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Interview: Kimmy Robertson discusses her character Lucy Moran and Twin Peaks

Lucy Moran: “Sheriff, it’s Pete Martell up at the mill. Uh, I’m going to transfer it to the phone on the table by the red chair. The red chair against the wall. The little table with the lamp on it. The lamp we moved from the corner? The black phone, not the brown phone.”

While she may not have been heavily involved in the famous “Who killed Laura Palmer?” plot line on the cult TV series Twin Peaks, Kimmy Robertson was surely a highlight for many viewers. Robertson played Lucy Moran, the bumbling, high-pitched receptionist at the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department. Robertson appeared in almost every episode to bring in a couple laughs just when things getting a little grim. In honour of the Twin Peaks Blu-ray release, we spoke to Robertson about Lucy’s costumes, the possibility of a spin-off, and more. Most importantly, we are very glad to confirm that the high-pitched voice heard on television is indeed very real.

Scene Creek: What was it like to be at the premiere for the new box set and see some people who you haven’t seen for so many years?

Kimmy Robertson: It was absolutely not awkward. It was just a perfect fit, just like family. Everyone was there, well not everybody, but Angelo [Badalamenti] was there and it was like being at a family reunion. We all just went right back to clicking, it was like we never left. All of those colloquialisms, or whatever those words are, that is how it was, and it was palpable Matthew. The love was palpable.

SC: When you made Twin Peaks did you ever think that it was going to blow up to become what many consider to be the greatest television series of all time?

KR: No. I think everybody that I knew in the show was just excited to be working with David [Lynch] and Mark [Frost]. I mean, both of them were just huge to us. I don’t think your brain naturally makes any leaps because you’re just excited about what you’re doing. It’s sort of like a spiritually and physically perfect moment that you don’t want to leave by thinking about the future.

SC: One of my favorite things about Lucy was the costumes she wore, like the wool sweaters with the collar pulled out on top of it. What was your reaction when you were getting those fitted in?

KR: I would laugh every time. The customs were wool and I can tell you when I was doing that episode where Agent Cooper was almost dead and we were in the hospital with the Sheriff and Doc Hayward. We were in the hospital room and I had on a wool coat. I also had a wool sweater on and underneath that another wool sweater and I had on wool tights and a wool skirt. It was 118 degrees outside, literary. [Laughing] I still remember it because there was no air conditioning. They bring in this little tube and try to cool the place off but it’s impossible. So I learned a skill and that skill was that I could let myself sweat when I wasn’t on camera but as soon as I was I told myself, “You cannot sweat until after we’re done with this scene!” But to be perfectly frank about the whole thing, I think what made the series so timeless were those goofy clothes; don’t you think?

SC: Yeah. It’s especially fun to look back on it now when nobody would ever wear something like that.

KR: Ever, in any part of history! I love how you pointed it out. I love that because Lucy’s clothes were like a separate character.

SC: Something interesting about Twin Peaks is that as the show reaches its end most of the couples seem to have either broken up or not been happy. The only couple in the show that seemed like they could share a realistic future would be Lucy and Andy. Where do you think they would be today?

KR: We would have four kids and they would be the stars of the show. Lucy and Andy would have moved up to Canada and maybe opened a ballet school. They also would’ve put on shows, like community theatre.

SC: It seems like something you’ve thought about before.

KR: No! You just made me think of it!

SC: Well that was fast!

KR: Maybe it was in your head. Did you think of that before? Is that where I got that?

SC: It’s very possible.

KR: Yeah, so there, I didn’t think of it, you did. I read your thoughts.

SC: When you auditioned for the show did you only read for Lucy’s character or were auditioning for other roles as well?

KR: The material I got was for Audrey and Shelly and I never read anything. I just talked with Mark and David. If I sound funny right now it’s because I’m eating a doughnut.

SC: In Twin Peaks that would be perfectly acceptable.

KR: [Laughs] I’m parked in my car with the air conditioner on at an AM-PM and I am eating a doughnut and drinking some coffee. Wait did I answer your question?

SC: We were talking about your audition.

KR: Oh right! Yeah, we just talked. I was all nervous about auditioning and they said to come in, so I went into the office. It was completely black except for one halogen light overhead. We sat at a little round table and I started asking questions about Blue Velvet and Dune and other things. Then I started talking about raccoons and how my aunt sees them. Then I started talking about how weird it is that if you drop people off in like the jungle, like Hawaii, they don’t become more zen-like they become wild and mean and horrible and start killing things. So we talked about that for a long time and I had all these questions because I was having all sorts of revelations about humanity and I just took that opportunity to ask the master what his opinion was.

SC: Did he give you the answers?

KR: Yes, he is so amazing! He is really kind of like guru and so is Mark. They are right there in the middle of all that kind of thinking. I don’t know why they didn’t have Deepak Chopra in on the audition while they were at it, because I had a lot of questions for him too.

SC: So you were a fun of Lynch’s work before you auditioned for the show?

KR: Yes and I went with a list of questions that I had in my purse.

SC: Out of all the scenes you worked with Lynch on, which was your favourite?

KR: Definitely the one with the rock throwing. The one where Dale Cooper explains how in Nepal, when monks are trying to find an answer to something they throw rocks at a bottle. If it breaks, that is the answer. They had me write down all the names on a chalkboard and I called them off. That was my favorite episode. It was seamless and fun, I really liked it.

SC: If you could play any other Twin Peaks character who would it be?

KR: Shelly.

SC: Why?

KR: Oh, does it have to be a girl?

SC: No, it could be anybody.

KR: Then James Hurley! Or that Bookhouse Boy, the one with the curly hair, he had a great job. He worked all the time with us as an extra and a motorcycle wrangler. So I wouldn’t mind being one of them. You get to ride all of those motorcycles.

SC: For a while people thought that Lynch would revisit Twin Peaks; if he did, would you be back on board?

KR: Okay, I remember all that stuff happening and I called Jennifer Lynch and said, “I read all this stuff and somebody just called me and said it was a go. Is it?” And she said, “You know, I think it is.” We actually were texting. So I pulled over and texted her “I am going to call you.” Because in L.A. you have to tell people that you’re calling them, you can’t ever actually speak to people. So I called her and I was crying, like tears were shooting out of my eyes, and I said, “They are going to ruin it! It’s going to be on the CW and there’s only going to be one person in it and it will be John Chen and everybody else will be 19!” She said, “Wait a minute, is that what you’re talking about? That’s not what I meant! No, he is never doing it! He is never revisiting this on television!” Basically she said that. She said that unless it’s something that he owns, like if he owns the television station, then he would do it. Then I would be right there. I would absolutely do it and I would do it for free. Nobody would have to get mad about negotiating or I would just have them pay my agent 10% of something.

Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery is now available to own.

Matt Hoffman

Matthew Hoffman is a Toronto-based cinephile who especially enjoys French films and actresses over the age of 50; including but not limited to: Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Streep, and Jacki Weaver.