#TBT Interview by Mike Bax
CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution
Next week, Twin Peaks will see its first release on Blu-ray. CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution have prepared a ten-disc Blu-ray set dedicated to delivering the best possible Twin Peaks experience to fans of the show. Boasting cleaned up imagery on both versions of the release, the pilot episode, the full feature film Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me along with a wealth of extra features, the Blu-ray box set looks to be a genuine thing of beauty.
What will be of most interest to fans of the show is certain to be the almost 90 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes from the film Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me, scrubbed up and presented here for the first time ever. Lauded about for years as the holy grail of Twin Peaks footage, after years and years of mention in interviews, these scenes are finally going to see release.
To call Twin Peaks a cult show is doing it a disservice. Cult shows are generally the smaller budget shows that managed to crawl along with a small audience. Twin Peaks was a watershed event in 1990 when it first aired. The viewership was better than the studio expected, capturing the hearts and minds of North America and spreading like wildfire. The ensemble cast, writers and directors that participated on the show were all top tier. It was the first must-see TV show – something people talked about at the water cooler at work the day after a new episode aired.
Twin Peaks influenced television in so many ways. Its structure, cinematography, music and overall esoteric vibe could be found in numerous shows on television over the two decades that followed. After what is arguably the finest debut 7 episodes comprising Twin Peaks first season, the series went into its second season with a number of hurdles, and wound up floundering into eventual cancellation after the 22 episode Second Season arc. The reasons for the show’s demise are a constant source of debate. Most say that after the solving of the Laura Palmer murder, the creators simply didn’t know what to do.
The episodes that aired after the Laura Palmer case was unraveled are not deserving of a lot of the scrutiny that they tend to take. These remaining Twin Peaks episodes still retain much of the charm and eccentricities of the original episodes. The introduction of actors like David Duchovny, Heather Graham and Kenneth Welsh kept the show interesting, even as Twin Peaks viewers left the show week by week, steering it towards its eventual departure in 1991.
Some of the cast members have been doing interviews around the upcoming Blu-ray release of Twin Peaks, and Kimmy Robertson was gracious enough to take some time to chat about her time on the series, along with what her experience was like attending the L.A. Vista Theatre premiere of The Missing Pieces on July 16th. I was fortunate enough to get 15 minutes with Kimmy Robertson, who played the Twin Peaks’ Sheriff’s Department secretary, Lucy Moran.
Kimmy: I didn’t hear where you were from there. Mars?
Mike: Well, close. I’m from Canada.
Kimmy: Sorry. This conference call thing, I feel like I’m talking on a Dixie cup with a string. Sometimes I can’t hear things. And I needed your name. OK, Mike.
Mike: I’m curious what your impression of the Vista Theatre L/A. premiere of The Missing Pieces was like last week, and seeing all of your old Twin Peaks castmates again.
Kimmy: It was a seamless transition from 25 years ago. It was like fucking yesterday. I said this to Grace (Zabriskie) I said, ‘Oh my God, it’s still the same. Only better.’ Wow. It felt like a seamless thing. Like it was only a day gone by.
Mike: I was so happy to see how well attended that event was. There were so many great cast members there, David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti. The pictures of the event online are phenomenal.
Kimmy: Yes. And I sat next to Caleb and Mary Jo Deschanel. David and James (Marshall)… Sheryl Lee was in front of me. Oh my God!! It was amazing. I wish you could have been there. In my prayers, I would have brought you so you could feel the love in the room. It was really cool.
Mike: What is your earliest recollection of being involved with Twin Peaks, Kimmy? Were you brought into the mix through Johanna Ray (casting director) ?
Kimmy: I was called at home on my answering machine on my Garfield phone. (chuckles) I got the message that I was to audition and they sent me the script, which was Northwest Passage at the time. They sent me Audry and Shelly and maybe Norma’s lines as well. They didn’t even really go together. It was that ‘Pocket Rocket’ scene in the diner. So I got out my bag and I called up my friend and told him I was auditioning for David Lynch and he went, ‘Oh my God!’ And I can remember saying that I probably wouldn’t get hired, but can you help me write down some questions (for Lynch). So Brian helped me go through all of this stuff that we had already talked about around other David Lynch movies. What does this and that mean. You know, all of that secret stuff that you get watching Blue Velvet? You know what I’m talking about, right?
Mike: Yep, I do.
