Kyle MacLachlan On Getting Into 3 Different Characters And Why The New Twin Peaks Is “Moving Art”

Kyle MacLachlan as Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks: The Return Part 4

Along his European tour to promote the new Twin Peaks, Kyle MacLachlan was a special guest at the Monte Carlo TV Festival in Monaco where he gave an insightful press conference recorded by CorriereTV. The actor talked about getting into three different characters —and he deserves an Emmy for all three,— how he considers the new series to be ‘moving art,’ and how grateful he is to play Dale Cooper with David Lynch as his guide.

Moving Art

“I sometimes have referred to the new Twin Peaks as moving art because the frame that David fills is very complicated, very specific, very dense. And moving through that frame as an actor, the sensation is a very creative one because you’re engaging in these elements that are obviously very unusual.”

Getting Into Character(s)

“There are three characters that I play in Twin Peaks. Actually four, but the fourth is only seen for a very short period of time, so we’ll say three. Each character is very distinct, very specific and quite different from the other. And the way I found each of those was a process. So for let’s say the evil doppelgänger, much of that character came from the physical presentation, and how we created the look of that guy. But also inside —not that he’s not human— but he’s almost inhuman, lacking any remorse whatsoever. That was difficult for me to get to, but you just have to think of yourself as a shark in the water.

The other character of Dougie is almost a blank canvas, he’s almost a newborn in the body of a grown-up person. And that process was more about discovering the world as if seeing it for the first time. So there’s an innocence there, and there’s a sense of timing that is different than what you or I might experience in the world. Things take much longer to explore and experience, and David gave me the freedom to be able to find that.

And finally, of course, you’re left with Dale Cooper who’s now 25 years older and still Dale Cooper, but perhaps a little wiser. He’s had some tragedies in his life that have affected him in a way that’s maybe quiet him a little bit.”

Embracing Cooper

“Twin Peaks certainly is a lot of different things. It’s drama, violence, funny, quirky, surreal, and we all look to David as the guide for this. He’s written a beautiful 18-hour film that has been broken into 18 different hours and he has presented to us a perfect blueprint moving through these different worlds. And he’s quite comfortable in all the different genres, so we just follow his lead, really, and follow what he’s written in the script.

I have embraced Cooper and all that he represents to the fans. And acknowledge at the same time that he’s a character people really respond to. And as an actor, it’s high praise and I’m very, very fortunate to have a character like this to live on in a series for a long time. That doesn’t happen very often so I’m very grateful.”

Twin Peaks press conference at Festival de Monte-Carlo

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Written by Pieter Dom

Founder and curator of Welcome to Twin Peaks since 2011. Bobsessed since March 1991.


Share your thoughts
  1. THREE characters! Oh boy! It means Agent Cooper will be back! We were just given a huge spoiler. I dont know if it makes me sad or happy! Happy, I guess )))

  2. I think the 4 he means are:

    Original Coop
    Evil Coop
    The original Dougie Jones
    ‘Baby Coop’ (Coop back on Earth in Dougie’s body)

  3. This definitely means he the real Coop will be back. Even though we already saw Coop in the lodge in parts 1 and 2, MacLachlan says that “he’s wiser now.” To me, that means we will see Coop restored eventually. The footage in the loge of Coop is not substantial enough to see if his character is indeed wiser. So yeah, that kind of is a spolier. When he does come back to normal, I think I will miss Dougie-Coop.

  4. Interesting… what tragedy is Coop’s life is he referring? I assume being stuck in the lodge for 25 years?

  5. Don’t wanna spoil anything, but in “The Autobiography of Coop” he experiences a number of tragedies. There is one in particular that stands out to me.

  6. To clarify, dougie jones was on 5 minutes total at most on the screen with the hooker and went to Black Lodge. “Dougie Jones” of last 6 eps is Cooper not Dougie. Its Agent cooper as a blank canvas as mistaken identity as dougie. The real dougie had one scene only in real world and final scene in the Black Lodge. All that will happen is Coop will wake up but its been him since the transfer of Coop back to lodge and Dougie disappearing into a golden sphere. Dougie is long gone. Cannot wait for Awake Coop investigating I pray by Ep 9 so we have The Summer of Coop! Love, Love, Love this Revival. I am ADDICTED!!!

  7. I’m secretly rooting for maybe a female Coop incarnate as the next, and/or final(?), Kyle character on the show. (“crosses fingers”) Don’t ask me why, I’m just weird that way…

  8. I can’t wait until the real Coop is back! Not that I don’t love this revival and seeing Kyle Maclachlan play so many different characters, but I miss Agent Cooper so much! We will definitely get to see the real Coop again, because the first two episodes can’t be the Coop he is referring to as “wiser”. I just hope it’s sooner rather than later!

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