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If Stephen Colbert hadn’t become a comedian, he might have been an actor. In a Late Show interview with Kyle MacLachlan on Friday night, Colbert admitted that he was “jealous” that the Twin Peaks Returns and Portlandia actor had nabbed the part of Paul Atreides in 1984’s Dune.
Kicking off their conversation, Colbert told MacLachlan that after 1986’s Blue Velvet came out when he was in college, friends told him he looked “just like” MacLachlan. To test the similarity, the two performers swapped glasses and stared at the camera, and MacLachlan joked that Colbert could have played his “eighth character on Twin Peaks.”
But “the part that I was most jealous of…I’m a big fan of Dune,” Colbert said.
MacLachlan added that he loved the book, too, writing quotes on a teacher’s blackboard in eighth grade. Colbert then asked if he thought, as a young person, “I must play Paul Atreides.” When MacLachlan said no, the comedian replied, “Because I did. I read Dune my freshman year of college and I was like, ‘I must play Paul Atreides, I must be Muad’Dib [a name Atreides later goes by].’ “
“But you got the part, and I was really angry at Kyle MacLachlan,” Colbert said.
During MacLachlan’s appearance on the Late Show, the actor also told Colbert what it was like to work with Dune director David Lynch, explaining that they speak in shorthand. Lynch calls MacLachlan “Kayle,” according to the actor, because Italian producer Dino de Laurentiis, unable to pronounce his first name, called him “Gayle” on the set of Dune.
Of Lynch’s more indecipherable plots in which he’s performed, the actor said that he doesn’t know what he’s doing most of the time. “But I’m like, it’s David Lynch, that’s where I’m going. I’m good with it.”
Later on the show, as MacLachlan and Colbert sipped glasses of wine from MacLachlan’s wine line Pursued by a Bear, MacLachlan marveled at Colbert’s wine-pouring ability. “You know why? Because you were Paul Atreides, and I was waiting tables,” Colbert joked.
Watch the full segment below.
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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier