The Writ and Wisdom of Crispin Glover

Hollywood's ubereccentric rewrites the book on weird

Or something like that.
"I wanted to make the film generally intriguing and thoughtful," Glover says. As for reaction to the film: "It's been extremely varied. I talk to people afterward and I'm never worried if they're angry or laughing. I'm more concerned that they're not bored. Once the film starts, people seem to get involved, which is good."

The film was co-produced by two Phoenix screenwriters, Brian Page and Michael Pallaggi. The pair had originally approached Glover with a script, but before long he put them to work producing What Is It?, the first of a trilogy, of which the Phoenicians' film will be number two. David Lynch came in to executive produce.

"A lot of first-time filmmakers approach me to act in their work," Glover says. "But at the time, I wanted to concentrate on directing. There were things I liked about their screenplay, so I told them I was interested, but only if I could direct. [Page and Pallaggi] were very supportive. They were great to work with and they helped get the project completed, which is what good producers do."

Glover says he's eager to become a full-time director. He says he's increasingly displeased with the acting offers Hollywood sends his way. Glover's career ambitions may be evolving, but his oddball persona appears to be intact. A close friend of Glover's once described him as having a "benevolent respect for the bizarre." As such, the weirdo image persists. For the record, Glover says yes, he does indeed have wax replicas of eye diseases ("I have them in this museum-quality-type case from the 1800s that I got from England. It's really quite beautiful"); and he says no, he doesn't hang from balconies ("That must be one of those Internet myths," he says with a laugh). He never gets around to discussing the collection of doll eyes and the mouse embryos, and he politely refrains from expounding on the Letterman escapade, though he says, "I like the myth of it all," in reference to the famously strange 1987 incident. "It's rare when I'm not asked about it, and I enjoy the attention. But at the same time, I know it would all go away if I talked about it too much."

Glover obviously enjoys his cult of curiosity. He also understands it has its hazards.

"I don't worry about people being strange around me," he says. "But there was one time when I was living in an apartment building, and this girl climbed across a ledge to get into my apartment. It was a very high ledge, which made it a genuinely life-threatening act. I wasn't home at the time, so she took some things--a leather jacket, a Polaroid snapshot of me, a page from Rat Catching and some underwear. She was a friend of a friend and she definitely had psychotic tendencies. I later told her I wanted the jacket back, but she could keep the Polaroid and the underwear."

Crispin Hellion Glover's Big Slide Show is scheduled on Wednesday, March 12, at Valley Art Theatre in Tempe. Showtime is 7 p.m. (all ages).

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