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Matthew Gray Gubler: 2019 National Book Festival

Matthew Gray Gubler: 2019 National Book Festival


[ Applause ]>>Juanita Giles: Okay. Hi. I’m Juanita Giles and –>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Juanita Giles! Let’s hear it for Juanita Giles. Let’s hear it. I have never seen bigger
shoulders in my life. They’re beautiful. I love what you’ve done. I myself look like I was
squeezed out of a can of Cheese-Whiz, so I
apply your choice as well.>>Juanita Giles: Well, yellow
is the big color for fall.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: It is. It’s also Curious
George’s owner’s color.>>Juanita Giles: That’s true,
and yellow suits apparently on Asos are very
popular, ladies. Very good.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh, good to know that. Good to know that.>>Juanita Giles: So I am the
NPR’s Children’s Literature columnist and also the director of the Virginia Children’s
Book Festival. So that’s why I’m here today.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
I’m so honored to be here. Thank you. Thank you. Oh, you have a Buttercup. That’s awesome.>>Juanita Giles: Oh, look
at all that out there. You know, I really — I’ve
prepared a few questions for Rumple, but he’s
already, you know, departed. So if you –>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
He’ll answer some as well. Halfway through I’ll
switch into Rumple.>>Juanita Giles: So it seems like most people know
who you are already. I get that. I get that idea.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh, thank you. Thank you so much. [ Applause ]>>Juanita Giles: Because I was
going to say that, you know, it’s not really important to
me, but you are on television and in the movies a little bit. But you did write a book which
is what is important to me. That may be made into
a movie, maybe one day. Why not?>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Possibly.>>Juanita Giles: So
it was in April I think that Rumple crawled
out of the rain drain. Is that when he came
out, in April.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Yeah. April 2nd I believe
is his birthday.>>Juanita Giles: April 2nd. And before I get
started I do have to ask, why rain drain and not sewer?>>Matthew Gray Gubler: You
know, rain drain instead of sewer for a couple
of reasons. First of all, I like the
phonetic sound of rain drain. It’s a little more charming
sounding than sewer. And I didn’t want him to be
confused with the scary clown from It who lives in a
sewer and is terrifying. So rain drain.>>Juanita Giles: Right. Okay.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
That’s a great question.>>Juanita Giles: Because that
was a question from my children.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
How old are your children?>>Juanita Giles:
Nine, seven and five.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Good ages. Which one is your favorite? [ Laughter ] Just don’t answer that. All of them.>>Juanita Giles: The
one that sets the table.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Ooh, well done. Oh my gosh.>>Juanita Giles:
So that’s that one. But they sent me several
questions actually and I was going to start
with their questions.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
I love it already. Thank you.>>Juanita Giles: And this one
is from my seven-year-old girl and she’s very soft-hearted,
very tender-hearted. And she’s worried
about Candy Corn Carl.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
I understand.>>Juanita Giles: Does everybody
know who Candy Corn Carl is?>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Has
anyone here read the book? Have a few of you read the book? Oh good. Oh. [ Applause ]>>Juanita Giles: She’s very
worried that he’s left alone at the end of the book.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
That’s a great question and a wonderful concern.>>Juanita Giles:
She cried about it.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh my gosh! Tell her not to cry
and not to fret, because Candy Corn Carl
absolutely moves above ground with Rumple and continues
to live and has many more
adventures with him actually.>>Juanita Giles: So Rumple
moves above ground then?>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
He does, yeah.>>Juanita Giles: That’s
not told to us in the book.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
In the next book it will. Yeah.>>Juanita Giles: Oh,
so there’s another book? Okay. We’ll get to that. We’ll get to that. No pressure.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: That was
a subtle drop of my next book.>>Juanita Giles: They brought
me up here for a reason. So good at that. So my son who’s nine has
a very different question.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Yeah. What’s his name?>>Juanita Giles:
His name is Page.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Page?>>Juanita Giles: Yes.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
How do you spell that?>>Juanita Giles: P-a-g-e.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
That’s a good name.>>Juanita Giles: He’s
named after my grandfather.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh, beautiful name.>>Juanita Giles: Yes. And he did not cry
about Candy Corn Carl. But he has a different question.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Yeah.>>Juanita Giles: He wants to know how Rumple can stretch
his arms and neck so far out of the rain drain.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
That’s a very good question. There’s a moment in the book where through superhuman
willpower and pure adrenaline only Rumple
is able to dislocate his elbow from his shoulder and
his arm becomes sort of a mobile slithering
snake to grab a rain drain. And that’s exactly it. It’s through the will to
want to accomplish something. And I think Rumple embodies the
American spirit in all of us. And he wants to achieve
something — here we are in the
nation’s capital. Who here is from DC, by the way? [ Applause ] It’s a great place. And through sheer willpower
and want to succeed, he’s able to defy the logic of the human body
and stretch his arm. Tell Page not to try
