Vincent Kartheiser: ENTx (LIE?); or IEE-Ne? / LSE-Te??

The character he portrays on Mad Men seems to be a Te-dominant (possibly LIE, which a few people on the Mad Men thread have already suggested over the years). I think Alexis Bledel is ESI or EII. At the moment I’m leaning towards ENTj (LIE) for Vincent Kartheiser, and not just because of [his character on] Mad Men. Based on what I’ve read about him, he seems like an ENXx type. If he’s ENTj, I’m not sure about subtype—maybe Normalizing or Dominant, perhaps LIE-Ni? Or he could be LIE-Te... So regarding that, I don’t know.

- from dwell [magazine, November 2013]; p. 115 [“Inside the Actor’s Studio” (by Aaron Britt)]: It’s a story as old as the movies — actor moves to L.A., hits it big, and buys himself a Hollywood manse. But iconoclastic Mad Men star Vincent Kartheiser, a Minnesota native, who purchased his own little slice of Tinseltown in 2003, didn’t entirely follow the script. Instead of going big — Hollywood land baron and Reconstruction-era California senator Cornelius Cole’s turn-of-the-20th-century mansion is just around the corner — he went small, buying and moving into a 580-square-foot cabin.

Astoundingly, the diminutive space was carved into a variety of rooms, something that the actor endured until he commenced a partnership with designer and builder Funn Roberts in 2010. Kartheiser, often in motion and prone to exuberant outbursts, and Roberts, tall, fair, and soft-spoken, tease and jab each other like old men in a barbershop as they recall the highlights of their ongoing enterprise; which, fittingly, started at the front door.

“I had this really terrible wooden front door,” recalls Kartheiser. “And Funn was like, ‘We’ve gotta get rid of it.’” Eventually they did, replacing it with a steel-and-glass one, of Robert’s design, that would set the aesthetic tone for the rest of the renovation. From there, the two were off to the races, cooking up smart, space-saving ideas—and finding ways to realize them—in what Kartheiser calls a “Japanese-industrial” style.

“What often happens in our relationship is I come to Funn with an idea and then he makes it into something that’s actually livable,” says Kartheiser. “Because I have these thoughts that seem really interesting, but they’re not really good for real life.” If Kartheiser is the mad visionary — not every notion hits, like a shower for the middle of the living room inspired by the 2008 film Synecdoche, New York — then Roberts is the will-it-actually-work craftsman, finding ways to translate his collaborator’s impulses into reality.

- p. 116: “We kind of had this idea at the same time, actually,” says Kartheiser. “We both said, ‘What if we [suspended the bed]?’ Then we just had to figure out how we were going to do it.” The idea of a Murphy bed was scotched because of the space it would take up on the wall. Now Kartheiser just lifts up and pulls down the bed whenever he wants it....

Kartheiser did opt for a handful of design classics to round out his decor. He’s had his Eames lounge chair and ottoman, by Herman Miller, for years, but the keen eye of his fiancée, actress Alexis Bledel, has upped the furniture game in the living room; she selected a couch and coffee table by Cisco Home, purchased at HD Buttercup.

“It’s been really nice since Alexis has come on to the scene,” quips Roberts, razzing Kartheiser about how much homier his place is now that he’s not the sole decorator. Though he’s quick to fire off a retort, Kartheiser also concedes that his home, and home life, is better for help from his friends.

“I believe that whenever you’re hiring an artist, and Funn is an artist, he’s going to do his best work if he’s trusted,” says Kartheiser. “You trust the artist and you don’t micromanage him.”

‘Not surprisingly, given the epic nuance of his characterisation – he likes to refer to Mad Men as "a 700-page novel" – he confesses to having been obsessed with Russian literature between the ages of about 13 and 17. "I was a nut for Dostoevsky . . . .”’

Kartheiser, like his characters, seems to invite psychoanalysis, partly because, you guess, he rarely stops analysing himself. He's given up on therapy, he says, "because though I like generally to be healthy in my life, I sometimes like to be unhealthy in my thoughts and my actions." A Vanity Fair profile recently followed him on to the set of Mad Men where he was, unsurprisingly on the evidence of our interview, the noisiest of presences: "Between shots, Kartheiser pinwheels around the set, teasing the crew and other actors or loudly psyching himself up for the next shot. It's a funny kind of psyching up. 'What's wrong with me! Fuck life in the ass,' he shouts after one take. 'I'm off today – I know it! I know it! Don't bullshit me,' he yells after another. 'I wish I could be anyone on earth but me!' As a colleague says, 'It's kind of unusual, but it works for him. It's what Vincent needs to do to lose his self-consciousness.'"