Throughout our “Return Rewatch,” we’ve had a different Twin Peaks cast or crew member on the site every week for an interview. For Parts 17 and 18, that cast member is none other than Kimmy Robertson. I can’t think of a better person than Kimmy to close out our “Return Rewatch.” Her character Lucy is truly the heart and soul of the series, and in real life, Kimmy’s love of all things Twin Peaks and the fans knows no limits. This was a really special conversation that I hope you enjoy reading just as much as I enjoyed participating in.
AG: You got to be a part of several of Twin Peaks fans favorite scenes in all of the third season. I wanted to start by asking about what I considered to be the funniest scene in the new season, with your character’s son, Wally Brando (Michael Cera). What was filming that scene like and did you have any expectations prior as to what Lucy’s child might have been like?
KR: We didn’t see any of the script prior. On the day we shot that scene, it was later in the day. We got there and went straight to dinner. We were sitting in a tent under that big smokestack having dinner, and I was sitting next to Michael Cera and Harry (Goaz) was sitting across from us. We were squeezed in, and I kept bumping Michael’s arm when he was trying to eat his salad. I could tell he was nervous. At that point, we had already dropped off our stuff at our dressing rooms and looked at the script and had our two pages.
One page was Michael’s and half a page for Harry and I (laughs). I knew he was probably nervous because he had so much to say all in a row and it being David Lynch. I could tell he was a David Lynch fan and that he was honored to be there and therefore nervous, wanting to do a good job and everything, which is silly like Michael Cera’s not going to do a good job (laughs). He asks Harry and I a few questions over dinner about how David works so maybe he could know what to expect. I told him, “You won’t have to do it very much. He doesn’t do a lot of takes.” He was chewing and he looked at me and went “Huh?” So I looked at Harry, and he said, “Yeah, maybe one or two takes.” I don’t think Michael really heard us because that’s so very unusual only to do one or two takes.
We all left and went to hair and makeup and then Harry and I went to shoot something else inside. Then it was time to do that scene, and it was really cold outside. I had a coat on that went from my head to my ankles and so did Harry and Michael. There were heaters everywhere and the beautiful motorcycle…oh my God…so we took off our giant coats, and David said, “OK, let’s try one.” David came and posed us, put Harry’s arm on his shoulder and my hand on his shoulder, sort of looking at him with pride. So we shot it, and David Lynch said, “Well, that was just aces Wally!” He goes and talks to Peter Deming and we’re all standing there, shivering, and David walks up and said, “Do you think you have one more in you?” Michael just looked at us, and I smiled at him. He said to David, “Yes, of course.” So he did it again, and David said, “That’s just perfect. Absolutely perfect,” and then he talked to Peter Deming and then came back over and said, “Well, we need to get a little closer.” We did a little bit more but not the whole thing again, and that was it. David announced that Michael Cera was wrapped and I think Michael Cera was in shock. It all happened so fast. He remembered all of his lines and he did them perfectly and had the timing that David wanted perfectly.
AG: That was in Part 4 and in many ways that was the first Part to really feel like Twin Peaks, at least how we previously knew it. It seemed like Lynch and Frost used your character and everyone at the Sheriff’s station to give us that sense of nostalgia.
KR: I was very surprised, I must say. I couldn’t believe that we were so near the beginning of Part 1. I couldn’t believe how much we were in it. I just recently rewatched it during Showtime’s marathon, as many parts as I could and every time I was feeling anxious then all of a sudden they’d show the Sheriff’s station, and I would get this warm, happy, at home, everything’s OK in the world feeling. I’m a fan first. I was noticing those feelings watching and then that morphed into a kind of, gratitude. It’s hard to put into words—I got to be in this. I got to be in that Sheriff’s station and be in it again. They didn’t cast an eighteen-year-old. It’s just a miracle. I know that David Lynch loves us. He just really loves us, the people that work at the Sheriff’s station.
AG: What was it like working with Robert Forster this time around, in place of Michael Ontkean?
KR: He’s amazing. We all loved Michael Ontkean, absolutely love him. Now we love Robert Forster too. When we were up in the hotel before we were really shooting anything, we were sitting around in the lobby and he came up to us and introduced himself. He was immediately part of the family. So friendly, so warm and nice, and every time he looks at you, every time he speaks, he puts his heart out in front of him. It’s unusual. He’s not thinking about himself at all, ever, which is different for actors. There’s no insecurity in him; he’s just a lovely, handsome, sexy, nice human being.
AG: In the beginning, most Twin Peaks fans were like “Oh no, we really want Harry Truman back.” There was this collective feeling of loving Robert Forster as an actor, but he’s not Harry. Early on, it became more of an “OK; we can miss Harry and still love Frank too.” He felt like he had been there the entire time after awhile.