that though with his arm. Try it more with his mind.>>Juanita Giles: I’m
trying to get him to not –>>Matthew Gray Gubler: I don’t
want him to dislocate his elbow.>>Juanita Giles: He’s attempted to put his head through,
you know –>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
The bannister?>>Juanita Giles: Yes.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
I’ve done that a few times. And actually the last time I
did that, I was in my 30’s. And I’m not kidding. I’ve been stuck — I have
butter in my refrigerator for only two purposes: popcorn and getting my head
out of bannisters.>>Juanita Giles: There’s
a Designing Women episode about that actually.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: It is. I actually used butter to
get into this suit today too. It’s so tight. I usually wear a bit, you
know, furry Rumple costume. But it’s so hot I
decided to wear a suit, but foolishly I wore a polyester
suit which is the only thing on his earth hotter than a six-foot-tall
monster suit, I’m realizing.>>Juanita Giles: But it is
about ten degrees over here. Is that true? It’s so frigid over here?>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Is it freezing in here?>>Juanita Giles: Over
here it’s so cold.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Okay,
that makes me — oh good. I’m like pouring sweat. I’m like literally
nervous, Juanita. I’m kind of terrified right
now, but it’s going well, right?>>Juanita Giles: I guess.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Thank you. Okay. Thank you, thank you. I wasn’t fishing for that,
but thank you very much. This is a giant crowd.>>Juanita Giles:
All right, I know.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh, and this guy. What’s your name, sir? Thank you, Steve. Thank you for being here. Thank you. Let’s hear it for Steve. [ Applause ] I look like if Colonel Sanders
sold used cars, and I’m behaving like a used car salesman
on stage I’m realizing. Thank you for enduring.>>Juanita Giles: My
five-year-old was too shy to send you a question. She’s very shy. But my husband has
a question for you.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh, I can’t wait.>>Juanita Giles:
Actually a couple. The pants and the belt — where
did Rumple get pants and a belt?>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
A very valid question.>>Juanita Giles: And
how does he wash them?>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Where did Rumple get
his pants and belt? I know that you have
a microphone and they heard the answer. I’m stalling to tell
you the truth. The pants and belt that
Rumple have are Christian D’or that he found in a
dumpster in France. And actually this suit is made by Concept — Concept
2 by Campus. So that’s the brand
that mimicked the belt.>>Juanita Giles:
Where’d you get that suit?>>Matthew Gray Gubler: I found
it in a dumpster in France. [ Laughter ] Where Rumple found his.>>Juanita Giles: Oh wow. I like it very much.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Thank you so much. I love your shoulder pads. And they’re colorful too.>>Juanita Giles: They are.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Can you
show the audience the interior? They have a flare of
magenta and burnt orange. And you look amazing.>>Juanita Giles: Zara.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
It’s incredible.>>Juanita Giles: Just
letting you know, Zara.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Wow.>>Juanita Giles:
Anybody like Zara pants? Also Zara.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Zara. That’s a plug for Zara.>>Juanita Giles: Yes.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Is
that a baby or a dog or a bear? Or all three? Is that a real child
or is that a bear? Okay. That’s amazing.>>Juanita Giles: It’s
like a Teddy Ruxpin.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
That would be an adorable — it’s like Teddy Ruxpin.>>Juanita Giles: Yes.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh, in Rumple outfit. Oh my gosh. And can you guys hear me? I can’t hear myself, but
you guys can all hear me? Okay.>>Juanita Giles:
How many people out there are wearing
Rumple-related material?>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh my gosh. I see some bananas. You look amazing. Oh my gosh.>>Juanita Giles:
Oh my goodness.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh good grief.>>Juanita Giles:
Did you make those?>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
That’s amazing.>>Juanita Giles: Oh my word.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh my gosh. That’s awesome. Man.>>Juanita Giles: Wow.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Candy Corn Carl’s over there. Oh!>>Juanita Giles: Oh my gosh.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Wait,
wait, wait, can she join us on stage for a second? Do you want to come
up here for a second?>>Juanita Giles: Come on up.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Candy Corn Carl in the flesh! This is to answer your
question for your child. Candy Corn Carl does exist. Candy Corn Carl is not
left in the rain drain with the clown from It. Candy Corn Carl comes
above ground and joins us in Washington DC. Oh my gosh! [ Applause ] Juanita, is it okay?>>Juanita Giles: Please.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Come
over, please, please, please. This is one of the greatest
costumes I’ve ever said.>>Juanita Giles: That is.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: We’re reenact a real
split-second moment from the book. The moment where Rumple says, “What have you been
up to, Carl?” But Carl never replied. Wonderful. What’s your name?>>Jamie.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Let’s hear it for Jamie. Thank you, Jamie. Where are you from?>>Tokyo.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
From Tokyo!>>Juanita Giles: No way.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Namaste. Arigato gazeimos. I met her in Los
Angeles, she tells me. She was not wearing a
lollipop on her eye, so I would recall
without the lollipop. Very nice to see you. You look amazing. That’s an incredible outfit. Thank you so much. That’s amazing. Thank you, thank you. Wow! You guys are the best!>>Juanita Giles: Wow.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
