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Emmy Podcast: The Multifaceted Mr. MacLachlan Rules ‘Twin Peaks’

Kyle MacLachlan joins the Water Cooler to talk about his phenomenal work as three (plus?) characters in Showtime’s Twin Peaks return.

David Lynch’s return to his beloved Twin Peaks surprised millions of viewers. Where many were anticipating a rehash of the original’s gothic soap opera feeling, Lynch delivered an avant garde mediation on everything from family to parenting to aging to evil itself. Many, including myself, loved the breathless anticipation of each of its 18 episodes. Shot as one giant film, Twin Peaks Season 3 delivered 18 hours of unbridled film-making joy. At the center of this televised cinematic extravaganza was one of Lynch’s most consistent collaborators: Kyle MacLachlan.

MacLachlan’s much discussed (and much delayed) return as Agent Cooper serves as one of the many threads of the third season. One could argue that Twin Peaks largely becomes a documentation of one man’s quest to save a girl. Cooper trying to save Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). Along the way, Cooper falls, causing his persona to eventually split into three entities (perhaps more). Each persona gives MacLachlan an actor’s dream, the chance to play as broad a spectrum as any actor on film or television. There’s the Cooper we know and love. There’s the terrifying “Mr. C,” the embodiment of pure, cold, calculating evil. And then there’s Dougie Jones.

What exactly does one say about Dougie Jones?

Here, as Kyle MacLachlan joins me at the Water Cooler, I discover that there’s actually quite a lot to say about Dougie Jones. Deceptively simple on the surface, MacLachlan dives into the process of becoming a simple-minded vessel. He also talks about the visceral thrills of playing pure evil and of acting against long-time friend Laura Dern. We also talk about what the future holds for Twin Peaks (spoiler alert: he knows as much as you do). There’s so much more at the core of Kyle MacLachlan’s highly skilled and fascinating work on Twin Peaks than coffee and cherry pie.

MacLachlan touches the soul throughout Season 3 in unexpected and delightful ways. He’s frankly never been better.

The competition for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie feels incredibly stiff this year. Several high-profile actors give great performances this year. Still, none trip the acting Richter scale quite as significantly as Kyle MacLachlan’s in Twin Peaks. How often does one get to return and re-interpret in dramatic and exciting ways a classic television icon?

Kyle MacLachlan does just that. Brilliantly.

Television Academy, please consider Kyle MacLachlan for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for Showtime’s Twin Peaks.