What Matthew Gray Gubler Has Been Doing Since Criminal Minds Ended

Premiering as early as 2005, CBS' "Criminal Minds" has built itself a reputable shelf-life amongst other crime dramas we're familiar with. Its gloomy undertone regarding the psychology behind immoral crimes caused the show to receive several awards throughout its initial 15-season run. While its success allowed for a rather lengthy stint on television (spinoffs included), CBS announced they were pulling the plug in 2019. With its declining popularity being the cause of its demise, CBS allowed for one last season to serve as the show's send-off.

Despite its tear-jerking conclusion, "Criminal Minds" was renewed in 2022. Since its renewal, however, fans have felt the absence of one of the show's more notable characters, Dr. Spencer Reid. Matthew Gray Gubler's fan-favorite role as the quirky yet intelligent BAU agent has yet to be reprised by the actor-slash-director himself. Which beckons the question, what has he been up to since he departed from the show? 

Although "Criminal Minds" holds a special place in his heart — summing up his last season with the Dr. Seuss quote, "Don't cry that it's over, smile because it happened" (via YouTube) – his 323-episode run on the show seemingly served as a launching pad for him to tackle other ventures. Whether it be his amusing mockumentaries or his involvement in unique projects ranging from existential dramas to absurd comedies, Gubler is a man of many passions. For more insight into Gubler's impressive resume, here is what our favorite BAU agent has been doing with his time off the show.

Gubler appeared alongside Alison Brie in 'Horse Girl'

Matthew Gray Gubler booked a role in the psychological drama "Horse Girl," which came out in February 2020 – the same month "Criminal Minds" aired its last episode. Written by "Community" actress Alison Brie and well-known director Jeff Baena, the movie follows a woman named Sarah experiencing a psychological downward spiral. In an interview with PopSugar, Brie revealed that the inspiration for the film drew from real-life realizations of the mental illnesses that have plagued her family. "This is definitely a departure and not as literal as a story as I thought I would make," she said. "But as I analyzed it more and more, I was drawn to the narcissistic part of how it relates to me and my personal fear of having mental illness in my bloodline: how would I know if it were coming on — or would I know?"

In the movie, Gubler plays Darren Colt, a character in a supernatural series Sarah is a huge fan of. During its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Gubler praised the movie for its unique storytelling, stating that it was "an incredible work of art." He'd later follow that up with an Instagram post showing a "Horse Girl" coaster he stole from the wrap party, stating, "It's rare that I like a movie enough to casually distract a waiter at its wrap party so I can steal a promotional coaster. #horsegirl is on @netflix today. It's a great coaster but an even greater film."

He starred in Future Island's Moonlight music video

Alongside his acting ventures, Matthew Gray Gubler also built an impressive list of directorial credits. From a 15-minute mockumentary titled "Matthew Gray Gubler's Life Aquatic Intern Journal" to 12 episodes of "Criminal Minds," Gubler's directorial pursuits did not go under the radar throughout his stint as an actor. This passion of his ultimately allowed him to collaborate with the American rock band The Killers for their music videos "Don't Shoot Me Santa" in 2007 and "Dirt Sledding" in 2015. Five years after his last collaboration with them, Gubler teamed up with another well-known band, but this time as their male lead.

In 2020, the Baltimore-native synthpop band Future Islands uploaded a music video for their song "Moonlight," which was off their 6th studio album, "As Long as You Are." In it, Gubler can be seen alongside actress Callie Hernandez portraying a couple at their wit's end in their relationship. Following its release, the multitalented actor took to Instagram to announce his involvement in the music video. There, he also took a screenshot of a Twitter post from the band explaining the meaning behind the song. "Moonlight' is a song about love in a depressive state," Future Islands wrote. "It's about recognizing the holes in ourselves and recognizing the circular whole of others. 'Moonlight' is about acceptance because that's what love allows us all."

He played a skilled bowler in Beginner's Luck

Although Matthew Gray Gubler was heavily involved in creative projects related to dissociation and misery, the 43-year-old actor is a man of comedy. Given his eccentric sense of humor, it's only natural for him to appear in films that allow him to express this side of himself. While fans adored his portrayal of Dr. Spencer Reid in "Criminal Minds," Gubler seemingly carried the awkward-like banter the character inhibited and fueled it for his other roles to come.

In addition to his other endeavors in 2020, Gubler found time to star in a short film written and directed by Casey Feigh titled "Beginner's Luck." With the film gaining notoriety from several organizations ranging from the Chicago Comedy Film Festival to the Palm Springs International Comedy Festival, Feigh's attention to detail in the makeshift mockumentary is nothing to scoff at. Appearing alongside "Saturday Night Live" comedian Ego Nwodim and actress/writer Mary Holland, Gubler played Franklin, the uninformed yet skilled captain of the successful bowling team Big Z Tires. As the title suggests, a group of strangers experiences beginner's luck as they work up a local bowling tournament. Eventually, they face off against Franklin's team, who are overly confident in their abilities. This would cause Franklin's group to hilariously implode, allowing the team of novices to win the tournament and become the new local bowling champions.