I’ve got to say, honestly this is the
best day of my life. I say that pretty much
every day that I wake up, and I mean it every
day that I wake up. But you guys coming from
far distances and dressing up like imaginary creatures
means the world to me and I’m so humbled and honored
to be here. Thank you. Oh thank you, thank you. Thank you.>>Juanita Giles: I do
have to say being up here with you makes me feel a bit
like I’m on the Price is Right.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
I do feel like a host. Yeah, exactly.>>Juanita Giles: I feel
like general energy, yeah. It’s very exciting. Did you have a TV to give away?>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
I have a TV, ladies and gentlemen,
to give away. And an aquarium.>>Juanita Giles: $781.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Good guess. $782, you win.>>Juanita Giles: Oh
yay, I didn’t go over. So I do have some a little bit
more serious questions for you.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh good, yes, please.>>Juanita Giles: You’ve said
the book is for all ages.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Yeah.>>Juanita Giles: And
I can look out there and I can see that of course. I still, you know, I read
aloud to my kids every day and they really — I mean, to
me it’s a very read-aloud book.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Thank you.>>Juanita Giles: It is so
natural to read it aloud. I can’t imagine not
reading it aloud. And I was wondering if
you actually spoke it when you were writing it. Because it is such an
incredible book to read aloud.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Well, thank you. That’s a very sweet compliment. And yeah, I did write
it to read aloud. Sort of in any process
of anything I’m making, whether it’s a book or like
a movie or a story, I do — I read everything aloud. And when I was drawing it,
I also found myself like — when I’m drawing Rumple,
like contorting my face into the exact sort
of expression that he was making
while doing it. But I meant it to be
a very tangible book. And my favorite memories in
life are having books read to me by loved ones. And so when I sort of
conceived of the idea, I think naturally the
idea was that you know, people would be reading
this to their loved ones. Or someone would be
reading it aloud. I read books aloud to
myself when I’m alone. So yes, it was always
meant to be read that way.>>Juanita Giles: What
are some of the books that were read to you? Do you remember any
in particular?>>Matthew Gray Gubler: War
and Peace when I was four.>>Juanita Giles: Me too.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
I’ll never forget that summer, two
summers actually. Dostoyevsky — am I
saying that right? Is Dostoyevsky in the audience? Am I saying that — who knows
who I’m talking about even?>>Juanita Giles: Dostoyevsky.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Dostoyevsky. I’m very literate. I’m an author, ladies and
gentlemen, and I love Deutch — Deutchkoparchky the guy.>>Juanita Giles: Well,
you and I are of an age.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Yeah.>>Juanita Giles: You and
I are very similar in age.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Yes.>>Juanita Giles: Reading
Rainbow was a huge part of my life.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Was that Lamar –>>Juanita Giles: Lavar Burton.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Yeah, my man.>>Juanita Giles: Yes.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Remember the Red Room?>>Juanita Giles: Yes.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Do
you remember the Red Room?>>Juanita Giles: Yes, I do.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Who here remembers? I only saw when I was three. It horrified me. It’s probably not as
scary as a I recall, but it had great impact. A kid is trapped in a
room that’s all red. Sorry, to answer your
question in a long-winded way.>>Juanita Giles: That’s okay.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: A clear
memory I have, my mother who’s in the audience, Marilyn Gubler. What has she won,
ladies and gentlemen? Stand up! Mom, are you there? Where’s my mom?>>Juanita Giles: She
was I believe over here.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Where’s my mom?>>Juanita Giles: She
was right over there.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: She
has — oh, there she is, the most beautiful
woman in the world. She’s very cool. Stand up, mom.>>Juanita Giles: There she is.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Yeah! [ Applause ] This is actually
an actress I hired to play my mom for
today’s event. I’m joking. It’s my real mom. You can tell by the
crazy glasses. She’s wearing bat-winged
sunglasses. Anyway, my mother,
she used to read to me Asterix, this
French comic. Are you familiar?>>Juanita Giles: Yes.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
But the amazing thing was, this was in the early
1930’s when I was born. So the internet had
not been invented. A lot of books had
not been translated. My mother speaks fluent French, so she would translate
them to me as a child. And it was very — it was hard. I could tell it was hard on her because she told me
it was hard on her. That’s how I could tell. And I’m just realizing
it’s yellow and green. Who designed this
— sorry, I get — I have a very short
attention span. I was boring myself
of my own story. That’s a beautiful backdrop. Anyway, she would
read to me Asterix. Other books from my
childhood that were read to me were The Butter
Battle Book, was probably the first book that was ever read
to me by Dr. Seuss. That’s a masterpiece,
by the way. Is that a great book? Read the Butter Battle
Book, ladies and germs. It is — thanks for that. It’s a great book. But those were some. What books did you
have read aloud?>>Juanita Giles:
What do I remember? What am I reading now?>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
When you were a child, yeah.>>Juanita Giles: Oh,
when I was a child. Actually, I got in trouble for reading Judy
Blume books at school.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh my gosh.>>Juanita Giles: That’s
what happened to me.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