KR: Yes, especially when he was talking to his brother on the phone. How they brought Harry in that way was great. I loved that.
AG: Another favorite scene of many fans was when Lucy got to be the ultimate hero of the show, shooting and killing Mr. C in Part 17. I’ve heard off the record about the cast and crew party for the finale and that when your character shot Mr. C, people jumped out of their seats in excitement. What was that like for you getting to be the hero and then getting that reaction from your peers?
KR: That’s true. I was there at the party. That whole episode before, where Cooper jumps out of the hospital bed and then says “I am the FBI,” we watched that together too and got excited because we didn’t know that had happened, how he ended up in the Sheriff’s station, as the Dale Cooper. Let me just go back a year before that, on my first day of work in the Sheriff’s station. We were getting ready to shoot something and Kyle walked in as bad Cooper, with the long hair and contacts. He walked in and saw me and came around to the door and hugged me and says, “Lucy, Lucy! I mean, Kimmy!” I told him either one is fine (laughs). He said “I know, but oh my God, you are Lucy. I can’t believe it! You look exactly the same!” I told him to let me turn around so he could butter the other side. Anyway, I hugged him again and realized that he was filthy. He told me he thought it was soot he was covered in. Later on, when someone was interviewing me, I almost said that when someone asked me what it was like seeing Kyle for the first time. Sabrina Sutherland was right next to me and jabbed me in the ribs (laughs).
Anyway, back to the screening. We were watching it at this club in Hollywood. I knew I had done that (shot Mr. C), I was there, but as I was watching it, I almost forgot. Maybe because I was behind the camera but I didn’t see how the camera was looking at bad Cooper and how he didn’t see me. I didn’t know that was happening; you know what I mean? So it was a complete shock to me when it happened. I wasn’t ready. I thought it was later. So I also jumped up. Everyone was clapping and patting me on the back and cheering. It was really something.
AG: Another scene I wanted to ask about was when the Log Lady passed away. That always stuck out even more, just knowing that Catherine Coulson really had passed away and that what happened on screen was basically what happened off-screen. The reaction from everyone in the Sheriff’s station felt so real. What was it like filming that scene?
KR: I believe we shot that on a Friday and found out that Monday. When we got to set, there was a little notice in each of our dressing rooms. We all came outside and were hugging each other, and there was nothing we could say other than “What?” We all thought she was getting better. What I had heard was that David and Peter Deming had gone to see her in her house in Oregon but that wasn’t what happened. There was another camera crew that went there. I guess that should’ve told us something, but I had just seen her at the Twin Peaks Festival, and she was thin but beautiful, happy and positive. She left early to go back and do a play that night. She was unstoppable. Back to your question, we weren’t supposed to film that Friday but they added that day. We came in, and it was very quiet.
David didn’t let anyone near the conference room. I don’t know if you know how the Sheriff’s station is set up, but there’s a hallway and then doors and then everyone’s offices and the conference room is at the end. Nobody was sitting in the halls like normal. No crew, no machines, nothing. All the lights were down really low, just like when he shot it. David stood up and made a speech about Catherine and how much we love her, and he was sad, obviously, on the inside. On the outside, he was the director. They got everything over, and he called me over and told me what I was going to say and asked me if I could cry, and I told him yeah. He then talked to Harry and asked him to put his hands on my shoulders or touch me in some way. We did two or three takes of the scene, and that was that.
AG: To switch gears to something more happy and uplifting, I interviewed Ian Buchanan about a year ago, and he made a joke about how Wally Brando was definitely his son.
KR: Well, you know Ian, he’s always trying to stir up trouble (laughs). He’s a really kind person. He and Harry started that rivalry because, well, why not? No, he’s Andy’s son. I mean, there’s the Christmas picture (laughs). That picture, wasn’t that something? It was the weirdest. I begged for it but didn’t get it.
AG: Did you get any cool keepsakes from this season?
KR: Wardrobe gave me the watch chain that Lucy always wore. That’s hanging on my bedroom door.
AG: I did want to ask about memories of working with Ian and Harry together in the original series.
KR: I had been a fan of Ian for a long time. I had dated someone on General Hospital briefly and I wound up watching for about three months. I became a huge fan of Ian’s. Then one day he showed up on the set of Twin Peaks, and I said, “What are you doing here?” and he said, “What are you doing here?” (laughs) I told him I worked here and he said he did now too. It was jokes from then on, the three of us. We were the three weirdos. In every single thing I’ve ever done, I’m the weirdo. Generally, there’s another weirdo, and that’s who I hang out with. The normal people on the set don’t necessarily want to hang out with weirdos. We’re a small microcosm of society in general.
AG: But definitely a fun one.
KR: Yeah. We’d do stuff together and had a good time.
