Ask Ray Wise Anything (Yes, Anything!) During His Reddit AMA

Ray Wise, an actor whose IMDb page is updated more often than the Twin Peaks 2016 one (hint: a whole lot), has scheduled a reddit AMA on November 6 at 7 PM (EDT).

The acronym means “Ask me anything.” The interviewee begins the process by starting a post, describing who they are and what they do. Then, commenters leave questions and can vote on other questions according to which they would like to see answered. The interviewee then goes through and responds to any questions that he/she would like, and in any way that he/she prefers.

Ask him about Leland Palmer in Twin Peaks, Leon Nash in Robocop, The Devil in Reaper or any of the other 200 acting credits to his name. Or something completely different.

UPDATE: The reddit AMA is over. Here are all the Twin Peaks related Q&As…

dudeabides87: loved your acting in the season two episode of twin peaks when it’s revealed you are bob/Leland Palmer. the scene in the police department basement gave me chills. how did you prepare for such an intense scene?

IamRayWise: Oh, wow. you know… That’s a rough one to answer. Some of those scenes you know, I had to go off into a dark corner and stare into it for 15 minutes to get my head into the right place to do some of those things i had to do on the show. Other times, I could joke around on set. It depended on what was going on in a particular scene as to how I could prepare myself to do it. It varied. And in the final analysis, it would be anything that i could do to arrive at the place where i had to be at the beginning of that scene, I would do it. It was a variety of methods. Some of those wear on you a little bit. You have to be able to know how to handle those things. That’s the job of the professional actor.

killerclu: Thanks for taking the time to do this AMA Mr. Wise! I was wondering how you ended up getting a role on Awesome Show Great Job!, and how it’s been being such a huge part or the Tim and Eric fan base? As a side note, thank you so much for making myself and all the T&E fans out there laugh!

IamRayWise: Yeah, well, you know, it turns out T&E, in particular Eric, were big fans of TWIN PEAKS – and my character of Leland Palmer! So when they called me in to do their show, they told me how much they had enjoyed TWIN PEAKS, so that sealed the deal. Anytime I can be flattered to that degree, I’m willing to give it a chance (he said laughingly).

And then I did their show, and I did their movie, and I also did a film called “Wrong Cop” and Eric Wareheim played a character in that movie, as did I, I played a police captain in that film, and at the premiere, I got together with Eric and another fan of TWIN PEAKS by the name of Marilyn Manson. And we all hung out that night, and had a good time, and we all sat together in the theater, watched the movie, had no idea he was such a big fan, and we had pictures taken together, I’m sure you can find those online, so I have a great relationship with Tim & Eric.

suaveitguy: Mad Men, Twin Peaks, Larry Sanders. Three landmark television series. In your experience, what did they have in common that made them that way?

IamRayWise: Oh my! Just great writing. Great writing. And I say that for just about any project that’s good and has merit. It all boils down to the writing. And when the writing is great, the show is great. In particular, LARRY SANDERS which had the genius of Garry Shandling behind it, the writers on that show followed suit, they were great, and i played Larry’s lawyer Lloyd.

And MAD MEN, wonderful writing. Matthew – wonderful writing – and it all took place in the 1960s and I was one of the few actors on the show who lived THROUGH the 60’s, most of them were born afterwards. It was great to step back in time, and walking around those offices and apartments with all the furniture – it was great to step back in time.

And TWIN PEAKS of course – the writing, which was the greatest of all, the best of all – starting with Mark Frost, and then with his co-writers, the writing was just so beautifully layered, every line had 2-3 different meanings, everything was very layered, and very complex. And that’s beautiful writing.

FrankSheeran: Thank you so much for taking the time to do this and for your great role on the Kroll Show. We’re watching the third episode of Twin Peaks in my History Of American TV class tomorrow. Did you have a favorite song among the ones you sung in the second season of the show?

IamRayWise: AH! Did i have a favorite song? I liked all of the songs – when I’m driving around in my convertible – the song “Come on get happy” that I did at the doctor’s house, at the dinner, a young gal accompanied me on the piano who later turned out to be a very popular and famous actress by the name of Alicia Witt- my favorite song though, would have to be “Getting to know you” from the KING & I which I sang in The Great Northern to Ben Horne and the Piper Laurie character was also listening, and I sang it on our little stage there, and I think I did a half-decent job. Leland had a kind of a nice tenor baritone voice, and he of course, always had visions of doing a Broadway show, I think.

Albino_Squirrels: Hey! I recently finished Twin Peaks and you were great. Questions: 1) How did you change your hair color so quickly? It was magical. 2) Have you ever seen an albino squirrel. They’re quite rare. Also, if you’re ever near Dallas, Texas let’s grab some pizza.

