Le Cast de "Twin Peaks" chez Donahue
(transcript)

PHIL DONAHUE, Host

The Cast of "Twin Peaks"

Guests:

MADCHEN AMICK, Shelly Johnson
PIPER LAURIE, Catherine Martell
DANA ASHBROOK, Bobby Briggs
SHERYL LEE, Laura Palmer & Madeleine Ferguson
ERIC DaRE, Leo Johnson
PEGGY LIPTON, Norma Jennings
MARK FROST, Executive Producer, "Twin Peaks"

Emission diffusée le 21 Mai 1990

PHIL DONAHUE: Well, here they are. It is the most talked about, most written about, most controversial show on television this season. Of what do I speak? And who killed Laura Palmer, do you know? Please welcome the cast of Twin Peaks, right here.

[Commercial break]

DONAHUE: They're thinking about putting out this music album. This is one of the most discussed television programs of our season. Well, let me tell you who's here. Look at who's here. Here is Peggy Lipton. She's Norma, owns the RR Diner. They're crazy about you! And I am pleased to announce that her husband has just been released from prison. On the show, I mean.
Piper Laurie steps forward. Catherine- she's the manager of operations at the Packard sawmill.
Now, some of the more senior members of our cast, here. Dana Ashbrook is Bobby. He was deeply in love with Laura Palmer who, as you know, has departed the mortal scene, having her body discovered wrapped in a plastic bag. But we'll talk about that in just a moment. Dana Ashbrook.
Here's Mädchen Amick. She's Shelly Johnson, and she's married to a louse! And I think your husband committed the murder. Mädchen is- I don't think this is your first- you left Reno when you were 16, it says here.

MÄDCHEN AMICK, Shelly Johnson: Yes.

DONAHUE: And now you're in the movies, kid.

Ms. AMICK: I am.

DONAHUE: I'll tell you this. I'll you a watch if I'm wrong. Here is the murderer of Laura Palmer. He's Leo Johnson. He's a drugrunning truck driver who beats his wife, and his been known to kill before. Here is Eric DaRe. I don't know. He's the obvious one. No, I don't think anybody knows. You'd better not know. This thing is building like J.R., and who shot him. And aren't these producers thrilled with this.
Well, here she is. Dead as a door nail. Listen, only on television. Laura Palmer- they find her body, and it's like the first 30 seconds of the thing. She's wrapped in a plastic bag. They find the body, and now her look-alike returns as Madeleine Ferguson. So we're pleased to tell you that the actress playing Laura Palmer is very alive and well in these episodes. And she is making her screen debut in Twin Peaks. Here is Sheryl Lee.
All right. Did you know? You must not have known. You couldn't hear the music when you were working. Piper, give us a little overview, here. Did you have any idea you were going to be in something this much -

PIPER LAURIE, Catherine Martell: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. And I'm having as much fun as the audiences are. I rush home every Thursday night and watch.

DONAHUE: Is it-

Ms. LAURIE: Because you don't really know what's going to happen when the other actors are working. So it's like a brand-new show for you.

DONAHUE: And this is a very large cast, Peggy. I mean, you- this is more than an ensemble. Obviously, we have only part of the gang here. But here's Laura. She was the high school prom queen, may she rest. [sic] God knows who did her in, but we've got several thousand suspects. And this is a very compelling script, accompanied by some very mysterious music. And now, we apparently have people all over the country rushing home to find out what's going to happen on this episode. Incidentally, you wind up this Wednesday night, I'm told. Is that so?

DANA ASHBROOK, Bobby Briggs: Ten o'clock Wednesday night.

Ms. LAURIE: Oh, 10 o'clock?

Mr. ASHBROOK: Yeah. I think that's right. I mean, I looked in the TV Guide.

DONAHUE: And a very fascinating sidebar story is Sheryl Lee. Sheryl, you were in Seattle. Are you a Seattleite?

SHERYL LEE, Laura Palmer & Madeleine Ferguson: No, I was living up there for two years and studying theater up there.

DONAHUE: Oh, I see. So comes through the big Hollywood producer in a Rolls-Royce, with his ego initials on the license plate, and says, "You want to be a star, baby?" He smokes a big cigar, takes you off, and here you are.

Ms. LEE: Kinda.

DONAHUE: It was almost that way, was it? Did he see you in a play, or what?

Ms. LEE: No. As far as I know, he saw a head shot- my head shot- somewhere, in a casting office or an agent's office or something. And called me in to meet me.

DONAHUE: So he- I think he- then he tells you, "Oh, I want you to be in my new TV series, but you're going to be a corpse."

Ms. LEE: No, at that time, I didn't even know it was a series. He just said, "This is this character, and you need to be dead for about three days worth of work. And we have to shoot some stills," this one and some other ones. And then that little picnic- there was a home video, picnic thing. And so, at that time, that was what I knew.

DONAHUE: But that was the only- you were a body, though, for-

Ms. LEE: Oh, yes.

DONAHUE: And you had- did you lie in the rain, et cetera?

Ms. LEE: Yeah.

DONAHUE: Literally?

Ms. LEE: Yes.

Mr. ASHBROOK: Well, she was wrapped in plastic, though, so-

DONAHUE: So why worry about her, right? I know what you mean. But you made the point, did you not, that this obliged you to really engage in some real concentration.

Ms. LEE: Very, very. Because it was almost a whole day worth of shooting. It was really cold. And since the tape was wrapped all the way around my body, I was, like, you know, completely still. And the minute that you start thinking, "If I want to move, I can't," then all you want to do is, you know, get up and run. And so it was a lot of concentration.

DONAHUE: So you're about twentysomething?

Ms. LEE: Three.