You got in trouble for reading at school?>>Juanita Giles:
Judy Blume books, yes.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Is Judy Blume? Is that like the new Balzac? Is she controversial,
Judy Blume? Is she like the Babysitter’s
Club Judy Blume? Yeah?>>Juanita Giles: I don’t
even know if I can talk about it up here on the stage.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Okay, this is too –>>Juanita Giles: You
know, so I don’t — actually what’s funny is I
don’t remember being read to. I remember making
myself learn to read because I had an older brother
and I wanted to read so badly.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Can I read you a book a little
later after this interview?>>Juanita Giles:
Yes, of course.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
I would be honored.>>Juanita Giles: I’d love that.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: I’m
sorry that you weren’t read to.>>Juanita Giles: That’s okay.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
We’re going to rectify that.>>Juanita Giles: That’s
perfectly all right. But I did — I do
have a question, well when we get there
I’ll ask that one.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Yes.>>Juanita Giles: But I do want
to say it’s quite a long book.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
It is, oh yeah.>>Juanita Giles:
It’s 136 pages.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Yes.>>Juanita Giles: And when it
came to me, when it was sent to me to read, I put everything
in front of my kids first. And I warned them, I said, “We’re not reading
this all tonight.” Because they are
in the bed by 8:00. And I said, it was
probably 7:53 and I said, “We’re not reading this because
you have to get up for school at 6:15 in the morning.” But then we read
the whole thing.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Oh.>>Juanita Giles:
We couldn’t stop. And I love that there are just
two chapters, which is awesome.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Thank you. It’s actually three,
but yeah, yeah.>>Juanita Giles: Three. I can’t remember.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Yeah.>>Juanita Giles: I just
knew we went on through. But how did you convince
a publisher to publish a 136-page
picture book?>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
It’s a good question. And I think, you know,
when I conceived of this, or when I make anything, I
never worry or am concerned with what the mainstream
will think of it. So it never occurred to
me that it was even long. And my intention when I wrote it
was truly, well, to write a book for myself and then to hopefully
give it to other people. And I just sort of in my head — I never worry about like with
anything I do, I never worry about like the — I
just worry about — I love making stuff so much
that to me it’s the journey of making something
and having faith in it. And I was just intending to self-publish it,
totally honestly. And then when I finished
it, some people saw it and they were like, “You should
go to like a big publisher.” And it was actually
sort of whispered to me that they’re not going to
want to publish it because — not by the people
that published it. But because it’s a
very long kids’ book and would I be willing to
like make it more normal or make it 30 pages to 60. To which I was like, “No.” I’m very confident to self —
I’m not — I wouldn’t ever — this is a long-winded answer. Long story short, the
book was that long and I had zero interest
in shortening it because that’s the book. And I worry less about
form or like convention than making something
from the heart. And I see it a lot, especially
in like the Hollywood world of people like, “The movie
has to be 91 minutes.” And to me a movie
just has to be good. And a movie can be one minute. I’ve seen commercials that are
as effective as two-hour movies by Russian filmmakers. And it’s like — I don’t
know why I just said Russian filmmakers, but there are
some good Russian filmmakers. [ Laughter ] You know, it’s like
my point is art is — anything can be beautiful. Length means nothing. I know that it’s unconventional,
but I also am a firm believer — everything I know about
storytelling I learned from like a film perspective. I went to film school. And to me the story
took that long. And I wanted — I
have incredible — I think it’s very important for
storytellers and entertainers to have great faith
in their audience. And I had an absolute faith
that kids wouldn’t get bored and that they would actually — my hope would be that it would
inspire kids to think, “Oh, I’m not reading like an
eight-page like booklet. I’m reading an actual book
like my dad and mom have.” And it’s a thick book and
it would give them sort of a sense of accomplishment. And the whole thing
also was conceived — stop me if I’m getting
long-winded. Literally, just tell me. I’ll never be offended.>>Juanita Giles: No,
one of my questions was, was the length important to you. And you just said, you
know, to give kids the idea that they’re reading an actual
book like an adult reads. That’s really fascinating.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Yeah,
it was sort of a two-part thing where I saw — I see this more
as like a moving picture film. And to me part of turning
the pages is what kind of propels the reader forward
and it’s part of the journey. And there’s pages where
I use the form shortly, like with one word on
a page or one sentence. And it was all meant for a
cumulative effect of a journey that hopefully kids
and adults would go on.>>Juanita Giles: Okay. Now there are a lot of
kids’ books out there now with a message, right? And that’s important. That’s really important. The messages of acceptance and
being different, and that’s, you know — I was
a little different. You look like you’re
a little different. [ Laughter ] You know, we probably would have
gotten along in high school.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
I think so.>>Juanita Giles: When I wore
my trash bags as a skirt.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
That’s cool.>>Juanita Giles: Yeah.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
That’s awesome.>>Juanita Giles: But the thing