Gubler continued to update his YouTube channel

Long before his role in "Beginner's Luck," Matthew Gray Gubler's experience in starring in comedic shorts goes as far back as his first directing job, "Matthew Gray Gubler's Life Aquatic Intern Journal" in 2005. While on the set of "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou," Gubler used his time to film a behind-the-scenes of his first experience as an actor. Though it covered real events of his life at the time, the tone of the 15-minute short film was filled with sarcasm and satire.

After snagging the role of Dr. Spencer Reid in "Criminal Minds," Gubler continued to indulge in this personal project and started an online series called "Matthew Gray Gubler: The Unauthorized Documentary." During his 15-year stint on the show, Gubler regularly updated his YouTube channel with these makeshift mockumentaries that hilariously captured the actor's dramatic ventures behind the scenes of "Criminal Minds." Once the show ended, Gubler uploaded the season 2 finale where he is ironically unaware of the show's cancellation – a running joke he used during his press runs leading up to the final episode of "Criminal Minds." After "learning about the news," Gubler jokingly vandalized any "Criminal Minds" memorabilia he found in his trailer while threatening to quit before the show's finale. These sporadic uploads featured his castmates (like Aubrey Plaza and Paget Brewster) as guest appearances throughout the satire-filled series. 

He played Kat Dennings' love interest in 'Dollface'

To add to his long list of comedy appearances, Matthew Gray Gubler found himself booking another gig for another show while filming "Criminal Minds." In 2019, Gubler starred in the comedy series "Dollface." The show follows Jules (played by Kat Dennings) rebuilding her social life after her boyfriend suddenly breaks up with her. After realizing the priority she gave to her relationship, she reconnects with her friends, Madison Maxwell, Stella Cole, and Izzy Levine.

Starring alongside "Suite Life of Zack and Cody" actress Brenda Song and "Pretty Little Liars" actress Shay Mitchell, Gubler played a veterinarian named Wes, who happened to be Jules' potential love interest. Jules' discomfort with vulnerability led to both characters having an on-and-off romance. The show's success caused Hulu to renew it for another season. While the show's return meant that we'd see the loveable girl group return to their random antics, it also meant that we'd potentially see Gubler reprise his role as the dreamy yet awkward "animal doctor." Luckily in 2022, he did just that, starring in four more episodes just two years after his departure from "Criminal Minds." 

Although the actor played a smaller role previously (appearing sporadically throughout the first season), the second season made Gubler feel more like a regular, appearing in the episodes "Right-Hand Woman," "Boss Lady," "Power Player," and "Miss Codependent" back-to-back.

Gubler voiced Jeremy in 'Cinema Toast'

Alongside his on-screen pursuits, Matthew Gray Gubler crafted a respectable voice-acting career. This goes as far back as 2007 when he got his first gig to voice Simon from "Alvin and the Chipmunks." From there, he not only reprised his role as the intelligent brother of the trio, but also snagged several voice-acting gigs during his time on "Criminal Minds." Some of these included voicing Jimmy Olsen in "All-Star Superman," Winsor in "Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur," and Riddler in "Batman: Assault on Arkham."

Following his departure from "Criminal Minds," Gubler continued his voice-acting pursuits. In 2021, he added to his extensive resume by voicing Jeremy in an episode of "Cinema Toast." The short-lived series followed a unique formula some content creators online use for their favorite shows-slash-animations. The show had indie film stars overdub scenes taken from well-known films. By re-editing and re-scoring the original footage, it aimed to tell new and modern stories using scenes from older movies. 

In the episode "After the End," writer and director Mel Eslyn used scenes from the 1959 thriller "Beast from Haunted Cave" and got Gubler to take part in a story re-contextualizing the meaning of being a monster. Though the series became a one-off, creator Jeff Baena got several notable actors to either voice or direct episodes during its 10-episode run, some of which include Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Chloe Fineman, Marcus Henderson, and Gillian Jacobs.

He played Thorn in 'King Knight'

Given his quirkiness, Matthew Gray Gubler starred in yet another comedy deemed hilariously strange after he departed from "Criminal Minds." Touching on subjects related to the occult — something which Gubler's character in "Horse Girl" was based on — Gubler played Thorn in the 2021 comedic drama "King Knight." Written by Richard Bates Jr., the story follows the lives of a high priest and priestess (Thorn and Willow) as they go on a journey of self-discovery. As leaders of a coven of modern-day witches, Willow seemingly learns that Thorn is not the person he claimed to be. This revelation would find them attending his high school reunion to confront his past.

Despite its absurdities, the movie's message regarding the acceptance of oneself is a message Gubler has commonly reimaged several times throughout his career as an actor. Along with its strong cast, the comedic tone within the movie added a level of depth that is present in Gubler's work. In our interview with Angela Sarafyan, the actress who played Willow, she praised the film for how relatable the story was to her. "For me, that world was very relatable where she comes from," she stated. "I'm not a witch, but I could see the white witch qualities about loving to be loving and kind. Those are the aspects." When asked about her experience working with the multitalented actor himself, Sarafyan said, "It was a lot of fun, he's really sweet."

