Watch David Lynch coach Laura Palmer on ‘Twin Peaks’ backwards-talkOn December 5, 2017 by Kenna
“Repooc tnega olleh.”
Try saying that line with feeling. (Translation: “Hello Agent Cooper,” but … backwards.)
The unsettlingly surreal rewind-speak of the Black Lodge residents in Twin Peaks has always been something of a special skill for David Lynch’s actors. It’s a process: First they speak the line forwards, listen to the backwards playback and then repeat it, no matter how inhumanly tongue-twisted those sounds may turn out to be.
The backwards-spoken line is then itself rewound in the playback, revealing the spooky inflections specific to the Red Room.
Doing it requires patience and practice. Lynch – a famously hands-on director and, in this case, dialect coach – had to use a reel-to-reel tape back in the ’90s to give his actors the proper sounds to work with. Nowadays all you need is an iPhone.
Well, that and a notepad.
Watch Lynch coach actress Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer) in this video from the extras in the home video release of Twin Peaks: The Return.
The DVD and Blu-ray release of Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series arrives Tuesday from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution with six hours – six hours! – of special features, including 80 minutes of behind-the-scenes content.
(We’re most looking forward to Impressions: A Journey Behind the Scenes of Twin Peaks, a 10-part series of half-hour films directed by Jason S, longtime Lynch friend and documentarian.)
The above clip is from one of two Blu-ray-only featurettes directed by Richard Beymer (who plays Ben Horne) that follow Lynch and his actors as they shoot in the Red Room.