DONAHUE: You're 23. But let's just get this in, now. After you do the dead work- the corpse- you must have been marvelous, darling, because he asked you to- then you got- now you have a speaking part, so?

Ms. LEE: Yeah. I didn't know, at the time-

DONAHUE: I'll bet he didn't, either.

Ms. LEE: Yeah. I don't know.

DONAHUE: I'll bet he liked you so well, he decided to make you alive.

Mr. ASHBROOK: He also put her in Wild at Heart, as well. She worked on Wild at Heart, David [Lynch]'s new movie.

DONAHUE: And do we not understand that to be nominated at Cannes?

Mr. ASHBROOK: I understand that it won best picture [the Palme d'or], I think.

DONAHUE: It won best picture at Cannes?

Mr. ASHBROOK: Yeah, last night.

DONAHUE: Well, congratulations- 23 years old, not bad.
All right, Eric. We've got your number, Leo Johnson! You are the guy we do not want our daughters to bring home. As a matter of fact, old veteran, this is- you've made three features, haven't you?

ERIC DaRE, Leo Johnson: Yeah. Nothing I'd like to really speak about, but-

DONAHUE: But you're in them, huh?

Mr. DaRE: Yeah. Yeah.

DONAHUE: So this is the one that brings you the most heat, I'm sure.

Mr. DaRE: Absolutely. It's great.

DONAHUE: It must be fun, huh?

Mr. DaRE: I love it. It's been a lot of fun shooting it, and working with everybody. Everybody's just great.

DONAHUE: I used to have hair like this.

Mr. DaRE: Yeah?

DONAHUE: It is- you're perfect for this, Eric, and I'm sure you're- you must be very proud of your work in here. And I don't know whether it's premature to say whether this is being picked up. Do we know, Peggy?

PANELIST: [off camera] We- what?

PANELIST: [off camera] No, we don't know yet.

DONAHUE: We don't know yet. All right. Dana, if they don't know, you don't know. Is that right?

Mr. ASHBROOK: I'm Dana. But that's Madchen.

DONAHUE: I'm sorry! Mädchen, are you- you don't know?

Ms. AMICK: I don't know.

DONAHUE: Are you there, caller? I'm glad you waited. Hi.

1st CALLER: Yes, hi. I have a question for Sheryl or anybody. What happened to the original idea- in the first show, there was a town meeting about a serial killer, and the possibility that this was part of that? And I'm going nuts! Would you please tell me? This is Linda, from East Northport, and we love the show.

DONAHUE: Well, we want you to know, too. I know what you mean. There was- you mean, the FBI agent calls the town together?

1st CALLER: Yeah. And he pulled that little R out of her nail, and everything.

DONAHUE: And he says, "Yeah, there's a body. And we found a body 10 years ago, and we think it's the same guy."

1st CALLER: Right!

DONAHUE: I know what you mean. What happened to that?

Mr. ASHBROOK: I think it's still going on. I mean, it's only- the show's only passed through a few days up to this point. So I think that that theory of the serial killer is still alive.

Ms. LAURIE: Yes. How many days, actually, have passed?

Mr. ASHBROOK: Three or four.

Ms. LAURIE: Three or four days?

Mr. ASHBROOK: Does anyone know?

Ms. AMICK: Every other [unintelligible] the next day.

DONAHUE: Right. Now, the town- this is filmed in Washington state, certainly the exteriors are. I assume all the dialogue's in some studio somewhere, huh?

Mr. ASHBROOK: Yes.

PANELIST: [off camera] Yeah. Out here.

DONAHUE: So you're really highlighting the Pacific Northwest in this film- in this series, and I'm sure they must be pleased about this, however mysterious is your plot line, and however many suspects there are in the murder. You don't get to work in Washington state, huh?

Ms. LAURIE: Well, we did.

Mr. ASHBROOK: We did in the pilot.

Ms. LAURIE: We did in the pilot. We did the entire show in Wash- ington state- I mean, the pilot- the two-hour pilot.

DONAHUE: And, Peggy, I don't- I'm afraid to ask you this, be- cause I might have missed it. But you haven't worked in a while, is that so?

PEGGY LIPTON, Norma Jennings: Yeah. I don't think you missed anything. It's been a few years.

DONAHUE: So, how long's it been since you've been before a camera?

Ms. LIPTON: Oh- well, I worked a little bit right before Twin Peaks, for about a year, off and on. But it was a good 13 years.

DONAHUE: And you raised two daughters.

Ms. LIPTON: Yes.

DONAHUE: And now, Mom, you're back on the screen. And it's fun, I bet.

Ms. LIPTON: It's so much fun. I'm so fortunate to, you know, to have a project like this. I would have never- it's like a dream come true.

DONAHUE: Well, how nice to be able to get out, and then jump back on again.

Ms. LIPTON: Yes.

Mr. ASHBROOK: What's so great about it, also, is that the cast- I mean, I don't want to sound like every other actor, but the cast is really great. We're all very tight, I mean-

DONAHUE: Oh, I hear there's terrible things go on. That's not what I hear, Dana!

Mr. ASHBROOK: There's no bad stuff, it's all happy. And they're talented, and I feel fortunate to work with them. And the writing is probably the best writing on television. And everything- the producers are great, and the directors that that we had for the episodes were great.

DONAHUE: You know, Bobby Briggs, you could have knocked Laura off, you know.

Mr. ASHBROOK: Yeah, well.

DONAHUE: You're the son of a repressive military father, and you're a high school senior with an explosive temper, who does what he wants.

Ms. AMICK: I think Shelly and Bobby got together, and- I'm kidding!

DONAHUE: Are you there, caller? Go ahead.

