That time an extra getting stuck got them cast in Twin Peaks


Twin Peaks is a show that would require about 6 hours, a gallon of coffee strong enough to melt through a cast iron bedpan and a one of those pin boards people use to link Bigfoot sightings to the assassination of JFK. In short, it’s an comprehensible, glorious mindfuck of a show created by David Lynch, a man so eccentric he cast a random set dresser as the main villain of the entire show. On a whim. 

That man was Frank Silva, a set dresser who’d worked closely with Lynch on a number of projects and was intimately familiar with Lynch’s, idiosyncrasies as a director and showrunner. Like smashing 20 cups of coffee a day or selling ringtones of himself saying “I like to kill deer” or having an entire YouTube channel where all he does it tell you the what the weather is like. No, seriously.

This man has several awards for his skills directing a camera.

However, even Silva couldn’t predict what Lynch was going to do when he accidentally and quite literally boxed himself in dressing the set of Laura Palmer’s bedroom for the Twin Peaks pilot episode. When Silva told Lynch about this the director found it hilarious and asked Silva to crouch at the foot of Palmer’s bed so he could get a shot of him “trapped” behind the bars.

To be clear, Lynch didn’t want to do anything with the shot, he just shot it for shits and giggles and because that’s just the kind of guy he is. In fact, Lynch would have likely forgotten all about it if Silva hadn’t fucked up again and accidentally appeared in the mirror of another shot of the pilot. Specifically, this one, in the top right.

Knowing Lynch’s reputation for perfectionism Silva was probably caking up his pants with about 3 pounds of shit but as it would later emerge, Lynch loved it. In particular because the shot originally called for an actress to be screaming at something horrifying just off screen. Which did work and Lynch even went back to film a pickup shot without Silva in it to use instead, however during the editing process Lynch kept coming back to the shot with Silva in it and recalled that he also had a creeper-ass shot of Silva crouching at the foot of Laura Palmer’s bed.

The problem with putting these shots into the pilot though is that it kind of ruined his idea for the show’s big reveal which was to have the character of Leland Palmer be outed as a killer. A reveal it was hard to pull off if Lynch also wanted to put in random shots of his set dresser looking like the most serial killer looking mother fucker possible. Not wanting to toss the footage Lynch instead rewrote the entire show to make Silva the villain instead, crafting a new narrative that Silva was a demonic spirit monster from the fuck off dimension called, BOB.

Yeah, sounds about right for David Lynch.