Since Dune, MacLachlan has famously worked with Lynch on the 1986 neo-noir mystery film Blue Velvet, the early Twin Peaks television and subsequent film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me before reprising his role as Dale Cooper in the iconic 2017 comeback. Despite their success together, MacLachlan’s first introduction to Lynch nearly fizzled out before it began.
“The first screen test I did I had never seen a film camera before,” MacLachlan explained in an interview with GQ. “I was looking down the barrel of the camera and I went completely blank,” he added.
“David came over to me. I told him, ‘I don’t think I can do this, David,’ and he said to me, ‘You’re gonna be great, it’s gonna be great, you’re gonna be fine. I know you can do it.’ That little pep talk is something that has continued in our relationship together. David gives me the confidence to do things that I’m not sure I can actually do, that’s David.”
Elsewhere in the interview, the actor remembers the embarrassment he felt after playing the role of Zack Carey in Paul Verhoeven’s erotic drama Showgirls: “[When I had] my first screening, I watched this movie and I’m like, ‘Oh my god this is awful,’” MacLachlan said. “You have this hope like you watched the first scene and you’re like that’s not so good but it’s gotta get better, and I watch this and was like, ‘Hmm not getting any better.’
“I watched the whole thing and I didn’t know what to say about the movie. I don’t think I can talk about this movie, and so I didn’t do any press which didn’t make me any friends in the publicity department, but at the time it was too difficult.”