2nd CALLER: Hi. I just wanted to say, it's an incredible show. It's great to see Piper Laurie and Peggy Lipton again. And, also, that [unintelligible] incredible television I've ever seen. The five-minute dream sequence is just incredible. And I'm wondering what it's like to work with David Lynch.

DONAHUE: You enjoyed it?

Ms. LIPTON: Yeah. He's an amazing director. He's got a very special energy. And I think he loves actors. I hope so. I certainly felt, when I worked with him, that he did. And he loves his work.

DONAHUE: Yes?

1st AUDIENCE MEMBER: How far in advance do they give you your lines before you have to, like, act? How much do you know about the plot?

DONAHUE: Do we find out this Wednesday night who killed Laura Palmer? You probably don't want to say.

Mr. ASHBROOK: Ask Mark when he comes out. We get the- we have the scripts, like- we had two every couple weeks when we were starting the series. I mean- and then on the last scripts, we didn't get the last few pages. So no one really knows what's going on.

2nd AUDIENCE MEMBER: When the murder is solved- who the killer is- is that going to be the end of the show?

DONAHUE: They hope not.

3rd AUDIENCE MEMBER: Will it be on next year?

PANELIST: [off camera] We hope so.

Mr. ASHBROOK: We hope so.

DONAHUE: The decision to pick it up is, apparently, pending. You know, if you want me to bet, I bet that it will.

4th AUDIENCE MEMBER: You said the pilot was filmed in Washington. Where do you film each episode.

DONAHUE: In Los Angeles, huh?

Ms. AMICK: In L.A.

Mr. ASHBROOK: We have our own stage, like, far away from all the other studios.

Ms. AMICK: It's painted exactly like the places in-

Mr. ASHBROOK: Incredible sets. Like, I mean, all the series- all the sets from the series were copied from the sets we used in the pilot. And they shoot exterior stuff up there.

5th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'd like to know, how long is a working day for you guys?

Ms. LAURIE: How much what?

Mr. ASHBROOK: How long are working days.

DONAHUE: You may have a 7 o'clock call, 6 o'clock? Depends on the scene you're in.

Mr. DaRE: Depends on how many pages you're going to do that day, and what the circumstances are.

6th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I really like the show, but I find, when I watch it, it makes me nervous. Do you get nervous, you know, throughout your- you know, do you get that undercurrent of how that feels when you're acting, too?

Ms. LIPTON: I do.

Mr. ASHBROOK: You do? I don't really feel it. I just, you know, kind of- I'm so caught up in making it as real as I can. I don't even think about the-

DONAHUE: Are you there, caller? Hi.

3rd CALLER: Hi. I am so glad to see Peggy Lipton back on television. I'd like to ask her what has become of the other old Mod Squad members.

Ms. LIPTON: Old? Did you say, "old"?

DONAHUE: What happened to them? Yeah, they're not so old.

Ms. LIPTON: Clarence still works. He does films- Clarence Williams. And Michael Cole, he also works. And they live in Los Angeles.

DONAHUE: And they're happy?

Ms. LIPTON: They're happy.

DONAHUE: And we won't worry about them. Yes, sir?

7th AUDIENCE MEMBER: A lot of the time, there's a stigma for actors to work in television- like, a lot of actors want to work in movies, eventually. Now, Piper, I know you've been nominated for an Oscar. Do you think this show, which is directed by David Lynch, who's a famous director, is going to help take away the stigma from doing a TV series?

Ms. LAURIE: I think so. I thought of it as a very special project from the very start. I thought it would be very interesting to work with David Lynch, and it certainly has been.

Ms. AMICK: [unintelligible] a nine-hour movie that's split up and put on television.

Mr. ASHBROOK: It wasn't, like, your basic- I mean, even the look of the show isn't, like, a basic flat, white light. You know, everything's got- it's all painted. It's, like- it's kind of, like, art. You know, if cinema is an art, then I think Twin Peaks is in that genre, as well.

DONAHUE: I do, too. Are you there, caller? Hi.

4th CALLER: Hi. I think the show is fantastic. I think the cast is very, very good. My question is that a lot of critics are saying that the audience is being fed way too much information too quickly, and it's hard to, you know, keep track of all the characters and what's happening. What do you feel about that?

Ms. LAURIE: Well, you know, I talk to a lot of friends who watch the show, all over the country. And they don't really care anymore. They're so fascinated just by the quality of the show, and the sort of mystique. And also, I don't know whether sociologists would say- it seems that people like watching it together, and talking about it the next day. I think that's one of the attractions.

DONAHUE: I think we are very much interested in a very well-constructed plot line that continues, as in mystery and love and- you have creeps in this script, you have nice people, you have leaders, you have frightened- and I think that somehow America- heartland wants to see- wants to check into a familiar surrounding every week, and it certainly reflects itself in the success that your series is enjoying. In a moment, we'll find out- maybe we'll be told whether or not this is going to be picked up, as we continue our own efforts, here. As you know, this is part of our job, to find out who killed Laura Palmer. As Twin Peaks makes its way onto the front page, the split page, and the back page of just about every newspaper in America; as more and more people are talking about not only your plot line, but the wonderful performances you render, as well.
And we'll be back in just a moment.

[Commercial break]

DONAHUE: We are joined by Mark Frost, who just happens to be the executive producer, creator and writer, as well as the director of Twin Peaks.
Well, are we picked up, or what? Tell us, Mark.

MARK FROST, Executive Producer, "Twin Peaks": Well, I just got a phone call. We've been picked up for the fall.

DONAHUE: Well, that's good news.

Mr. FROST: That's the first they've heard of it.

DONAHUE: Well, it's nice to be working. Let me- yes, you wanted to-

8th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I have a question. I feel like a duck out of water. For those people who have never seen Twin Peaks- my question is, will there be a rerun this summer, so I can figure out what in the world this is all about?

Mr. FROST: I think the plan is to rerun the nine hours that we've done leading up to the start of next fall.

DONAHUE: Let me- this is a minute long, and it'll give you some- this'll give you some idea of what kind of characters- listen to the mood created by Twin Peaks. Mark and his genius colleagues, not to mention these wonderful players, do spin a yarn, and create an illusion. Look at this.

[Montage of clips from "Twin Peaks"]:

Ms. AMICK: I know I did!

1st ACTOR: What happened?

Mr. ASHBROOK: We saw Waldo.

VOICE ON TAPE RECORDER: Oh, no! Oh, no!

Ms. LAURIE: This was hidden in my desk.

2nd ACTOR: Then we can proceed.

ACTRESS: Is it set for tonight?

2nd ACTOR: Yes.

Ms. LAURIE: What policy is this?

3rd ACTOR: It's your new life insurance.

Ms. LAURIE: Are you suggesting that there's something irregular at work, here?

2nd ACTRESS: "Rejected." That's what he said.

4th ACTOR: Don't you give up!

3rd ACTRESS: Sign here. Welcome to One-Eyed Jacks, sister.

5th ACTOR: Gentlemen, place your bets.

6th ACTOR: Jock, is it?

5th ACTOR: That's me.

7th ACTOR: Say good-bye, James.

VOICE ON THE TELEPHONE: What's up, Doc? I want to see you.

DONAHUE: Okay. What else could you want?

9th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I don't know too much about your show, because it comes on later at night, and I'm usually home by myself. But the music starts playing, and you're watching the television, and you just, like- I don't want to do it!

DONAHUE: I know!

9th AUDIENCE MEMBER: So you, like, run into the kitchen, and then you go back into the living room, and you're watching it for a little while-

DONAHUE: I know. I'll tell you! I mean, I usually go to the basement.

9th AUDIENCE MEMBER: The music- it's what really gets everybody going into the show.

DONAHUE: I'll tell you.

PANELIST: [off camera] You've got to invite some friends over, clearly.

10th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I want to know if they made a few different endings. Instead of just one, did you make-

DONAHUE: You have a different plot line in Europe, don't you?

Mr. FROST: Well, yeah. The ending that you'll see on Wednesday night at 10:00 p.m. is one of several that we worked on, depending on whether we got picked up for the fall or not. I wanted either to polish it off or not polish it off.

DONAHUE: And I assume you have not polished it off.

Mr. FROST: They're working feverishly not to polish it off, right now.

11th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Along the lines of the music, I hear it as being seductive. And I wondered, the symbolism with the twin peaks?

Mr. FROST: I don't want to touch that one! Well, I mean, we drew a map when we started designing the town, and there were these two mountains. And we said, "What are we going to call this town?" So I think one of us said, "'Two Mountains'? No. That won't work. Twin Peaks?" And that's what we stuck with.

DONAHUE: Are you there, caller? Hi.

5th CALLER: Hi. First of all, I feel sorry for the people that haven't watched the best show on television. But my question is, I can tell the difference when David Lynch has directed an episode. I mean, I don't have to read it, I can see it. And I wonder, first of all, if the actors feel the difference? I'm sorry, Mark, but- I wonder if the actors can feel the difference as well. And I wonder how much he will be directing, since it is now picked up in the fall.

DONAHUE: Will he stay with-

Mr. FROST: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, David directed three of the nine hours, and he's definitely going to be back for- his schedule, depending. But he'll be back for as much as he can be next year.

Mr. ASHBROOK: And in response to the other question that she asked- how we felt about the other directors- I mean, I think all the directors brought something of themselves into it. And also, you know, David and Mark have an oversee over the whole thing. So it's still their effect on how the show's going to come out.

12th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I haven't watched Twin Peaks because the first two weeks, I wasn't home. So I didn't want to get into it.

DONAHUE: Well, that's not an excuse. Just sit down.

12th AUDIENCE MEMBER: One second, one second! I don't know who is responsible, but whoever I have spoken to has said the greatest casting is the FBI agent [Dale Cooper]. The way he plays the part is just- you know, I'm not commenting on anyone else's acting ability.

Mr. FROST: Yeah, Kyle MacLachlan has a long history with David. He appeared in Dune. He was discovered by David in Seattle, oddly enough. Played the lead role in Dune, and then also was the lead in Blue Velvet. And in writing the piece, we thought [unintelligible] We wrote the part with him in mind.

DONAHUE: Yes, ma'am?

13th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Which do you prefer, the movies or TV, as far as acting?

Ms. LAURIE: It really depends on the material. I like them both. I like the theater.

14th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I had an eight-hour- I mean, a seven-hour film festival yesterday of Twin Peaks, watching every episode in a row. And

PANELIST: [off camera] And you made it here today.

14th AUDIENCE MEMBER: And made it here today. Stayed up all night. And the question is, during the dream sequence, do they tell who the murderer is? Does it relate? Is that how-

Mr. FROST: The character that Sheryl plays in the dream whispers who the murderer is to Kyle but, unfortunately, the microphone wasn't close enough.

14th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Is there a clue [unintelligible]

DONAHUE: Is there a clue?

Mr. FROST: Is there a clue? Yes. Yeah, quite a number of them.

DONAHUE: Uh-huh. It's Leo Johnson, isn't it. Isn't it? Is that who I'm thinking of? Yes, Eric's character.

Mr. FROST: You want me to answer that?

DONAHUE: Well, you probably don't want to, do you.

Mr. FROST: Definitely not.

