When was the last time you got ghosted by someone
Interview with Michael Ontkean
"Twin Peaks", David Lynch's masterful mix of mystery, horror, crime and drama from 1990, was broadcast for the first time on German free TV exactly 20 years ago (September 1991 on RTL). For this anniversary we have an interview for you with one of the leading actors, Michael Ontkean, who was investigating Sheriff Harry Truman at Agent Cooper's side in the case of the murdered Laura Palmer. Michael Ontkean tells about the work on this cult series, and at the latest when answering the first question you will hear the spherical sounds of the soundtrack in your inner ear.
You can read the original interview here.
1. Last year "Twin Peaks" celebrated its 20th anniversary. What is your fondest memory of your time on the series?
First day of rehearsals for the original pilot up in Bellevue, Washington. Just David, Kyle (MacLachlan) and Mark (Frost) working out the levels of the Cooper-Truman relationship with no one else around. At one point David takes us to the car and plays us the ghostly "Twin Peaks" theme by Angelo Badalamenti. An ecstatic moment on a day filled with laughter and discovery.
2. Sheriff Truman was basically the only normal guy on "Twin Peaks" and a great friendship developed between him and Agent Cooper. Did you and Kyle MacLachlan become friends too?
Yes. I knew we liked each other when I asked Kyle what his favorite music was. Without hesitation, he told Led Zeppelin and Kate Bush.
3. If you could mix up cast and characters, which character would you like to play and why?
I was born to play Harry S. Truman. There is no other to choose from.
4. Do you remember the casting process? Who was certain from the start and which line-up was more of a surprise?
Every actor and actress on both coasts wanted to work with David. There was tremendous competition. I was delighted with Joan Chen. Her character, Josie, was originally planned to be Italian in the script.
5. "Twin Peaks" has a large and multi-faceted cast from teenagers to old room waiters. Did you all get together on set and what was the atmosphere like?
As you know, the handling on the set is determined by the director. David is very open to improvisation and happy coincidences. The atmosphere was always relaxed and full of happy spontaneity.
6. David Lynch was in Cologne last year for the Cologne Film Prize for "exceptional achievements in the grammar and poetics of audiovisual media". Did you feel how extraordinary the series was going to be?
David is a fine artist in every way. Anyone lucky enough to work with him knows in advance that the work process will be memorable. The daily experience is the reward.
7. A well-known quote from David Lynch is "Keep eye on donut, not on hole". What was it like to work with as a director?
One of my favorite days with David was a great economics exercise. A long scene, probably six pages. We started rehearsals on the set early in the morning, and every time we played through them David cut something. A word, a line, a gesture, an action. It was like a sculptor who slowly, gradually, takes pieces out of the material. This went on all day until a 6-sided scene had become a 1-sided scene.
8. David Lynch could make something out of mistakes. He turned Frank Silva, who was accidentally seen in the mirror in one scene, into the character BOB. Were there any other spontaneous decisions like this?
Every day was like this.
9. The show left with BOB who has taken possession of Agent Cooper. Do you know what would have happened in season three?
Not even Mark and David knew that. It wasn't written yet, unlike the "Harry Potter" story arc, which was thought out beforehand.
10. Which of the typical Twin Peaks things did you like best? The damn hot coffee, the donuts, the stone throwing, the llama ...?
No question. The love scenes with Joan Chen.
11. The prequel "Fire walk with me" felt a little different. A little more brutal and less funny. What happened in Sheriff Truman's cut scenes in the film?
I was doing another movie in North Carolina for two months so I wasn't available until the last day of Fire. There was no scene. I just went in and out the door to collect my fee.
12. You last worked on "The Descendants" with George Clooney and Beau Bridges. Can you tell us something about the film?
Alexander Payne is a great director and a great friend. His filmography is flawless. "The Descendants" was selected to be honored as a graduation film at the New York Film Festival.
13. myFanbase is a website dedicated to television series. Do you have a favorite show?
Nicole Oebel - myFanbase
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