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Kyle MacLachlan explains how David Lynch calmed him down for Dune

Kyle MacLachlan has spoken of his working relationship with David Lynch, which began with 1984's Dune, and an audition in which Lynch calmed him right down

Kyle MacLachlan in Dune

Kyle MacLachlan and David Lynch have one of the great actor-director partnerships that has born such bizarre fruit as Blue Velvet, and of course the television masterpiece that is Twin Peaks. Their relationship began with 1984’s Dune – which was MacLachlan’s debut acting role. MacLachlan played the main character – Paul Atreides – who is played by Timothée Chalamet in Denis Villeneuve‘s version.

In a recent interview with The AV Club, MacLachlan spoke about being nervous at the audition for Dune, and explains how Lynch calmed him down; “His movies are experiential, really, and they ask a lot of questions, but there are not a lot of answers provided. But I do remember when I auditioned for the first time for Dune, and I was quite young—I was 22 or 23, and I’d never worked in front of a camera before.”

“And there was this particular scene where I had to address the Fremen, and it’s in the movie and I exhort them along with the fighters and I needed to talk directly to camera for this particular audition, which is an unusual thing to do as an actor and kind of challenging.”

MacLachlan continued; “Anyway, so I started and I think I failed a couple of times and I was getting a little frustrated. And I remember David just came up to me and I said, “David, I don’t really know if I can do this. I’m not sure.” He said; “Kyle, I know you can do this. You got this. Just relax, breathe. Take your time.” And he just said all the right things that kind of chilled me down. He recognised immediately what I needed as an actor.”

“And I went back and like in the movie, I did it perfectly, and we went from there. And whether or not he based his decision about using me on that moment, I don’t know. But I certainly felt like he understood what I was doing as an actor in that moment. And we just have a lovely shorthand together when we work.”

While Lynch’s version of Dune had some issues, Villeneuve’s 2021 version was both a critical and commercial success. Filming on Part Two is currently underway, and everyone is eagerly awaiting returning to Arakis – especially seeing the new cast-members such as Florence Pugh and Austin Butler.

In the meantime, check out our guide to the best science fiction movies.