Top 5 Hot Nerd Creative Types

A filmmaker who encapsulates how hard it is to be white and emo, a public radio icon/self-confessed atheist and a performance artist who straps dead fish to her arms.

All of these people make things that are nice to look at while being nice to look at.

In other words, these five nerd-looking and/or -acting artists provide the creative field with some hot nerd action.

(By the way, musicians aren't included in this list.)

5. Miranda July Looking distraught and like your life is super hard is way popular these days. July, a McSweeney's and indie-film standby, is a master of this, whether it's in written form (Dave Eggers's publishing house announced yesterday via its e-mail newsletter that her It Chooses You is now available for public consumption), on screen (Me and You and Everyone We Know, The Future) or the way the curly-haired cultivator of emo nerdness always seems to look she needs a hug.

4. Ira Glass The son of an accountant and psychologist/infidelity researcher had no choice but to grow up nerd-tastic. What distances the This American Life host from other radio personalities is that the 52-year-old doesn't have a face made for radio.

3. Emily Johnson Originally from Alaska, the Native American performance artist (who sometimes straps dead fish to her arms in the name of art) may not immediately strike you with nerdgasm. But as she demonstrated during The Thank-you Bar performance at DiverseWorks in April -- the piece ended with a vest-sporting Johnson "drowning herself" and her Native American identity in a kiddy pool filled with dead leaves -- girl definitely delivers material that's nerd hot.

2. Marisha Pessl In her debut novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Pessl crafted a story about a nomadic professor and her daughter in the form of (nerd alert!) an English literature course syllabus, complete with (super nerd alert!) references as footnotes. During a 2006 reading, Pessl told the crowd that she had written the book in (super über nerd alert!) Excel spreadsheets at her corporate job, just so the boss man/woman wouldn't call her out for doing non-work work at work. Urban legend has it that the first printings of Special Topics didn't include an author photo because Penguin didn't want Pessl's gorgeousness to taint the reader's view.

1. Crispin Glover One of the biggest movie creepsters is also a stalker of nerd hot, ranging from the outfits he wore as an antisocial goon in Trent Harris's cult classic Rubin and Ed to his rat-fixated mannerisms in Willard. Some weirdos may also find it hot that What Is It?, a 2005 film directed by Glover, features a cast of actors with Down syndrome as well as porn stars.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >