Twin Peaks Producer Reveals Why Heather Graham & Michael J. Anderson Didn’t Return

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Twin Peaks: The Return executive producer Sabrina Sutherland did an extensive AMA with the Twin Peaks Reddit today, touching on a variety of topics, including why Heather Graham didn’t return to the revival series in her role as Annie Blackburn, and why Michael J. Anderson didn’t come back as The Man From Another Place. She also touched on Lara Flynn Boyle not returning as Donna Hayward, though she didn’t specify a reason.

On why Heather Graham didn’t return:

“I love Heather Graham too!! The script we shot did not have Annie included. I did not approach her for this one, unfortunately. If she was in it, I hope she would have done it!”

On why Michael J. Anderson didn’t return:

“David loves Michael. David wanted Michael to be in the show. We asked Michael, but he declined the offer.”

On Lara Flynn Boyle not returning:

“Donna didn’t work out this season, unfortunately.”

On working with David Lynch:

“Hello!! I worked everyday with David Lynch to make sure everything he envisioned made it onto the screen. I started back when he was still working with Mark. I made the budget and schedule for Showtime to see what we would need to shoot and finalize that deal. I hired people and made sure we had the people David wanted and made sure his vision was executed for the screen. Since David was the lone approver of everything (and I mean everything, from every stitch of wardrobe to all cast members to all locations, etc. – he had total creative control), all things pretty much funneled through me so we could get the job done David wanted. I worked through all of pre-production, production, post production, and delivery to make sure everything Showtime needed was provided and everything David wanted happened.”

On if David Lynch uses storyboards:

“David does not do standard storyboards. He has everything in his head – how he wants to shoot – where he wants the camera. Basically he has what the scene will look like totally in his head. He will either explain verbally what he wants or, more often than not, he will draw the scene on anything handy as he’s explaining it to whomever he needs to make understand his vision. I have notebooks full of these drawings. Now looking at them, I know what they mean, but someone else looking at them would have no idea what they mean. You have to have him in front of you drawing it and explains it at the same time.”

On David Lynch writing new Twin Peaks scenes after Mark Frost left to write his book:

“David did keep writing on the show after Mark left to write his book. However, I am not here to say who wrote what. I know that all the big scenes David wrote separately were sent to Mark so he could see them before we shot them. Mark did not change anything.”

On David Lynch’s creative control:

“Our television show was unusual because we treated it like a feature film. Once David and Mark finished writing the main script, David then had complete creative control. He decided on the locations, the cast, the look and sound of this season. Everything is written ahead of shooting, but sometimes there would be new scenes or new dialogue that would be given to the actors on set if David came up with a new idea or something needed to be changed for some reason. David talks with the actors first and explains everything they need to know about the scene and what he wants. Then, he will have a rehearsal with just the actors (and a couple of key people) and talk more with them. After that, he will call in the rest of the crew for another rehearsal so camera, props, etc. can see where the camera will be and how things will happen in the scene. After that, the camera, grip, and lighting crews set up everything for the scene. The actors rest during this period and then come back when the camera is ready to shoot. I hope this gives you a brief understanding of what takes place.”

Watch the latest Obnoxious and Anonymous Twin Peaks Thought of the Day podcast below.

  • Fundamentalist Daleks

    Heh. She’s so diplomatic about MJA and LFB. Hissing noises would be more appropriate.

  • Demode

    If they make a season 4, I would love to see Heather Graham return. She was a good addition to the cast.

  • Jude Rawlins

    I thought everyone knew that Lara Flynn Boyle and Kyle MacLachlan had a fling and then fell out, which is why she didn’t do Fire Walk With Me. I suppose it’d be nice to think they could bury the hatchet after all these years, but maybe not.

  • Jude Rawlins

    Also, I agree that it’d be nice to find out what happened to Heather’s character Annie, but as Cooper’s love interests go I thought Naomi Watts was absolutely superb in the new series.