Arts & Culture

Actor Kyle MacLachlan visits University for screening of new film

MacLachlan discusses film industry, career before screening of 'Giant Little Ones'

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, April 15, 2019

Ivy Film Festival industry staff member Joe Suddleson ’22 spoke to MacLachlan about his role in “Giant Little Ones,” his extensive career in Hollywood and his relationship with friend and director David Lynch.

When actor Kyle MacLachlan stepped on the Martinos Auditorium stage, he was greeted with roaring applause and chants of “Twin Peaks!”

But MacLachlan came to Ivy Film Festival’s event to promote a different role: Ray Winter in “Giant Little Ones,” a film that examines the complexities and experiences of sexuality and being a teenager.

MacLachlan, an actor best known for his work in director David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” and “Blue Velvet” and his role as Orson Hodge on “Desperate Housewives,” spoke to the audience of students and University community members about his experience with the film industry and his acting career.

Before the advanced screening of “Giant Little Ones,” IFF industry team member Joe Suddleson ’22 led a question-and-answer segment with MacLachlan.

“Giant Little Ones,” directed by Keith Behrman, follows teenage boys Franky and Ballas as their friendship is unexpectedly altered by a sexual encounter on the night of Franky’s seventeenth birthday party. MacLachlan stars as Franky’s father, Ray Winter, who had come out as gay and left his family years before. The aftermath of Winter leaving his family is a source of conflict between the father and son. What follows is an intimate portrait of the complexities of sexuality and identity.

When asked about his process in taking on the role of Ray Winter, MacLachlan said, “it was a fairly traditional way, through my agency. … I got the script and took a look, and I thought it was a very powerful script.”

Many of the film’s characters, including MacLachlan’s own, are of LGBTQ+ and other marginalized identities. Responding to a question regarding Hollywood’s struggle with LGBTQ+ representation and diversity, MacLachlan said, “I think (the film) is a very true telling of an experience and the emotional volatility that not only surrounds people of that age, … but this film approaches that in a very real way.” He expressed his hope that as time progresses, more films will have inclusive and diverse narratives.

MacLachlan is well known for his role as Special Agent Dale Cooper on the mystery-horror-surrealist TV show “Twin Peaks,” which gained a cult following after its premiere in 1990 and again after its surprise return in 2017. He spoke of his experience working with award-winning director David Lynch.

“He certainly does not exist in the bubble of Hollywood,” MacLachlan said, laughing. “I started from the outside, and sort of stayed on the outside, and it was challenging at times, especially when I was younger.” But MacLachlan said he was fortunate to have connected and worked with Lynch on multiple projects.

“Everything that David does, in my mind, is extraordinary … and Twin Peaks is very, very special,” he said, emphasizing its worldwide reach.

Audience member Iman Husain ’22 found MacLachlan’s performance in “Giant Little Ones” to be especially interesting when compared to his previous acting experiences. “It was intriguing to hear how Kyle has been able to act in more outsider, art-house films as well as more mainstream roles,” she said. “I thought it was really amazing that IFF got him to speak before the film.”