Matthew Gray Gubler Was Never The Same After Starring In Criminal Minds

It's safe to say that "Criminal Minds" definitely changed Matthew Gray Gubler's life, considering that the TV series did make the Las Vegas native a star. Gubler didn't even plan to be an actor either, since he had actually studied filmmaking at New York University to become a director. Nevertheless, he clearly had the "It" factor because he not only acted in many of his classmates' student films in college but was even eventually discovered by a model scout. Gubler then went on to land modeling gigs with major brands like Marc Jacobs and American Eagle. 

During that time, Gubler was also working as an intern for famed director Wes Anderson, who gave Gubler his first acting job by casting him as "Intern" in "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou." "That's how I luckily and miraculously became a working actor," Gubler later told The Hollywood Reporter. From there, Gubler auditioned for "Criminal Minds" and, to his surprise, ended up getting a starring role as Dr. Spencer Reid.

"Criminal Mind" wasn't just a steady acting gig for Gubler, airing for 15 years between 2005 and 2020. It also led to more opportunities for him. Gubler gushed to Glamour, "It's a real honor. I love entertaining people, and that's all I've ever wanted to do. The fact that I've gotten to do this for a long time is so awesome." With that said, it makes sense that Gubler was never the same after starring on "Criminal Minds," so let's break down why.

Criminal Minds made Matthew Gray Gubler famous

"Criminal Minds" launched Matthew Gray Gubler into fame when he was 25, but it appears he was always surprised to have fans. He told Live About, "I never imagined I would have one fan, and there seems to be a few. I just couldn't be happier that people seem to like what I'm doing." While the show was a major hit, it was apparently more important to Gubler that he was doing what he loved, which was just performing in hopes of entertaining some people. 

It seems that for Gubler, playing genius criminal profiler Dr. Spencer Reid on "Criminal Minds" turned out to be the perfect fit, since he had some similarities with his character, despite not having an analytical brain like Reid's. He explained in an interview, though, that both he and Reid had been enlisted into their respective careers by others, even if it wasn't necessarily what either of them had envisioned for their lives (via PopCulture). 

Whether or not Gubler aspired to find stardom, it was clear he was meant to star in the show. "Criminal Minds" executive producer Mark Gordon even pointed out to TV Guide how the creators had really taken to Gubler from the moment he auditioned for the pilot. The fans too were obviously smitten, with Gubler admitting to Digital Spy that he's aware that the show now has a cult following.

Criminal Minds led to movie roles for Matthew Gray Gubler

"Criminal Minds" didn't just make Matthew Gray Gubler a TV star; it also led him to land some movie roles. Ever since his career took off with the show in 2005, Gubler has appeared in over 20 films, including the fan-favorite "500 Days of Summer" and the critically acclaimed "Horse Girl." However, when asked by Glamour about the "coolest opportunity" he got from his show, Gubler mentioned the 2014 zombie comedy, "Life After Beth," because the director had seen "Criminal Minds" and was interested in Gubler playing someone who would totally contradict his role as Dr. Spencer Reid. "He wanted me to play the meathead because it's something you wouldn't expect," Gubler explained. 

Gubler also voiced roles in animated movies like "Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur," but was seemingly more thrilled to land the role of Simon in "Alvin and the Chipmunks" and its three sequels. He even told Page Six, "Actors talk about dreaming of playing Othello, but for me, it's Simon. It's the biggest deal to me."

Gubler clearly keeps things interesting when it comes to the films that he decides to do, considering that he hasn't stuck to one genre. He does seem to gravitate toward what he's personally interested in, though. For example, when discussing why he did the 2014 movie "Suburban Gothic," he told Backstage that it was because he was into old cult classics or what he called "movies meant to be seen at a drive-in theater or a slumber party."

The King Knight star did some directing on Criminal Minds

Matthew Gray Gubler has always been open with the fact that he wanted to be a director before he landed his role on "Criminal Minds." He went to college at NYU's famous Tisch School of the Arts, not to study acting but to learn filmmaking. While Gubler considers himself fortunate that "Criminal Minds" gave him his big break even as an actor, he admitted to Live About that some of his loved ones weren't as pleased. "They're kind of upset that I'm on the show, to be honest, because it wasn't what I set out to do," Gubler revealed. They seemingly knew about his passion for directing and figured he'd spend his time pursuing that instead. 

Fortunately though, starring on "Criminal Minds" did lead Gubler to direct professionally, since he eventually got to go behind the camera for multiple episodes. He gushed to EW,  "It's sort of one of my main loves in life, so it was tremendous to be in the directing frame of mind and in the chair." Gubler also directed some music videos for The Killers, a band whom he's apparently a fan of. That's because he credited their music for helping him make an excellent video and the whole process fun.

