The secrecy surrounding Showtime’s revival of Twin Peaks is so strong that even David Lynch dodged questions about it.
While it’s now known for certain is that this version will be 18 hours and premiere on May 21, Lynch, the series’ co-creator, spent 15 minutes sitting on a ballroom stage at the Langham Huntington hotel in Pasadena, Calif. and actually seemed perplexed by the room full of frustrated Television Critics Association journalists who lobbed questions at him. These are some of our favorite Lynchian answers.
How do you and your co-creator, Mark Frost, work together?
In the beginning, many years ago, we were—Mark and I—as if lost in the wilderness, as it always is in the beginning. And then, we seemed to find some mountain and we began to climb and, when we rounded the mountain, we entered a deep forest. Going through the forest for a time, the trees began to thin, and we discovered a small town called Twin Peaks. And we got to know many of the people in Twin Peaks and the people who visited Twin Peaks and we discovered a mystery. And within this mystery were other mysteries. And we discovered a world and within this world, there were other worlds. And that’s how it started. And that’s what brought us here today.
How do you and Mark work together?
We work together on Skype.
What should fans of the original expect, in terms of tone and vision?
This word expect is a magical word. People expect things and their expectations are met when they see the thing.
How many of the stories from the new series are ones that you were able to continue from the first series?
In the beginning, we… I’m not really at liberty to talk about that.
We’ve heard this described as the pure heroin and unadulterated vision of David Lynch. How do you feel about that?
I hear heroin is very popular these days.
The pilot of Twin Peaks, that for me set the tone and made the world and the characters—for me. That started to feel real good.
How did you figure out the structure of the episodes?
It was, as you said, a story.
What was it like going back to Washington state and filming outside of Seattle, like you did for the first version? Was it the same? What was different?
It’s both the same and different. If you go back 25 years in any town and visit again, it’s that way. Many things remain the same, but also you feel the change.
You stepped away from the project about two years ago. What made you return?
I would rather not discuss that. I can say this: David Nevins, Gary Levin and Robin Gurney [the executives at Showtime], I love working with them. I’m very happy being with Showtime.
What made May 21 the right time to release Twin Peaks?
You’ve got to ask David Nevins.
How do you handle casting?
You try to get the right person for the part. That’s the rule. And so, you meet people, you get pictures of people, you get videos of people and you get a sense by looking at them and by hearing them that they are right or wrong for the part.
Was Laura Dern, whom you’ve worked with before in film, someone you always wanted involved in this revival?
I love Laura Dern.
Were the original actors who are not coming back not part of this story, or did they not want to return?
It’s a little bit of both.
Will you do more seasons beyond this one?
Well, before I said I wasn’t going to revisit it and I did. So, never say never.
Do you remember the catalyst that made you get into storytelling?
No, I don’t. I wanted to be a filmmaker because I wanted to make paintings move. One thing led to another. I’ve been so lucky, I’ve gotten green lights all along the way. Go figure.
Do you plan to make another movie?
I don’t have any other plans. I’m deeply involved with this Twin Peaks right now.
Are you aware of the fandom surrounding the series?
I’m too in the middle [of working on it] and I don’t get out much.
Did you write the story knowing who from the first version was available?
I wrote it hoping for the best.
Do you wish you could have ended the first series after eight episodes like you can today?
What killed Twin Peaks originally [was] ‘Who killed Laura Palmer?’ was a question that we did not ever really want to answer. That Laura Palmer mystery was the goose that lay these little golden eggs. At a certain point, we were told we have to wrap that up and we never really got going again.
Does Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me play into this series?
It’s the story of Laura Palmer’s last seven days [and they are] very much important for this.