that really sets this apart for me, Rumple Buttercup,
as far as the message, is that it’s got so much humor.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh, thank you.>>Juanita Giles: And so
many kids’ books, you know, even all the way up to YA
sort of don’t include humor as part of the equation. And I was wondering
what’s important. Did you think about
including humor? Was it intentional? Was it naturally that way? What’s the importance
of that to you?>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Humor to
me is truly the most divine gift that human beings have. And I feel like if you have
a sense of humor, you’re — like you have a superpower
to me. And anybody that’s
funny, like I just — it means everything to me. And I think it’s also
a very important tool. You know, at times Rumple’s
very sad in this book. But he always retains
his humor and I hope that that would maybe
kind of be a subtle guide to children or to adults. And again, I don’t
really think of this as a kids’ — I keep
saying kids’. I literally wrote this book as
a book that I wanted to read. And I acknowledge that kids
like it, and my hope is that other people like
it, or everyone — humans like it is my hope. And monsters and aliens. But yeah, humor is the
most important thing in the world to me. And so I don’t know that
I tried to infuse it. Also I’m not that funny,
so I don’t know that I like purposely infused it. But I know that Rumple
has a sense of humor. And everyone that I
admire in this world does. And I think it’s our best
export as human beings.>>Juanita Giles: The humor part
of it actually takes me a bit to your illustrations. Because I know that you
did all the illustrations. You designed the barcode You
did the barcode on the back.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
I handwrote the barcode. The copyright page with
a magnifying glass.>>Juanita Giles:
The copyright page.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Yeah.>>Juanita Giles:
The whole thing. Which I imagine was
quite time-consuming.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Yeah. It was incredibly
time-consuming.>>Juanita Giles: I was going
to say, I was going to say, you know, most authors don’t
get to pick their illustrator. So that must have been a very
fraught relationship for you. Because you know, to be told
you had to work with yourself, that must have been very hard.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: I’m
a control freak, so yeah, I would never — yeah,
of course I illustrated.>>Juanita Giles: Rumple
is a monster and you go to great length to describe
how that’s what he is.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Oh yeah.>>Juanita Giles:
But he’s not — the illustrations
make him less scary.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh thank you.>>Juanita Giles: And
more approachable. And I was wondering about — I
was just wondering about that. How important was it to you to
make a monster that felt not like an ugly, awful monster? I mean, he’s not. He’s — I mean he’s –>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh thank you.>>Juanita Giles: I don’t
know how a monster with an eye that is a foot and a
half from another eye –>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
He’s near-sighted.>>Juanita Giles:
Not even on the head.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Far-sighted.>>Juanita Giles:
Can be adorable. But somehow he is adorable.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh, thank you.>>Juanita Giles: You know, the disturbing aspects
are less disturbing.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh thank you, thank you.>>Juanita Giles: He’s adorable. And I was wondering, just
tell me about that, please.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: You
know, I’ve been like drawing and painting since
I could hold a pen. And I’ve never — I just,
everything I make I try to make with sincerity. And never with really
thinking much about it. And I know that — I always see
my paintings and my drawings and the stuff that I create kind of as Rorschach tests
for people. To me they’re just like
sincere interpretations of something I love, whether
it’s a monster in a drain or a dog or like a
painting of my dad. I only draw things
that I really love. And it’s kind of interesting
because, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen anything
else I’ve done besides this book.>>Juanita Giles: I have. And this is your
painting and your other — that’s what I’ve
really looked at.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Yeah.>>Juanita Giles: And this
is a bit more endearing than some of it.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh thank you.>>Juanita Giles: Some
of it is a little — no, I mean you’ve got a little
creepiness going on sometimes.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Oh,
well I take that as compliment.>>Juanita Giles: Yeah.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: And
to me it seems always more like a Rorschach to the viewer. And it’s kind of like –>>Juanita Giles: Oh dear.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: No, but I mean that’s not
a bad thing at all. And I don’t like — I’m untrained in most everything
except for filmmaking. So it’s all from
like a genuine place. And I think people kind of
can see in it what they — or my hope is that they kind
of see what they hope to see. And I do obviously
have very shaky hands which I think sometimes
makes things maybe seem like a little bit odd. But yeah, I just
— I don’t know. I just try to put
myself into everything. And hopefully it’s endearing. Also with that, to answer
your question with Rumple, it was really fascinating
and wonderful to make this. And it took a lot of
time because I notice with like the tiniest
change of any nuance, whether it’s flaring his
left nostril a millimeter or changing a slight
placement of his eye, he was able to express
so much emotion. And it’s integral to the book. As a storyteller
I consider myself like 60% a visual
storyteller and 40% like a written storyteller. So I always sort of
err on the side of — and I learned a lot of
this in film school, of like always show the audience
instead of tell the audience. So the illustrations in
Rumple, I wanted so many pages where like — and a lot of
