Kyle MacLachlan

25th August 2020

Bullseye producer Kevin Ferguson chats with the actor about how fans still resonate with the character, his childhood and what it was like playing historical rival Thomas Edison to Ethan Hawke’s Tesla in their latest film.

Episode notes

Photo Credit: Cara Howe/IFC Films

Kyle MacLachlan on “Twin Peaks,” “Dune” and his latest film “Tesla”

You probably know Kyle MacLachlan best for his starring role as Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks. Maybe also as the mayor from Portlandia or from his parts on shows like Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives.
MacLachlan grew up as a pretty normal kid with a pretty normal life. The oldest of three siblings, he gravitated towards acting after seeing his mother work on a stage play. He decided to pursue it as a hobby and continued to work on the stage in college. 

His first big role came shortly after. He would play the lead in an epic science fiction film written and directed by David Lynch. While the film “Dune” did not do well commercially or critically it cemented his relationship with the director who tapped him later on for roles in “Blue Velvet” and the cult classic “Twin Peaks.” In the “Twin Peaks” universe he played FBI agent Dale Cooper, a man on the hunt to solve the murder of a high school girl named Laura Palmer. With every new lead, more mystery is unearthed. The show was a huge success that sparked conversations about imagery, tone and the parameters that television was allowed to go. 

After Twin Peaks, MacLachlan went on to work in television and film including regular appearances on “Sex and the City,” “Desperate Housewives” and “How I Met Your Mother.” He brings a peculiar charm to every role he’s in and isn’t afraid to get a little weird—like in his appearance as the fictional mayor of Portland, Oregon in the series “Portlandia.” 

His most-recent role is the one of real-life historical figure Thomas Edison in the new film “Tesla.” In it, he acts opposite Ethan Hawke who plays the titular character.

Bullseye producer Kevin Ferguson chats with MacLachlan about the legacy of “Twin Peaks,” being recognized by different fan bases and why we have the rivalry between Tesla and Edison to thank for Alternate Current electricity. Plus, we’ll chat about the perfect cup of coffee. All that and more on the next Bullseye!

“Tesla” is available to rent now via Amazon Prime.


In this episode...

Senior Producer
Maximum Fun Producer
Maximum Fun Production Fellow


  • Kyle MacLachlan

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

If you would like to pitch a guest for Bullseye, please CLICK HERE. You can also follow Bullseye on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. For more about Bullseye and to see a list of stations that carry it, please click here.

Get in touch with the show


Senior Producer


Maximum Fun Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

How to listen

Stream or download episodes directly from our website, or listen via your favorite podcatcher!

Share this show

New? Start here...

Liked Kyle MacLachlan? Listen to these next...