Kimmy: So that’s what I did. And then I read Northwest Passage, and I put it on my bookcase which is where it stayed for 25 years, until I gave it to (director) Josh Eisenstadt.
Mike: What was your first day of work on the show like? Do you remember?
Kimmy: Oh yeah. I do. I had an argument with a hair guy because he wouldn’t let me put my ponytail up a little higher. I thought it would make my profile look cuter. He said, ‘You don’t need to be made cuter. You just need David Lynch to be happy.’ To which I said, ‘Ok. You’re right.’ And then I put on my fifteen layers of wool costumes and hung around. It was a night shoot with Dana Ashbrook, who plays Bobby. I talked to Michael Ontkean and watched him pick out the images for Sheryl Lee for the prom picture homecoming queen picture. That was the night we did the telephone scene. David explained to me that night who Lucy was, which was totally different than who I thought she was. (chuckles) Only a few know that she is actually the smartest person in town who sort of runs everything. She acts kind of goofy because it throws people off and when she tells people stuff, she wants it to be CRYSTAL CLEAR in their minds what exactly it is that she’s saying. Those were David’s words. That’s what he said to me.
Kimmy: Yeah, very classic. And then he said, ‘In Lucy’s words, I want you to tell the sheriff to pick up the phone because Pete Martell is on the line. He’s up at the mill.’ And that’s when I did the telephone dialogue. ‘The black phone, not the other phone’… that whole thing. And it was magic. He’s magic. I used to say he (David Lynch) hypnotizes people. And then I did a little short in Jen Lynch’s backyard called The Vacation. And she does the same fucking thing!! (laughter) It’s not hypnotizing. It’s sort of like… I don’t know what the word is. One day I’ll get a word for it.
Mike: Jen comes by it honestly though.
Kimmy. Yeah. YEAH. That’s it.
Mike: After the pilot aired and the viewership numbers came back, did you realize that you were officially a part of television history? Was that understood?
Kimmy: I did. Because it aired on the Sunday night, and Monday morning my phone wouldn’t stop ringing. The first person that called me was a publicist. The second person was Hanna-Barbera; they wanted me to come audition for a show, which I ended up getting. And the third person to call was David Letterman’s assistant. She said Letterman had watched the show and that was very rare and something that he doesn’t usually do. But he called her up and said that he wants David Lynch on the show. David couldn’t do it, and then she asked him who else. David (Letterman) said Kyle MacLachlan. Kyle couldn’t do it so she asked him who his third choice was and he said Kimmy Robertson. And I don’t think I stopped screaming for like a week.
Mike: That’s pretty awesome.
Kimmy: It was all set up and then Gregg Fienberg (producer), who did not like me, told me that he didn’t want me representing the show.
Mike: Aw. Would you consider David Lynch a hands-on director? Did he provide you with a clear direction of Lucy’s character, or did you bring a lot of that yourself and fleshed it out on the set?
Kimmy: I think that he and Mark (Frost) hired me to be Lucy because they saw the characteristics in me that they wanted to patch together to make Lucy Moran. So when I got there, that’s when David pulled that character out of me. I didn’t even know that person was in me. That’s how they work, you know? So ‘hands on’? Yeah. Definitely ‘hands on’.
Mike: It’s amazing that a show that lasted only two seasons has remained alive like Twin Peaks has. Why do you think that is?
Kimmy: Um, I believe it’s more like ‘art’ than television. So it’s like art on television. And it was definitely different. You know art gives you a feeling when you see something that you like? I think that Twin Peaks did that in a different way from other shows. Like Andy of Mayberry (The Andy Griffith Show) made you feel happy and cozy and Twin Peaks maybe made you feel different stuff. The show seemed to make each individual watching it feel something different, and it was like art in that way. I think I really need to rethink all of that so I can put it onto words that are more concise, but it’s along those lines. I think that is what was different about Twin Peaks.
Mike: Twin Peaks is one of the most influential and ripped off shows in television. I think it boasted an ensemble cast, it was always leading edge, and if it was made today it would probably be on HBO or AMC because of the format that it established.
Mike: And the show, sadly, really never got an ending. I heard the ending of your last interview on the conference call where you were professing that more Twin Peaks is unlikely. So I was wondering with the current advent of content delivery like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon original TV shows, along with current crowd-funded Kickstarter campaigns, if there was enough of a push from the public, do you think that it could maybe happen?
