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Kyle MacLachlan Shares the First Pep Talk David Lynch Gave Him, Relives Horrific First Reaction to ‘Showgirls’

MacLachlan was only 23 years old when he made his acting debut in Lynch's "Dune" adaptation.

David Lynch and Kyle MacLachlan

David Lynch and Kyle MacLachlan

JanSauerwein/face to face/Shutterstock

Kyle MacLachlan was only 23 years old when he made his acting debut in David Lynch’s “Dune,” a major gig for even the most experienced actor. The movie was the start of the actor’s longtime friendship with the director, and MacLachlan knew pretty early on Lynch was going to be a trusted collaborator. MacLachlan recently joined GQ for a video interview looking back on his career and revealed an early memory of Lynch that sealed the deal on their friendship.

“The first screen test I did I had never seen a film camera before. I was looking down the barrel of the camera and I went completely blank,” MacLachlan said. “David came over to me. I told him, ‘I don’t think I can do this, David,’ and he said to me, ‘You’re gonna be great, it’s gonna be great, you’re gonna be fine. I know you can do it.’ That little pep talk is something that has continued in our relationship together. David gives me the confidence to do things that I’m not sure I can actually do, that’s David.”

MacLachlan would go on to star in Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” and “Twin Peaks,” reprising his role as Dale Cooper in last year’s revival series on Showtime. The actor’s collaborations with Lynch mark some of his biggest career high points, unlike his supporting role in Paul Verhoeven’s cult classic “Showgirls.” MacLachlan told GQ he agreed to star in the erotic drama because he wanted to work with Verhoeven and he thought the movie would be “hard-hitting” and get people to not just see him as a clean cut nice guy on the big screen.

“[When I had] my first screening, I watched this movie and I’m like, ‘Oh my god this is awful,'” MacLachlan remembered. “You have this hope like you watched the first scene and you’re like that’s not so good but it’s gotta get better, and I watch this and was like, ‘Hmm not getting any better.’ I watched the whole thing and I didn’t know what to say about the movie. I don’t think I can talk about this movie, and so I didn’t do any press which didn’t make me any friends in the publicity department, but at the time it was too difficult.”

MacLachlan is happy “Showgirls” went on to have a second life as a cult favorite, but he admits it was a “pretty big embarrassment” at the time of release. “My career definitely took a hit on that one,” he said. “But that’s the way it goes.”

MacLachlan can currently be seen in theaters in Eli Roth’s “The House With a Clock in Its Walls.” Watch the actor’s GQ interview in the video below.

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