The Twin Peaks and Mao's Last Dancer actor on Cary Grant, Cabernet Sauvignon, and his irrational love for Puma tennis shoes.
Kyle MacLachlan’s career has taken him all over the cultural spectrum — from his work in David Lynch’s cult classics like Blue Velvet and Dune, to his stint as Orson Hodge on Desperate Housewives. Currently, he's starring in the acclaimed Australian film, Mao's Last Dancer, out in the U.S. today. The actor’s tastes seem to be as varied as the roles he's played; we sat down with Kyle and talked about his love of winemaking, the NFL, and grilling cauliflower for his two-year-old son.
To Catch a Thief
I think To Catch a Thief is Cary Grant at his best. It’s a film I watched a lot when I was researching the character I played in a little movie called Touch of Pink. It’s just the beauty of the location — the magic of Nice and Saint-Tropez in the South of France — mixed with the elegance and style of Cary Grant and his minimalist style of acting, which I really appreciate.
Boots on the Ground by Dusk, Mary Tillman
Right now, I’m reading Boots on the Ground by Dusk. It's a story about Pat Tillman written by his mom. I just went to see the documentary, which was really compelling. There’s a lot more to the story than one originally thinks. I’m a big fan of the NFL, and I remember hearing about this guy who left a lucrative career as a football player to go off and fight a war. And I remember being so amazed by that decision. He looked like a poster boy for what you imagine a soldier to look like. It was arresting, and I thought his decision was really admirable. Later, I heard about him being killed, but I didn’t follow it beyond that until this documentary came out. Because his family wrote the book, you see just how shattering an incident like this can be. And yet it’s galvanizing, particularly around his mom, who's mission is to not only to get answers, but also to bring justice to her son's tragic death.
The Wild Wild West
Growing up, I watched pretty much what my dad wanted to watch. We watched Gunsmoke and Have Gun Will Travel. Sometimes I joke with my Desperate Housewives co-stars about how most of the characters I’ve played in my career have been loosely based on or adapted from the comedic characters of ‘70s television — whether it’s Green Acres or Gilligan’s Island or The Beverly Hillbillies. I really liked The Wild Wild West. I loved that they had these great gadgets and that they were always able to get out of difficult situations. In fact, I was watching it just the other day. It was the episode where Artemus Gordon — James West’s partner in crime — was in a train car with two floozies sitting in his lap. He was talking to Jim and slyly asks, “You wanna go…?” It was a pretty modern, racy scene for the time. I guess I didn't catch the subtext back then.
I’m a pretty simple guy. The most extravagant thing I’m doing now is having a suit made by David August, which I’m looking forward to. He’s a wonderful suit maker, and I’ve never had a bespoke suit before. Apart from that, I just wear Levi's and Puma tennis shoes. I just love the way Pumas are put together. It’s a take on a classic style that I really like, although I don’t know why. They have a store in New York called The Black Store, and I always find myself walking in there and walking out with a few pairs of shoes.
Eric Dunham Wines, Washington State
I make Cabernet Sauvignon — which is a blend of Cabernet, Merlot, and Shiraz — in Washington State with Eric Dunham of Dunham Cellars. He’s the real winemaker, but we collaborate. I’ve been doing it now since 2005. We have two vintages out, one from 2005 and one from 2006, and both have been pretty well-recognized. We don’t make very much at a time, only about three cases, and most of it is sold on Pursued by Bear. I love wine, and some good friends of mine — winemakers from Napa Valley — encouraged me to pursue it in Washington State. But I never really got started until Eric, who’s just the greatest guy in the world, agreed to partner up and mentor me.
I love to cook. My favorite dish is pretty much whatever my two-year-old son feels like eating. Right now, what he really likes is roasted cauliflower, which is as easy as it gets. It doesn’t sound that appealing, but there’s something great about roasting cauliflower. It brings out the sweetness of the vegetable, and it’s remarkably good. So what you do is: wash it, cut off golf ball-sized chunks, toss it in oil and salt, stick them in a baking dish at 350 degrees for twenty five minutes. And that’s it. I’m sure you could get away with pairing it with a Pinot Noir, but I’d say something white and fragrant would be best, like a Sauvignon Blanc.