Kimmy: Yeah, I do…. if David got to do it the way he wanted to.
Mike: I think that aspect would be pretty important.
Kimmy: If you wrote that down somewhere, and put that on the interent, what you just said, I think that might create an energy that starts like a hurricane. Because I’ve never heard it put quite like that before. Never. And I have heard it all, or I thought I’d heard it all. You never know. I mean, there’s people working with David Lynch all the time trying to look for something that everybody likes. I just hope that I get to be in it. Even if when they do it, even if they don’t have Lucy in it, I’d want to be someone on the set who carries a sign across the screen that says “later that day…” or something like that. (laughs)
Mike: You are going to go back to the Twin Peaks Festival again this year, are you not?
Mike: It’s going to be a pretty special year this year with the release of the Blu-ray and so many great cast members there. I think it’s going to be awesome. http://www.twinpeaksfest.com
Kimmy: I think so too. Are you going?
Mike: I have never gone. I almost went in the 1990s. It fell through for some reason and I’ve never put it together again. But I’m thinking I’ve got to go one of these years.
Kimmy: Well, you should come this year!!!
Mike: It’s sold out.
Kimmy: Gee, it’s too bad that maybe you don’t know anybody that maybe worked on the show or something that could pull a string…
Mike: It’s soon, isn’t it? It’s this weekend or next weekend.
Kimmy: It’s not this weekend, it’s the next weekend. Where are you? Alaska?
Mike: Toronto. Not quite Alaska.
Kimmy: Well, that’s not so far. That’s a plane ride. You could camp there, or stay at that motel that everyone stays at while they are there. I’m telling you, that’s how everybody does it.
(At this point, Kimmy starts to try and get her cell number to me, actually trying to help me get down to the Twin Peaks Festival, and her publicist chimes in saying that’s probably not such a great idea.)
Kimmy: For a second there I thought I was on a phone, and not a conference interface. I thought it was 1962. Sorry.
Mike: Lastly, I would love to know how long did it take for you to get your hair done for the show, Kimmy?
Kimmy: Eight years my hair was straight!! My normal hair is just straight. It took about an hour to do. They would crimp it and sometimes they would curl it. That was because I asked them to. I wish I hadn’t. But I was very insecure about being seen with straight hair for some reason. If I have any regrets in my acting life, that would be it.
NEXT WEEK: DAVID LYNCH AND MARK FROST’S GROUNDBREAKING CULT PHENOMENON ARRIVES ON BLU-RAY™ WITH THE LONG-AWAITED DEBUT OF NEARLY 90 MINUTES OF DELETED/ALTERNATE SCENES FROM TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME
For The First Time Ever, Acclaimed Television Series And Feature Film Arrive In One Complete Box Set With Upgraded Picture,
Newly Produced And Archival Special Features … All Under the Personal Supervision of David Lynch. Available July 29, 2014
Twenty-five years after the shocking murder of Laura Palmer in the acclaimed series from legendary filmmaker David Lynch and writer/producer Mark Frost, CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution will release TWIN PEAKS – THE ENTIRE MYSTERY.
Arriving for the first time on stunning High Definition Blu-ray with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio on July 29th, this comprehensive collection contains every episode from the complete television series; both the U.S. and international versions of the series’ Pilot; the North American Blu-ray debut of Lynch’s follow-up feature Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me; and nearly 90 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes from the film. The set also features newly transferred Log Lady introductions for each episode; picture upgrades to many shots in the TV series; a new featurette with Lynch and the actors who portrayed the Palmer family which includes a mesmerizing return to the lives of their characters today; and hours of never-before-released material that dives into the fascinating story behind the celebrated pop culture classic.
Along with a newly transferred version of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, created from a 4K scan of the original negative, TWIN PEAKS – THE ENTIRE MYSTERY Blu-ray box set boasts the long-awaited missing pieces from the original version of the film – nearly an hour-and-a-half of deleted/alternate scenes from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me – often referred to as the “holy grail” of Twin Peaks fandom. This feature-length experience has been directed and edited by Lynch exclusively for this release. Capping off more than 30 deleted/alternate scenes is an epilogue providing a fascinating glimpse beyond the cliffhanger finale of the TV series.
“During the last days in the life of Laura Palmer many things happened, which have never been seen before” said David Lynch. “They’re here now alongside the new transfer of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and Twin Peaks, the television series.”