Showtime just surprised the Television Critics Association with a David Lynch press conference for its upcoming revival of Twin Peaks. The reclusive Lynch is directing all 18 hours of the limited series. The resulting 15-minute Q&A was a rapid-fire flinging of questions from the ballroom of reporters who received Lynch’s maddeningly vague, occasionally illuminating, and sometimes hilariously brief responses.
How does this compare to his other projects, and what should fans expect?
First, it was just the same as all the others. I see it as a film. A film in parts is what people will experience. It was a joyful, fantastic trip with this great crew and cast. … This word “expect” is a magical word. People expect things, and their expectations are met when they hopefully see the thing.
What’s his process of working with co-writer Mark Frost?
Well, in the beginning, many years ago, Mark and I were as if lost in the wilderness, as it always is in the beginning. Then we seemed to find a mountain and began to climb, and when we rounded the mountain, we entered a deep forest, and going through the forest for a time the trees began to thin, and then coming out of the forest we discovered a small town of Twin Peaks. We got to know the people of Twin Peaks and got to know this mystery. … We discovered this world. And within this world there are other worlds. That’s how it started.
What makes Mark a good co-writer for him?
Mark is very smart. We’re both strong, but both different. We bring to the table different things, but we each understand the other thing. It’s just a good combo for Twin Peaks.
So what’s their process then?
We work together on Skype. Mark lives in Ojai. I live in Hollywood, and we Skype and write together.
What has he been thinking about Twin Peaks over the years?
I’ve often wondered about this beautiful world and characters. Mark asked if I wanted to go back to this world. That’s what got us going again for this one.
The Showtime president described the new show as David Lynch “heroin” — what can he tell us about that?
I hear heroin is a very popular drug these days. It’s always a combo. It’s Mark and I working together. And a great crew and cast.
What did he appreciate about the original series?
I’ll tell you what I loved: The pilot of Twin Peaks. That for me set the tone. That made the world and the characters for me. I felt really good about that. I just fell into deep, deep love…
We heard he originally wrote the new 18-hour story as one big massive script without any breaks?
It was, as you said, a story.
Did he have any doubts about returning to this world?
Always we’re filled with doubts.
How has the town changed?
It’s both the same and different. You go back 25 years in any town [and] it’s that way.
At one point Lynch declared he was quitting the revival, then returned. What was that about?
I’d rather not discuss that. I’ve loved working with [Showtime president David Nevins and his team]. It’s been super working with them. I’m very happy being at Showtime.
Any future movies?
I’m very involved with Twin Peaks right now.
Did he have a sense of pushing the boundaries of TV with the original series?
I saw it as a film. With these characters and these sounds. Lo and behold, it clicked.
But didn’t he have problems with Standards and Practices?
We didn’t have hardly any problem with S&P in the old days, 25 years ago. In fact, I couldn’t believe the freedom and the things we did. If you look at the show, it’s kind of amazing. Sometimes dialogue had to be changed, but those changes led to a better thing. We had a lot of freedom.
The revival is supposed to be a complete story. So no more after that?
Well before I said I was never going to revisit it. And I did. So I never said never. But as of now there are no plans.
Does he remember what his catalyst was for being a filmmaker?
No, I don’t. I only wanted to be a painter. I got into film because I wanted to make paintings move.
Are the events in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me important to the revival?
I can say it’s the story of Laura Palmer’s last seven days, it’s very much important for this.
Can he talk about bringing back Laura Dern?
I love Laura Dern.
What did he think of Frost’s book, The Secret History of Twin Peaks?
I haven’t read it. It’s his history of Twin Peaks.
Is he aware of the expectations around the new show?
I’m too in the middle of it. And I don’t go out much … Thank you all very much and I hope you enjoy Twin Peaks. Thanks a million.
And then he was gone. Star Kyle MacLachlan reassured us: “You guys got a lot. You did really, really well. He must like you.” And the reporters were given logs as a gift: