Five Surprising Facts: Kyle MacLachlan
Atlantic Crossing star Kyle MacLachlan is widely recognized for his roles in Dune, Blue Velvet and more. But MacLachlan is so much more than an ordinary Hollywood actor. From his passion for wine, to his unique original career aspiration, and intriguing take on Dune and Twin Peaks, we’ve collected the most intriguing facts about this fascinating man.
He originally dreamed of a different career.
Growing up, golf was a family affair for MacLachlan. “I come by my passion for golf naturally,” MacLachlan told the USGA in an interview. “My dad’s clanlands are in Linlithgow, Scotland. My mom, Catherine, had roots in Cornwall. I guess it was inevitable that we would be golfers.”
“My dream – my fantasy – was to be a professional golfer,” MacLachlan told The Guardian (UK), but it just wasn’t meant to be. “As soon as I started playing in tournaments against other people my age – and in some cases, younger – I realized I just couldn’t cut it.”
Once MacLachlan became an actor, his passion for golf was reignited alongside some celebrity friends. “I didn’t play much at all, but I looked forward to getting home because my dad and I would always play,” he told USGA. “We had a great time. But then something awesome happened… acting got me back into the game. I got invited to play in Michael Douglas’ event in Los Angeles. I hadn’t played in so long that my woods were still actually made from wood.”
Confused by Twin Peaks? He is, too.
Cult classic TV series Twin Peaks may be an award-winning hit, but it’s also just a little confusing, at times. “The fans understand it much more than me!” MacLachlan told The Guardian. “When you’re being directed by David [Lynch] it’s sometimes hard to follow everything he’s trying to say. I’m not sure how bothered David is about that. He really does allow his subconscious to move him through stories. I think he likes the actors he works with to do that, too. I think that’s a big reason why his work is so interesting.”
In the series, MacLachlan plays FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, who is assigned to a murder investigation in the town of Twin Peaks, Washington, and then ends up in an alternate reality. “There’s a lot of me in [Dale] and he’s absolutely my favorite character I’ve played,” MacLachlan said. “I’m a pretty positive person, I’m good natured, I take great pleasure in simple things or moments, whether that’s coffee or pie. But I added a lot of David [Lynch]’s traits in playing him, whether that was vocalizations or particular phrases David says. Really, Dale Cooper is David, not me.”
His first film role remains a cult classic.
Back in 1984, MacLachlan stepped onto the big screen for the first time in David Lynch’s Dune, playing main character Paul Atreides (part space royalty, part powerful being). The film may not have been a box office hit, but it has a devoted cult following to this day.
MacLachlan, for one, doesn’t have any hard feelings about the film. “I look at it as a flawed gem,” MacLachlan told IndieWire. “It’s stunning in so many ways. As a story, and trying to recreate that story, it’s almost impossible. It’s incredibly dense, and a little bit like a house of cards. If you leave out one element of the story or another, the structure tends to wobble, and you don’t get the full effect.”
And, of course, the film was his first project with mentor David Lynch, an influential presence in MacLachlan’s career.
“Having a good mentor is important. I wasn’t particularly driven to be an actor. I’d tried lots of things out in college,” he told The Guardian. “I’m not sure I ever thought: “I could do this,” rather than: “I like doing this and I’d like to be able to do it.” But I was lucky to have really good people showing me the way. I’ve had a few help me, but meeting David Lynch had a monumental impact on me.”
As for the upcoming Dune remake starring Timothée Chalamet, MacLachlan does admit to being curious, and has a few ideas of his own. “I would lobby for three or more films, because it has that kind of potential to really open up. In my imagination, I always thought it would be great to approach it like a Game of Thrones model, where you have seasons, or at least a 10-part series, or a 12-part series. You could really go from beginning to end.”
Part time actor, part time wine vinter!
Not only does MacLachlan act, but he pursues another passion: making wine. Back in 2005, he launched his own wine brand called Pursued by Bear, based out of Washington state. The unique name famously comes from William Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale: “Exit, pursued by bear.”
MacLachlan grew up in Washington, but it wasn’t until later in his life that the town of Walla Walla started becoming a hub for new wineries. He and his father made a hobby of visiting the different locations — some great, and some less so.
“My Washington wine awareness began in the mid- to late ’90s,” MacLachlan told Town & Country. “My dad and I got curious and drove down the valley to visit some of the wineries. At that time there were many disappointments. It was more of a father-son activity than a quest for great wine. But on one visit I tasted a single-vineyard 1995 cabernet from Wineglass Cellars Elerding Vineyard that piqued my interest.”
In 2002, MacLachlan reached out to Eric Dunham, an owner of one of his favorite wine brands, who soon became a friend and within a few years, business partner. “Eric asked me what I like to drink, and I said cabernet, so we were off and running,” he said. “Our first vintage was 2005. We had 10 barrels of cabernet and a barrel each of syrah and merlot.”
His dogs are stars, too! Sort of...
MacLachlan’s love for his dogs didn’t stop at treats and toys — the actor tried his hand at directing when he created the YouTube series Mookie and Sam, starring none other than the MacLachlan pups for which the series was named. He and his wife Desiree Gruber voiced the dogs.
Just take a look for yourselves…