the final changes I made on the book were taking
out the words and making it so much more impactful
I think of a character. If you can make the audience
an active participant in feeling what the character
feels, whether it’s rumple just like with a sad face looking,
you don’t hopefully need to say, “Rumple was sad.” And that was always my
intention, was to make it as stark and sort of like a
silent film, was how I kind of approach this and a
lot of everything I do. And then adding the words
where they can highlight. But I’ll stop talking now. For someone that
talks about starkness, I just gave a 45-minute answer. That’s so great.>>Juanita Giles: That’s okay.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: But I was flaring my left
nostril a millimeter the entire time, so it’s cool. It translates, right?>>Juanita Giles: Which is your
favorite picture in the book? Do you have one?>>Matthew Gray Gubler: I do. I really love Rumple so much. I’m like –>>Juanita Giles: I think
they might too, actually.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh, thank you.>>Juanita Giles: They
seem like they do.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
My favorite — I mean my favorite
actually is at the very end when he has the wind blowing
in his three wispy hairs. I can’t quite find it. But I just — I don’t know. I love his feeling of
knowing — here it is. It’s on — It’s sort of — I know, there’s
no page numbers on purpose. I know. It’s just this sort of
satisfied look of warmth in his heart at the very end.>>Juanita Giles:
I know you want to read some before we
take some questions maybe from the audience,
maybe a couple. But I have one of my very
own questions for you. And that is, the sugar.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Oh yes.>>Juanita Giles: I’m
worried about your diet. Because everything in the –>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Laffy-Taffy for breakfast, cotton candy for lunch.>>Juanita Giles: I’m serious.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: I’m
the guy from that movie Elf.>>Juanita Giles: You
really seem to have a thing with sugar in this book. Can you talk a little bit about
all of the references to sugar?>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
There is some sugar.>>Juanita Giles: And your mom
is out there and I don’t know if you ate candy a lot as
a child, if you snuck it. She’s saying no.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
My mom is –>>Juanita Giles:
Were you denied candy?>>Matthew Gray Gubler: My mom interestingly is
probably the only person since the Civil War that — and I mean no disrespect
to the holiday, so don’t even think what I’m about to say is disrespectful
to Halloween. My mother loves candy corn. Which I love the
appearance of candy corn. Not crazy about the taste.>>Juanita Giles:
That was my question. One of them was my question.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Sorry.>>Juanita Giles: Why do they
love Candy Corn Carl so much when so many kids
hate candy corn? Kids hate candy corn.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh, that’s funny. But you know, it’s an old — I don’t know, it’s
not for everybody.>>Juanita Giles: It’s all waxy.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Sugar
for me, I don’t eat a lot. What’s funny is I’m not a sugar
fanatic or I don’t think I am. I don’t eat a lot of candy. But every Saturday night since
I was probably 11 I eat a pint of ice cream alone. [ Laughter ] So that’s probably
a lot of sugar. But anybody else do that? By the way, I highly
encourage it. Yeah. Awesome. Every Saturday night. It started when I was young. I just love — I love
eating a pint of ice cream. And I found that like I’m
superstitious about two things. It’s that and mismatched socks. When I don’t eat a
pint of ice cream on a Saturday night
alone, it’s a weird week. I think it’s weird because my
stomach’s not in pain, probably.>>Juanita Giles: It’s
not rum raisin, is it?>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
I love rum raisin.>>Juanita Giles: No.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: I know. I’m like — I know. Wait, I met Ray Bradbury
by the way. You guys ever heard
of Ray Bradbury?>>Juanita Giles: Oh wow.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
One of my idols, one of my favorite authors. But he loves ice cream as well. And I got to ask him what
his favorite ice cream was. And he said peppermint
and rum raisin. I like it. My favorite is butter pecan. I like all ice cream,
don’t get me wrong. But butter pecan is
probably my favorite. Rumple’s color was based on mint
chip ice cream, and that’s sort of part of the inspiration
of Rumple too.>>Juanita Giles: So
non-organic mint ice cream.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Exactly.>>Juanita Giles: That’s right. Again, I worry about your diet. I do worry.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Only Saturdays you should
worry about my diet. I eat a lot of cashews
otherwise.>>Juanita Giles: Oh good.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Yeah.>>Juanita Giles: Well, would
you like to read a little bit.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Does
anybody want to hear a story? [ Applause ] I would be honored. Oh my gosh. Oh thank you.>>Juanita Giles: I
can leave the stage and allow you to
move as you wish.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Whatever you prefer to do. I want to read it to you.>>Juanita Giles: I don’t
want to get — oh yes.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Yes.>>Juanita Giles: You
were going to read to me.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: You’ve
never had a story read to you.>>Juanita Giles: That’s right.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: I’m going to read
to you, all of you.>>Juanita Giles: Thank you. Right.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh my gosh. I’m excited. Do you guys want to
hear Rumple Buttercup? [ Applause ] Oh my goodness. Oh, well I’m so honored. And is it true, did I hear
a rumor — oh my gosh. Seeing yourself on screen
— what’s up with my hair? [ Laughter ] It’s crazy. I look insane.>>Juanita Giles: You look good.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Oh, thank you. It really seems like I’m fishing
