Ben," a song that was, in fact, written specifically for the 1972 sequel to the original Willard.
Crispin Glover is well aware that most people think he's a pretty odd duck, but he's not particularly bothered by it. Why? Because Crispin Glover as we know him is largely a persona. Glover commented on it during an interview with Chris Hardwick, saying, "I understand that that entity, which I have something to do with, is an external entity, but other people have things to do with it too. So obviously other people are going to say other things and they're commenting on that element that has something to do with me but isn't me.
"If it was really about me, if I somehow genuinely, totally identified as that external element, I guess I'd be upset."
When Glover shows up in an event movie like Alice in Wonderland, his fees tend to pay for his more experimental films as director. Willard and Charlie's Angels allowed him to make What Is It? and It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine, the first two movies in a planned trilogy.
“Charlie’s Angels came out it did very well financially and was good for my acting career. I started getting better roles that also paid better and I could continue using that money to finance my films that I am so truly passionate about," Glover explained in a Reddit AMA. "I have been able to divorce myself from the content of the films that I act in and look at acting as a craft that I am helping other filmmakers to accomplish what it is that they want to do."