With the networks and streaming services wrapping up their 2019 Emmy Awards "For Your Consideration" events, writer/director David Lynch sat down for an intensely intimate and informative interview. Over the course of his time speaking with Deadline Hollywood, the co-creative force behind Showtime's Twin Peaks: The Return finally answered a number of the lingering questions haunting Twin Peaks fans since the finale of the 18-part series – including the final fate of Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and Laura (Sheryl Lee).
Just kidding! This is Lynch, so if you came looking for answers like those then I'd suggest you look elsewhere (or turn to some self-produced fanfic) – but he did offer his thoughts on a number of topics related to Twin Peaks; how television has reignited his passion for filmmaking; and the overall creative process.
Here are some of the highlights:
● On the theory that Lynch "learned his lesson" from the second season of Twin Peaks and deliberately went with a slower, more methodical approach to Twin Peaks: The Return, the director isn't having any of it:
"Ideas came. I guess you could just say…I always say ideas dictate everything. Ideas came, and this is what the ideas presented. Just focusing on Twin Peaks, these things came out for us, and there they were."
● Speaking of that second season and the accusations that Twin Peaks had lost its way, Lynch acknowledges that the series went in directions he didn't want it to go: "For me, the pilot—the original pilot—is Twin Peaks, and this one here is Twin Peaks." Sharing his views on why the show changed direction, Lynch continued, "Well, what happens in television, I think, is, there are different directors, different writers, and it's just the way things go. It drifts away. This hopefully brought it back into a true world of Twin Peaks."
● For Lynch, getting as many of his "regulars" back was key to the show's return after so many years – so he took personal approach to getting the "band" back together:
"I called all the regulars, or most everyone, and I had a chat. These people are like family, so it was so beautiful calling them and talking to them again and getting together like for a family reunion. The regular casting process went from there, with all the new people. And, as you know, there was about 235 cast in this film. I would've liked to work with all of the originals–like you say, some of them had passed away–but I'd say 99 percent were there ready, willing and able to go to work."
With Lynch being Lynch, it probably came as no surprise to any of them that he wasn't interested in discussing the actual story: "I didn't ever talk about the story or anything, just their willingness to get back in the world. They all know their characters, they know the world, and they love the world like me. It was so beautiful. I'm telling you—it was a lovefest."
● As for any actors out there looking to work with the filmmaker and love improvising, Lynch has a message for you:
"I don't believe in… what do you call it? Improvisation. You follow the script to the letter, but at the same time, you're always on guard for new things. So, on the day, when everybody comes there, and they're dressed properly, and the set is right, and everything is just exactly right, sometimes things can take off in other directions. But mostly, it's a matter of following the script."
● While MacLachlan has been one of his main go-to actors for nearly forty years, Lynch felt that the actor hadn't been challenged in the past in the same way Twin Peaks: The Return did – and that MacLachlan did not disappoint:
"I've known Kyle since 1982, I think. Kyle is like my brother. It's just so easy to work with him. He had, I think he said, never had that kind of challenge before: to overcome so many characters and find those things. But it was in the script. There was a little bit of trial and error in the beginning, in rehearsing, but Kyle found those guys, each one, and they're all so different. It was very, very beautiful what came out of Kyle."
● What about the 800 lb. tea-kettle-that's-not-a-tea-kettle in the room? Is Lynch finished with Twin Peaks? "Well, for right now, you could say I don't want to talk about that. If I don't want to talk about it, I can't even answer that."