Two years ago, actor John Malkovich teamed up with director-photographer Sandro Miller to recreate iconic portraits. They’re together again with a different focus: David Lynch.
Over the next seven days, Malkovich and Miller, in conjunction with Lynch’s charitable organization, the David Lynch Foundation, and DIY website-building company Squarespace, will release a new video each day that features Malkovich recreating a famous Lynch movie or TV scene through a site called Playinglynch.com.
The first one, premiering above, riffs off of “Twin Peaks” and Kyle MacLachlan’s character, FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper.
“When Malkovich spit out that coffee, I couldn’t stop laughing,” Miller says of a moment in the new video.
The idea was born out of a conversation started between Malkovich’s music producer Eric Alexandrakis, who was interested in getting involved in a benefit concert Lynch held onApril 1, 2015. Schedules didn’t permit something for that event, but they kept conversations going and eventually landed on this project. Lynch had seen Squarespace’s collaboration with Jeff Bridges, called “Sleeping Tapes,” where the “Big Lebowski” actor made recordings for people to fall asleep to, and suggested a collaboration between all parties.
Miller says it took nearly five months of pre-production research to get the scenes picked out and prepped; they spent three weeks recreating the sets and costumes and then shot all seven over the course of a week in Chicago this past January.
Along with Dale Cooper, Malkovich will perform as Catherine E. Coulson’s Log Lady (“Twin Peaks”), Dennis Hopper‘s Frank Booth (“Blue Velvet”), Laurel Near‘s Lady in the Radiator(“Eraserhead”), Jack Nance‘s Henry Spencer (“Eraserhead”),Robert Blake‘s Mystery Man (“Lost Highway”) and John Hurt‘s John Merrick (“The Elephant Man”).
Miller, who has worked with Malkovich for two decades, says Malkovich had a unique style of bringing these characters to life while he was in the make-up chairs.
“We would have the actual scenes playing over and over on a TV set and he could watch it,” Miller says. “He would be saying his lines, moving his mouth and his nose – it’s like watching this clay ball morph into something real.”
Along with raising awareness for the David Lynch Foundation, the Playinglynch site will make available a digital version of the April 1, 2015, benefit concert that fans can purchase.
In other Lynch news, his first “Festival of Disruption” will take place Oct. 8-9 in Los Angeles and feature Robert Plant, Mel Brooks, and a special performance of “The Music of ‘Twin Peaks.” He’s also currently working on the “Twin Peaks” revival for Showtime.