Directing is apparently more than just fun for Gubler, since the "Dollface" actor has said (via Glamour) it's what he feels that he's meant to be doing. "To me, I really feel most like myself."

Fans became interested in Matthew Gray Gubler's art

"Criminal Minds" got Matthew Gray Gubler recognized as both an actor/director and an artist, with fans taking an interest in his work. Gubler began making art when working on his first project, "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou," and continued to paint and draw when behind the scenes of "Criminal Minds."  He told Live About that he would create pictures to pass the time on set, presumedly in between takes. Gubler later showcased some of his work at art galleries, and in 2011, garnered over $10,000 for a painting he auctioned for charity on Ebay.

These days, Gubler shares his art on his website and Instagram, which he seems to prefer over in-person showings. He explained to Buzzfeed, "It's this safe space where I can put it up and people can click on it or not. I don't have to be in the same room as them pretending to like it."

Gubler does have an abstract style that not everyone understands. He even admitted to The New York Post that someone had actually once told him that they found his paintings grotesque. "It kind of hurts my feelings a little bit because I only draw people I find really beautiful," he said. While Gubler seemingly does his art for fun, it does benefit his acting, too, considering that he shared with Backstage how he always paints a portrait of what he imagines the character he's playing to look like.

The Dollface actor became a children's book author

Starring on "Criminal Minds" may have been Matthew Gray Gubler's main job for several years but he somehow found time to become a published author. In 2019, Gubler released his first book, "Rumple Buttercup: A story of Bananas, Belonging and Being Yourself." While the story was released by Random House Children's Books, Gubler told Parade that it was a story for any age. He revealed, "I, basically, wrote the book for anyone who's ever felt like they didn't quite fit in, just to make them know that they're not alone."

It appears Gubler himself had always felt different so it was important for him to use "Rumple Buttercup" to promote individuality and to encourage people to be themselves. It was essentially a passion project for him too, since he literally took on every aspect of the book — "every single word, every single illustration, including the bar code and the lengthy copyright page."

Gubler posted about his book on his Instagram and wore a giant monster costume to look like his main character when promoting it. He even later released a Rumple Buttercup merchandise line to go with it. His marketing technique apparently worked because he became a New York Times Bestseller. It seems it led to a second book too, with him announcing "The Little Kid with the Big Green Hand" on Instagram in 2023. Like "Rumple Buttercup," it's reportedly a magical story of self-discovery, with hand-drawn pictures of course.

Matthew Gray Gubler made headlines for hanging with Taylor Swift

Despite his "Criminal Minds" fame, Matthew Gray Gubler managed to keep his personal life under the radar...until Taylor Swift came along. In July 2013, the "King Knight" star made headlines after attending Swift's annual star-studded Fourth of July bash at her Rhode Island home. Cosmopolitan UK reports that Gubler wasn't only spotted at the party but even tweeted a photo of himself in what fans deducted was the music superstar's house due to the color of the cabinets in the photo. If that's not enough online detective work, Gubler was also said to be wearing the same American Flag face paint as Swift, which of course led to speculation that they were dating.

Neither Gubler nor Swift ever confirmed a relationship, but a source told Hollywood Life at the time that Swift was smitten with him. The insider dished, "They have a distance and different schedules to worry about so he is looking out for his feelings and hers and treading lightly." The two even reportedly planned to hang out when Swift had a tour stop in Los Angeles. It can be assumed they didn't work out, though, considering that Swift is now in a serious relationship with actor Joe Alywn.

While it's unclear if Gubler and Swift stayed friends, Gubler told Glamour that he's on good terms with his exes. "You gotta be friends with them forever because if I'm going to date someone, it's a real big thing for me," he said.

The Criminal Minds star dated other famous ladies

Taylor Swift wasn't the only famous person that Matthew Gray Gubler was romantically linked to after he made a name for himself on "Criminal Minds." In fact, he confirmed to Glamour that he was in a longtime relationship with "2 Broke Girls" star Kat Dennings earlier in his career. They seemingly ended on good terms, with Gubler gushing, "She's one of the funniest people I know and such a talented actress, a brilliant mind, a warm-hearted person." He even blamed "Criminal Minds" for their breakup because he apparently worked super long days in his first few years on the show, which made it nearly impossible for him to have time for a girlfriend. 

Gubler went on to date others in the entertainment industry like Portuguese actor Marisa Morris and model/influencer Ali Michael. He also romanced Cobra Starship's keytarist Vicky-T, aka Victoria Asher. She later became Britney Spears' confidant/assistant when she ended her conservatorship in 2021. While Asher no longer works for Spears, she told her Instagram followers, via Pop Crush, that she would always support the "Toxic" singer.

