In a profile of The Box director Richard Kelly, N.Y. Times contributor Ari Karpel writes that his “trippy films” — Donnie Darko, Southland Tales — “have made people assume he’s like Edward Scissorhands living up in some weird castle.” Says Kelly: “That’s certainly not who I am.”

“In person Mr. Kelly comes across like a former fraternity guy, his torn jeans and gelled hair complementing a T-shirt that reveals an obsessive weightlifter. ‘My dream is to be able to have thought-recognition software that, as I’m exercising, will just write the script,’ he said.

“His Twitter feed (with more than 5,000 followers) has revealed his love of University of Southern California football, beer pong and the Coen brothers’ movie A Serious Man. (‘Oy vey! This goy is beyond smitten!’ he tweeted.)

“Everyone interviewed for this article mentioned the dissonance within Mr. Kelly. ‘A contradiction would imply something that would be understood,” Jake Gyllenhaal said, ‘two things that would be a yin and a yang. He’s not that.’ Mr. Gyllenhaal then took a moment to formulate an accurate description. ‘I sometimes feel like he’s out of the mind of John Hughes. He’s like the missing character in ‘The Breakfast Club.'”