Laura Dern, Naomi Watts, Patricia Arquette, and Hailey Gates Open Up About Working with Legendary Director David Lynch

David Lynch certainly has an eye for female protagonists — especially the tragic heroine — from 'Mulholland Drive' to 'Twin Peaks.' Here, four of his favorite collaborators past and present, the actresses Laura Dern, Patricia Arquette, Naomi Watts, and Hailey Gates, discuss their relationship with the famed director. In the words of Naomi Watts, "such a freak" — but a beloved one at that.

Released on 4/25/2017

Transcript

00:05
Blue Velvet was my first David Lynch movie.
00:07
I hadn't read the script yet.
00:10
He walked out, and I
00:13
was just startled by every aspect of him.
00:16
And he looked at me and I was waiting for this like magical,
00:21
these magical words, and it was a magical moment,
00:25
but he went, I have to pee.
00:27
And so, [laughs] he disappeared.
00:29
In the case of Lost Highway, I'd say, David,
00:32
so am I playing two different people?
00:35
Yes.
00:36
Is one of them a ghost?
00:37
Is one a hallucination?
00:39
Are these real people?
00:40
What am I playing here?
00:42
I don't know, Patrish, what do you think?
00:44
So I had to come up with a whole concept
00:46
of what I thought Lost Highway was about.
00:49
At one point when I was talking about, okay,
00:50
I think for the Renee character I should have dark hair
00:53
and blunt cut bangs like Bettie Page.
00:56
And David said, who's that?
00:58
And I was like, Bettie Page, David.
01:00
Bettie Page!
01:01
If you don't know Bettie Page,
01:03
and then I turned him on to Bettie Page
01:04
and he was like, [gasps] Bettie Page, wow!
01:07
She's the bee's knees, wow.
01:10
I sat down and I was like, hi.
01:12
And he said.
01:18
Nice to meet you, Naomi.
01:20
He's got that intense ear-to-ear grin, and.
01:25
[inhales]
01:26
You know, smoking up a storm.
01:28
So how was your day?
01:30
[inhales]
01:31
Tell me everything.
01:33
I'm like, well, what?
01:34
Like, I got on the plane and I'm in New York,
01:36
I had theater tickets and they told me to come here,
01:39
so I came here and, wait, are you really interested in this?
01:43
Do you?
01:44
And he was like, yeah, tell me everything.
01:46
You gotta remember, I was at a point
01:48
where I'd been auditioning for 10 years
01:50
and people could barely give you eye contact.
01:53
But with David, he was just genuinely interested.
01:57
I got a call that he wanted to meet me at Bob's Big Boy
02:02
to see if Kyle McLaughlin and I
02:05
could get along, or something.
02:06
It was like a chemistry lunch.
02:10
We ordered malts and french fries
02:13
and David was doodling on napkins
02:17
while Kyle was doodling with a knife into his ketchup.
02:22
And, I mean, a girl either goes
02:25
these are really bizarre men and they're twin souls,
02:30
or I'm in love with both these people
02:32
and wanna spend the rest of my lives with them,
02:34
which is how I responded.
02:36
My nickname is Tidbit.
02:37
The only other two I know are Naomi is Buttercup
02:41
and Patricia is Solid Gold.
02:43
And I'm Tidbit since I was 16.
02:46
I just remember he said, cut!
02:50
Tidbit.
02:52
You'll have them bolting for the fire exits!
02:55
[laughs]
02:56
I was like, oh my God!
02:58
Seemingly crushed, but he was so happy,
03:00
I guess I did it the way he wanted me to.
03:03
You know he has a megaphone, right?
03:05
Even if there's like, three people in the room.
03:08
It's so cool.
03:10
I really, really like that kind of commitment.
03:13
He has a cig hanging out of his mouth, and he's like,
03:18
I need a little more danger in her face.
03:22
The table wasn't quite dirty enough, and so he's just like,
03:27
on the megaphone, can I get a Bisquick?
03:32
And someone comes over with Bisquick
03:34
and he starts like, with a cig hanging out of his mouth
03:37
like a rubbing a paste of like gunk
03:40
to spread over the table in front of me.
03:44
It was truly one of my favorite moments.
03:47
King Kong came along, so I call David,
03:51
and I'll never forget what he said.
03:53
Naomi.
03:55
Anyone who sits in the hand of King Kong
03:58
will be a movie star for life.
04:03
That's what he said.
04:05
So I said okay.
04:06
[laughs]
04:08
Wild at Heart was such an intimate movie
04:10
that he was usually sitting on the bed
04:13
while we were doing our love scenes
04:16
and we had scenes where we'd get the giggles
04:18
and he'd have to like, pinch our feet
04:20
to get us to stop, to stop laughing.
04:23
But he was always right there,
04:25
always right next to the camera, very, very close,
04:28
and usually, as we were rolling,
04:30
he'd be able to somehow whisper in my ear
04:32
and then go back and hide, which was just beautiful.
04:36
I remember there's this big scene in the desert
04:39
that Balthazar Getty and I have
04:41
at the end of the movie and I have this rope on,
04:44
and I don't have any clothes on underneath.
04:47
So I said to Balthazar, okay, when we're supposed to be
04:50
having sex and I'm sitting on top of you,
04:52
put your hands on my boobs, and keep them there.
04:55
[laughs]
04:57
I'm like, Balthazar, I'd rather you touch my boobs
04:59
than the world see my boobs, so keep your hands on my boobs.
05:03
I wanted to change my nails for,
05:05
these are Renee's nail colors,
05:07
these are Alice's nail colors,
05:10
and so I would be changing my nails in between scenes
05:13
sometimes like five times a day
05:15
going back and forth between characters,
05:16
and I remember I painted these kind of greenish-blue nails
05:20
in one scene, and we shot it.
05:23
David was like, ah, I just saw the dailies.
05:25
Thank God you did that nail color,
05:27
'cause it's just zing, zing!
05:29
[laughs]
05:31
You know what David does which I love?
05:33
It's like he's in the scene with you.
05:35
He's on his megaphone even when he's like,
05:39
two feet away from you.
05:41
He's such a freak.
05:42
And he'll often direct you in the scene.
05:45
You say a line, and then, say it again!
05:49
No, rip his, rip his head off, just go for it, Naomi!
05:52
Just take his, take him by the balls!
05:55
You know, and like, he'll just give you this.
05:58
[laughs]
05:59
And you actually, it gets you going, it does.
06:02
Like, I think not everyone could do that.
06:05
Like if certain directors, if they were,
06:08
it would really, like, throw me.
06:10
But there's something about David
06:11
where he's in the scene with you
06:13
and it feels comfortable and it feels good.