Even the stars weren’t sure where David Lynch was going …
David Lynch is one of our most enigmatic creators. It is said that on the set he prefers to leave actors in the dark, much like their characters. This creates performances that feel real and help audiences connect with the people on screen.
But in a movie like that Mulholland Drive, that can frustrate the people involved. It’s a film with so many twists and turns that it can be difficult for an actor to put their performance into context.
Actor Justin Theroux is no stranger to this process. He was in lynchs Inland empire and Mulholland Drive. And his work in both is crucial to what happens in the film.
Theroux told Indiewire about his experience with Lynch on Lyn Mulholland Drive.
He said, “He’s a total runaway because he doesn’t answer your questions. I of course showered him with a million questions like, ‘Well, why am I there? Who is the cowboy What’s happening? What reality are we in? ‘”
Theroux went on to say that Lynch “cleared the whole set. ‘Everyone out of here.’ Like you, they laid cables and hung lights. And he said, ‘Wait a minute, everyone has to get out of here. Me and Justin need to talk. ‘ We went in and out of the house [where we’re] Shoot, I think the scene where I come home and find my wife with the poor guy [played by] Billy Ray Cyrus.
“I started asking him questions … When I finished one question, [he’d say], “You know, I don’t know, buddy. But let’s find out. ‘ He wasn’t cute or cheeky or evasive; he really didn’t know. He says, ‘I don’t know.’ It’s like being on an escalator with him in a cloud, you never know where the escalator will start. ”
That must be off-putting as an actor. But at the same time it could be exciting to uncover a story together.
Talking about Inland empire, Theroux said, “The crew [David Lynch] assembling are great. You giggle. That stuff with Laura Dern and Inland empire, we have laughed so much. Then you go to the screening of it, your brain all over the back wall. Little did I know this was going to be the scene, the tone of it. Most of the time, I learn pretty quickly [tone]. But David Lynch is an absolute outlier in that respect, in that what you end up seeing when he goes into the lab, cuts it up, and has set it to music in the first place, is so different from the experience you had on set Has. ”
Honestly, that sounds like a blast, but also frustrating.
A lot of an actor’s job is trusting a director, and Lynch is great enough to put all of your trust in him even if you don’t know how a scene fits or goes. Still, it has to be stressful if you want to show that you are doing a good job but not have all the materials you need to create a performance like on another set.
How do you see it all? Let us know in the comments.