Secrecy is the acclaimed filmmaker’s specialty. Lynch would not allow any advance screeners of the series to be sent to critics, and approved only crumbs of new footage to be seen in trailers. That strict no-spoilers policy means absolutely no hints of what’s in store.
Nonetheless, even a quick chat with Lynch doesn’t disappoint. Beyond a glimpse into the mind behind haunting work like “Mulholland Drive,” “Blue Velvet,” and “Eraserhead,” an interview with the auteur also gives a hint to what it must be like for those who work with (and gush over) him. During this interview, the director attempted to collaborate and shape something, even if it wasn’t what the interviewer had in mind.
Despite his dark themes, Lynch is an optimist and conveys that with openness and geniality. He’s a man who loves his work, his characters, and his stars. In fact, he uses the word “love” often. In January, in discussing the original series’ pilot, he said, “I felt really good about that mood and those characters… I just fell in love, deep, deep love.”
The evidence of that renewed love affair will be finally revealed with the premiere of Showtime’s “Twin Peaks” revival on May 21.
In a wide-ranging interview with IndieWire, Lynch discussed his connection to “Twin Peaks,” his thoughts on various entertainment mediums, and who he’d nominate for an Emmy. Lynch is famously a man of few words, as witnessed below.
The passage of time is important to the new series. How have you changed from making the original “Twin Peaks” to this one?
David Lynch: I’ve gotten 25 years older.
Has that experience or time passing expressed itself in the revival?
Lynch: Well, you know, I’m not supposed to talk about the new series, but, obviously if you’d look at the world we live in, things are different now today then they were 25 years ago. But many things are kind of the same.
How do you feel like you have changed?
Lynch: I’m still the same.
What were your emotions on the very last day when you were shooting the new series? Did you feel like it had finally ended?
Lynch: Well, you feel sad that it’s over, because it’s so much fun to shoot, and you also feel good that you accomplished the goal.
Do you still dream about the characters in “Twin Peaks”?
Lynch: Not every night, but quite often. I love them so much and I love the world. It’s a great world to go into, as far as I’m concerned.
There was something lovely about the characters in the original series, such as Agent Cooper’s appreciation for pie. Are you still able to have this sense of wonder in the show 25 years later?
Lynch: Sure, the wonder of life is alive and well.
What do you think was the importance of the Log Lady in the town? She’s one of my favorite characters.
Lynch: Well, you know, the Log Lady is also one of my favorite characters, and every character’s important in a story, but she was unique and special, and a great texture in the world of “Twin Peaks.”
It’s wonderful that a lot of the actors return to shoot their parts, but some of them have since died, including Catherine Coulson [who played the Log Lady] and Miguel Ferrer. How did you feel editing their parts, knowing that this was their last work?
Lynch: Well, I feel very sad.
How has technology changed the way you tell stories?
Lynch: Not at all. The technology can change, but storytelling remains the same. It’s just a digital world now instead of an analog world, but now the storytelling’s the same. You got different tools. That’s all.
Does the digital world make it faster or more efficient?
Lynch: It’s supposed to, but I mean in some ways it does. Some ways it gives you so many choices that it can slow you down.
Do you feel like the TV medium has changed from when you first worked on “Twin Peaks” to now?
Lynch: Yeah. The great coming to age of cable is really a beautiful thing. No commercials. It’s like a small theater. It’s a cinema on a TV screen.
Why do you feel like it’s like cinema on a TV screen?
Lynch: I always thought of even the original series as, when they’re shooting the pilot, it’s a film, and that’s the way I see it now. It’s just a film. It’s shown not in a big theater, but it’s shown as cinema on television.
What do you think the difference is then between cinema and television? Is it just the lack of commercials or is it something else?
Lynch: I don’t really follow television so much, but in the old days there was a certain way TV was, and it wasn’t really like cinema. I don’t know how many ways it was different or the same, but it was not quite like cinema. Now, cinema can happen on television.
Have you ever gone back to watch the old “Twin Peaks”?
And how does it play out for you? Does it feel different?
Lynch: For me the pilot is the thing that sets the whole tone, so the pilot to me is very special and it’s “Twin Peaks.”
What were the challenges of returning to the director’s chair after so many years away?
Lynch: It’s the same old, same old. You just, you know, you dig deep, and it’s such a fantastic thrill to be shooting with all these great people.
“Twin Peaks” has such a devout fan base. Is it important for you that they’re satisfied with these new episodes, the new series?
Lynch: First you try to please yourself, and you try to get every element to feel correct before you walk away, and it’s built with many, many, many different types of elements and you want to get them all as good as you can get them so they feel correct to you, and in doing so you hope they feel correct to others.
There are so many theories online about the meaning of “Twin Peaks,”and your work in general. Do you pay any attention to those theories, and do they have any significance for you?
Lynch: No, but the thing is I love is the fact that people are thinking, and I say everybody’s conclusion they come up with is valid. We’re all like detectives. We want to figure things out. Life, you know, we want to figure out life, and we want to figure out what’s going on, so it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful that people are thinking.