How David Lynch Came To Appear On “Louie”

If there are two things that this blog likes — and there are more than two things, many more, because we’re all human and we all have a diverse array of likes and dislikes, but for the sake of this post we’re going to focus on two things in particular — this blog likes Louis C.K. and this blog likes David Lynch. (I mean, obviously. Lots and lots of people like Louis C.K. and David Lynch. This blog also likes ice cream, because this blog makes the DARING LIFE CHOICES.)

Dave Itzkoff just published an interview with Louis C.K., pegged to the debut of his HBO special “Oh My God” (airing Saturday, April 13th, at 10 p.m.). It’s a really good interview and you should read it, but there is one segment in particular that caught my eye:

Did you also have an immediate vision of the Jack Dall character, who trains you for your audition?

To me, it was Ben Gazzara. So Vernon Googles Ben Gazzara while we’re talking. He died an hour before he Googled it. I think it’s possible the minute I said, “I think this is Ben Gazzara,” he dropped dead. I sent it to Jerry Lewis. We got a phone call from his personal secretary saying, “Jerry is not interested at this time.” We reached out to Woody Allen, who said, “I can’t contribute to this right now.” I got a really nice e-mail from Al Pacino. Martin Scorsese said: [Scorsese voice] “Louie’s terrific, I enjoy the program. I can’t be any part of this right now.” What I learned is that the level I’m at now I get polite nos. It used to just be nothing but silence.

How did you arrive at David Lynch?

I Googled [Francis Ford] Coppola to see if he had acted in anything. And on the page I was at: directors, David Lynch. I thought: “That would be really weird. It doesn’t make any sense.” I put him in my head and I read the script, and I’m like: “This is way better than any of those guys. This is the only guy that could ever do it. If I don’t get David Lynch, I’m not doing it.”

Scorsese! Pacino! Woody Allen! Even the casting ideas that don’t pan out on “Louie” are more interesting than much of what happens on many sitcoms.

On Friday, Itzkoff also posted this expanded excerpt from the interview, as Louis C.K. gave him even more detail about how David Lynch came to portray Jack Dall:

I wrote back and I said, “I can’t argue with the traveling. You want to be with your family. We’ll certainly give you the best possible accommodations and travel. But if there were 10,000 other people, I would get one. And I’m really good at this. I know what works on my show. I’m never wrong. I don’t know what it’s going to be like. There’s not some expectation that you have to measure up to. I’m excited to be wrong here.” He would always write back through his assistant, earnestly and sincerely and gently saying no. And then finally I got one where they said, “Can it be done in two days, and can he wear his own clothes? And no.” And I was like, “I got him.”

Read the whole excerpt here.

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