DONAHUE: Are you there, caller? Hi.

6th CALLER: Hi. Yes. My name's Mark from Hofstra University. And the people at Hofstra have our own theory of who killed Laura.

DONAHUE: Yeah? What is it?

6th CALLER: We think that Laura really isn't dead, and she dressed up Madeleine to look like Laura, and that's [unintelligible].

DONAHUE: Well done. Do you agree?

15th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah.

Mr. FROST: This theory is getting a lot of credence, apparently, across the country, right now.

DONAHUE: So that the body wasn't Laura, the body was the look-alike- was Madeleine- who Laura is now playing- no, who-

Mr. FROST: And then- yeah. You've got it.

DONAHUE: Whom Sheryl is now playing.

16th AUDIENCE MEMBER: When you get the script, do you just get the lines that you're performing, so the rest is a mystery to you, or do you get the entire script?

Mr. FROST: The entire script.

Ms. AMICK: But it's basically a mystery, because you can't really think of all the other things that are going on. You have to concentrate on yours, or you'll be completely confused.

17th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah. Mark, I think that your show is a psychological breakthrough. And I was wondering if you think that maybe you're setting a new standard for the future of television?

Mr. FROST: Well, one can only hope. I mean, we try to do the best story and show that we could, and if that breaks down a fence that other people can, you know, follow us through, then I'm delighted.

DONAHUE: Hi. Thanks for calling. Go ahead.

7th CALLER: Hi. This is for Mark Frost. Now, I know who did it. Okay?

DONAHUE: Who did it?

7th CALLER: John [Jack] Nance, but he was Henry. But you've got to- you had to see- Eraserhead to find out.

Mr. FROST: Well, it's definitely a possibility.

18th AUDIENCE MEMBER: What is the total number of featured characters in the series?

Mr. FROST: Thirty-five.

18th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Wow! That's why I have trouble keeping up with it.

19th AUDIENCE MEMBER: There was a murder, here in Long Island, not long ago, and a girl was found in a plastic bag. Is any of this taken from a real situation, or is it all

Mr. FROST: No. I didn't hear about that.

DONAHUE: But we do have the tabloids descending on a town in Washington state-

Mr. FROST: That's true. Poor Snoqualmie Falls, I mean-

DONAHUE: Snoqualmie Falls?

Mr. FROST: Yeah.

DONAHUE: And they're claiming that we've got bodies along the side of the road and-

Mr. FROST: No. Chain-saw duels in the woods, the whole thing.

20th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Since you're now famous for being on Twin Peaks, has your personal life changed?

DONAHUE: Sheryl, you want to talk about that?, You're our- this is your first television effort. I'm sure it won't be your last.

Ms. LEE: I hope not. So far, no. Nothing really has changed. I mean, it's certainly opened up doors, thank God, as far as work is concerned. But my personal life isn't really- I do, every once in a while, get people saying, you know, "You're Laura Palmer." But that's about it.

21st AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi, Phil. I love the show. I love the music, the direction, and everything. But just tell me yes or no: did Laura's father kill Laura? Because that's my theory.

Mr. FROST: Definitely maybe.

22nd AUDIENCE MEMBER: The show sort of came out of nowhere, and it was an almost immediate hit. And I'm just wondering, most shows end with a cliff-hanger. Do you think maybe some of the success of this show is attributable to the fact that it began with a cliff-hanger?

Mr. FROST: Well, I think everybody loves a mystery. I think life's a mystery, you know? And that probably hooked a lot of people early on. That was part of our approach.

23rd AUDIENCE MEMBER: Well, all of us have read Agatha Christie, and have been disappointed when the clue that she said was so commonplace-

DONAHUE: They can't see you. You'll never be a star.

23rd AUDIENCE MEMBER: The clue that was given was obvious to the reader, and it becomes hidden under so much that you can't see it. The final episode could turn viewers off, in saying, "Well, I didn't get that. I didn't see that. Where was that?" That's a reality.

Mr. FROST: Yeah, it's a danger, I guess, whenever you plot something this intricately. But we'll see what happens on Wednesday.

DONAHUE: Are you there, caller? Hi.

8th CALLER: Yeah, hi. A question for Mark and any of the actors. There are so many red herrings, here, I'm curious to know how much of the story was plotted before production started, and how much the actors knew about the various plot lines?

Mr. FROST: Well, we thought it was provident to keep them in the dark as much as we possibly could. And the scripts rolled out as we were working. We had two other wonderful writers who I should mention: Harley Peyton and Bob [Robert] Engels worked on the show, as well. So that I think we kept you sort of out of the loop, for the most part. [crosstalk]

PANELIST: [off camera] I'm still in the dark.

Mr. ASHBROOK: You did. Because now that we're doing publicity for it, everyone wants to know, and we're trying to- you know, in order for us to tell the truth- "I don't know. I don't know."

Mr. FROST: And nobody saw the last five pages of the show that's on Wednesday.

Ms. LAURIE: I didn't know that there were five.

DONAHUE: But to return to this woman's question, you cannot tease an audience forever. I assume you agree.

Mr. FROST: I agree. And I think with the pick-up, now, for the fall, you won't be disappointed for long- if you are disappointed at all.

24th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I just want to say, I hate Leo, but I hope he stays, and he comes back this fall. Because you're great. You're so good.

Mr. DaRE: Thank you very much.

DONAHUE: For a louse- she wants you to come back.
And we'll be back in just a moment.

[Commercial break]

DONAHUE: Peggy Lipton- we've already chatted about the fact that she took time out- not forever, but for a while- and did not work outside the home, shall we say. Piper, you did this, too.

Ms. LAURIE: Yes, I did.

