Crispin Glover: Fascinating Facts About The Back To The Future Star

Crispin Glover in Back To The Future

One thing I like to do whenever revisiting a classic franchise like Back To The Future is go back and look at the cast and what they've been up to in the decades since the first film's release. I spent some time looking into Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and Leah Thompson, but nothing really compared to the crazy life and career of Crispin Glover.

If you didn't already know, Crispin Glover is somewhat of a strange cookie. Not in a "skeletons in the closet" type of way, but more of a "Let's paint a volcano together to prepare for a scene" type of weird. The eccentric actor, writer, and filmmaker, since attaining stardom as George McFly in Robert Zemeckis' revolutionary Back To The Future, has crafted an image for himself thanks to the mystery and strangeness that surrounds him.

After finding so many fascinating tidbits of information on Crispin Glover, I thought I'd share them so that everyone can see the amazingly bizarre actor for the borderline genius that he is.

Crispin Glover in Back To The Future

After Glover Left Back To The Future Part II, The Producers Created A Mask Using The Actor's Makeup Mold

It's no secret that Crispin Glover's involvement in the Back To The Future franchise is a little messy, especially when you consider that not only was his character, George McFly, recast between the first and second movies, but the producers continued to use his likeness through the use of heavy makeup and obscured views of his replacement, Jeffrey Weissman.

Glover didn't return for Back To The Future Part II for a number of different reasons, depending on who you ask, but one thing that remains the same is the fact that his replacement looks like his twin (albeit in odd makeup).

During a 2014 appearance on The Sam Roberts Show, Crispin Glover explained that the producers took the molds used to create the older version of George McFly and created the prosthetic that was used to transform Jeffrey Weissman into a strange version of Glover, stating:

It is normal [for makeup artists to keep the molds], but it is not normal to have a different actor in that person's face.

Crispin Glover in Back To The Future

Glover Was So Upset About Back To The Future Part II That He Filed A Lawsuit

The drama surrounding the recasting of George McFly for Back To The Future Part II didn't stop when the film hit theaters in 1989. In fact, that was only the beginning. One year after the release, Crispin Glover and Doug Kari, his attorney at the time, filed a lawsuit against Universal Pictures for essentially making a mask out of his old makeup molds and slapping it on another actor.

In a 2015 profile on the lawsuit in the Hollywood Reporter, Kari revealed one of the reasons why he and his former client wanted to proceed with the case, stating:

Jeffrey [Weissman] told me a story one day, [executive producer] Steven Spielberg walked on set and laughed and said, 'Hey Crispin, I see you got your million.' To me, those anecdotes showed they were trying to take Crispin's persona.

The Hollywood Reporter piece goes on to explain that the company insuring Universal eventually pushed for the studio to settle after Glover's legal team was given the approval to depose Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, Michael J. Fox, Steven Spielberg, and other members of the production team. In the end, the settlement was reportedly around $760,000.

Leah Thompson in Back To The Future

The Notoriously Bizarre Actor's Equally Strange Apartment Made Quite An Impression On Leah Thompson

Back when Crispin Glover was very much still a part of Back To The Future, he and co-star Leah Thompson agreed to get together one night to the work on their lines for the film's final scene (which Glover hated, by the way). Thompson recalled the meeting in a 2015 interview with the Hollywood Reporter where she revealed the rather unique styling of Glover's apartment and method of preparation, stating:

The night before we were supposed to do [the scene], 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 volcano together, which we then did. I thought that was the most awesome preparation to play a character ever.

Crispin Glover on Late Night With David Letterman

Crispin Glover Will Neither Confirm Nor Deny He Was On David Letterman For The Now Infamous 1987 Appearance

When not talking about Crispin Glover's appearance in Back To The Future one of the topics of discussion regarding the actor's past is his infamous 1987 interview with David Letterman on Late Night. While promoting River's Edge, Glover appeared as the titular character from Rubin And Ed, a movie that wouldn't be released for another four years. Dressed in platform shoes and a wig, the actor began spatting off about the media before challenging Letterman to an arm-wrestling match before almost kicking the host in the head.

Always one for mystery and intrigue, Crispin Glover has gone on the record multiple times jokingly saying that he nether confirms nor denies any involvement in the interview. During an interview with Interviewing Hollywood, the bizarre Glover gave an even more bizarre response, stating:

Clearly, there is something interesting going on, and I much prefer to let it live in that realm of mystery. I always have. I've never confirmed nor denied what that is or even if I have been on that show. I have been on that show since that appearance, but I've never really confirmed or denied if that appearance was actually me or not.

Crispin Glover in Willard

The Actor Made A Few Changes To His Character In Willard

In 2003, Crispin Glover starred in the suspenseful horror film Willard, which saw Glover portray Willard Stiles, an outcast who befriends a colony of rats and uses them to carry out revenge against those who have done him harm.

Although Crispin Glover was happy with the character and script, he did tell Entertainment Weekly that he had one suggestion for director Glen Morgan that the actor thought would bring more realism and depth to a character that could communicate with a large colony of rats, stating:

I generally avoid rewriting, but I did ask Glen [Morgan] to make one change. There was cursing in the role, and I'm not against cursing, but there was an innocence to Willard, a kind of lost-in-time element, so I thought it was best to take those things out.

Crispin Glover in Dead Man

Glover Has Written Multiple Books And Has Shown Them Off As Part Of His Big Slide Show Presentation

When he's not acting, painting his apartment black, or nearly kicking late night hosts, Crispin Glover is hard at work on his other projects, including his 2016 project Crispin Hellion Glover's Big Slide Show, a two-night event in which the artist showed two of his own films and selections from eight of his illustrated books from the '80s and '90s.

But these aren't your normal books, as the actor and writer told Vogue. To create these works of art, Crispin Glover finds old novels in the public domain, blocks out text, rearranges sections, and adds his own words at times before drawing images on the pages.

Crispin Glover in a Yahoo Entertainment interview

The Actor Now Lives In A Czech Castle With Locked Rooms And Roaming Peacocks

And the final little tidbit of fascination surrounding the life and work of Crispin Glover is his massive estate in the Czech Republic, which was described by Architectural Digest as being "nothing short of fantastical."

Crispin Glover first purchased the 20-acre property back in 2003 and has spent the past nearly 20 years renovating the 17-bedroom house and surrounding buildings. The property was once used as a communist medical testing facility many, many years ago, but it's mostly used now for Glover's personal film productions and a place for his peacocks to roam freely.

To make it even more of a Crispin Glover move, the castle contains numerous locked rooms that no one is allowed to enter and the former owner just up and disappeared one day. Glover wouldn't have it any other way.

Those are just seven of the more fascinating facts about Crispin Glover. The eccentric actor, writer, and director has led quite a life and it looks like he won't be stopping anytime soon. Did you learn anything from this or do you still think of Glover as George McFly in Back To The Future? Either way, let me know in the comments.

Philip Sledge
Content Writer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or chatting about professional wrestling to his wife. Writing gigs with school newspapers, multiple daily newspapers, and other varied job experiences led him to this point where he actually gets to write about movies, shows, wrestling, and documentaries (which is a huge win in his eyes). If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.