IamRayWise: Hahahaha! Well, after Leland Palmer killed Jacques in the hospital bed, it seems that his hair turned white overnight, and I suppose it’s because of the tremendous shock of what he had done – you know, the heinous act that he committed. And it took a visit to the beauty parlor here in San Fernando Valley and a major amount of chemicals to turn my dark brown hair into white hair, I remember the initial process took about 4 hours, as I recall, and it wasn’t very pleasant, and then every couple of weeks I had to get my roots done, which I had never imagined I would ever have to do in my lifetime! So I had to keep my hair white for 4,5,6 months while we finished up my part of the series, and it just goes to show you, some of the things an actor’ll do to play a character that he loves. 2) I believe I’ve seen photographs of them, but I’ve not seen one up close & personal in nature. But i once owned an albino parakeet. I had one of those for several years. He was beautiful, white little parakeet with pink eyes, and he was extremely smart, I liked him a lot. And that’s my relationship with albinos.

spencerlance: Have you found it ironic that you play a Priest in Psych and the Devil in Reaper?

IamRayWise: Yes! I find it extremely ironic, yeah! And the fact that the priest that I played on PSYCH was conducing an exorcism on a girl that seemed to be possessed by some sort of demon or devil! So there I was doing an exorcism on my own character, he said laughingly, hahaha! I really enjoyed being on PSYCH with those 2 guys. James is an old buddy of mine, he was a big fan of TWIN PEAKS, so he couldn’t wait to get me on that show, and then the following year, he did Dual Spires on PSYCH in which he payed his tribute to TWIN PEAKS – and a lot of the old TWIN PEAKS cast was in that episode.

Kalvthevalv: Hi, big twin peaks fan. Was you annoyed when they revealed you to be Sarah Palmers killer so soon into the series?

IamRayWise: Was I annoyed by it? That’s too mild a word, hahaha! (he said laughingly) I was extremely, extremely disappointed when I found out that it was my character who was doing the killing on the show. So yeah, I was very disappointed and I wish that it wasn’t me. But indeed it was. And when David told me about it, he told me I would have a great sendoff, a great show, and he explained to me the scene when Leland was dying, and the sprinklers were falling on his face, and he is in Agent Cooper’s arms, and Agent Cooper is reciting the Tibetan book of the Dead, and Leland looked down the long tunnel towards the white light and there was his daughter Laura with her arms out, forgiving him … so the way he explained that scene to me, he made all my disappointment vanish and I was very pleased with the way old Leland went out.

bungle123: Hey, thanks for doing this AMA. at what point during the of filming twin peaks did you find out that leland killed Laura Palmer? Before you discovered Leland was the killer, who did you think killed her? Also, will you be returning for the new season in 2016?

IamRayWise: WOW, that’s a lot to answer. I’ll take ’em one at a time. It was right after the Emmy Awards that year, I remember. We were just about ready to shoot the reveal scene where Laura’s cousin Maddie gets killed, and David and Mark Frost called myself, Sheryl Lee (who played Maddie) and Richard Beymer (who played Ben Horne) into a little meeting before we started to shoot that show. And it was in that little meeting that David said to me “Ray, it’s you, it’s always been you,” and that’s when I found out that my character, Leland Palmer, was the killer of Laura Palmer. I was momentarily shattered by it, because i didn’t want to leave town. And the whole idea of being the killer of my own daughter, even fictionally on the show, didn’t sit very well with me. And so I was hoping the whole time we were doing the show that it wasn’t going to be me, and I could have made a great case for it to be ANYBODY in that town – the reason Ben Horne was in that meeting was because when we shot that scene, where Maddie was murdered, three different characters, 3 different people killed her that day. The first was Bob. The second was Richard Beymer as Ben Horne. And then the third was me, as Leland Palmer. So poor Sheryl Lee as Maddie was killed three times that day, by 3 different people. And so after about 12 or 14 hours of shooting, we were all ready for the paramedics, you know, to give us some sort of boost!

kdk12k2k12: Ray, hi. Thanks for doing this AMA. It seems as though the cast of Twin Peaks is up for anything in terms of storyline. Was there ever a time when you were reading a script and thought, this is a completely different direction than where I thought it was going? Or did nothing surprise you as the series got going? How are Mark Frost and David Lynch doing these days? Do you get a chance to talk to them socially or is it strictly a work relationship?

IamRayWise: Oh well, as I read the scripts, everything surprised me! We didn’t know from one week to the next what our characters would be doing, or what direction they were moving towards, and I never dreamed that I would be the focal point of the Laura Palmer murder mystery. It was constantly a surprise, and that’s the way we liked it, because in real life, every day is a surprise, isn’t it? So in that sense, it was just like real life. I haven’t talked to Mark Frost since TWIN PEAKS, almost 25 years ago, but I have met with David on many occasions since then, just recently for the premiere screening of the missing pieces of TWIN PEAKS for the new blu-ray set. And we were together that evening at the Bigfoot Lodge, and we had a good time with all the other cast members, and I’ve been to other functions with David, down at the Orange County art museum when they paid tribute to him and he invited me to come down and sit with him at the tribute, and again, we talked for several hours and we’ve talked often about TWIN PEAKS and our experiences and the rest of the cast members, what they were up to, and if indeed, TWIN PEAKS was still out there in the ether, and David always said the town of TWIN PEAKS is still there, with people in it, leading their daily lives, and perhaps one day we can get back to it.

Little Lambs Eat Ivy

Ray Wise’s current Twitter avatar (@therealraywise). Artist unknown.