DONAHUE: Let me remind this audience- this is probably the youngest audience we've ever had.

AUDIENCE: [applause and cheers]

DONAHUE: I'll kiss a baby, next. You know that Piper's an Emmy award-winner and triple-Oscar nominee. In what film did she make her screen debut? And whose daughter was she? Trivia. The film was Louisa [1950] and she was Ronald Reagan's daughter. And you retired when, in the '70s? When did you- you bailed out for a while, didn't you?

Ms. LAURIE: I bailed out for 15 years.

DONAHUE: That's a while.

Ms. LAURIE: A little bit longer than you.

DONAHUE: And you loved it, and you came back, and it's fine. And what's-

Ms. LAURIE: Right. Right.

DONAHUE: You know, there's a lot of people think you can't do that. You know, once you leave, they forget you and that's it. And it certainly wasn't going to hurt you.

Ms. LAURIE: I think I was very lucky.

DONAHUE: Well, you're also very talented. That doesn't hurt, you know.
Hi. I'm glad you waited. Go ahead. Yeah?

9th CALLER: Yes. I was wondering. Do you need any special legal authority from the FBI to portray FBI agent Cooper the way you do, as using such strange investigative techniques, like throwing rocks at bottles and going on in dreams, and things like that?

Mr. FROST: We had an FBI advisor working with us on the pilot, and oddly enough, he wrote me a letter about four weeks in and said, "Some of the techniques you're employing are things that Director Hoover used to encourage us to do." I don't know about throwing rocks at bottles, but he said "Pay attention to your dreams." And so I felt we were on the right track.

DONAHUE: We have asked this audience who killed Laura Palmer. Do you want to show them? Who do you think the number-one suspect is?

25th AUDIENCE MEMBER: The psychiatrist.

DONAHUE: The psychiatrist is correct. Dr. Jacoby got 31 percent of the- 31 percent of you think that the psychiatrist knocked off Laura, assuming Laura is the one that's been knocked off. All right. Dr. Jacoby- or, I'm sorry- Leo, we've got Leo in this. You're number two, Leo, 17 percent thought- and here is Jacques Renault and Bobby Briggs, the football player, 11 percent. Look at this. James-the motorcyclist, 8 percent. Here- 6 percent of you think Laura's still alive. Oh, we want to have a- you should be writing the scripts. And you could be right. The sawmill manager, and the hotel owner are also suspects. Piper, you're a suspect. Three percent think she killed herself. Laura's father got 3 percent. And look at that. One percent of you think Dale Cooper, the FBI agent, knocked her off. And Josie Packard. Mike, I've got another candidate. I think I've got another candidate. In fact, I know who did kill Laura Palmer. It's not on here- the mayor.

Mr. FROST: The 85-year-old mayor?

DONAHUE: The 85-year-old- he's doddering, you know, and he's- I think he- I think- we- on that final scene, we're going to see a real S.O.- you know. But nobody asked me, so I'll have to-

26th AUDIENCE MEMBER: The show has a lot of elements of psychic ability. Do you, yourself, believe in that kind of stuff?

Mr. FROST: Yes and no. I mean, I think it's part of everyday life. I think a lot of people do believe in it, and I thought it would be interesting to pull it into the fabric of the show.

DONAHUE: Hi. I'm glad you waited. Go ahead.

10th CALLER: Hi, Phil. I'm dying to know. The men on your panel- are they married, single, or seriously dating?

DONAHUE: Well, that's a good question. The men- all right. Well, listen, Peggy, you're single, I assume?

Ms. LIPTON: I'm single.

DONAHUE: Piper?

Ms. LAURIE: I'm a single.

DONAHUE: Dana?

Mr. ASHBROOK: I'm- I- I have- I live with a beautiful young woman.

DONAHUE: I see. In separate bedrooms, we hope.

Mr. ASHBROOK: Well, of course.

DONAHUE: Mädchen? Mädchen?

Ms. AMICK: Yes.

DONAHUE: You're single?

Ms. AMICK: I'm taken.

DONAHUE: Are you? You go steady, sort of, so to speak.

Ms. AMICK: Uh-huh. Engaged.

DONAHUE: You're engaged? Well, you have our congratulations. Eric?

Mr. DaRE: I have a beautiful girlfriend in L.A.

DONAHUE: You have a girlfriend?

Mr. DaRE: Yeah.

DONAHUE: I see. Well, that's too bad. And Sheryl?

Ms. LEE: I'm single.

PANELIST: (off camera] And staying that way.

Ms. LAURIE: And staying that way, yes.

DONAHUE: And Mark Frost lives with six women. No! I'm just kidding.

Mr. FROST: Seven, at last count. No, I'm very happily married.

DONAHUE: Yes, sir?

27th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Besides the fact that everyone likes a good mystery, do you think that one of the reasons that this show is so popular is because people are sick of, like, the Reagan era complacency, and they want, you know, the things beneath the surfaces? They want to see the evil that people do. I mean, do you think that's why the show is popular?

Mr. FROST: The thing we wanted to do above anything else was not insult people's intelligence with the show, not underestimate people's intelligence, and see what happens.

28th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Up till now, the whole plot has been focused on the murder of Laura. What do you plan to develop next year to keep the show going, more murders?

Mr. FROST: There are 10 million stories in the tiny city, so.

DONAHUE: Oh, I'm sure that-

29th AUDIENCE MEMBER: This is a question for Peggy. Why is Ray- why did Ray call Josie at the end of the next to the last- the previous week's episode?

Ms. LAURIE: Oh, you mean Hank?

29th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hank- sorry, Hank.

Ms. LAURIE: Hank, my husband?

DONAHUE: Yeah.

Ms. LAURIE: I don't know.