While it's unclear why, none of those relationships worked out because Gubler appears to be single. He may be over dating celebrities though, considering that he told Glamour that his turn off is "entitlement." Nevertheless, whoever Gubler does end up taking out on a date next can probably expect a good time. As he revealed, "I try to make dates really spectacular."

Matthew Gray Gubler formed friendships with his Criminal Minds co-stars

You could say that "Criminal Minds" gave Matthew Gray Gubler more than just Hollywood success in that it also gave him lifelong friends. Gubler shared that he's formed close bonds with a lot of his co-stars since they worked together for so many years.

Gubler and Paget Brewster seem to have an especially close relationship, though, since he called her his "best friend" and referred to her as the female version of himself. He also introduced her to her husband and later officiated their wedding. However, it was Brewster who seemingly taught Gubler about love. "She taught me that all in the right time, true love will find you," he said. Gubler also directed Brewster's last episode of "Criminal Minds," which wasn't as emotional as you might think. That's because Gubler told EW that he knew he'd still see Brewster all the time because of their friendship and that they commemorated her departure with a drink.

Gubler appears to be extra tight with Moore off set, too, because they've been photographed hanging at several different events. If you're wondering if the show ending changed any of his friendships, though, Gubler told TV Line that wasn't the case. "I still talk to everybody — we're just not holding guns anymore when we talk."

Matthew Gray Gubler's TV schedule interfered with his personal life

It shouldn't come as a surprise that being on a hit TV show took up a lot of Matthew Gray Gubler's time. In fact, the "Endings, Beginnings" actor has been honest with how "Criminal Minds" made having a personal life challenging. He told George Satsidis, "[It's] very demanding. It's 11 to 14 hours every day, 10 1/2 months out of the year." He added that he found himself going over his script on his weekends off too, to wrap his head around the confusing medical jargon. 

Gubler may not have had much free time, but it seems it was something he grew accustomed to. He admitted to Digital Spy, "Throughout my life I've always tried to remain busy, and I sort of know no other way." That doesn't mean though that Gubler isn't interested in focusing more on his personal life, which might be easier since "Criminal Minds" has ended. He not only told Glamour that he wanted kids, but revealed that he plans to teach them to be grateful for everything in life and to not take things too seriously.

Despite Gubler's past busy schedule, from the looks of his Instagram, he's always managed to find time to spend with his mother. He often posts photos of them together, whether they're posing in fun costume makeup or she's sharing a portrait he did of her. He even captioned one post of them, "always on my left side because it's closest to my heart."

Matthew Gray Gubler wasn't sad Criminal Minds ended

"Criminal Minds" definitely had a good run on TV, considering that it aired on CBS from 2005 to 2020. Matthew Gray Gubler starred on the show for its entirety, appearing in both the pilot and series finale. While Gubler had clearly dedicated a big chunk of his life to the show, he was ok with that chapter concluding because he felt it happened at just the right time. He explained to TV Line, "Because it's been such a beautiful presence in our life for 15 years, it wasn't sad. It was kind of beautiful."

Fans didn't necessarily agree, because a lot of them were bummed to not have Gubler on their TV screens on a regular basis. One person tweeted that she had actually cried when watching the series finale, while another person tagged Gubler in her tweet to share that she had been a fan of the show since childhood. "I literally grew up with you guys, thanks for accompanying me during these years," she wrote.

Although Gubler said he had remained close with his "Criminal Minds" family despite no longer working with them, some of them seemed to still miss being on set with him most days too. A.J. Cook even admitted to Collider that she wasn't sure that she wanted to do the show's reboot, "Criminal Minds: Evolution" in 2022 because Gubler wasn't involved in it. She dished, "I didn't wanna come back, if he wasn't coming back." 

Many want Matthew Gray Gubler on the Criminal Minds reboot

Matthew Gray Gubler was seemingly ready to put "Criminal Minds" behind him when it ended in 2020, but many hope that he'll come back for the reboot. "Criminal Minds: Evolution" hit Paramount+ in 2022, but Gubler isn't currently involved. Showrunner Erica Messer explained to TV Insider that he was busy with another project when they were filming. Yet, she seemed optimistic that he could still return in the future because they have been speaking about it on a consistent basis. 

Gubler's former co-star, A.J. Cook, apparently also feels that Gubler's time as Dr. Spencer Reid may not be over, and that he could make an appearance during Season 2. She told Collider in late 2022, "I think he will come back, at some point, to play." Gubler himself had previously hinted to TV Line that the door is still open for him to one day come back to the show.

From the looks of Gubler's Instagram, fans would be all for Gubler on the reboot. There's been a lot of comments on his posts begging him to appear on "Criminal Minds: Evolution" as their former favorite character. All in all, it's evident from the love that Gubler receives from his fans and co-stars, that Criminal Minds" did change Gubler, but for the better.