“A love story in the city of dreams” is how writer-director David Lynch describes his latest flick, Mulholland Drive. Originally intended as a two-hour television pilot, it was canned by ABC, but later revived as a feature-length film, garnering Lynch the coveted Best Director award when it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. A bizarre journey into a surreal Hollywood setting, it is an exceptionally well-written story destined to engage viewers from beginning to end.
|Interview with Mulholland Drive’s Theroux|
by Carmen Dukes
David Lynch described Justin Theroux, star of Mulholland Drive, as a “great guy [with] so many great characters in him.” In a lavish presidential suite at the Rittenhouse Hotel, TN talked with this ‘great guy’ about Lynch, the film and his success.
TN: Prior to this [Mulholland Drive] were you a David Lynch fan or admirer of his work?
JT: I was an admirer of his work but wouldn’t classify myself as a Lynchian. Once I got the job, I revisited his work. I watched his movies and got an idea for what he was going for. I [felt that] I needed a re-education of his films to work with him.
Read the full interview
JT: He’s all for accidents, not improvisation. He loves when things happen naturally. I like to work that way, too. I’m not a big improviser. It could get ugly. He thinks long and hard about things. Very superstitious. All about good omen and bad omens. [It is a] fun environment to work in.
TN: In the past, you’ve been involved in guest starring roles on shows like Sex in the City, Spin City and Ally McBeal, and also acted in several films. Do you have any particular favorites?
JT: If it’s a project I believe in, I don’t care how small the part is or whatever. If I think it’s a valuable thing to do, I’ll do it. TV stuff is just never as fun as you want it to be. You’re an actor, you do things to survive and get by. You have to. I’m not a believer in overnight success. [Acting] is more of a blue-collar lifestyle than I thought it would be. You take the roles that are given to you. You don’t get to choose. –>
On a star filled night on Mulholland Drive, two cars are involved in a severe accident. The sole survivor, a woman named Rita (Laura Harring), escapes with bruises and temporary amnesia. Led by the illuminating lights of Los Angeles, she finds solace in an elderly woman’s apartment.
Meanwhile, over breakfast, two men (Patrick Fischler and Michael Cooke) discuss a reoccurring nightmare, while someone or something lurks behind the dumpster. Curious, yet terrified, they venture behind the diner and their nightmare becomes a horrific reality.
Back in the Hollywood Hills, Rita’s refuge is soon disrupted when Betty Elms (Naomi Watts), the niece of the apartment’s owner, arrives. Betty, an innocent, naive, wide-eyed blond from Deep River, Ontario, is out to live the Hollywood dream. Although startled to find Rita in her aunt’s apartment, she feels obligated to help Rita. She briefly puts her acting aspirations on hold and the two women search for clues to spark her memory. An attraction to each other develops and their bond deepens on an emotional and sexual level.
Adam (Justin Theroux) is a young director whose world has also been disrupted. The outcome of his current film project is being spearheaded by wheelchair-bound mobsters who demand picture perfect espressos. Sounds ludicrous? His wife is cheating on him with Billy Ray Cyrus! After a visit from a cowboy, Adam, dishelved and dumbfounded, is informed that in order to return to some degree of normalcy, he must cast a particular actress.
Things, however, are far from normal. With 45 minutes left in the film, these seemingly unrelated plots are combined, altered, and twisted to mind-blowing proportions. Actors reappear as different characters and the plot thickens. A very rich emotional story about envy, depravity, and love unfolds right before our eyes.
Mulholland Drive is truly a masterpiece, boasting outstanding acting, originality and beautiful imagery. With unmatched precision, David Lynch eloquently draws us out of the reality of one world and into a surprising dreamscape.