Kyle MacLachlan Q&A: ‘Portlandia’ and ‘Agents of SHIELD’
Kyle MacLachlan is all over the Emmy ballot this year, with his name listed in three different categories: both guest acting races as well as supporting drama. As he confesses during our recent webcam chat, “I like variety, I like to trying different things, never know if it’s gonna work or not. In these instances I’ve been very lucky.”
He is competing for his guest turn in the comedy sketch series “Portlandia,” in which he reprises his role as the Mayor for the fifth straight season. He admits, "for me improv is something I’ve come to later, particularly with ‘Portlandia,' so what we do is we start with really big ideas and directions, and we’ll continually hone in." He explains, “we’ll work on that for a couple of hours, long takes, and then what we’ll do is step back to reevaluate what was done, hopefully remove the chaff, and stick with the good stuff."
The busy actor also reprised his role as the eccentric attorney Josh Perotti on “The Good Wife.” For MacLachlan, "it’s trying to find that thread without getting too crazy, and the only way you find that is if you do something too crazy and the director says, 'No that’s too crazy.’” This season, he and Emmy winner Carrie Preston were paired up. “They asked us to do that crazy love scene on top of the desk and Carrie and I laughed and laughed and laughed cause it was so romance novel we couldn’t help it.”
Last fall, he joined Marvel’s “The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” in the dual role of Calvin Zabo/Mister Hyde. He explains his approach as “just going to come into this and whatever they tell me, the writers I’m just going to go with it and react to what I see in the scripts each week.” As for being part of the ever- expanding Marvel universe, he reflects, “they’ve really sort of taken over. I think that’s because the characters are interesting, they are fun to play as an actor. They ask for a little bit more from you. There’s not much subtlety there. Everything has to be based in truth but it’s fun to be really able to let a character breathe like that.”
MacLachan contended twice at the Emmys for his leading role on the 1990s drama "Twin Peaks" and is looking forward to its return, which he admits “excites me beyond belief” and reveals that “filming this is going to commence this fall.”