DONAHUE: Are you there, caller? Hello? Oh, I thought-

30th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi. This is for Peggy. How tall was Linc's hair? No, no. What I really want to know is, when I saw the pilot for Twin Peaks, and I initially started to watch it, I was a little surprised at the grieving sequences with, like, Laura's mother- at how long they were. Did you ever worry that the audience would be- wouldn't take to that, that that would turn more people off than-

Mr. FROST: What I think we wanted to show was real grief, and real grief isn't something that happens and ends conveniently before the next commercial. And there are consequences to violent crime and violent death that most television shows never deal with. And that's one of the things we've tried to do with the show.

DONAHUE: I'm glad you waited. Go ahead. Hi. I'm glad I pushed the button, too. Go ahead.

11th CALLER: Hi. Because the show looks so lush and lavish, and different from anything else on television, I'm curious whether the production staff as well as the writers are from a film or television background?

DONAHUE: Film or TV, she wants to know. She's impressed with the cinematic quality.

Mr. FROST: Both. I mean, that's sort of the way it works for everybody on the show.

DONAHUE: Hi. Glad you called. Go ahead.

12th CALLER: Yes. I'd like to say, first of all, I really enjoy the visual aspect of the show. My question is about the comedy in the scripts, in particular, the scene where Ben's brother Jerry comes back from Paris and breaks out the sandwiches was- I felt was hilarious. Is this intentional, or is it just me?

Mr. FROST: No, that was intentional. If you've ever had one of those sandwiches, you'd know.

DONAHUE: Are you there? Hi. Go ahead.

13th CALLER: Hello. First of all, my daughter wants me to say that Bobby's a real cutie. And second of all, I don't really care who killed Laura. I want to know if we're ever going to meet Diane.

Mr. FROST: You will see parts of Diane in upcoming episodes.

31st AUDIENCE MEMBER: Parts of her?

32nd AUDIENCE MEMBER: Which parts?

33rd AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah. I want to know what it's like working with David Lynch. After a film like Blue Velvet, I thought I had to watch this show. What's he really like in person?

PANELIST: [off camera] He's great.

PANELIST: [off camera] Very nice.

Mr. DaRE: Everybody has a tendency to say, you know, "Is he really weird?" And I find him to be generally, probably more normal than all of us.

Mr. FROST: He's a cross between Jimmy Stewart and Salvador Dali.

Mr. ASHBROOK: He's very approachable, as an actor to the director, as well. You'd think someone with his, you know, all the success he's had would be harder to kind of break through with him. But he totally lends himself to you, so you're able to, you know, kind of give a good performance.

Ms. LAURIE: There's definitely something very different about him.

DONAHUE: We are in New York City with part of the very talented cast of players from Twin Peaks, the conclusion of which airs this Wednesday night wherein, apparently, our creator is saying that we will learn something, huh?

Mr. FROST: Yes.

DONAHUE: We will learn- will we learn whether- who killed Laura?

Mr. FROST: You might. But you have to draw your own conclusions.

DONAHUE: And we'll be back in just a moment.

[Commercial break]

DONAHUE: Those of you who are Twin Peaks fans know that the cherry pie relates to the FBI agent, who apparently overdoses on cherry pie at your place, or whose diner? Peggy's place. No, you're not Peggy! Just don't forget your name, you're Norma Jennings. Here's this prom queen who's, you know, washed ashore, wrapped in a plastic bag. The log is what?

Mr. FROST: That's actually a stunt log. The real log, which belongs to the Log Lady, which she won't part with, is still back in Los Angeles.

DONAHUE: I'm glad you called. Go ahead. The cast of Twin Peaks is with us. Are you there? Hi.

14th CALLER: Yes. I was wondering, whatever happened to the girl who was tortured along with Laura Palmer?

Mr. FROST: She's still in the hospital.

DONAHUE: Yeah. We're making a-

Mr. FROST: Ronette Pulaski.

DONAHUE: Yes. She had to concentrate, too. She had a brain injury.

34th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I wanted to know how difficult it was to get the network to go for a show like this?

Mr. FROST: Surprisingly, not difficult. A fellow named Tony Krantz, who is David and my's mutual agent in television, kept hammering at us to do the show. He took us over to ABC, and we had one meeting, and the next thing we knew, we were writing this thing. And then the next thing we knew, we were making it. And the next thing we knew, it was a series. So it's been remarkably easy.

35th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Okay. We missed the episode where Laura's father put himself over her casket, and he died.

Mr. FROST: Right.

35th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Was there any incest in that, between the-

Mr. FROST: Well, not when he was on the casket, no. That's a possibility, I suppose, yes. Maybe.

DONAHUE: The town about which we spoke a moment ago is Snoqualmie?

Mr. FROST: Yeah.

DONAHUE: Snoqualmie, Washington?

Mr. FROST: Right.

DONAHUE: You mention my name in Snoqualmie, and you'll get a blank stare. Here is the town on which, it is believed, the Twin Peaks story is based. And the town has never had so much press, and they may or may not be grateful for it.
This is from Entertainment Tonight. Watch this- Twin Peaks mania.

REPORTER: [voiceoverl The misty meadows and eerie quiet of Snoqualmie, a tiny logging town in Washington, kind of gives you the creeps. [clip from "Twin Peaks"]

1st ACTOR: There's something out there. Something very, very strange in these old woods.

REPORTER: The town is the setting for the fictional Twin Peaks, the TV series about small-town treachery. But now, an article in the Star claims that Snoqualmie is hiding some very dark secrets of its own. The town's respected citizens reply:

PETER DEL VALLE: Seems like a lot of things happen around this little town.

