A treat you didn’t know you were waiting for: Two new in-depth interviews with enigmatic director David Lynch, published over the weekend by the Guardian and this morning by Vulture, on the occasion of his new memoir Room to Dream. Read both and you’ll emerge with a portrait of the curious, perhaps overgenerous mind of a man who’s driven by work and sometimes difficult in private. “Relationships, if they’re not smooth and I don’t have room to work, they’re a torment,” Lynch told Vulture’s star interviewer David Marchese. “I can love people, and I do love people, but I need the space to work.”
Lynch doesn’t shy away from the touchiest subjects, telling Vulture he hopes audiences can separate artists’ conduct from their output: “Louis C.K.’s done a lot of really funny stuff. It would be a shame for people not to experience those things anymore. There are probably thousands and thousands of examples of people who had screwed-up lives and didn’t do the best things but did great work.” (For what it’s worth, he later compares Roman Polanski directing Chinatown to O.J. Simpson golfing after being acquitted of murder.) Separately, he offered the Guardian this line about Donald Trump: “He could go down as one of the greatest presidents in history because he has disrupted the thing so much. No one is able to counter this guy in an intelligent way.”
But a clearly articulated political position never inspired anyone to become a fan of David Lynch, who says he probably voted for Gary Johnson but can’t remember. The best part of both interviews are his stories and quips, like this to Vulture about quitting his former daily milkshake habit after climbing in the dumpster of a Bob’s Big Boy:
Well, the dumpster had a metal ladder on it and I got into the dumpster and found the carton that the milkshakes came from. I read the ingredients and it looked like every one ended in “zene” or “ate” — all chemical words. So I said, “That might not be good for me.” Food makes you wonder these days. It’s questionable, these things that we’re eating.
Lynch does smoke cigarettes, and he’s not interested in quitting that:
You could vape.
I don’t like the vaping.
If there’s one thing David Lynch is an unabashed fan of, it’s a $1,300 electric toilet with a built-in nightlight and bidet. “It’s modern technology at work — for a toilet!” he told Vulture. “It’s got this great lavender-blue lamplight. It washes you. It dries you. It’s the whole thing.” That is, unless he’s in his garden studio, where, according to the Guardian, you’re allowed to pee in the sink:
Would he like a coffee, his assistant asks? “Yeah, I’m about ready for a hot one, thank you.” There is no toilet up here, so to save trekking down to the house the boss pees into a sink built into the wall. “See that thing with the handle? It pulls out,” Lynch explains. “You can pee right in there. Then you run the faucet.”