Rich, artistic, and often nuttier than a hazel tree near an Adderall factory sewer grate, celebrities are the perfect demographic for becoming eccentric collectors. In the past, we've talked about how Tom Hanks is cuckoo for vintage typewriters, Dave Bautista has more lunchboxes than a forgetful second-grader, and Nicholas Cage is such an eccentric hoarder that he buys just about anything expensive he can, including dinosaur skulls. But of all the weirdo obsessive actors out there, it turns out that lovable goofball and everyman John C. Reilly has the most twisted, sinister collection of them all: clown paintings.
In a recent interview with GQ, everyone's favorite "I have no idea what kind of movie this is based on his presence" actor opened up about his pastimes. To hear him tell it, he basically has only two hobbies: cruising around LA's roller skate rinks looking like the goofiest of dads and maintaining an eldritch portal into a realm of chaos and madness, also known as his collection of amateur clown paintings. To be clear, these are not paintings of amateur clowns, but paintings of clowns done by regular people. And we're not sure if that makes it less or more creepy.
Reilly's fascination with clowns came at an early age, when he was trained by his church group in the art of clowning and was sent out to nursing homes -- which is one way to keep the elderly population in check. The actor claims that clowning taught him the true essence of being a performer, allowing him to make peace with the existential absurdity of both being a widely praised dramatic character actor and the guy Will Ferrell bounces his fart jokes off. The macabre collection came many years later, when in the '90s he received his very first clown canvas as a birthday present from his wife. Over the years, Reilly has gathered up over 100 clown paintings (his preferred ones are the old, faded portraits from the '50s and '60s for optimal nightmare fuel efficiency), which he found by visiting vintage shops and eventually going online and scouring eBay. We can't imagine all the government watchlists he must be on by now.
For the sanity of his family, Reilly isn't allowed to keep any of his ghastly artwork in the house. Instead, all hundred-plus clowns are hung and hidden around his office. Unfortunately, that office is also their guest house, so if you're ever in the position to have a sleepover at John C. Reilly's house, we hope you like falling asleep to the distant echoing of squeaky shoes and mirthless chuckling.
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Bawitdaba, pass the green beans.
Going for that 16th minute.