“Twin Peaks” may have ended its revival last year, but the world that David Lynch and Mark Frost created continues to live on. Such is the case with all properties with cult followings, and it may have been what inspired the Comic-Con panel Saturday night titled “Twin Peaks and the Revival of a Cult Classic.”
Taking place at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel’s Indigo Ballroom, the panel featured a fan-favorite lineup including executive producer Sabrina Sutherland, stars Kimmy Robertson (Lucy Brennan), Harry Goaz (Deputy Andy Brennan), Chrysta Bell (FBI Agent Tammy Preston), Robert Broski (Woodsman), John Pirruccello (Deputy Chad Broxford), Eric Edelstein (Det. “Smiley” Fusco), Nicole LaLiberte (Darya), George Griffith (Ray Monroe), Amy Shiels (Candie), and Adele Rene (Lieutenant Cynthia Knox).
Sutherland revealed that Lynch had texted her, “I got my days mixed up and I’m going to be there yesterday if not sooner. It’s slippery in here. In the Red Room, Special Agent Dale Cooper has already won the Emmy.” Earlier this month, the Academy failed to nominate anyone from “Twin Peaks” for acting, including star Kyle MacLachlan, who had portrayed three different characters. The stellar, nuanced performance was one of the most egregious snubs for the series, among many. Lynch makes it clear that in his universe, at least some things work out the way they should.
While the remainder of the panel explored other behind-the-scenes stories and random thoughts, most of the discussion circled back to the unique genius of David Lynch and his directing style. Below are a few highlights:
Got a Light?
Broski, who played the creepy and murderous Woodsman (known for his catchphrase, “Got a light?”) described how Lynch guided him into an instinctual but not overly worked performance.
“He pretty much left it up to my interpretation. He gave us the makeup, he gave us the wardrobe, he gave us the scene – day or night,” said Broski. It was up to him then to “dig in internally and bring it out.” In the case of the “Got a light?” scene, in which the Woodsman approaches an unsuspecting couple in a car who later end up dead, Lynch only gave him the script “minutes before” so he couldn’t mull it over too much. “He wanted the first interpretation of it,” he said.
As for how frightening fans find him, Broski said, “How cool is that? People come up and say I scare them to death. I’m sorry. I’m not going to apologize for that.”
The Drunk Guy
Playing a deputy, Pirruccello was in the vicinity of the sheriff’s holding cells frequently this season, and for some reason, the drunk man (Jay Aaseng) locked behind bars had the habit of repeating words, phrases, or other vocal sounds he hears, but in a much louder register.
“That was an amazing experience. I only just learned recently by watching the Blu-ray. From where I was sitting, this just had happened. He had started doing this thing. We were mesmerized. We didn’t expect it. It was very very dream-like.”
But even as Pirruccello got caught up in that dream, something would wake him up. “A voice comes in and says [in David Lynch voice], ‘Say fuck you!’ disembodied behind the wall somewhere. It was a very profound experience.”
Griffith revealed that for the scene at The Farm where his character Ray is shot by Evil Cooper, Lynch needed something different and tried to describe it. “The boss called me and Kyle … and brought us very close. He said, ‘It’s gotta be more… mysterioso.’ And we both said, ‘Uh, okay.'” Griffith took this as a sign that Lynch had developed a shorthand with him because at another point, he said the word “mysterioso” again in directing.
LaLiberte had one of the most harrowing scenes in the series, when Evil Cooper questions her character Darya and then eventually kills her with his bare hands.
“It was right before my long scene. He brought Kale and I into a room with him he said, ‘Alright, it’s got to be real. It’s gotta start right here…'” On the panel, LaLiberte demonstrated Lynch’s motion with the hands steepled, which then climbed up to an imaginary apex, fingers fluttering. The two hands then traveled back down in the opposite direction. The entire, wordless exchange was the ultimate in encapsulating Lynch’s vision, and LaLiberte performing this at Comic-Con brought the house down.
A Love Letter to Lynch
A few of the panelists performed impersonations of the legendary director. Finally, Pirruccello encouraged the entire ballroom to do their best Lynch and say in unison, “Or-e-gon!”