David Bowie Approved Reuse of His ‘Twin Peaks’ Cameo With One Condition
There's a reason why David Bowie doesn't seem quite himself in the Twin Peaks: The Return series. Though before his death the icon approved the reuse of his cameo as FBI Agent Phillip Jeffries in the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, his voice was re-recorded.
While Bowie approved of the reuse of his 1992 appearance on the show, he declined to reprise the role. In fact, the show's creator, write and producer, David Lynch, made the request and received approval to revisit his appearance through Bowie's attorneys. "I never even talked to him, but I talked to his lawyer, and they weren’t telling me why he said he couldn’t do it. But then, of course, later on we knew," Lynch told Pitchfork - referring to Bowie's cancer battle, which ultimately took his life in January of 2016.
Of course, while Bowie gave his blessing to use his likeness via the old footage, he didn't know exactly what form that would take. In the end, it was partly via old footage of Bowie and partly as what people refer to as a giant talking tea kettle. Of the latter, Lynch says its similarities to a tea kettle are accidental, and it should just be viewed as a machine. But fans may notice the machine doesn't sound like Bowie — because it isn't. Lynch revealed that the decision was not his own, but a request from Bowie.
"We got permission to use the old footage, but he didn’t want his voice used in it," Lynch said. "I think someone must have made him feel bad about his Louisiana accent in Fire Walk With Me, but I think it’s so beautiful. He wanted to have it done by a legitimate actor from Louisiana, so that’s what we had to do. The guy [voice actor Nathan Frizzell] did a great job."
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