Ben Barnes Talks Working with "Fascinating" Crispin Glover (Exclusive)

Ben Barnes was part of a stellar lineup of talent in Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities, but worked with no big name more closely than Crispin Glover. The Back to the Future and Willard star is notoriously quirky, from the scripts he chooses to the way he approaches his art, but many of his former castmates have a lot of praise for his calculated, offbeat performances. The two appeared together in one of the installments in the horror anthology series, and Barnes said that while they had very different approaches to some things, he loved watching Glover work.

In the episode Pickman's Model: Barnes (Shadow and Bone), Glover (Rivers Edge), and Oriana Leman (The Whale) star in an episode written by Lee Patterson (Curve),based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft, and directed by Keith Thomas (Firestarter). Art student Will meets introvert Richard, whose terrifying works of art begin to have a deeply disturbing effect on Will's sense of reality.

"His curiosity and his knowledge -- you can bring up any subject and he will have some connection to it," Barnes told's Chris Killian. "I think he's deeply fascinated by this kind of macabre imagery as well, and in using his own imagination to express the darker side of things, sometimes in complete antithesis to what he believes about a particualr subject or opinion, which I think is such a compelling and bold way to attack art. He takes a very long time over making his art. We're interested in the connections between people, and we would sit there for a long time when we're rehearsing scenes to discuss, who would open the door for whom in this particular scene, and how long would they stand there? Is it uncomfortable? Do they understand each other in this moment? Those are the things that I'm interested in, but I think for different reasons."

He added that, like everyone else, he couldn't quite put some of Glover's more iconic roles completely out of his head, so he managed to use that to inform their dynamic.

"Back to the Future is a huge movie for me," Barnes admitted. "To have him be a sort of an icon in that way, from that performance, I think helped me see Pickman in [another] light, which was useful. Then for him to be so knowledgeable and curious, and his approaches and attitudes to things were sometimes so odd to me, that I found his character work so compelling. The walk, the accent, all of that stuff was just fascinating, but then to find things that you had common ground on was also very rewarding."

You can catch Cabinet of Curiosities now on Netflix.