There are probably more eloquent ways to say it, but the fact that Kyle MacLachlan didn’t get an Emmy nomination for his performance in Twin Peaks: The Return absolutely sucks. Over the course of 18 episodes, MacLachlan embodied three distinctly different characters and delivered performances that ranged from frightening to downright hilarious. But any fan of his work knows that Kyle MacLachlan is more than just Agent Dale Cooper. In a new video from GQ, MacLachlan breaks down his most iconic roles and discusses how David Lynch has a knack for getting him to the place he needs to be to produce such memorable performances.

“Let’s start with Dune. Why not start at the very beginning?” MacLachlan says before describing the terrifying, exhilarating experience of getting the lead role in a high-profile sci-fi epic at the age of 23. During the first screen-test for that film, MacLachlan froze up due to nervousness but was eventually able to perform thanks to the encouraging words of director David Lynch. This dynamic persisted throughout the two men’s working relationship. When MacLachlan had trouble gearing up for the emotional heights of Blue Velvet or finding the right tone for Dale Cooper’s enigmatic dialogue, Lynch was there to support and encourage him. “David gives me the confidence to do things that I’m not sure I can actually do,” MacLachlan says.

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When it came time to return to Twin Peaks for a third season, MacLachlan found himself filled with the same nervousness and trepidation he felt in his younger roles, this time because he was being asked to play a real monster. Undoubtedly, the level of security and trust that existed between he and Lynch made it easier for MacLachlan to find the character of Mr. C a.k.a. Bad Coop a.k.a. “the most dangerous man you’ve ever met.” Though he wasn’t recognized for his performance during television’s biggest night, we have no doubt this disturbing, iconic character will endure in pop culture for years to come.

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