Coat and shirt by Dolce & Gabbana; jeans by Tom Ford; shoes by Gucci; mohair rug by RH, Restoration Hardware.
As one of David Lynch’s regular players, MacLachlan has learned not to parse the material for meaning—just as he’s learned not to demand too much explanation from his director. This, he admits, he learned the hard way. “On Dune, I was rabid. I drove David to madness,” he says. “And finally he closed the door on me.” He offers no detailed analysis of what has transpired over the show’s 16 episodes so far, and I get the sense that my intuition—to focus less on the meaning and more on the form—is the best way to experience it.
Instead, he accepts that there’s a purpose to everything he’s done, simply because Lynch has created it. He offers an explanation for the director’s working relationship with Mark Frost, who is certainly more grounded in his craft. “Mark is the kind of writer who says there needs to be reason and process,” he explains. Lynch, on the other hand, pays closer attention to theme and ideas—particularly where evil comes from, how it corrupts innocent men and women as it spreads like a virus, and where to put it in order to keep it contained. “I don’t think David feels compelled to resolve everything by any means, maybe because of the idea that it’s ongoing and we’ll pick it back up if we have to,” he says, pointing to the differences in the way Lynch and Frost attack the material. “Maybe that’s why they get together once every 25 years,” he laughs.
At the end of the day, the return of Twin Peaks is almost enough of a treat for MacLachlan as much as, I’d suggest, the people who are tuning in each week. “It’s like a weird high school reunion,” he says, and I think that the people who either watched it when it first aired or throughout the years on DVD or streaming on Netflix might say the same thing.
“I don’t think David feels compelled to resolve everything by any means, maybe because of the idea that it’s ongoing and we’ll pick it back up if we have to.”
Working with Lynch again has been a delight, MacLachlan says, as has acting for the first time with fellow Lynch muse Naomi Watts. And, naturally, he speaks with visible exuberance about seeing Laura Dern on set again 30 years after they starred in Blue Velvet together. Dern plays Diane, the previously unseen assistant to Agent Cooper who would receive his daily briefings in the original series; she steals every scene with a sharp, bitter tongue and a platinum blonde bob wig. “Laura and I have traveled this road together a long time,” MacLachlan says. “We love David very much, and we get a real kick out of each other.”
But seeing Dern interact with Lynch, who directed her in Wild at Heart and Inland Empire, showed MacLachlan a different side to his friend and director. “They tease each other a lot—David and I don’t really tease each other!” he laughs. “I mean, we get along, we have fun, we have a laugh. But I never felt that comfortable, you know? I wondered, how does she do that?” MacLachlan says that he and Dern aren’t unlike siblings, realizing that their individual relationships to their father is surprisingly different.
Coat by Acne Studios; turtleneck by Calvin Klein 205W39NYC.
Ultimately, MacLachlan is grateful for the opportunity to play this character again, and he’s grateful for the fans for keeping the spirit of Twin Peaks alive. (“I think the fans played a big part of this,” he says of the revival.) He feels like he’s a part of something bigger, a piece of moving art that is ripe for interpretation and inspiration as much as it is entertaining. And, as always, he guides me to understanding how it falls within David Lynch’s worldview, as well: “David tells me, ‘Everything is Twin Peaks. It’s all Twin Peaks,'” he says. “These stories continue—that’s the whole thing. Everybody kept living and going on and doing their thing. It never stopped. Now we’re picking it up again, 25 years later. Who knows if we’ll pick them up again down the road, I don’t know.”
Before I’m even able to ask the final question—either because he knows it’s coming, or simply because his answer is so obvious for him—he gives a sly smile when he responds.
“Would you do it again, down the road?”
“Oh, yes. In a minute.”