With a long-ranging and eclectic career under his belt–from David Lynch’s Dune in 1984, to Twin Peaks, The Doors, Hamlet and Sex and the City to name a few–Kyle MacLachlan could afford to rest on his laurels and relax, but instead he’s recently been hard at work on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, a show MacLachlan particularly enjoyed.“I certainly miss the character,” he says, “I miss the range that that character allowed me to play with.” He also voiced the father of 11 year-old Riley in Pixar’s latest animated film, Inside Out and is set to return to his cult-status role of Agent Cooper in the much anticipated revival of Twin Peaks, which begins filming this fall once again under the stewardship of David Lynch. From what he’s seen so far of the Twin Peaks script, MacLachan says, “It’s going to be amazing.”
What did you love about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D?
It’s a combination of things. I enjoyed the people I worked with very much. They were a lot of fun. Very creative, very supportive of me. There were some extremes in there that were really satisfying to push against, just to see how far it could go and how far it could snap back. The emotional highs and lows were challenging particularly towards the end. I don’t know if it’s a spoiler or not, but once the transformation occurs, I was working through enough of a prosthetic application that made me feel different, so I missed that. And I missed the relationship that I had with Chloe Bennett as Daisy/Skye. I really enjoyed the father/daughter dynamic that existed between the two of them. It was something a little different. I have a son who’s going to be seven very soon, so I understood that parents’ point of view.
What do you see happening for your character Cal? Have you left it open-ended with them? Has there been a discussion?
He wasn’t killed off. There were no discussions about the future. I think they gave him that closure or whatever. In some ways I think they felt like maybe he deserved that even though he had done some pretty horrible things. There was some kind of a forgiveness there. So they allowed him to live in the Tahiti program. However that sort of washes the mind clean. We’re just going to pretend that that happens, so he was able to be a helpful, contributing member of society and live on–I think that was a nice way for him to go. Who knows what the future will bring. There was no talk of let’s turn him in this way or that way. There was a very nice closure to that character.
For the Pixar movie Inside Out you play the father of an 11 year-old girl–did having a young son help you in that role?
I think yes, it did. I think it helped because I can remember similar situations going through the dad stuff, the feeding of broccoli and airplane and those things. I just sort of flashed back to me sitting at the table with him in the highchair going through the same deal. So it helped in putting me in the frame of mind that existed back then.
What was your initial reaction to this idea of revisiting Agent Cooper on Twin Peaks?
Well I was surprised. I’d always harbored, I guess, a fantasy that I might be able to revisit the character in some way–Dale Cooper. I so enjoyed him and he was such an interesting mix of…he’s just a complex person. I didn’t know what form that would take. I said “I hope it happens,” but there was no real campaign on my part to try and get David to do anything. But David and I are friends, so we would sometimes get together and have a cup of coffee and we’d reminisce and talk about stuff. I’d always say, “you ever think about it?” Nothing much would come of it. We would remember back and have a good laugh. We talk a lot about those things, people we worked with from Dune and Blue Velvet and all that. So we share this great history, and it’s fun to revisit it from time to time over a cup of coffee. So I was completely surprised when David said, “it looks like we’re going to return,” and I was very excited for two reasons really. One is the character of Dale Cooper, which is a lot of fun and the world of Twin Peaks. Secondly, the chance to work with David again because we haven’t worked together as actor/director for 25 years roughly. So it’s been a while. I missed that relationship very much.
You start filming in September?
Yeah. Sort of the rough answer is fall–September, October. That’s when they anticipate beginning the process. That’s what I’ve heard to this point.
If you’ve read any of it can you share any initial impressions?
I have read a couple but I can’t share anything with you. I would love to, believe me. I can certainly say without hesitation, it’s going to be amazing.
What would you really like to do next? Is there someone that you’d love to work with? A project that you’d love?
I can pinpoint out a couple. Wes Anderson is somebody whose work I admire–I just love his point of view. I love the humor, the sort of humorous anarchy that somehow works in his movies really appeals to me. And the Coen brothers as welI; I just love the way they set their world up. Just off the top of my head those are two but there are many, many more.