Twin Peaks actors gush about film-maker David Lynch

Cast members of Twin Peaks, including Kyle MacLachlan and Naomi Watts, say they were frequently asked what it was like to work with director David Lynch (above).
Cast members of Twin Peaks, including Kyle MacLachlan and Naomi Watts (above), say they were frequently asked what it was like to work with director David Lynch.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Cast members of Twin Peaks, including Kyle MacLachlan and Naomi Watts, say they were frequently asked what it was like to work with director David Lynch (above).
Cast members of Twin Peaks, including Kyle MacLachlan and Naomi Watts, say they were frequently asked what it was like to work with director David Lynch (above).PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SAN DIEGO • The characters in David Lynch's reboot of Twin Peaks might be able to get away with cold-blooded murder, but the actors on the show cannot get away with not sticking to the script.

Doing so is guaranteed to get the iconic film-maker in a foul mood.

Kyle MacLachlan, who stars in Twin Peaks, related an anecdote over the weekend at San Diego Comic-Con involving co-star Jim Belushi.

"In one scene, everything was going crazy and Jim decided he was going to ad-lib a line in this heightened moment of euphoria, which he did," MacLachlan recounted.

"And we heard 'Cut'.

"David has a megaphone and he said: 'Mr Belushi. Do I have to report you to the principal's office?'

"And Jim went: 'No sir. Got it.'"

MacLachlan was with cast members Naomi Watts, Tim Roth and Matthew Lillard at a panel discussion on the surreal Showtime series led by moderator Damon Lindelof, producer for ABC's Lost.

They gushed about how much they loved working with the enigmatic film-maker - and also revealed some secrets about his directing process.

All agreed that of all the questions they receive about the show from Twin Peaks fans and the media, they were most frequently asked what it was like to work with Lynch, 71.

"He has this incredible sense of joy about him... He has this peace about him that is unlike anything I've ever experienced and he has a vision of what he wants," Lillard said.

Lynch's famously surreal noir soap opera about murder in small-town America returned in May after 26 years away, for a new 18-episode run in perhaps the most eagerly anticipated television event of the year.

Watts, who begged to be on the revival after starring in Lynch's 2001 neo-noir mystery Mulholland Drive, confessed to still getting a little star-struck around him.

Lynch received a Best Director Oscar nomination for that movie.

"You just kind of want to please him in everything you do," she said, before becoming slightly flushed and clarifying: "On set!"

"He creates an incredibly imaginative world. It's so original and you just want to join that world at whatever cost," she added.

Noted MacLachlan: "His belief in his process and his vision and his point of view is so profound and focused and he inspires me that way because he follows this dream in his mind.

"I find that inspirational in my life, to go after the thing I believe in the strongest."

Lillard recalled the odd casting process that got him selected for the part of William Hastings - a well-regarded high school principal with a secret.

"You sit in a room and someone talks to you and they put a video camera on your face and you just talk about life in general," he said.

"Then you get a phone call saying 'I want you to come and read these pages.'"

The cast was typically secretive over plot points and not forthcoming when it came to analysing the show's meaning.

One audience member who had never seen Twin Peaks asked the actors to "describe it in a nutshell".

"Just throw the nut away," MacLachlan said.

"Keep the shell," Watts joked.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2017, with the headline 'Twin Peaks actors gush about film-maker David Lynch'. Print Edition | Subscribe