“Twin Peaks: The Return” may be over, but David Lynch isn’t done talking to the press just yet. In a new interview with Pitchfork, the filmmaker gets more candid than usual while talking about his process, and he gets downright sentimental while remembering David Bowie and what it took to bring him back as Phillip Jeffries in the new batch of episodes. “Twin Peaks” executive producer Sabrina Sutherland revealed on Reddit earlier this month that Bowie gave Lynch his approval, but now the director is explaining Bowie’s appearance in his own words.
“I never even talked to him, but I talked to his lawyer, and they weren’t telling me why he said he couldn’t do it. But then, of course, later on we knew,” Lynch said. “We got permission to use the old footage, but he didn’t want his voice used in it. I think someone must have made him feel bad about his Louisiana accent in ‘Fire Walk With Me,’ but I think it’s so beautiful. He wanted to have it done by a legitimate actor from Louisiana, so that’s what we had to do. The guy [voice actor Nathan Frizzell] did a great job.”
Because of Bowie’s passing, Jeffries appeared in “The Return” as some kind of industrial machine taking up space in The Dutchman. Fans and critics had a hard time nailing down exactly what Jeffries had become, as the machine also looked like a giant tea kettle. Lynch went on record to clarify Jeffries’ new state: “I sculpted that part of the machine that has that tea kettle spout thing, but I wish I’d just made it straight, because everybody thinks it’s a tea kettle. It’s just a machine.”
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As for working with Bowie, the director only had this to say: “He was unique, like Elvis was unique. There’s something about him that’s so different from everybody else. I only met him during the time I worked with him and just a couple of other times, but he was such a good guy, so easy to talk to and regular. I just wish he was still around and that I could work with him again.”
“Twin Peaks: The Return” made Bowie’s character one of the most instrumental figures in the show’s mythology, which is certainly one way to pay fitting tribute to the late musician. For more from Lynch, including why his thought process on sound design and song selection, head over to Pitchfork.