for — I really am like — yeah. You look great too, thank you. Thank you. Oh, I see the screen. Oh, and do we have
— is it true? Oh good, we have a
visual thing too.>>Juanita Giles:
Do we have a water? Let me see. I think I have one
in my bag down there.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
How mobile is this thing? Can I walk — oh
yeah, this is good. Does anybody have a
book I can borrow? Can I borrow your book? Oh, thank you. Thank you so much. Wow. This is great. How has his festival
been for everybody? Good? Exciting? [ Applause ] Oh, I’m getting a
ten-minute warning. Wait, wait. I’m going to go fast. I’m going to lose the — wait,
I’m going to start the book. All right. You’re so sweet. If we run out of time, we’ll go
to the parking lot and do this. I kid you not. I’m more than happy to do that. [ Applause ] This book is dedicated to
all the Rumples everywhere. I feel like there’s a few
of us in the audience.>>Juanita Giles: Yep. [ Applause ]>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
And it begins — question, can we put
the book on the screen? Or is that — oh good. To the beginning? Yeah. And is there a way —
is it easiest — should I — this is like Inception. No, it’s like that Memento. It’s that Christopher
Nolan film. You’ve seen the middle
before you see the end. And then you’re seeing
the beginning and then you’re seeing this
thing which I have no idea. That’s a different book. [ Laughter ] That’s amazing. That’s cool. It’s all good, whatever. I’m going to read the book. Is it easy if I change it? Oh, there we go. I like to have a lot of dead
air in my presentations. They tell you in
presentation school, which I never went
to, to always — Ladies and gentlemen —
all right, this is great. Next? Is this the next button? I present to you — I’ll give
you your book back, don’t worry. It was you, thank you. Rumple Buttercup by me. Matthew Gray Gubler — Gubler. [ Applause ] Oh thank you. Come close and I will
tell you a story. By the way, in case
people didn’t pick it up, this is Rumple himself as a grandfather telling
the story to all of you. Did anybody grab that? Was that too esoteric? Okay, good. My hope was that on the fifth
read people would get that. Chapter one. Once upon a time,
long ago and far away, in a tiny town beneath a
purple-peaked pine tree there lived a monster named
Rumple Buttercup. He had five crooked teeth,
three strands of hair, green scaly skin and his
left foot was slightly bigger than his right foot,
11% to be exact. He was weird. And so Rumple worried that
if anyone ever saw him, they would be scared. Did I scare you? Run away. If I had a microphone
that could move, I would run. Run away, or throw
rocks at his head. So he spent his entire
life hiding underground in a rain drain right
by a garbage can — also known as a sewer,
tell your children. Right by a garbage can
in the middle of town where no one would ever see him but where he could still see
them, laughing and playing, singing and dancing, walking
dogs and jumping rope. But most of all,
not being weird. This person has lots
of straight teeth. This lady has more than
three strands of hair. He has no green skin. That guy has perfectly
proportioned feet and that little dog
is cute and fluffy. Living underground
wasn’t all bad though. Rumple made the most of it, and he had a nice
little home he decorated with old garbage he
found in the can outside. Rumple’s home had a
tin can chandelier. It had a broken umbrella
toe-scratcher. An old-fashioned garbage
chair with roller skate wheels and rusted radio headset. Does anybody have
one of those at home?>>Yeah.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
That’s good. I thought a lot of us do,
so that’s why I included it. And a footstool made entirely
out of bubblegum and beans. There he lived day
— I skipped a page. Don’t worry about it. I wrote it. I memorized it. There he lived day after
day, week after week, year after year, alone. So one day — Candy Corn Carl, can you join me on
stage from Tokyo? Oh, are you filming? You can also just —
you don’t have to. Just stand up. This is good. Or you’re good. Stay there. I tried. [ Laughter ] We have a Candy Corn Carl. So one day he — oh, come on up. This’ll be fun. Be in it. You’ll
want to be in this. Have your friend film it, yeah. This is going to be great. I’m making you all work now. You like this? Could someone help me up here? So one day Rumple
reached in the garbage can and he took two lollipops,
a piece of chewed gum, three strands of spaghetti,
some melted licorice rope, a petrified pretzel, a
handful of candy corn and a wonderful girl from Tokyo. [ Laughter ] And he created Candy Corn Carl. Thank you. Thank you so much. Even though Candy Corn Carl
was just a bunch of old candy that Rumple had glued
to the wall, Candy Corn Carl was Rumple’s
best friend in the world. And he would talk to him for
hours a day saying things like, “What have you been
up to, Carl?” But Carl never replied. “Okay, well, hang
in there, Carl. [ Laughter ] Get it? Hang in there,
because you’re hung on a wall?” If Carl was real, he probably
would have like that joke. But since Carl was just
a bunch of candy glued to a wall, Carl just stared. When Rumple wasn’t building
stuff out of garbage or talking to Candy Corn Carl, he
would listen to the voices above ground and pretend
they were talking to him. With his eyes shut really tight,
it was as if he was part of all of the fun happening above. People would say things like —
can you see the screen there? Do you want to be that voice?>>Which one?>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
This one.>>Can anyone get my cat
out of that tall tree?>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Wonderful. “I can.” And, “Wow, those
are some great dance moves.” “Thanks.” Hang in
there I said to him. Hahahaha. But when he opened
his eyes he would remember that it was all just a dream and
no one was ever talking to him. Sometimes at night, if
the moon wasn’t too bright and if Rumple was
feeling adventurous, he would go above
ground with the help of a very special disguise. Is there a kid in the
audience who wants — oh, you! Do you mind coming on
stage and reading Rumple’s above ground disguise
instructions for us? I can tell already