REPORTER: The tabloid claims serial sex murderer Ted Bundy stacked piles of human heads along the local highway.

RON KRUMI: A lot of people like to point it out and say, "Oh, you know, we didn't know that Ted Bundy lived in Snoqualmie." You know, we didn't know that either. We still don't know that.

REPORTER: The article claims gruesome evidence has been uncovered of Satanic rituals and mutilated animals.

STAN KOTT, Assistant General Manager, Salish Lodge: Certainly a very colorful article, and not quite in tune with what we really think goes on around here.

REPORTER: What does really go on? Worse than animal sacrifices? Well, we looked deeper. Would you believe barroom brawling with chain saws? Well, at least the locals have a sense of humor about the chain saw duel. And over at Big Ed's, home of the Twin Peaks burger, the whole Star article was just a hoot.

RESTAURANT MANAGER: This lady thinks she maybe left her chain saw here last night. [on the telephone] What color was it?

REPORTER: Most of the town folk like watching Twin Peaks.

Mr. DEL VALLE: Hey, we're Twin Peaks!

REPORTER: They say the show is just escapist fun that's set in their back yard. And, for the most part, the dark side doesn't bother them. But the Star article, they say, is pure fantasy.

TAMMY SAYAN: That's not our town. It's not. We're so mellow, it's pathetic.

DONAHUE: I'm glad you waited. Go ahead. Hang on. Hang on one second. Go ahead. Are you there, caller?

15th CALLER: Yes, I am.

DONAHUE: Go ahead.

15th CALLER: My question is for the cast, and for Mark Frost. The show's pretty risque, and I wondered if you had any problems with censorship from the network?

Mr. FROST: No, not at all. I mean, if you're box-clever, and are not explicit, you can get away with literally murder on television. And I think we've done that, and a little bit more.

Mr. DaRE: I thought they were going to actually have problems with me.

DONAHUE: Because you're such a-

Mr. DaRE: Yeah.

DONAHUE: Yeah.

36th AUDIENCE MEMBER: You know, when you come to the Donahue show, you never know what's going to be on.

DONAHUE: I'll tell you. Somewhere up there is Laura Palmer's murderer.

36th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I happened to have this [map] shirt on anyway. But you don't need the marketing, but it would be a great Twin Peaks shirt, you know?

DONAHUE: Yes, it would. I assure you, there will be one.

37th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I thought when they did the scene where you supposedly beat your wife, they did it very well, because you heard the- they went away from it, you heard the screaming, but you didn't actually see the violence, which I thought was in very good taste.

Mr. FROST: That's what I mean about being implicit. I mean, we don't need to see things like that. We know they're going on.

Mr. DaRE: I think it's worse.

38th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Will we find out what kind of chewing gum Agent Cooper chews?

Mr. FROST: Geez.

DONAHUE: That was my question.

Mr. FROST: Yeah. I'll have to think about that one.

39th AUDIENCE MEMBER: What gave you the idea for the show?

Mr. FROST: Well, we had this opportunity to do a TV show, and we thought we should do a mystery story set in a small town with a lot of mood and atmosphere. And before we knew it, you know, we had Twin Peaks.

40th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Do you think there could ever be a movie about this?

DONAHUE: Movie- big screen?

Mr. FROST: Maybe. There was a Dallas movie years ago, I know. It did about 50 cents at the box office.

1st AUDIENCE MEMBER: To heck with Laura. Are we ever going to find out who killed the deer?

Mr. FROST: Everybody

PANELIST: [off camera] Laura.

Mr. FROST: Yeah, they all kill deer with chain saws up there, apparently.

2nd AUDIENCE MEMBER: I was wondering where have I seen Mädchen before. Did she do a L'Oreal commercial or something?

DONAHUE: Have you been- he wants to know if you've done any commercial work?

Ms. AMICK: I've done commercial work. I've done a Sprite commercial, and Noxema. And I was on the Baywatch two-hour movie. That's about it.

DONAHUE: Well, he has seen you before, then.

3rd AUDIENCE MEMBER: This show reminds me of the old Peyton Place. Was it taken from that?

Mr. FROST: It's funny. We went in and met with ABC, and they said- we told them what we wanted to do, and they said, "Oh, yeah. You mean Peyton Place for the '90s?" And we said, "Yeah, if that's what you want to call it."

4th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Phil, I'm not really a big soap fan, but I've often wondered, watching these things, if somebody actually sits down in advance, and thinks where they're going to go-

DONAHUE: Do they know where they're going to go before-

4th AUDIENCE MEMBER: -or does it just develop?

Mr. FROST: Yes.

DONAHUE: But, obviously, you do- you make this up as you go along. I assume you find out which characters get the most mail. I'm sure you're all getting mail.

PANELIST: [off camera] Sure.

Mr. FROST: Bags of it.

DONAHUE: Really? Well, Twin Peaks- the mystery attendant to its survival has been solved by Mr. Frost, who steps forward to say that, yes, you are picked up for next year. And I think they're going to run it on Saturdays, is that true?

Mr. FROST: Saturday nights at 10:00 p.m.

DONAHUE: Saturdays at 10:00 p.m. And we'll be back in a moment.

[Commercial break]

DONAHUE: Peggy, Piper, Dana, Mädchen, Eric, Sheryl and Mark, we thank you for letting us have a peek at what we believe is going to become- already making its way to the center of our popular culture. We have free glazed donuts- do I understand this- for everybody in the audience, compliments of- those of you who watch Twin Peaks know why.
Let me just get this call on, here. Are you there, caller?

16th CALLER: I'd like to know if the murderer of Laura Palmer is on stage right now.

DONAHUE: Is the killer on stage right now?

Donahue,
21 Mai 1990

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