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A Holiday with… Kyle MacLachlan

After one of the busiest years of his 30-year acting career – including roles on Portlandia,  The Good Wife, and starring in NBC’s new series, Believe – Kyle MacLachlan likes to relax during the holiday season. Last year, the star of cult favorites like Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks traveled with his wife and five-year-old son to his native Washington State, where MacLachlan indulges his epicurean passions at his acclaimed winery, Pursued By Bear. For a David Lynch favorite, his holiday plans couldn’t be more normal: Christmas cookies, Champagne, and Charlie Brown. We interviewed the actor and wine buff on his holiday traditions last year, and we’re revisiting the interview below, during our Warholiday online auction (1-12 December).


Where are you spending the holidays this year?


We’re actually going to be spending Christmas with my brothers and their families over in the Seattle area but we usually go to Yakima [Washington], where I’m from.  Eastern Washington has a different kind of beauty in the winter months. It’s cold and stark, but special to me.


Can you think of any favorite gifts you’ve received over the years?


When my brothers and I get together during Christmas we always bring up some of the gifts we received as kids. One of our favorites was called ‘The Thing-Maker’. It was basically a hot plate with an insert where you could fit a metal plate with bug forms in it. You’d fill the template with liquid plastic and stick it into the hot plate and the bug forms would ‘cook’ and harden. I can’t imagine they’d ever let a company sell something like this today, but we loved it. You learned pretty quickly not burn your hand or breathe too deeply when the plastic was cooking.


Any holiday traditions you’ve passed down you your son?


When I was little, we used to go to my grandparents’ during the holidays. My grandmother was German and would make Christmas cookies with my two brothers and me. There were the ones she did and the ones we did — the ones she did were the ones you wanted to eat! — but it started my love of cooking.  I’m starting to revisit this with my son; he likes helping in the kitchen and we try to include him as much as we can. He loves decorating the cookies — frosting everywhere!


Is there something you like to watch, or listen to, every holiday season?


Without question, as a family we like to visit memory lane.  For us that means always watching ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’, ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’, ‘Frosty the Snowman’ and ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas’. Not many people realize that the voice of the Grinch — and the narrator — was Boris Karloff.


What’s the perfect wine for a holiday dinner?


Actually I might plug my Syrah, Baby Bear, because it’s got a little bit of spice to it. All in all, I think Champagne works very well during the holidays!


Do you have a favorite holiday sweater? You can be honest — do you dress up your two dogs?


I don’t have a favorite holiday sweater, but I do like the cold weather of New York in winter. And I’m not above putting some fuzzy antlers on the dogs’ heads.


( Photo courtesy of Paul Jasmin.)