Look, it’s an odd show, so it shouldn’t surprise you that David Lynch had an odd technique as well. He gave the actors only their lines to memorize and not the whole script. They had no idea what the other characters were going to say until they were on set filming.
At a Twin Peaks convention, The Great Southern, actress Charlotte Stewart (Betty Briggs) told the audience, “[Lynch] is a very strange director. Sometimes he just wants you to do something… you haven’t got a clue [what], but you do it anyway.”
When David Lynch saw the headshot of a young Sheryl Lee, he was so smitten with her he went to Seattle to meet her. She tells Phil Donahue in a 1990 interview that Lynch immediately cast her as the dead body of Laura Palmer, but was so taken with her he put her in his “new movie” Wild At Heart (which was nominated for an Oscar and won the Palme d'Or at Cannes). He then wrote her a second role as the look-a-like cousin, Madeleine Ferguson, just to keep her around.
Picture this: David Lynch is editing the pilot episode of Twin Peaks, (“Northwest Passage”), when he sees a filming error. During Sarah Palmer’s vision, the reflection of set dresser Frank Silva can be seen in the mirror. Instead of editing it out, Lynch decides to use it by casting Silva as Bob, the evil spirit who feasts on human beings. All told, Killer Bob appeared in 11 episodes.
Twin Peaks was such a hot show that if an actor or crew member leaked even one little detail about the season finale, it would be a crushing blow to ABC and the fans. Lynch and Frost understood this and did what a lot of show runners do by shooting three alternate endings. According to Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks, even the network didn’t know which ending would be airing… until it did.
As a fan of film and pop culture, David Lynch — like the rest of us — had seen Robocop and was struck by the talent of actor, Miguel Ferrer. He liked him so much he cast him as FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield without so much as an audition. But, the cosmic connection with Ferrer didn’t end there. Lynch had been researching a film on Marilyn Monroe when he discovered that Monroe had been hanging around her friend Rosemary Clooney and her newborn baby — the baby who turned out to be Miguel Ferrer.
All three actresses have official Twin Peaks legacy status, since all three had parents who starred in the series. Amber Tamblyn is the daughter of Russ Tamblyn (Dr. Jacoby), Rashida Jones is the daughter of Peggy Lipton (Norma Jennings), and Zooey Deschanel's mother, Mary Jo played Donna's wheelchair-bound mother, Eileen Hayward.
Because of the insidious nature of television deals, networks have to negotiate what shows they get and when they get them. This is one of many reasons that a show will air in the U.S. before airing in Europe. Sometimes, when these deals go awry, networks can sabotage each other to comical results.
That is the case here. When German network SAT1 found out that their rival channel, RTL, would be airing the wildly popular and ground-breaking show Twin Peaks, they spitefully told their audience the identity of Laura’s killer before the first episode even aired. Their diabolical plan worked, and RTL’s ratings for the show were terrible.
Remember how eerie the characters spoke during the Black Lodge sequences? The genius behind it was that Lynch had the actors recite their lines backwards. Then took that audio, played it backwards, so the words came out in the right direction, but sounded disturbingly odd and surreal.
Kimmy Robertson (Lucy Moran) told The Great Southern (the Twin Peaks festival in Virginia) that blonde receptionist, Lucy, was originally only supposed to have a tiny role. So small, in fact, that she went in to audition for the roles of Audrey and Shelly. At that first meeting Frost and Lynch not only saw her as Lucy, but also decided to expand her role.
Too much drama ensued behind the scenes of latest Twin Peaks revival. Lynch was in, then he was out, now he’s in again. But how did that all come about? The original cast says it was their close relationship after all these years that helped them create a campaign resulting in Lynch’s return to the project.
Mädchen Amick, Sheryl Lee, Dana Ashbrook and some of the other original cast members launched a site asking fans to tweet using the hashtag #SaveTwinPeaks. And that, my friends, is exactly what happened.
Twin Peaks will be returning in 2016 on Showtime.
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