you’re a great reader, and you have a great
banana on your head. [ Applause ] Okay, I just got a five-minute
warning, but don’t worry. If you’re present in
the present moment, five minutes can feel
like an eternity. Come up and join me. What’s your name?>>River.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: River. Let’s hear it for River. [ Applause ] River. I know you’re
a great reader. Do you want to read
this part with me? Do you want to read Rumple’s above ground disguise
instructions? Step one.>>Get a banana peel
out of the garbage can.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Amazing. Step two.>>Put it on head.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Just like you’ve
done here, wonderful. Step three.>>Close eyes.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Step four.>>Slither head up the drain
and sit very, very still.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Incredible. Let’s hear it for River. That was amazing. Thank you so much. Thank you for joining me. Thank you, River. I just learned the word slither
when I was in eighth grade, so I’m very impressed
by that, River. You’re very talented. He would sit there lying
quietly by the garbage can. No one would notice him. And if anyone ever did, they would just think
he was a pile of trash. [ Laughter ] So sad. You’ve got to take
the audience on a journey. You’ve got to make
them feel the lows so the highs magnify
that much greater. Hidden under his banana peel, Rumple almost felt
like he was normal. Year after year with
his eyes shut tight, he would feel the breeze
of the changing seasons. Can we do a breeze noise? I’m going to start here. Yeah, I’m going to
run it this way. Ready? When I start to
move, let’s do the breeze. He would feel the breeze
of the changing seasons. [ Breeze noise ] I can’t explain how awesome
that was for me to hear. I don’t know if you
guys heard it, but in my position
it sounded great. In October he would hear
the crunching leaves and almost taste
the apple cider. In December he would hum along with the passing carolers,
fa-la-la-la-la-la-la. Two minutes left until
I get kicked off stage. And in July he would
imagine beautiful fireworks. But at the end of the day
he was all still alone. Chapter two. I’m going for it. I’m going to go until
you pull me. [ Laughter ] The leaves were turning green
which meant [inaudible]. At the annual cotton candy
pancake pajama jamboree right on the 17th day of summer,
everyone in town would wake up late, put their pajamas
on, and march to the center of town singing, dancing, lighting fireworks while
eating giant bushels of cotton candy pancakes. But Rumple loved
that day most of all because that was the one day of the year he could actually
go out in the daylight. With all the noise
and commotion, no one would ever notice him
as long as he had his disguise. After a whole year of waiting,
do I hear 45 in the audience? 45? 46? 47? 48? 49? After a whole
year of waiting, the day was almost here. It was the night before. Rumple was so excited
he could hardly sleep. He woke up early, brushed
his five crooked teeth, combed his three
wispy hairs, slowly, carefully slithered his long
green hand up the rain drain to find a banana peel. But — [ Laughter ] The garbage can was empty. Nothing in there but gum stains. There was no banana peel. “Oh no,” thought Rumple. “I’m going to miss the cotton
candy pajama pancake jamboree. I can’t go above ground
without my disguise or people will think I’m weird.” So he lowered his
head and cried. Cry with me. And cried. Ah! And cried some more. Cry loud. Cry loud, loud, loud. When anybody asks you, say Matthew Gray
Gubler made you all cry. [ Laughter ] And that is when he
heard — chapter three. Do we stop? One minute. “Aren’t you going to watch
the parade this year?” I usually have a
kid read this part but we’ll go fast this time. Rumple couldn’t believe it. Candy Corn Carl [inaudible]. No, oh, this kid’s
talking to him. I’m going to paraphrase. And then he heard another voice. You guys have read
the book, right?>>Yes.>>Matthew Gray Gubler: Okay. A little bit louder this time. “Can you hear me
down there, mister?” The voice wasn’t coming
from Candy Corn Carl. The voice was coming
from the rain drain. Someone above ground
was talking to him! “Sorry to bother you, but
we were just wondering if you’re going to watch
the parade this year.” Rumple sheepishly replied,
“What do you mean?” “He couldn’t help by notice that
you weren’t in the usual spot so I thought I would check
to make sure you were okay.” “You can see me?” “Of course we can see you. You’re kind of hard to miss.” “But aren’t you scared of me?” Then a different voice replied,
“Why would we be scared of you?” “Because I have five crooked
teeth, three strand of hair, green scaly skin, my left foot’s
slightly bigger than my right. I’m weird.” “Well, look at me,”
replied the boy. Now the boy kind of shows him that he has some
insecurities of his own. I’m going to paraphrase to
do this in like ten seconds. He’s covered in freckles. He’s got red hair, he’s got
metal on his teeth, braces. Rumple’s like, “Wow.” The older guy’s like,
“Well look at me. I’ve got really thick glasses
and a speech impediment and blah, blah, blah.” And all the sudden Rumple
didn’t feel so alone. He moved closer to
the rain drain. He got up on his tiptoes. He looked out into
Washington DC at this Costco that we’re at right now. And he saw the entire
city looking down. Wrap it up. I got it. I see the sign. “My hair is too curly.” All these people are like, “I got all these
things with me, man.” “My hair’s too straight.” “I’m allergic to dogs.” “I’m taller than my brother.” “I’m shorter than
my little sister.” “My toes look like
tiny carrots.” “I can’t grow a mustache.” “Peanuts make my face turn red.” “I look like a frog.” “I sing like a frog.” “People are rude to me.” And that’s when Rumple
realized everybody –>>Is weird.>>Matthew Gray Gubler:
Is weird. Thank you. And that’s what makes us great. Thank you so much. [ Applause ] Thank you, thank you, thank
you, thank you, thank you. I love you all. Thank you for joining me in the world’s fastest
reading of Rumple Buttercup. I love you all. It means so much to me.

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