10 Quirky David Lynch Stories

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David Lynch. Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

All of David Lynch’s projects are disturbing to varying degrees — but in real life, tales about the director are more quirky than they are unsettling. Did you know about his days as an amateur weatherman? Or how about the 20 cups of instant coffee he would drink daily? What a guy! If you’re looking for some post–Twin Peaks: The Return reading, look no further than this collection of silly David Lynch stories.

He loves Mad Men so much, he refuses to call the actors by their real names.
Back when the AMC drama was still on TV, Lynch had the opportunity to meet “Peggy Olsen and Don Draper” (or, Elisabeth Moss and Jon Hamm) at a party. “They’re great characters and whoever cast that show did a sensational job. It’s great writing, great atmosphere,” he said, refusing to acknowledge Moss and Hamm as separate entities. “That’s who they are to me. I called Peggy, ‘Peggy.’” Naturally, the duo didn’t mind, according to Lynch: “No, not a bit. I met them in Cologne, Germany, and my wife and I had drinks with Peggy in Paris.” A few years later, Moss relayed her side of the story during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! “From the very beginning of the drinks, he called us by our character names, Don and Peggy. It kept going and we went with it,” she explained. “Then he emailed me afterwards and he wrote ‘Dear Peggy’ and finished it with ‘Give my love to Don.’”

He used a cow to campaign for Laura Dern’s Inland Empire Oscar nomination.
While it sadly proved to be unsuccessful, Lynch used an unconventional method to put Dern in the awards-season spotlight for Inland Empire: He sat at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea in Los Angeles for an entire day, next to a live cow and a large poster of Dern. “You know, there are a bunch of Academy members and all sorts of other awards activity going on out there. And people solve problems with money normally. Well, I don’t have any money,” he later told Wired. “Honestly, I’m out there with the cow, and meeting the greatest bunch of people. It was so beautiful, such a great day, out with Georgia the cow, beautiful piano music, meeting so many great people.”

Photo: Chris Pizzello/REUTERS

He did the Ice Bucket Challenge … with iced coffee.
Ever the charitable fellow, Lynch accepted the ALS-fundraising challenge from both Laura Dern and Justin Theroux in the summer of 2014, in which he played “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on a trumpet and got soaked with iced coffee and regular ice water. He nominated Vladimir Putin to do it next.

He was “very, very sweet” when he declined directorial duties for Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Before Cameron Crowe ultimately settled on Amy Heckerling to direct his seminal coming-of-age film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the screenwriter, intrigued by Lynch’s work in The Elephant Man and Eraserhead, initially offered him the gig. Lynch hadn’t a damn clue why this would be a good idea. “He had a very wry smile on his face as I sat talking with him. He went and read it. We met again,” Crowe recently explained. “He was very, very sweet about it, but slightly perplexed we thought of him. He said this was a really nice story but ‘It’s not really the kind of thing that I do, but good luck.’ He got into the white VW bug and drove off.”

He spent many years (unofficially) reporting on the weather.
If you were a lucky subscriber to Lynch’s website in the mid- to late-2000s, you would’ve been privy to occasional weather reports he recorded from his home, where he marveled about the “muted golden sunshine” or the “sub-white clouds” encompassing Los Angeles on any given day. It’s a shame he stopped, but hey, the Twin Peaks revival was calling.

He used to drink 20 cups of instant coffee a day.
The “obsessive” coffee consumer starting knocking back cups of Joe when he was a teenager, eventually reaching a point in adulthood where he would drink 20 large cups of instant coffee a day. (He’s since dialed it down to about seven.) In fact, the caffeinated bean is such an important part of Lynch’s life that he was inspired to write all about it in a Huffington Post essay. “Coffee became tied to what I called ‘The Art Life.’ I loved to go to diners and drink coffee and try to catch ideas for the work. Coffee has always seemed to facilitate thinking and catching ideas. Not only that, but the flavor of coffee is beyond the beyond good,” he wrote. “Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all.”

He pissed Mattel off with a coffee “commercial.”
In 2011, Lynch began selling a legitimate — and apparently quite tasty — coffee line called David Lynch Signature Cup. He promoted the caffeinated beverage with a humorous video that showed a Barbie doll’s head talking in the palm of his hand. As it turns out, Mattel didn’t love seeing one of its products utter phrases like “Is it organic?” and “Can I have some?” The company “kindly asked” Lynch to remove the video from the posted outlets.

He loves eating quinoa so much, he created a surrealist video all about it.
So you, too, can experience the joys of quinoa. “Quinoa is something that I like to have for dinner every chance I get,” he explained before launching into a 20-minute tutorial. Watch the whole thing and you’ll even get his recipe!

He really felt the Bern.
While Lynch maintains an official Twitter account — he begins every tweet with “Dear Twitter Friends” — he’s not an active user, mostly choosing to send out messages into the social-media sphere when he wants to raise awareness for his foundation or other charitable causes. But in 2016, he got so jazzed up about Bernie Sanders running for president, he sent out a slew of tweets to excitedly voice his support. As he perhaps puts it best here: “YAY! BERNIE SANDERS FOR PRESIDENT!!!”

He is very good at text messaging.
Lynch’s sense of humor perhaps best comes across in a texting exchange with his longtime friend Naomi Watts about an afternoon meeting, which soon turns into a fake narrative about Twin Peaks: The Return’s Jones family. “I’m Janey-E and I will come when I want to!!!” she texts Lynch. “Of course,” he responds. “Jeez what was I thinking please don’t be mad at me … should I go up with Dougie to say goodnight to Sonny Jim?” Watts’s cheeky insistence on bothering Lynch during his “me time” soon warrants a reprimand: “Dear sweet Janey-E. I’m trying to meditate now. I’m sorry darling but this is sort of trying my patience — STOP IT BITCH!!!!”

10 Quirky David Lynch Stories