Actor-Turned-Vintner Kyle MacLachlan Visits Hill Country

From Thrillist:

Vintage Kyle MacLachlan
From harvesting The Spice to stomping grapes

Between David Lynch, Desperate Housewives, and actually reading all five Dune books, Kyle MacLachlan doesn't just require the occasional drink -- he requires owning an entire vineyard in Walla Walla, Washington. In the ATX later this week for a Hill Country Wine and Food event with the chefs from LA's vaunted Animal (it's sold out; see below for a shot at tix), we chatted him up about vino, superpowers, and Showgirls.

How'd you decide to enter the wine business?
Being from Washington State I was aware of this exciting development -- at least it was exciting to me -- that grapes were being grown and wine was being made. Yakima is a fairly small town, not a lot goes on here. So there was suddenly this wonderful reason to go home.

Why did you name your vineyard Pursued By Bear?
I remembered this eccentric stage direction from The Winter's Tale, which called for an actor to be chased offstage by a bear. Shakespeare was rarely specific in his stage directions -- it's as eccentric a stage direction as me making wine. It certainly makes people ask twice...

So, if you were actually being pursued by a bear, how many glasses of your wine would put you in the best shape to escape?
From what I've heard, the best thing to do is to lie down and pretend you're sleeping. So maybe a bottle or a bottle and half.

Describe your Cabernet.
There's a bright acid quality, in a good way. It pairs nicely with anything that's got a little bit of fat to it. It also has flavors of berry and cherry that are common to Washington. Sometimes it's described as cherry cola.

Would you say your Cabernet has a velvety finish?
No, it's sort of more of a clean, semi-long finish, not a super-long finish. But it has a balance and roundness to it that is really nice.

Would you say it's best enjoyed wearing lipstick, or a gasmask?
This is a good question. If you have a gasmask then you're not really able to smell the flavors. So I guess lipstick would be a better choice.

How did you meet David Lynch?
We met for the first time before Dune in LA. Then I came back to screen test and it was really grueling. When I got back to my hotel room David had sent over a bottle of Lynch-Bages. That was the first Bordeaux that I'd ever tried. It was life changing.

In Blue Velvet, you had to choose between two very different women -- then a decade later, you faced a similar choice. If you could script One Night Stand, would your character end up with Ming-Na Wen, Nastassja Kinski, or Wesley Snipes?
I guess it would depend on who the director was. I think at the end of the day I ended up with the right woman. Ming-Na was the right type. I will say this though, Wesley was pretty sexy in To Wong Fu.

With Showgirls, does it feel weird or awesome that you starred in a movie that "inspired" teenage boys of the '90s the same way Emmanuelle inspired teenage boys of the '70s?
That's pretty nice company. The process of making Showgirls was a lot more fun than actually watching it. But there's a part of me that gets a kick out of the fact that it's popular and has found a second life, inadvertently for all the wrong the reasons, but what the heck, people still enjoy it. You can't find fault with that. I'm happy that it attained cult status.

You voiced Superman in The Justice League. What superpower would you most desire?
The power to eat and drink what I'd want and not gain any weight. Your younger guy would say invisibility or seduction, so this is a middle aged superpower.

Did you ever use your Superman voice to totally turn on Teri Hatcher?
No. It might've worked, but she's impervious to superpowers. She's sort of like a superhero herself.

Who do you think is stranger, Kyle MacLachlan as the Mayor of Portland, or Sam Adams as the (actual) Mayor of Portland?
I don't know Sam that well, but they've had the Fred Armisen version do some interesting things, like showing up in a ska reggae band after falling off the face of the earth. So my mayor is pretty strange.

How did you prepare for your role as an impotent rich guy in Sex And The City?
It took a long time to get into character every morning. The writers said, we need a new guy to play opposite Kristin Davis. He's an Upper East Side surgeon. I said that sounds great, he seems like a young John Kennedy, virile, throwing the football around, kind of a womanizer. They were like sure, sure, sure. And then they were like, by the way, he's going to be impotent and have mother issues. I just can't escape these sort of roles. But we had a lot of fun with it. It is what it is.

In your estimation, are the real housewives you know "desperate", or generally pretty happy and not running around murdering people and whatnot?
Generally pretty happy. There's a lot to keep them busy, especially if they have children. I have a little boy now, so I understand the time and effort to corral the kids. Not much time to do anything else.

Like murder.
Yeah, murder takes an awful lot of time.
The event sold out quick, but email for a chance at a pair of tickets, view the sched of other festival happenings at, and learn more about the Bear at Also, Netflix Kyle's 1987 sci-fi flick The Hidden -- it's pure forgotten gold.
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