The cast of David Lynch's "Twin Peaks" revival show gushed Friday about how much they loved working with the enigmatic filmmaker, and revealed some secrets about his unique directing process.
Kyle MacLachlan, Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Matthew Lillard and several others were joined for a panel on the surreal Showtime series by moderator Damon Lindelof, the showrunner for ABC's "Lost," at San Diego Comic-Con.
All agreed that of all the questions they receive about the show from "Twin Peaks" fans and the media, they were most frequently asked what it was like to work with Lynch.
"He has this incredible sense of joy about him... He has this peace about him that is unlike anything I've ever experienced, and he has a vision of what he wants," Lillard said. "He's a fantastic human being."
Lynch's famously surreal noir soap opera about murder in small-town America returned in May after 26 years away, for a new 18-episode run in perhaps the most eagerly anticipated television event of the year.
Watts, who begged to be on the revival after starring in Lynch's 2001 neo-noir mystery "Mulholland Drive," confessed to still getting a little star-struck around him.
"You just kind of want to please him in everything you do," she said, before becoming slightly flushed and clarifying: "On set!"
"He creates an incredibly imaginative world. It's so original and you just want to join that world at whatever cost," she added.
"His belief in his process and his vision and his point of view is so profound and focused, and he inspires me that way because he follows this dream in his mind," added MacLachlan.
"I find that inspirational in my life, to go after the thing I believe in the strongest."
- 'In a nutshell' -
MacLachlan revealed however, that actors who try Lynch's patience are left in no doubt that they have annoyed the iconic director, as Jim Belushi discovered while filming for his part as Bradley Mitchum in the new series.
"In one scene, everything was going crazy and Jim decided he was going to ad-lib a line in this heightened moment of euphoria, which he did," MacLachlan recounted.
"And we heard, 'Cut!' David has a megaphone, and he said, 'Mr. Belushi! Do I have to report you to the principal's office?' And Jim went, 'No sir! Got it!'"
Several of the actors admitted they hadn't watched the new series, but planned to do so.
"I'm going to wait until it's done and then I'm going to watch the whole thing from the first series all the way through to the end with my kids," said Roth.
"We're going to have a festival. I don't know what that's going to do to us but I'm up for it, and you're all invited."
Lillard revealed he has yet to see even the original series but vowed to watch it while he was at Comic-Con.
He recalled the odd casting process that got him selected for the part of William Hastings.
"You sit in a room and someone talks to you and they put a video camera on your face and you just talk about life in general," he said.
"Then you get a phone call saying 'I want you to come and read these pages."
The cast was typically secretive over plot points and not forthcoming when it came to analyzing the show's meaning.
One audience member who had never seen "Twin Peaks" asked the actors to "describe it in a nutshell."
"Just throw the nut away," MacLachlan said.
"Keep the shell," Watts joked.