Twin Peaks: The Oscar-Winning Inspiration for Dark Cooper’s Crazy Hair – Vanity Fair

As Kyle MacLachlan scowls through the Twin Peaks revival as his character Dale Cooper’s dark doppelgänger, some fans have noticed the evil look-alike’s . . . unique . . . style choices. His tacky clothes may stick out, but even more dramatic is the character’s hair—a shoulder-length, over-conditioned curtain that drew some amusing comparisons including Nicolas Cage’s Cameron Poe from Con Air, Steven Seagal, David Vincent, and Twin Peaks’s own original villain, Killer BOB. But it turns out we all missed the mark in trying to pinpoint the character’s hair inspo: as MacLachlan explained, his character’s style actually has its roots in one specific Oscar-winning film.

In the early stages of getting the revival together, MacLachlan told Entertainment Weekly that he asked Twin Peaks creator David Lynch if he could wear black-colored contacts—a trick he’d seen before and wanted to replicate “to make it feel like there was an entity there, behind the eyes.” As the two played with the look, they both liked it—and decided to take things even further. By the time they settled on a look for the character, MacLachlan noted, “Everything about him is dark.”

“My skin is mottled, my hair is greasy and kind of long,” MacLachlan continued before revealing his identical hair twin: “You know how Javier Bardem did it in No Country for Old Men, where he had that very specific look, where he was almost angelic, but in a demonic kind of way? We wanted something that was like that, but not too over the top. No long scraggily hair, for example. This is kind of coiffed in an awkward way. That was an important part of the look, as well. We found all these elements separately and it worked. It was a great process. I don’t usually get to do that.”

As for the snazzy shirts? That was apparently all David Lynch. Apparently, the two also toyed with the idea of decking Dark Cooper out with some jewelry—an idea that was nixed for the better. (Although Cooper’s third look-alike, Dougie Jones, sports a jade ring with particular significance.) As MacLachlan put it, “Simple is always better. It’s always about finding the character without cluttering the character. In my mind, you want to put in just enough salt. You want to come up from underneath him and stop just when you find him and not go any further. Knowing when to stop is really important.”

Mädchen Amick (Shelly Johnson)

Since Twin Peaks left the airwaves, Amick—who played poor, unfortunate Shelly Johnson—has been one of its most prolific alumni, with memorable roles in Gilmore Girls, ER, Gossip Girl, Witches of East End, and, most recently, Riverdale, among many others.

Photo: Left, Spelling Entertainment/ Courtesy: Everett Collection; righ, by Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock.

<strong>Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer/Maddy Ferguson)</strong>

Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer/Maddy Ferguson)

<strong>Kyle MacLachlan (Agent Dale Cooper)</strong>

Kyle MacLachlan (Agent Dale Cooper)

<strong>Lara Flynn Boyle (Donna Hayward)</strong>

Lara Flynn Boyle (Donna Hayward)

<strong>Mädchen Amick (Shelly Johnson)</strong>

Mädchen Amick (Shelly Johnson)

Since Twin Peaks left the airwaves, Amick—who played poor, unfortunate Shelly Johnson—has been one of its most prolific alumni, with memorable roles in Gilmore Girls, ER, Gossip Girl, Witches of East End, and, most recently, Riverdale, among many others.
<strong>James Marshall (James Hurley)</strong>

James Marshall (James Hurley)

<strong>Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey Horne)</strong>

Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey Horne)

<strong>Ray Wise (Leland Palmer)</strong>

Ray Wise (Leland Palmer)

<strong>Peggy Lipton (Norma Jennings)</strong>

Peggy Lipton (Norma Jennings)

<strong>Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs)</strong>

Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs)

<strong>Piper Laurie (Catherine Martell)</strong>

Piper Laurie (Catherine Martell)

Like some of her co-stars, Piper Laurie had made a name for herself long before she stepped into the world of Twin Peaks—for instance, in the 1976 film adaptation of Carrie, in which she starred as Carrie’s mother, Margaret. But after Twin Peaks, Laurie continued making stops on other series, including Frasier, Will & Grace, and Law & Order: S.V.U., in which she played Dorothy Rudd, an abusive foster grandmother.
<strong>Joan Chen (Josie Packard)</strong>

Joan Chen (Josie Packard)

<strong>Kimmy Robertson (Lucy Moran)</strong>

Kimmy Robertson (Lucy Moran)

<strong>Kenneth Welsh (Windom Earle)</strong>

Kenneth Welsh (Windom Earle)

<strong>Russ Tamblyn (Lawrence Jacoby)</strong>

Russ Tamblyn (Lawrence Jacoby)