“Who’s the lady with the log?” Agent Dale Cooper asks in the now-iconic pilot of Twin Peaks, as a bespectacled Catherine E. Coulson needlessly flickers the light switches at a town hall meeting with just a touch of crazy behind her large red frames.
Paste listed the Log Lady in the top 10 in our list of TV’s most lovable eccentric characters, and rightfully so. Coulson’s performance as Margaret Lanterman—who delicately cradles a log in every scene she’s featured in and is hence referred to as (spoiler) the Log Lady—was in equal parts comedic and mystical. Her log possessed powers and even sight, eventually leading the log to become less of a gimmick and more of a source of dreamy wisdom.
In the 2017 not-quite-revival Twin Peaks: The Return, Coulson’s Log Lady had legitimate gravitas. It’s easily evident that Coulson was actually ill during filming. She’s wearing an oxygen cannula onscreen, but continued filming anyway, given her long working relationship with director David Lynch (she also appeared in his films Eraserhead and Fire Walk with Me) before eventually dying four days after completing her scenes.
Now, a new documentary is in the works to honor the actor’s legacy. Directed by Richard Green (who appeared in Lynch’s Mulholland Drive), I Know Catherine, the Log Lady will feature new interviews with Lynch, as well as footage from Coulson’s long career onscreen and onstage. The documentary is being funded by a Kickstarter campaign.
In a clip from the trailer, Lynch recalls his thoughts to himself on filming Coulson’s scenes for The Return, stating, “David, if you’re gonna do this thing, you better do it now, and you better do it down here, because she’s not going anywhere.”
Read about how shows like Twin Peaks (and characters like the Log Lady) helped to shape the Pacific Northwest as TV’s go-to setting for science fiction here, and check back for more news on I Know Catherine, the Log Lady. The trailer for the documentary is available to watch here.