He consistently shares his art pieces with his followers on Instagram

As a man of many passions, Matthew Gray Gubler found himself using his various social media accounts as an outlet for his creative endeavors. From his eccentric Halloween ensembles to his love for gourds, Gubler maintains a unique presence on the internet, giving his fans just enough insight into his life without giving away too much. One of the many spectacles he showcases on his Instagram is his artwork. While many see their Instagram as a collage of life's precious moments, Gubler turned his Instagram into a neat portfolio of various drawings and paintings he's done over the years.

Following his departure from "Criminal Minds," the actor continued to share his artwork with his followers on Instagram. With a style resembling that of underground contemporary artists, Gubler's art pieces are intentionally imperfect. Although he'd opt to illustrate witches, jack-o'-lanterns, and all things Halloween, the Nevada-native actor is no stranger to drawing creatively interpreted portraits of pop culture figures like Nicholas Cage or Daffy Duck. On May 11, 2021, Gubler took to Instagram to unveil a portrait he did for his mother for Mother's Day. In the picture, you could see his mother holding the portrait with Gubler's signature to the bottom right. "I hope everyone had a wonderful day with their mother," he wrote. "They are truly the world's most magical creatures."

He launched 'Gublerland' in 2021

Although his Instagram contains posts ranging from paintings to interesting Halloween ensembles, the "Criminal Minds" actor launched an all-in-one website dedicated to his creative mind. This idea wasn't necessarily new to fans, since Gubler reminded his followers of his first attempt at an interactive website in 2020. The beloved website, however, was discontinued, but not before Gubler hinted at something bigger. After months of build-up, Gubler took to Instagram on February 15, 2021, to announce the new and improved "Gublerland." "Gublerland has always been built on the invisible rays of lavender light that emanate from getting to entertain such a loving and singular group of human gemstones," he wrote. "I hope this new web world warms your heart and brings you as much joy as you have all brought me."

The 15-month-long renovation of his 2004 website saw the return of the many subsections contained in the previous version. Drawn by Gubler himself, the website serves not only as a source of entertainment, but also as his own personal portfolio, linking to several movies-slash-personal projects he's worked on. Anything from his latest art pieces to his appearances on podcasts can be found in Gublerland. Furthermore, the actor also uploaded hilarious covers to theme songs from sitcoms like "Cheers," re-readings of Edgar Allen Poe's "Anabel Lee" and "The Tell-tale Heart," and a collage of those who received tattoos of his artwork over the years.

He sold 'Rumple Buttercup' plushies based on his children's book

Alongside his other creative pursuits, Matthew Gray Gubler published the children's book "Rumple Buttercup: A Story of Bananas, Belonging, and Being Yourself" during his time on "Criminal Minds." Paired with a notable mascot similar to Dr. Seuss' "The Cat in The Hat," Gubler appeared on KTLA 5 to explain the origin of Rumple Buttercup and what makes his story so special. According to the author himself, Rumple Buttercup is about a "nervous little monster who spends his entire life hiding underground because he's worried that if people see him above ground, they might think he's a little bit strange."

Originally written as an autobiography, Gubler shared that his distorted sense of belonging is similar to that of the little green monster. The children's book quickly became a New York Times No. 1 bestseller, suggesting that the story connected to children and grown-ups alike. On November 30, 2022, Gubler took to Instagram to announce that he is selling Rumple Buttercup plushies in collaboration with the organization "One Step Beyond Fine Art" to commemorate the book's success. As expected, the plushies sold out shortly after it was released. The "Criminal Minds" actor took to Instagram on December 9, 2022 to express his gratitude for those supporting this endeavor. "Congratulations to all the warm necks who got a 'Huggable Rumple' before he sold out," he wrote. "And thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping support Rumple's favorite cause!"

Gubler is set to publish his second children's book, 'The Little Kid with Green Hands'

Due to the success of his first children's book, Matthew Gray Gubler is now using his time away from "Criminal Minds" to recreate the magic that was "Rumple Buttercup." Just four days after his birthday (March 9), Gubler unveiled his newest project, "The Little Kid with the Big Green Hand," and provided a pre-order link to the online store on Instagram. In addition to revealing the cover art, Gubler shared pictures of him holding pieces of paper that revealed his new book and its release date (September 26, 2023). The collage ends with a note from Gubler thanking his fans for the love they've shown him. "Thank you for all of the birthday weekend wishes!" he wrote. "The greatest gift of all is getting to make stories for you."

While Gubler's devotion to his craft is seemingly unmatched — oftentimes allowing his art to be woven into his life — not much is known about the book itself outside of its release date. According to its website, the book seemingly follows the same premise as "Rumple Buttercup." With the idea of self-discovery and acceptance being at the forefront, we could only assume that the book will feature the same qualities and values as his previous release.