David Lynch's Twin Peaks, the cult mystery series that returned this year — 25 years after its initial two-season run on ABC — for a final, mind-bending season on Showtime, is one of the most surreal TV-watching experiences, and it was just as surreal for the people who played the show's most memorable characters, such as actors Harry Goaz and Kimmy Robertson.
"Surreal is the best word to use," says Goaz, the Dallas actor who plays deputy Andy Brennan in all three seasons of Twin Peaks. "To see yourself as the same character 25 years later is very strange."
Goaz and Robertson returned to film the show's final season two years ago after months of speculation and a tenuous negotiation between Lynch and the network's legal team that Lynch would get to steer the ship to its final destination.
"There was a lot of back and forth, and it was definitely years before we started shooting that I heard it was happening or if I would play Lucy again," says Robertson, a Hollywood, California, native who plays Lucy Moran, receptionist for the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Department, on the show. "But then [Lynch] wasn't positive, then he was positive and then he called me on Easter and said he wasn't going to be able to do it for the money that the lawyers were negotiating with him and he didn't want to do something subpar. That's when David Nevins [the CEO of Showtime Networks] stepped in and negotiated with him, and everyone all over the world made these little movies saying let David Lynch step in and make Twin Peaks."
Goaz and Robertson both say they're glad that Lynch got the opportunity to execute his TV vision the way only he could. They're also glad they'll get to talk about the cult TV series with fans at this weekend's Dallas Comic Show. It's their first live convention appearance since the show's gripping finale.
"It was pretty heavenly," Robertson says. "It was a dream come true. It's something that happened, but it never happened to anybody else that I know of, so that equals a whole heck of a lot of fun."
Returning to play two of the show's most endearing and beloved characters also presented challenges to both performers. Goaz says he found the task a little daunting and that he was "ambiguous" about returning to the series "until a friend talked me into it and said, 'Are you crazy?'
"I had a lot of trepidations about revisiting an old character, but I was curious," Goaz says. "I think a lot of actors, they go through that stretch, and you do leave that behind and have no aspirations to bring that character back, and then to have an opportunity to bring that back is daunting. Just bringing a character back after 25 years is daunting and bizarre."
Robertson says she also felt some pressure returning to her character but that the hype made it fun for her.
"There was a little more pressure not to screw up, and also, you know what's at stake whereas before we had no idea what's at stake," she says. "We didn't know if anyone was going to like it or not. Now we knew there was a potential for people to like, it and I knew I wanted to be as true to Lucy as I could be and accurate as possible with everything from the hair, the clothes, what she would be like 25 years later. So there was a little bit of pressure, but it was offset by a huge amount of excitement. I was excited to get to the set."
They both say they felt at ease under Lynch's care.
"I went into it blindly," Goaz says. "David didn't really tell me anything. Of course, you probably know by now that you usually get a full script, but we only got whatever lines we were going to do that day. We didn't really have direction. He doesn't give you that much direction. He just gives you your marks and really trusts you."
The hardest part of the job was not telling anyone what to expect to see once the actors finished filming the third season, Robertson says.
"We made a couple of mistakes early on, and I think the function of that was how to be aware of
Robertson has no doubt why the show was so successful and fans demanded its return.
"It's obvious to me that our characters were just a bunch of people trying to navigate their world," she says. "People just want to see themselves. I think [Lynch] also made a show that's just fun and different. Why does everything have to be the fucking same? Show some balls. Showtime sure did."
Both say that the third season wasn't just enlightening for fans but that filming it was a life-changing experience for them.
"I think I came to terms with myself as an older actor and with Andy as an older character," Goaz says. "I was content, and I think that's what happens to a lot of older people. They become content in their lives when they become older, hopefully."
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"I think it's made me an even more grateful person," Robertson says. "I'm just immensely grateful to be alive and have the life I have. It hasn't gotten me any work whatsoever that I know of, but I did get a new agent and manager, which is nice."
Goaz says the Dallas Comic Show will be his first time appearing at a convention and that he's "shaking like a leaf."
"I'm looking forward to it," Robertson says. "I'm looking forward to spending all that time next to Harry. I think it will be fun because I'll be with Harry and I'll be wearing comfortable shoes, so I know it will be fun."
Dallas Comic Show, Richardson Civic Center, 411 W. Arapaho Road, Saturday, Sept. 16, and Sunday, Sept. 17, $10 and up, dallascomicshow.com.