AG: How was it coming back to Twin Peaks all these years later? There were so many stories about what was happening off screen during Season 2, and that not everybody was happy at all times. Now 25 years later, you’re coming back and David and Mark entirely crafted it, and they were getting to do things the way they wanted to.
KR: Well, again, another miracle. What was frustrating about Season 2 is that we understood that David Lynch had opportunities to make his movie that he wanted to make. That’s just how it works. Some of the other producers on the show, one in particular, were assholes. For some reason, they made it their mission to fuck up the show or steer it in their way, which was not David Lynch’s way. I’ve used this example before, but if you take a wide angle lens and put it on a camera and turn the camera sideways, that’s not David Lynch-y. That’s weird, for weirdness sake. They had us do stuff that wasn’t true to our characters and it was upsetting in the second season. To know that David Lynch was directing all 18 hours was like a warm blanket when you’re cold. We’ll finally get to do it right, the way it was supposed to be. Not just for us but for everybody who likes Twin Peaks. That’s what it was like the whole time. It was such a joy. It was like getting to go back in time and make up for something you have huge regrets for and huge amounts of stored up emotion that you had no place to put for 30 years — so much regret. The TV show Twin Peaks was unlike anything else, and we knew it. It was a gift from God and then these little devils came into try and destroy it, and it hurt. It hurt a lot. It was unfinished business. We wanted to make it right again and I think we got to. We got to sit down, put your seatbelt on, and go into David Lynch’s mind and what a place.
AG: People are going to be talking about this for more than 25 years. People will debate what happened in the final two hours for years to come.
KR: Exactly! What do you think happened in the end?
AG: I tend to think that all of the talk of numerology was something we were supposed to look into, and Cooper’s numerology was a 9. He hadn’t reached the number of completion yet but was close. I think that he still had more work to do on himself before he could move on to whatever his higher purpose was.
KR: Have you ever added up the population of the town? It adds up to 9 too.
AG: Very cool! So yeah, that’s my take, that Cooper didn’t save Laura and that he still has more work to do. He’ll get there eventually though.
KR: I like that very much. I’m going to go with that. Oh that Sheryl Lee scream at that end. Wow.
AG: She definitely has an impressive scream, but so do you.
KR: Well, hers has a lot more notes in it.
AG: So here we are a year later. The show’s over, but between publications like mine, podcasts, conventions and festivals, people are still talking about this world and appreciating it. What’s that like for you, a year later to see and hear so many people still talking about this project you were a part of? You’ve lived through the good and bad, the years in between and now here we are, a year after the show ended.
KR: I’ve gone to a few conventions and events and finally got Harry to go to a few with me. It’s mostly talking to the fans. The autographs and things they’re buying are a secondary thing. It’s more about going around the world and getting to meet the fans, and I’ve gotta say, that’s really something. It’s really something to talk to the people who are watching it on TV and hearing their feelings and opinions. When the marathon was on recently, I left it on when I had to leave my house for a bit for my dog to watch. When I walked back in the house and it was on, it just felt right. This is how it should be. It should be on a lot. I wish we could make more just because it’s such a feeling of home to me. It’s like it’s the place where I’m actually from because I know I’m not from Earth. Like I said, when I walked in and felt those feelings, I tried to figure out what they were. Am I proud? I don’t know that feeling. I’m an actor, which means my baseline is insecurity. Pride is something I’ve never actually experienced. It’s a kind of gratitude that I get to be in something like this that’s on a record somewhere that may last as long as humanity does. That is an indescribable feeling. It’s almost like I discovered a pyramid or something. I know that sounds like pride, but it isn’t. It’s gratitude. Mostly I’m grateful that David Lynch left Montana and decided to make movies (laughs) and that I happened to cross his path at the exact right time.
AG: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. In closing, did you have any parting words for those who may be reading?
KR: I’d like to express my thanks to the fans who decided to take the time to watch, then rewatch and who have the energy to keep exploring it and figuring it out. They don’t have to do that; they could go talk about a show like Westworld, which is still being made. For them to talk about something we’ve already finished makes me really grateful. I’ve gotta say, there’s probably never been another old, unattractive actress to get this much love ever. It feels a lot like love.
AG: It is love. The second you came on our screens it was like “That’s our Lucy.”
KR: It’s really something for me. The whole reason I got into acting is because it’s fun and it feels a lot like love. Hollywood is not a friendly place, especially to older actresses, over 30. If you’re over 40, it’s like you have the plague. The freedom that everyone feels to love Lucy and Andy, it’s just so kind and appreciated. Now I’m going to cry (pauses). Everyone needs to give credit to David Lynch for having the balls to use us in the first place and then to use us again.
If you enjoyed this interview, please be sure to check out some of our others!