Now that “Twin Peaks: The Return” is over, actors have started to break their silence on the audacious David Lynch series. Kyle MacLachlan has already gone on record saying he’s still processing the wild two-part finale and that he’d be willing to return to the role of Dale Cooper should Lynch want to continue, and now it appears Laura Dern is right there with him. The actress joined Entertainment Weekly’s “Twin Peaks” podcast and admitted it’s been hard to say goodbye to her character, Cooper’s former assistant and love interest Diane, and she’d be ready to return for Season 4 if she got the call from Lynch.
“I’ll never say no to David, and I’ll never say no to Diane because now I’ve fallen in love with her,” Dern said. “So it would be impossible for me not to want to be part of any journey he wants to take, but I think that’s what’s so beautiful about his work is that every time it ends, even if there is an ending, you’re just devastated at the thought of saying goodbye…So whether he wants to dive back into this world [of “Twin Peaks”] or go somewhere completely different, it’ll be something like we’ve never seen. And if I’m lucky enough to be an actor on it he’ll take me somewhere I’ve never gone before and push me further than I have.”
But just because Dern adores stepping into Diane’s shoes doesn’t mean she understands everything that went down between her character and Dale Cooper. The finale saw both characters crossing over to some kind of different dimension or timeline, one where Dale Cooper was now being addressed as Richard and Diane was calling herself Linda. It was a baffling plot point that not even Dern understands. “I really don’t have an answer,” she said when pressed for what Richard and Linda means. “If I knew I’d be happy to explain it.”
However, Dern can make sense of another puzzling moment from the finale: The scene in which Diane sees another version of herself setting outside a motel. The actress believes Lynch was trying to show that Diane was somewhat aware of the new timeline she was in, a place where she could recognize this new Cooper, or Richard, was now a version with elements of both the Cooper she fell in love with and his villainous doppelgänger.
“I loved the idea, or it felt to me, that what had evolved in [Diane] was the awareness that there were other sides of [Cooper] and not knowing what would be on the other side of following him,” Dern said. “In letting herself love him, in following him on this journey, and that she didn’t know which side of him she’d get, I think is very true of any love story. I thought there was something meta and very beautiful that he would leave me alone in the car not knowing who I was going to get in this man, but yet then seeing a whole other side of myself looking back. To me, as a love story, there’s something really profound about ‘Well, we are many sides.’ I felt really moved by all of that.”
Part of what made playing Diane such a gift for Dern was discovering the character, which Lynch allowed her to do in terms of picking out her clothes, hair style, and more. Dern’s thoughts on becoming Diane are below:
It’s the only time I’ve ever had this outrageous gift of playing someone who means a lot in terms of storytelling in people’s minds but there are no visuals. That’s such a cool thing to walk into. It started with what was written, which I think given the way she responds to most people you already get a sense of her demeanor and her character very directly. I just worship the dialogue for her…And then he sent me off on a journey starting with thinking about hair color and what these looks could be, and figuring out makeup and exactly what he wanted there.
The ritual of finding the character in all these different ways is so fun and he is so specific that when he sees it, he knows. When I say specific, I mean David even mixed colors for the perfect lip color he wanted for Diane because the lipstick didn’t exist. All of the colors frustrated him so he had to make a “Diane” color with our amazing makeup artist Debbie [Zoller]. Every aspect of [Diane] was so specific so it was an unbelievable blast to find every detail of her.
Lynch and Showtime have not made any announcements on the future of “Twin Peaks,” so far all we know Dern won’t be getting the opportunity to play Diane again. The role was one of many the actress knocked out of the park this year. She is up for an Emmy this month for her supporting turn on “Big Little Lies,” and Dern will be back in theaters this December with “Downsizing” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
For more from Dern’s interview, head over to Entertainment Weekly now.